Children of Heaven: Choir of Silence, Chapter 34

Natalya’s comm pinged. “Commodore Archer,” she answered crisply as she took it out of her breast pocket. “Sorry to disturb you, commodore. This is Lieutenant Jeffers in the War Room. Admiral Foraker wants you here ASAP.” “What’s happened, lieutenant?” “Our listening posts have picked up an incoming hyper wake, ma’am. A big one. ETA sixteen hours.”

Children of Heaven: Choir of Silence, Chapter 32

“What did you think? That the war would slide to a halt simply because you wanted it to, that what happened between us would somehow change my people’s drive?” “No, I… I don’t know what I thought. I shouldn’t be surprised, though. You’re killers without peer. Innocence means nothing to you, does it?” “What is innocence except a lack of opportunity?” “Don’t play the sanctimonious philosopher with me. I know you don’t actually think like that.” “…true. But many of my brothers and sisters do.”

Children of Heaven: Choir of Silence, Chapter 31

“Your sidearm, Corporal.” Natalya held out her hand towards the Marine next to her. Almost instantly there was the comforting weight of a Colt 997 in her hand. Optimized to function with power armour systems, it was awkward for an unarmoured human to use. That didn’t stop Archer from jamming the barrel up into Arykka’s chin. …they would all say she was escaping and a threat to others… “Do you trust me?” she purred.

Children of Heaven: Choir of Silence, Chapter 30

Being persona non grata to her fellow officers did have some perks, Natalya had to admit. It allowed her a certain degree of freedom in her decisions, since she was no longer constrained by the thought of repercussions to her image or career. Her mother would be proud; she’d always taught her daughter to focus on the positive side of things. Oh, she was ostracized from official and unofficial gatherings, her security clearances had been revoked, people that she’d thought of as friends and comrades were suddenly too busy for a cup of coffee, let alone able to return her comms. She could handle it if it were just herself, but Donald, Li and the remaining captains in TF 111 were getting caught in the crossfire. Things had gotten worse since Newfounding; one or two incidents had bordered on insubordination.

Children of Heaven: Choir of Silence, Chapter 29

Moria MacLean whimpered, pulling her knees up to her chest. She knew she was better then this, she wanted to be better then this, but she was trapped, alone in the dark aboard an alien vessel. Her crew was dead or imprisoned. She squeezed her eyes tight, hoping, praying to whomever or whatever was listening that this was all a bad dream, that all she had to do was open her eyes and she’d wake up in a Concordat sickbay.

Children of Heaven: Choir of Silence, Chapter 27

A single star system swelled to prominence on the holographic view and there was a ripple in the assembled officers as they recognized it. “Unicorn Set. This is the second hardest target the Lefu have, ladies and gentlemen.” Hunt’s voice was granite, radiating nothing but pure conviction. “And we’re going to take it out.”

Children of Heaven: Choir of Silence, Chapter 26

As the commodore moved to take her leave, Arykka did acquiesce a little, though she did not look up. “I was there the day the gods fell,” she said into the silence. It was a single sentence, one that meant so many things for the Evea’shi. This time, there was no doubt what it meant. When we come, you will fall.

Children of Heaven: Choir of Silence, Chapter 25

It was the last. It had been one of the first, and now it was the last. It was speeding through the cosmos, scarred repair systems attempting to regenerate its sole vital system. It was not intelligent enough to reflect on what had led it to this point, nor introspective enough to consider the weight of the data it carried. It if had been either of those things, it just may have gone mad with grief.

Children of Heaven: Choir of Silence, Chapter 24

“Fine. If it will make you happy, I’ll reassign the 181st to system defence duty and restrict her access to classified material, but I will not bust her down for groundless fears. As soon as there’s some solid evidence that she’s been co-opted, I will act. Not before.” “That is, of course, your right,” Hunt replied frostily. “I simply hope that you don’t come to regret that decision.”

Children of Heaven: Choir of Silence, Chapter 23

Natalya took a deep breath. “The first race that the Evea’shi met kidnapped and enslaved them. The second killed the first and would have killed them. The third species they met deceived and attacked them and then were killed themselves. In this formative period of their cultural, every species they encountered has done nothing but use or try to kill them. And so, every species that they’ve met since, they consider to be their Enemy, to be a threat to them – if not now, then in the future – because they’ve never known anything else.”