Dark Ice

Davin's got himself blackmailed, and getting out from under dirty fingers means flying to the edge of profitable space.

Turns out Neptune makes some shiny ice diamonds. They're so valuable that pirates hijacked the experimental ship sent to mine them. Now, if they want their names cleared, the Wild Nines have to get it back.

Viola's trying to find her place on the crew, which means that when things go sideways, her fingers has to be on the trigger, not running from it. It's a new perspective, a dangerous one.

Davin, Viola, and the rest of the Wild Nines have to deal with the deadly band of space pirates, who, turns out, might have some friends, or Neptune's cold skies will make for an icy grave.

Publisher: Black Key Books

Mox set Opal down near the door. Checked again to make sure she was still breathing. Viola's little bot said the sniper hit her head when the shuttle cracked. Could have used her here. Fast, accurate trigger fingers were handy in situations like this one. But no time to wait, now.

Back at the elevator, Mox heard them cutting away the ruined floor. Chunks of tiling, broken up by the bomb, dropped away as someone armed with a las-cutter made a hole. One sidearm in each hand, both set for stunning. It used less energy than the killing shots, and with the time Mox had, it'd be almost as good. Besides, his fists could always end things later.

The first hand appeared, gripping the outer edge of the elevator. Gloved like a mechanic, thick and gripped. Probably the one with the las-cutter. Mox shifted out of view. Better to let them get fully out. Surprise the group before they could react.


Softer noises now as at least another two clambered out of the hole, supporting themselves in the remains of the elevator. Mox tightened his grip. A quick one-two-three. Inhale. Go.

Stepped around the corner, the angle widening and bringing three hijackers into view. Each one sporting the same outfit, a thick working garb that looked ready to withstand temperature extremes. Full helmets with masks covering their faces, great to keep themselves safe from cold, wind. Mox pulled the triggers, the sidearms blasting blue-purple bolts into the bulky suits and doing nothing.

“Sorry, mate,” the lead one, holding a sidearm of his own, said. “No luck with those.”

Then he raised his sidearm and Mox saw a flash, then nothing.