It's all over...
Issue #8 of Chimera Company went out on Tuesday, and that means it's a wrap for Season 1. It's been exciting. It's been a lot of work. And I hope you've enjoyed the story. Time to let the Phantom shoot off into hyperspace for a while until Season 2 launches.
Except… it's not quite over.
I'm putting together a brief series of special Bulletins running through the end of June in which I'll:
- reveal some of the secrets of the Muryani.
- explain how as a Chimera Company Insider, you can read the first half of Season 2.
- and publish the opening chapter of Season 2 Issue#1 right here in the Bulletin.
- and there's some exciting JR Handley news that I'm not allowed to mention just yet.
I'm kicking off the secrets of the Muryani in this Bulletin. There's also fantastic news about a Justin Sloan book launch, but first, I'd feel guilty if I didn't share Vincent Sammy's illustration of the Phantom in the concluding issue of Season 1.
If you want to find out more:
It's time for the Alien Empire Next Door.
The Muryani Expansion Dossier. Part 1
The Muryani Expansion, as the vast civilization of worlds dominated by the Muryani species is known – is in some ways humanity’s oldest foe. Many insist to this day that the Muryani remain the greatest threat to the freedom of the Federation, and perhaps to the very survival of the exiled races, not only here in the Perseus Arm of the galaxy, but also their birth region in the Orion Spur.
Others look to the Muryani Expansion as a symbol of hope. If Muryani claims are accurate, here is a civilization that has been at peace with itself for the past 7 million years. An opportunity lies on the Federation’s doorstop to one day enter into union with a more mature form of society, one that currently we have not grown enough to join.
And, of course, there is the majority of federal citizens who are too busy earning credits, avoiding committing the latest speech crimes, and catching the latest holo-crazes to think about the Expansion on a day-to-day basis. It’s something big and ugly that will happen one day, but that day ain’t today, so why stress about it?
During First Contact and the Scramble for Earth, the human armies of that era faced several alien foes: Achaeans, Cienju and Tuskers. But that period of Earth history ended with the Vancouver Accords in FL -3613 (or 2162AD to use one of old Earth calendars), which required the offering up of a million children as tribute to humanity’s new overlords: the White Knights.
Re-engineered and repurposed, the descendants of those million children took on many roles: terraformers, miners, plague weapons, even aquatic transhumans used for harbor maintenance, but it was the descendants engineered for war that first encountered the Muryani. From 2410AD to 2566AD the Human Marine Corps, serving the White Knights under Jotun officers, fought the Muryani in the Fourth Frontier War.
Accounts of the period described the Muryani as a crude fighting force with tactics and technology outclassed by the frontline forces of the White Knight military machine. The humans of the Corps knew perfectly well that that was how they were themselves regarded by their own superiors. Human Marine Corps forces were equipped with weapons and ships discarded by frontline units. Only the SA-71 personal railgun was on a par with the best of White Knight weapons.
Human commanders of the time concluded that the Muryani were an irritation to the White Knights. Two rival empires developing friction along their mutual border, but none had been so far willing to risk all-out war.
If the White Knights knew about the vast extent of the Muryani Expansion, they did not let on to their human or Jotun underlings. The Muryani territory was outside of the Trans-Species Union and what lay beyond was simply unknown.
From the border war at the edge of what was once White Knight territory to Zeta-Arcelia at the heart of the Federation is a distance of 12,000 light years. How a single civilization could span this vast distance is unknown – especially since the Muryani show no evidence of having developed FTL travel – but lends credibility to the idea that it has indeed expanded for millions of years.
The Exiles emerged into the Perseus Arm to discover the planets sparsely populated, though with much evidence of a civilizations lost in the recent past. They called the area Far Reach, but to the inhabited worlds already there, it was the Sea of Worlds. And when the diplomats of the Sea of Worlds described to the newly arrived power the dominant species of the immense civilization only thirty light years away, the Exiles knew immediately that they had not outrun the Muryani.
The leaders of that time, McEwan and Lee, buried their differences and readied to fight the old enemy.
To be continued...
Virtue of War
My friend, Justin Sloan, got in touch to share that his new series launched yesterday, and like many of his launches, he's put his new book up at 99c/99p until the end of the month (or free in Kindle Unlimited). I haven't read this one yet (I've been getting up to date with all the Four Horsemen Universe novels… almost there) but Justin never disappoints me with his great characters and plenty of action sections that make me feel like I'm inside an awesome video game.This one's co-written with LO Addison.
The book's called Virtue of War
and it's the opener for a new series called Syndicate Legacy. Knowing Jason, he'll have the others out very soon. He describes it as "Firefly" meets "Guardians of the Galaxy".
From the description on Amazon, I'd call it a space opera heist adventure.
You can find out more about Virtue of War here
Until next time
Thanks, as always, for your support.