Of the Blood — Brandann R. Hill-Mann

Dana emerged from the reedy woods, shoes soaked, jeans muddy, and all that remained of James on her hands. Her heart still beat, and the air chilled her skin, but it felt like she'd never noticed them before. She would have thought she'd feel something. Anything. After what she'd seen, after what she did, all she felt was calm indifference. Because it didn't matter. James. Nika. All the people who never paid her any mind before. Why would she care? She wasn't one of them.

The Swift Wheel — Imogen Cassidy

He floated next to the gyro in the calm silence of space. This was as close to “outside” as he ever got — ever would get if he had any say in it. He was station born, not quite so rare these days as it used to be, at least outside of the founding Company families, but still something to be wondered at. Station wasn’t the kindest place to children, unless you had very supportive parents. Manny was lucky that way.

Interrogation Room Six — Imogen Cassidy

In the beginning, there was dark. He couldn’t quite remember why it should be light, but he had vague memories of laughter and singing and fluffy whiteness that was completely opposite to the dark he was seeing now. When the light clicked on he winced and pulled back, as though he could escape the brightness. It was harsh, and it hurt at first, making him more blind than the darkness had. Slowly, his eyes adjusted.

Grob Thraktar, the undisputed champion of my goblin army, who had slain more elves than the most mighty of human warriors, taken more heads than the savage hydra of eastern Hoflaiin, and who had once single handedly wrestled the giant sandwyrm of the Blasted Wastes into a pit of firedrakes, was also always the one who was most enthusiastic about suggestion night.

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