Boosting the Signal continues to technically be on hiatus on the grounds that I am frantically trying to pull the last of Victory of the Hawk out of my head. HOWEVER, a few folks have asked me to run pieces for them anyway! And I said sure, as long as they could get me completed pieces without me having to make any tweaks to them.
One of those people is fellow Carina author Sheryl Nantus, who y’all may remember sent me a piece for her Carina release earlier this year, In the Black. Sheryl’s back now, because Book 2 of that same series has released! Folks, I give you In the Void. In this piece, we’ve got one of the crew of the Belle having a sneaky suspicion about the goals our next hero in the series had better be setting for himself. Take it away, Sheryl!
Diego! Mon ami! How’s it going…yeah, I know it’s been a while since I got in touch. Been a busy few weeks on the Bonnie Belle but I guess you heard about that. Bad business, crazy business with one of the girls getting murdered.
You got it all? Man, that’s fantastic. Your buddy was cool but I told him I’d rather deal with you direct ’cause we’re buddies. Yeah it was a bit of a lie but he was getting a bit too greedy asking for a tip and between you and me I know he gets enough of a cut. Besides, I like dealing straight-on with my suppliers.
I’ll pass on your condolences to Bianca along with the new curtains. She’s taking it hard but who can blame her? Still life goes on like the Guild wants and we’re turning and burning hard for every landfall with Captain Keller taking us in the black and keeping us safe.
Keller? She’s a damned good captain, better now that she’s gotten a bit o’fun with Marshal LeClair. I know we’re not supposed to know but he keeps coming ’round to inspect the Belle and make sure we’re all fine and ends up in the Captain’s cockpit more often than not, if you get my drift.
It’s good for her and for him and for all of us—well, maybe not Sean. He’s one of the boys, a fine medic and a sweet Irish who’s been around almost as long as Kendra. I think. You know they don’t like to talk about where they been or what they were before signing up to be a Mercy man or a Mercy woman.
He’s got a look about him like when a gear’s been worn down, the edges catching but not quite right—you get what I’m saying? I know it’s tough for everyone out here on the edge but he’s looking a bit more frayed than usual. Sometimes he gets this look and I know he’s not here on the ship and he sure as hell isn’t a Mercy man. He’s gone elsewhere and it’s got to be an awful place from the expression on his face. Then he comes on back to us and makes a joke and tries to hide from the pain.
Can’t blame him for getting tired of being out here. He’s getting older and there’s not a lot of old Mercy men. I know, I know, mature men are better lovers and all that but Sean’s getting to the point where he’s gonna have to figure out what he’s all about without the Belle.
Anyway, thanks for the supplies. I know the Dragons appreciate our business and you know I appreciate you coming out here to meet me. I’ll probably have a bigger list next time—got two cabins empty and I just know the new courtesans are gonna want to redecorate and that’s bad for me and good for you.