Story Prompt 2

Captain Tarva looked across his desk at the young officer. “We located one of Xiroc’s smugglers, and we’ve got an opportunity.”

“An opportunity?”

“We’ve got you a cover story and some equipment.” He smiled. “You’re going to be hiring the smuggler to smuggle you. Once you are on the other end of the line, you can get names and faces. In the meantime, we’ll be tracking the financial end and tracing the payment.” He took a deep breath. As much as he didn’t like sending an agent in solo, their options were limited. The agent in front of him was well trained and highly skilled; if anyone could handle himself, he could. “I know you can handle this.”

“Thank you, sir.” The young officer saluted. “I won’t let you down.”

Rane grinned as he hooked an arm around his brother’s neck. “Just got the transponder changed over. The ship is officially yours.”

“And you only charged me an arm and half a leg for it.” His brother grinned.

“Hey, anybody else would have taken the full leg.” He pulled his brother over experimentally. “Got a nice bonus for you.” He nodded at where a young man sat at a table, looking around nervously. The young man was well-dressed, and his hair was colored with streaks of blue in the current fashion of the upper crust. He was a handsome young man, good looking enough to be turning the heads of several of those nearby. “See him?”

“He’s kind of hard not to notice.” His brother nodded.

“Well, General Nidek’s daughter also happened to notice, and that kid is a little eager to get the hell off this planet before the general figures out just which one of the young bucks got his precious baby girl in the family way.” He snickered. “Kid paid fifty large…” He handed the packet over to his brother. “To get smuggled out in the hidden compartments.” He squeezed his brother’s shoulder. “Nobody knows he’s leaving, nobody knows where he’s going, and nobody is waiting for him when he gets there.” He grinned. “Happy birthday, little brother.”


Story Prompt 1

He heard the commotion at the gate, and smiled. Swords and soldiers had their uses, but so did gold. The combination of a reward offer and a few small time criminals eager to save their own skins had provided him with some very useful information. Oreat, the king’s bastard brother, had set himself up as a leader of the bandits, and robbed and killed across the land.

The bandit king’s forces had caught his brother and family on their way home from the capital, and had brutally slaughtered them all. Now, there was an opportunity for justice. He couldn’t get his hands on the bandit king even if he had the forces. That justice would belong to the king. But he could get something nearly as good.

At first he thought the amount of rope they’d use to bind the young man they were dragging before him was excessive. A closer look had him reconsidering. The handsome young blacksmith was a strapping young man with broad, muscular shoulders. The man struggled against his bonds, then glared as he was shoved to his knees. “So…” He smiled, folding his arms. “The bastard’s bastard.” Oreat’s only living son. His gaze turned toward his guard captain. “A cell has been prepared. Take him to it.”

“Yes, my lord.” The man saluted, then directed the soldiers to begin dragging their captive toward the tower.