Two Democracies


Hidden, a military science fiction novelette by Alasdair C. Shaw

Flight Decurion Seivers is stranded on a frozen moon, far from the Legion. The Perception of Prejudice is barely functioning and Percy is offline. Seivers' future is measured in days.
Captain Lusimi searches for enemy survivors. By the order of the Protectors, the Sidexan Fleet is to avenge the Legion's violation of Protected System Five. He will follow his orders, but protecting his warriors and crew is his highest priority.
The hunt is on.

Hidden is a military science fiction novelette in the Two Democracies: Revolution series.

Praise for previous books in the series:
"Where Ancillary Justice Failed to deliver for me, this book succeeded."
"This is what I like, scifi that borders on the believable, like the old Heinlen [sic] stories."
"I'll place these next to my favorite Weber books any day of the week."
"Some of the best written, original scifi I have come across in a long time."
"The writing is clean, effective and powerful, the characters engaging, and the story gripping."


The glittering methane snow squeaked beneath her feet. Every few steps, she broke through the crust and sank up to her knee in the powder below. Ice fringed the visor of her helmet and clung to her suit. Yet again, she cursed the frigid moon and the events that had brought her here.
Her boot slipped on a patch of solid ice and she stopped to regain her balance. Suppressing a shiver, she glanced up at the planet hanging overhead, its night side covered with traceries of blue phosphorescence. There were volcanoes on that planet, little havens of warmth, possibly even life.
A change in the sky ahead caught her attention, and she frowned. Great clouds billowed over the horizon, rushing towards her. She shifted the weight of the makeshift sack she carried and picked up her pace, but she knew she wouldn’t make it in time.
Minutes later, the first gusts of the storm swept around her, turning the view into a sleeting mess of white. An incessant howl drowned out even the whirring of the fans in her helmet. Crouching on one knee, her back to the wind, she wiped snow off the control panel on her forearm. A few taps, and an orange beacon lit in her visor's display. With a growl, she pushed herself up onto her feet and trudged onwards, leaning into the wind and clutching her sack under one arm.
After an age following the beacon, a stark angular shape broke through the blizzard. Rime coated one side of the object, and it was mostly buried in snow, but there was no mistaking it for anything natural. It took her a few moments to locate a slender pole sticking out of the snow to one side. She dropped to her knees and dug with her hands, breaking through into a tunnel. Kicking and scrabbling, she slid into the hole. The wind cut out, leaving her in blissful peace. Summoning up reserves of strength, she shovelled snow back to block the entrance. On her hands and knees, she crawled through the icy, blue passage until she came to a ladder. She pushed the sack through the metal hatch at the top then hauled herself up after it. With leaden arms, she cranked shut the hatch, then collapsed on the floor. The snow caking her suit evaporated and warmth seeped into her bones. Only the loud hissing of the airlock cycling stopped her falling asleep there and then.
A beep and a green light announced that the air was good. She sat up and cracked the seal on her collar, the lingering odour of methane that swept in no longer triggering a gag reflex as it had the first few times she'd made these trips. Both hands lifted the helmet off her head, and she shook free her turquoise hair. She reached out and flipped the sack open. A smile cracked her azure lips as she pulled out handfuls of cables.


And many more...

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