The Cassidy Chronicles Volume 5
Viva la revolucion!
The Primus, Vasilia Newling, is facing her worst nightmares:
A revolution on Luna
Titan and the Asteroids abandoning the Solarian Union.
Defections from within her own government.
All because of those damned Cassidys!
But she's still as ruthless as ever.
And if Aiyana and Kendra thought she was playing dirty before? They're going to see how filthy she really can get.
There isn't room for both the Terran Federation and the Union.
This time, one is going down.
Return to the future for the fifth installment of The Cassidy Chronicles: Triumph's Ashes.
Tropes: Antihero, Asteroid Miner, Band of Brothers/Sisters, Conspiracy, Cross-Species Friendships, Dystopian Governments, Enemy to Ally, Fellowship, First Contact, Found Family, FTL, Interstellar Travel, Reluctant Hero, Sentient AI, Space Battles, Space Pilot, Undiscovered Planet
Word Count: 143365
Setting: Lunar Orbit; Luna; 40 Eridani A c (Freyr); Interstellar Space
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters
The corridor wasn’t terribly long and didn’t have any side passages. It was, effectively, an extension of the external airlock, and the hatch on the far end was closed and locked.
“McGill. Open it.”
The private punched the code Mike had pulled from the warren’s systems and the hatch slid aside.
“Stay frosty, Marines,” Stone said. “Be ready, but try not to ventilate the residents by accident.”
The corridor beyond continued straight, but it was wider and had a number of side passages branching off.
“Anyone have motion?”
All three Marines reported negative.
“Where’s the center of the warren?”
“End of the corridor, right, then another hundred meters,” McGill said.
“Then that’s where we’re going.”READ MORE
The passage down the corridor was unnerving, even for Stone. Their external microphones caught every sound, but all they could hear were the mechanical noises of the warren. Air whooshed, distant water gurgled, engines whirred, and occasionally a circuit would crackle.
“Where is everyone? There’s supposed to be fifty people here,” muttered Stone. “Not even a bloody cat!”
As if on cue a calico emerged from a side passage, mewing. McGill knelt and the cat bent into her hand, purring.
“Back to work, Marine,” Stone snapped, and McGill straightened, abashed.
They moved back along the corridor, now accompanied by the cat, weaving in and out between their legs. Stone snarled, “Piss off,” but in the timeless manner of cats she was ignored.
“Davis, pick up that bloody nuisance before it trips someone.”
The cat seemed willing to accept the indignity of being carried, and they resumed their stealthier progress. After the turn they could see an open space at the end of the corridor and their uneasiness increased another notch.
Stone had almost given up on asking about motion on the sensors when McGill, still on point, held up a clenched fist.
“Got a reading. Sort of. It’s moving, but it’s slow and all over the place. Like they’re drunk.”
“A bit early to be stonkered,” said Stone. “But it’s not my home. Lead on.”
The corridor ended and they were in an open space, similar to an Earthly town square, maybe fifty meters on a side and lined with shops and other corridors heading away. McGill pointed left, then crept forward, weapon readied but not threatening.
A figure moved in the shadows of a storefront, then collapsed into the square, seizing.
“Cover me!” McGill said, then she hustled over, weapon shouldered. She took one look at the convulsing man and called out again.
“Kidwell! I need your medkit; this guy needs more than I can do!”
Kidwell didn’t even look at Stone, which she approved. McGill was in charge of the Marines in the escort, after all. Kidwell pulled a portable medkit from his pack and started extracting items.
“Nothing I can do until the seizure stops,” he said. “Looks like he’s burning up. Maybe a febrile seizure, but I thought those are mostly in kids.”
Stone was looking around. “Where the ever loving Hells is everyone?”
The final escort, and Davis, were peering around to no avail.
“No idea, Chief,” Davis said, absently petting the cat.
“Mazzi, poke into any store that’s open. Make lots of noise. These people are supposed to be our allies.”
“Ma’am.” Mazzi trotted to the closest door, which opened immediately.
“Chief!” he yelped, jumping backwards.
She broke into a sprint, pulling her pistol without thinking.
“What did you find?”
Mazzi pointed. “Them.”
She followed his finger to a pile of three or four bodies, twisted together in what looked to have been an agonizing death. And death it certainly was; cyanotic skin was a tell-tale sign.
She lowered her pistol and holstered it.COLLAPSE
Jim Warren on Amazon wrote:
This one was INTENSE! The author has continued his impressive universe-building while developing excellent characters, both human and otherwise. One of my favorite things about this series has been seeing the evolution of the characters belonging to the various AIs in service of the Federation; they have really come into their own in this installment and are part of the Cassidys' extended ohana. Lots of exploration, intrigue, plot twists, and villains whom I wouldn't mind fighting myself. Excellent storytelling!
Wow! This chapter of the Cassidy Chronicles combines all of the best points of the previous ones. It has the intergalactic scope, the political acumen, and the endearing characters who demonstrate the range of human characteristics, both honorable and dishonorable. The “dispute” between Kendra’s Terran Federation and the Union of Artemis has become an open state of war. The Lunar Habitats are struggling to rebel against Primus. Yet, in this chaotic situation, Kendra continues to push the boundaries of exploration. These elements all combine to produce an exciting and riveting story of humankind’s road to the Stars. Don’t miss this one!