Just a quick post–Collisions of the Damned is in the final stages of post-production as an audiobook. Hopefully it will be available by Black Friday, with the collection On Seas So Crimson being shortly behind. If you know someone who would enjoy alternate history but may either have difficult finding the time to sit down with a hard copy book or is visually impaired, the Usurper War is now available as a thoughtful gift.
Also, an additional snippet from Though Our Hulls Burn.
“So you say he is a rapist?” Agenor asked Commander Taylor, indicating Oliver at the end of the compartment.
“Yes, he was standing Captain’s Mast when we were alerted you had captured the aviso,” Taylor said, raising an eyebrow.
Agenor nodded. Walking back down the noticeably cooling corridor, he drew his vibro katana.
“Prisoner!” he called to the man hunched in the corner, shaking.
“What do you want?!” Oliver cried, trying to scoot further away from the cell door. Looking at the enclosure for a moment, Agenor took a deep breath…then punched through the lock with his battle armored fist. The impact shot the lock and its fragments to the far side of the cell, Oliver screeching in surprise.
“Stand up,” Agenor said, shoving the door open.
“I-I-I didn’t do anything!” Oliver screamed, trying to scuttle away from him.
“I said, stand up,” Agenor shouted. “If I have to lift you up, I swear you will suffer for it.”
Oliver stood, his eyes fixed on the blue sword, heat shimmers emanating from it as it hissed.
“Tell me, between us men, is your officer lying?” Agenor asked. “Did you rape that woman?”
Oliver looked at Agenor, trying to meet his eyes through the tinted face shield.
I know he can still see the dried blood on me, Agenor thought.
“We Spartans are a reasonable people,” Agenor continued. “If it was simply a misunderstanding, you could not help yourself, or she was intoxicated, our justice is more merciful than you are obviously used to.”
“They were going to throw me out an airlock,” Oliver said, his voice less afraid. “It was simply a misunderstanding.”
Agenor moved with terrible swiftness, Oliver not even having time to flinch before the katana had severed his right arm beneath the elbow. The man had just enough time to scream and start to reach for the limb before Agenor struck again, this time lopping off the left arm just above the wrist. Stunned, Oliver fell backwards, screaming in pain as he looked at the two spurting wounds. He had just enough time to look back up at Agenor before the man struck one last time. Oliver’s head fell to the compartment’s deck, followed shortly by his crumpling body. Steam briefly flashed off the vibrokatana as the man’s blood evaporated from its heat.
Resheathing the weapon, Agenor turned back to where Taylor stood between the other two Painbringers. Her eyes were wide in shock and horror as she looked up at him.
“In Spartan lands, we usually geld a rapist in addition to removing both of his hands,” Agenor said conversationally. “Does his victim live?”
Taylor looked at him, her mouth working but no sound coming out. Manipulating his internal controls, Agenor raised his face shield so that he could meet Taylor’s eyes.
“Commander,” Agenor continued, “does his victim live?”
“P-p-probably not,” Taylor said.
“That is unfortunate,” Agenor said.
The deck groaned beneath their feet, reminding Agenor that they were still standing on a ravished hulk being dragged towards a star.
“Take me to your secondary bridge,” Agenor ordered. “Quickly.”