Epsilon universe snippet – in the alley

                I felt the heat of the explosion almost before I heard it, saw the light of it.  I spun, swearing, not knowing what to think or where to run to until I saw the fire’s brightness not too far from me, down the street a little ways.

                I’d last seen Wil headed in that direction.

                “Wil!”

                Nothing–but if he’d been anywhere in the vicinity of that explosion, no doubt his ears were still ringing and ringing loud.  I gulped in a breath and ran in that direction, away from where I could see the lights of landers in the distance.

                When the Imperium had come to Caldin, they’d come in force, just like we feared they would.

                What the hell just happened there?  The Imperium wasn’t supposed to have made it this far into the city by now.  Nothing should have been exploding.

                Moving at a dead run, I almost tripped over him.  He choked back a moan as my foot banged into his in the darkness.  Backlit by the flames from across the street–the Alliance post was burning–I could see the blood on him.

                It was all over and it looked bad.

                “Wil!”

                “Get out of here,” he rasped.  “I’m fine, get out of here.”

                “Liar.”  I crashed to my knees, pulling his head and shoulders into my lap.  He hissed in pain, choking back a scream.

                “Ren–”

                “Shut up,” I snapped.  “What the hell did you do?”

                “My job.”  He squeezed his eyes shut, his breathing labored and shallow.  I swore heartily.

                I thumbed a mayday on my comm, knowing Luc wasn’t far.  He’d be here fast, I knew it.

                He’d better be.  We need him now.

                “Ren,” Wil breathed.  “Ren, please.”

                “No,” I said through gritted teeth.  “I am not leaving you, dammit.”  I caught a glimpse of Luc in the light of the burning building beyond the alleyway.  “Luc!  Luc, get over here, I need your help.”

                He pivoted and swore when he saw Wil, just like I had.  I couldn’t stop the tears anymore.

                “Please,” I begged in a voice that was barely more than a whisper.  “Please, help him.”

Epsilon Universe extra – Wil and Ren

Epsilon: War Stories coverFor NaNoWriMo 2013, I started working on a collection of stories and scenes out of the Epsilon Universe entitled Epsilon: War Stories.  In the midst of working on this project, I ended up writing some scenes that take place during the same period as Epsilon: Redeemer that might never make it into anything else.

The following scene is from Ren’s point of view, and it’s a pivotal point in the evolution of her relationship with Wil after the events of Epsilon: Broken Stars, so if you don’t want spoilers of any flavor for Broken Stars or Redeemer, don’t click below the break.

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Broken Stars is now complete, heading into final reads and revisions.

[progpress title=”Epsilon: Broken Stars” goal=”70000″ current=”79949″ label=”words”]

A novel roughly thirteen years in the making is finally complete and should hopefully be released by the end of the month.  I’ve shot it off to a few test readers for their commentary (one of whom I’m certain is a bit annoyed with me thanks to the wall of text spam he was getting all day yesterday).  I’ll be doing edits and tweaks based on their readings/proofs.

Epsilon: Broken Stars came in at a higher word count than I anticipated, and will shrink/grow with the forthcoming edits.  I finished writing at around 2am last night, emailed it off, then crashed for five and a half hours (up by 8–yup, there’s something wrong with me).  I need to let it set for a few days before I go back to start any edits of my own I might decide to do, but as of this writing, it’s complete but for proofreading and minor edits.

That is to say I don’t think I’m going to be adding any more chapters, fight scenes, or any other such thing.  I might do some Epilogue tweaking, but that’s for another day, after I let it sit and rest.

Of course, I still need to write the dedication and the acknowledgements, as well as format copies for several different e-publication venues.  That’s a task for another day.

Between yesterday and early this morning, I wrote more than 7000 words.  That was a huge day for me (I also managed to somehow buy tickets to the Red Wings game in there, go figure).

Writing yesterday was mostly action sequences, which I have a great deal of difficulty writing.  Erik says it’s because I’ve never actually been in a fight before, and he’s probably right about that.

Here’s a sample of what I came up with, though, for two action-packed chapters.

            Desantis only hesitated a second before he triggered the detonator.  A series of quiet pops echoed off the buildings, followed by the larger, explosive roars of the charges going up in a secondary blast and taking the back end of the lander with it.  The craft’s pilot was knocked sprawling into the light of one of the streetlamps.

He scrambled to his feet a few stunned seconds later, yelling.  I grasped Sam with one hand and Desantis with the other.

“Time to go,” I hissed, then ducked down the alleyway, trusting them to follow.

Sam looked positively gleeful by the time we got back to the car.

“We did it!  We actually did it.”

“Celebrate later,” I said, giving her a stern look as I jerked the passenger side door open.  “It’s not over yet.”

She sobered as she caught sight of my expression and went quiet, nodding.  She ducked into the car without another word.

Desantis looked at me across the roof and I just shook my head.  He shrugged and got in, and I joined them a second later.

“Biesterfield and Twelfth,” he said as Sam got the vehicle moving.

She nodded.  “Thanks.”

We wended our way up a few side streets before we turned onto one of the north-south streets a couple over from Biesterfield and headed north toward city center.  I was doing math on the way and realized something.

“Mac, how many did you say were landing here?”

He blinked at me.  “Six, Cap.”

“And five on the other continent.”  Maybe I heard him wrong.  Maybe he said six and I misheard him.

“Right.”

Damn.  “Compliment on a cruiser like the Tallahassee is twelve.”  So where’s that last lander?

The car swerved a little as Sam caught up to my line of thinking.  “Five and six is eleven.  Where’s the last lander?”

“That’s what I want to know,” I said grimly as Desantis scrambled for his palmtop.  Three klicks out from the Scarlet meant there was significant lag between sensors and the palmtop, and Desantis cursed his way through trying to figure out where that last lander was coming down.

Sam whipped the car around a corner, headed toward Biesterfield on one of the east-west streets, then whipped around another corner onto our target street.

She plowed right into a roadblock and a subsequent hail of weaponsfire.

 

Epsilon: Broken Stars by Erin M. Klitzke

Turned out pretty decent, I’d say.  That’s actually toward the beginning of the action, believe it or not!

Only time and readers, however, will tell me exactly how well I’ve done.  We shall see!

Look for Epsilon: Broken Stars in your favorite ebook store coming soon.