New Story Teasers

Jia, Ping, and the pirates return in my new story, Titan's Shadow. I'm working on editing and revisions now and will release it this month.  Here's a few teasers:

Saturn’s ammonia clouds stretch off into an infinite horizon, the Sun casting long shadows across the platform’s deck. Lucky Cricket rests on the transit ramp silhouetted against the sky. Shimmering aerostat lights hang suspended in the clouds, waiting.

At first it’s a nibble out of the Sun, growing from its left side. It’s not until nearly half of the Sun is blotted out that the glare dims and the party fades to sunset. The kaleidoscopic sea of neon wearables pulses and  shimmers with the revelers. Ping’s hair shifts to amber. He slides his hand behind the nape of Jia’s neck and draws her near. Enceladus centers itself perfectly over the Sun, ringed by the corona, and, for a perfect moment, it’s night inside the Panorama. Ping kisses her, his lips warm and tasting of champagne. As they pull apart, the Sun fades in and the party returns to daytime.

Jia’s grunting, fighting with the controls. Fire suppression sprays a white fog which wreathes around the windows.

Ping is groggy, shaking his head. “Are we going to crash?”

Jia glances at the aft camera.  The port engine sheathing peels away and spins off into the darkness. “Yes. We are definitely going to crash.”

Galen stands and heads to the airlock. Inside, his EV suit is colored cobalt metallic blue with copper plates. Beside the suit is a rifle and pistol. He checks both before gearing up. 

Jia slips into her red EV suit as Ping dons his PLEX suit. Once she’s dressed she checks her pulse pistol. The ammo indicator is full. She slides it into her hip mount.

“Ready?” Galen asks, slinging his rifle onto his back.

Jia’s nervous, shifting her weight. “Yeah.”

Overhead, Saturn is a yellow moon in a speckled sky. A lone white star traverses silently across that sky. It flashes blue and Galen’s ship blossoms into a fireball. Chunks rain down streaming fiery tails, impacting the deck, while the smaller pieces shoot up into the sky like a thousand fireflies. There’s no blast wave in the vacuum, just the low rumble of the explosion’s sound transmitting through their boots. Everyone staggers back into the doorway.

Galen is stunned. He grabs onto the door frame and steadies himself. Ship pieces pulse orange like dying embers, flashing as if gunpowder were sprinkled on them.