Select Page

Face the Aurora — Part 12 — Valentina and the Echoes of Empire

December 10, 2021
Spread the love

One of the documents Valentina stole from the Arbiter Titan turned out to be a list of access codes, but she didn’t get a chance to look at it until she made it onboard the Asterias. Being the enterprising smuggler she was, and also having strong feelings about the Miasma as a subject, Valentina immediately used the codes to sabotage the immense ship. Two codes, and she was in.

All trace of her name, the Miasma, and Sigis Station were removed from the data banks until the only records left were the ones that rested in a nondescript little data chip on her galley table. It looked so harmless. Just a little silver slip of metal with the chip itself on one side, and the name of the maker on the other. It was such a tiny thing, but it was more trouble than Valentina had ever experienced, and frankly more than she could ever imagine.

Now she had a decision to make.

Obviously, that information was valuable. So valuable that Valentina didn’t want to hold onto it for very long. Sooner or later they would figure out that she had made it onto their ship and scraped their documents. As soon as that happened, she was in trouble. She was a small-time smuggler, and those who would want that information were the kind of people who didn’t mind killing anyone who got in their way. Valentina knew at this point that she was an expendable pawn in several games.

She didn’t want to be vanished.

If she could get that big payout before anyone caught up with her, it would finance a good long hide. Maybe take a relaxing stay at one of the resort planets. Who knows? She might even make enough money to retire completely and set up her own little smuggling bolthole like Mateo’s.

Actually, talking to Felix was probably a good decision regardless. Valentina certainly didn’t have the contacts to sell off vital information to anyone who mattered, but Felix did, and he could hand it off for her once the arrangements were made.

It would be hard. She had heard rumors that things with the three Factions were heating up. Certainly, if the Arbiters were searching for a powerful weapon, they were planning for serious trouble.

Valentina didn’t know anything about war, and she didn’t want to. War always made everything harder, and the only people who came out ahead were the people in charge.

She looked at the data chip again, and closed her eyes against the fear that pooled in her stomach. This was so much more than she ever wanted to face down. It was so much more than anything that fitted into how she faced the galaxy.

Squeezing back and choking off the tears of a child, Valentina reached over and punched Felix’s number into her comm. She’d have to go to Aurora’s Edge.

The sooner she was rid of that damned data chip, the better.

Part 1 — Kepler’s Remnant

Part 2 — Sovereign Protectorate

Part 3 — Lightspire

Part 4 — Shepherd’s Void

Part 5 — Celestious Nox

Part 6 — The Crucible

Part 7 — Edge of the Miasma

Part 8 — The Pale

Part 9 — In Too Deep

Part 10 — The Quick Slip

Part 11 — Danger’s Dock

Valentina Barbaro is heading to Aurora’s Edge, the final Star Cluster available in the initial Celestial Claim Land Presale. Expect Celestial Claims from this Cluster to become available soon, shortly after her arrival.

Pay close attention to the Echoes of Empire announcements and blogs to see what happens next, and be sure to sign up at the Echoes of Empire website if you haven’t yet!

Join the Discussion in Discord