03/25/2020 Snippet, A BARGAIN WITH YIG.

New opening to the story! This one is mostly written, honestly: but I want to un-sparse it, if that ‘s a word. It needs more action sequences, more thoughts, and generally some meat on its bones. I think that the original isn’t bad, mind you. Just that it needs a little work.


Occupied Deseret, 2456 AD

Mark Smith would never forget the sound his last surviving bodyguard made as the patrol-monster’s stinger plunged into the man’s gut. It wasn’t even a painful noise, mostly. More like a sound of surprise and despair. It was the kind of noise you made when you finally admitted to yourself that all was lost and hope was dead.

Mark had made that sound himself a few days ago, after he had watched the last regiment of his father’s soldiers — well, at that point he supposed that they had the dubious honor of being his soldiers — get ripped apart by five times their number of Universal Dominion slave-soldiers. The regiment had died well, savaging the enemy to a standstill until the last Deseret trooper was dead at the bottom of a pile of Dominion corpses. Just so that Mark Smith could run away. Which meant that they had died for absolutely nothing.

Well, his surviving guards might have disagreed with that, but then: what did they know? The last one had just been gut-stabbed by a Dominion patrol-monster, which looked like a horrible, pointless way to die. As Mark assumed he was about to find out.

Mark had a very good sword on his belt, as befitted the heir of what used to be Deseret, industrious realm of the Mountain West. He even managed to get it out and readied as the patrol-monster finished yanking its stinger out of the guard’s guts. Mark had a better stance than he thought he had, as even a half-spoiled and frivolous prince can learn much from the kind of swordsmasters that his father could afford; but truthfully neither the sword nor the man was up to the task of facing off a Dominion battle-monster. If Mark had been asked what he was thinking at that point, he would have replied that he was too much of a coward to not die as well as he could.

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