Family is a distraction for soldiers. Mates a weakness. Born for blood, you shall have neither. Your general is your mother, the only one you shall see. Your fellow soldiers are your siblings, the only sisters you shall know. Lovers you may take, but mates you will not have. Daughters you may bear, but their faces you will not see.
-Mother. Excerpt from Letters to My Children.
I pray for her every night, but I cannot speak to her. I broke tradition in swearing to you, but I will be breaking oaths if I acknowledge her. The others would see, they would know my partiality, and then they would know everything else. The world is still too broken, and I cannot risk disorder among the sisters when there are raiders running at our borders.
She will be in the city on leave this rest day. Your mouth is not bound like mine. If you find her at the Wobbly Seafisher, say what you will. My heart is with you.
-First Mother Karlyne Shastalli. Excerpt from a personal letter, 1954 YL
This chapter is part of the in-progress serial web novel The Unbroken Blade, intended to be book one in The Shattered Empire trilogy, and features a mix of sci-fi and thematic elements reminiscent of near-future military fiction such as Gasaraki or Isaac Hooke’s Atlas series and sci-fi combat classics such as Mechwarrior/Battletech and Gundam. The story is rich with battle and conflicts of honor and conscience arising around a civil war on the forested world of Dankar, far from our own, but is primarily focused on how the main characters deal with the challenges they face, not their machines or their world. Follow this blog to receive each chapter as soon as it is released. Like and share to give me a shot of encouragement. Full chapter updates on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.