Through the blackness, nothing was visible save the lights of Lanth’s dreadnought and the pinpoint of piercing white in the distance. The dreadnought’s crew hadn’t seen the pursuing glow of the Kite, but it was only a matter of time until their lookouts took note.

On the Kite‘s bridge, Othe stood with his hands on the wheel, surrounded by what was left of his crew: twelve men, five women, and two that could only be called children. Barely enough to steer and man the guns on one side.

Yet they were all that stood between Lanth and the nascant universe waiting to be born ahead.

“You want to say anything, skipper?” asked Visani, the navigator.

Othe looked at his assembled rabble, short so many of the faces that should have been among them. “We only get one chance at this,” he said. “This might be the last story anyone can ever tell. Let’s make sure it’s a good one.”