So, this is one of those stories I can’t believe I still have kicking around on my hard drive.
For the record, this is a thirteen thousand word story, set wholly in my Imperial Space universe, with a Hotchkiss/Leopold drive and transitions and the Orgalins who confederated with Concordia in the war that’s the centerpiece of Trigger Man.
Which is all fine and good, until you realize this story was written in 1991. Now, the setting made some changes between now and then. Transitions and N-Space and the H/L drive don’t work, in the current setting, quite like they do here. And the story itself isn’t the most polished I’ve produced — which implies that I’ve learned a thing or two about pacing and storytelling in the last sixteen years, which seems reasonable to me. I mean, this story is older than some of the regular readers of Banter Latte. That’s kind of humbling.
I’ve also learned a few things about science, engineering (small things, but things), and the willing sense of disbelief since then. And I’ve learned a ton of things about spelling since then. I swear to God, I did a complete round of spellchecking when I decided to put this story up, but I can’t possibly have found every last crime against nature and the dictionary, so please remember I was young and incapable, apparently, of reading what I just wrote.
Still, as an artifact of a time when the Imperial Space setting was still called (I swear to God, and embrace my shame) the “Terraesteller Empire,” and as a bit of my life given form once again, I’m happy enough to see this return to the light of day.
And, while I hope you take this story with six or seven grains of salt, I also hope you enjoy it.
Here’s Hephaestus Fallen.