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Let's kick off with the bad news
 

I'd promised to get the Season 1 Chimera Company paperback out for you this week. I actually received the proofs a week or two ago, but Amazon won't stock it until I've made some changes. Unfortunately, they haven't made it clear what those changes are. *Sigh* 

This is why the big publishers sometimes seem like lumbering beasts in comparison with indies like Human Legion Publications, but they have many more moving parts, each of which – as Amazon has just reminded me – can go unexpectedly wrong.

Never mind. I thought the proofs looked fantastic, and we'll get this sorted out before long. Don't worry.

Incidentally, I'm going to attempt to work it that if you buy the paperback, you can add on the Kindle boxed set for a token amount, and then the audiobook for a small amount on top of that. That would be awesome. However, I suspect this is what Amazon is trying to stop me doing, so I can't promise anything.

Better news?


For a laugh, I put together a 60-second radio ad for Chimera Company that will run on some podcasts. I'd just finished listening to the excellent Doctor Who audiobook, Scratchman, read by Tom Baker, and I think a bit of his performance rubbed off on me.

Or maybe I always sound that unhinged. In any case, you can hear my little piece of silliness here.


Definitely better news


Every Tuesday another issue of Chimera Company warps into action. This week's cover star is Militia sergeant Vetch Arunsen.

Space Viking is what I requested from our artist, Vincent Sammy. With a war hammer. And don't make him one of these glamor guys in shiny armor; put a pack on his back and make it look like it's been quite some time since he encountered hot running water. 

I think Vincent nailed it. What do you think? If you want to see more about the latest issue, you can do so here.
 


Best news


Here's another field guide to the worlds of the Far Reach Federation where Chimera Company is set. This time we look into how humanity has branched in this far outpost of the 58th century.

The Humankinds of Terra

Far Reach Federation boasts citizenry from over a hundred races. None is dominant, but there is one race who has been described as the connective tissue that binds together the many moving parts of the Federation. These are the humans, known formally as the ‘Humankinds of Terra’, or more commonly as ‘humanity’. Yet the formal name reminds us that when the humans arrived in the Perseus Arm, they did so as several distinct subspecies. Even after three millennia of mixing, the humankinds are still more varied than the Perseid native races.

This variation is not natural; it is the consequence of humanity being adapted for deployment as a military race by their masters in the White Knight Empire. Much of their bio-tinkering with human genetic makeup was of a practical nature: for example, engineering resistance to the atrophying effects of living in zero-gravity.

But there was more.

The White Knights were obsessed with mutation, of biological change for its own sake, and no species ever exhibited a wider genetic diversity than the White Knights themselves.

The picture gets even more mixed up by the ‘heroes’ of the War of Liberation against the White Knights. Some call them villains and traitors today, but whatever their merits, they were tools of a secret White Knight faction who spliced their DNA with both alien genetic material and with bio-machines.

The one strand of humankind that is not present in the Federation are the Earthborn themselves. The human Exiles were soldiers of the Human Legion, descendants of million children taken at random from every region of Earth, and offered up as tribute to the White Knights as the price for their patronage.

The Perseid humans have not forgotten that the people of their homeworld sold their ancestors as slaves.

And despite the immensity of time that has passed since then, nor have they forgiven.

These are some crude classifications of the human races distinct at the time of the Exiles, and whose traits are still apparent in the modern-day Federation.

Marines.

Titans built for durability and explosive muscle power. Marines were highly aggressive killers, but also capable of switching at will to a calm mental state of increased observational awareness in which they could remain stationary for hours. During their training as novices and cadets, Marines would bond with a personal combat AI that would be housed inside battle armor.

During the later Human Legion era, AIs would enter the body of their Marine partner through an access port in the throat that would allow access to the brain stem as well as jack through to the battle armor and compatible weaponry and other equipment.

The boundary between Marine, AI, and even their SA-71 railgun rifle was often so blurred that it became meaningless to the individuals. In the early Federation era, this led to the nickname of jack-head that modern legionaries still own to this day.

Spacers.

Selected for a life aboard starships, Spacers were small, almost childlike, with short legs and long fingers. Marines called them pixies or space-rats. They might be physically small and relatively lacking in muscle, but they were tough in other ways such as extreme hardening to radiation, and an adaptation to their lungs that made them highly efficient at extracting oxygen and lean-burn bodies that were frugal in consuming it. Spacers could last far longer on a tank of oxygen than their Marine counterparts.

Freaks

A strand of Spacer experimented upon aboard the transport vessel Beowulf, which was key in the earliest days of War of Liberation. They were few in number and their abilities difficult to tell apart from myth. Most accounts agree the Freaks displayed exceptional intelligence and could control the emotions of anyone they touched. The Empress Indiya (as she is widely, though inaccurately, known today) was a Freak.

Mutants

The heroes of the War of Liberation possessed special abilities that were often hidden. It is possible that the heroes themselves did not fully understand them. There was, however, a physical characteristic that often marked them out: lilac pigmentation that might surface in hair, eyes, or lips. The Exiles counted many children of the heroes in their number, and in the early centuries of the Federation, those marked with the lilac heritage formed a powerful aristocracy of sorts.

Today, they are despised as ‘mutants’, reviled and feared by most citizens. Although not strictly mutants (they are bio-engineered hybrids) their ancestors were created by aliens to serve an alien agenda. Who can be sure what their true purpose might be?
 
Human-alien hybrids

The White Knights took creative mutation to extreme ends, and a key part of this was mutagenetic material that could readily cross not only species lines, but bind together genetic code across otherwise completely incompatible biologies that had developed in different star systems.

On rare occasions, humans of the group known as ‘mutants’ can have fertile children with other humanoid races. The results are often brilliant or insane. Or both.

A mutant hiding his violet eyes.


Bestest news of all. Perhaps?


I'm a fan of author Justin Sloan, who writes in a variety of space fantasy and science fiction series. I would say his most successful series is Shadow Corps, which is a space fantasy adventure with a gamelit vibe that I've enjoyed on audio. Justin sent me the artwork for the fourth Shadow Corps book, which came out this week. I think it looks superb and is all part of a trend for the quality of science fiction book covers to keep on rising. I would say without a doubt that it's the best cover in the series so far.

Talking of which, Justin also told me the first three Shadow Corps books are available for 99p/99c for a few days, and if you wanted to see more about them, you can follow this link or tap the image. Definitely my cup of tea.
 
 
That’s it for this issue of the Legion Bulletin. I've removed the links I used to add here for the starter library, but you can access them all online in one place here. Thank you for your support.

Enjoy your adventure,

Tim.
This is Legion Bulletin #67, available exclusively to enlisted Legionaries. 
Legionaries can access past issues of the Legion Bulletin, which include stories not available anywhere else, by following this link: https://humanlegion.com/bulletin/
Copyright © 2019 Human Legion Publications, All rights reserved.


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