Manuscript Status: Finished
Mentor Names: Dan Koboldt and Michael Mammay
Mentee Name: Ryan McLeod
Genre: Science Fiction
Word Count: 95,000 words
Space pirate Michael Jackson (no relation) takes on a job delivering the ransom for the captured leader of the rebellion. After all, a man has to pay the bills, even if he doesn’t love the politics. Unfortunately, the client is Jackson’s ex. Worse, she stole his payment from a fanatical warlord who’s now hunting her.
Five hundred people are watching me. Half of them are softly crying, men and women alike. The rest have all slipped into detached, thousand-yard stares. Lights on, no one home. It creeps the hell out of me.
I have them, the passengers of the luxury cruise-liner Oblique, seated neatly in their gilded Main Concourse. My gunner, Magnus Glint, stands over them like a prison guard watching a chain gang. He holds his rifle at the ready and has a glorious fucking-try-me expression. The irony of these First Worlders being treated like common, worthless criminals isn’t lost on me. I’d laugh, but that’d probably send them right over the edge.
Magnus’ rifle is an unsettling bit of hardware though; a zero G recoilless rifle, plasma and slug throwing options. It can punch through thirty centimetres of polysteel and through nearly a metre of plasticrete–Lord knows what it would do to a body. I imagine exploding watermelons when I think about it. I try to not think about it.
Five hundred people are a lot to watch, and I’m beginning to think I should have hired more crew for this job, another ten probably. I’d balked at the idea though. Greed is why. That, and maybe naive stupidity, thinking we could handle it.
“Just about ready, Clay?” I ask.
My quartermaster, Clayton Connell, hunches over the display on the metre and a half cube I had him dolly into this little party of ours.