the smuggler’s bible

Principium Hiemis

Principium Hiemis pours a drink. He loosens his tie and unfastens the top button of his shirt.

“Music,” he says, sinking back into a low-slung chair. “And open the window.”

A section of bulkhead dissolves like smoke in front of him. The room glows with the stutter-strobe lights of the bombardment.

“Opacity reduced to thirty percent. Request specification regarding initial query.”

“Oh, anything will do, really,” Principium Hiemis says. He takes a sip and watches a cloud of drones surround one of Ver’s battleships. It flares white, spitting gouts of flame and plasma. “As long as it’s got a beat.”