State of the Writer

Tired, but somewhat refreshed for the New Year; apologetic, for the unannounced and mostly unplanned December quasi-hiatus; busy, due to a new contract at the day-job, or day-business rather, which may affect volume somewhat, but it should still certainly be better than said December quasi-hiatus.

I think that about sums it up.

Also, I see that thanks to two more Patreon pledges – thank you kindly, if you’re reading this! – we have now crossed the reward threshold at which there will be artwork.

Oh, god, I promised y’all artwork.


I’ll get right on that, then.

Also also, just as a side-note, this is Amazon’s recent patent filing on airborne warehouses with drone delivery:


…I hereby declare this to be exactly how, in canon, the All Good Things, ICC delivery service works on garden worlds, on the grounds that (a) the Imperials do love their airships, and (b), it’s freakin’ awesome.


Trope-a-Day: Surveillance Drone

Surveillance Drone: Fairly ubiquitous, between the governance (for law enforcement, and externality monitoring, and infrastructure maintenance, and city management AIs, etc.; all – due to the transparency rules – open to general public use), odocorps, private security, edgehunters, newsies, vloggers, lifeloggers, and narcissists.


Trope-a-Day: Multi-Armed and Dangerous

Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Well, I’ve mentioned the Eight-Legged Legion of octopus uplifts before, for a start, but even the people with humanoid morphology have received the ambidexterity and multitasking upgrades required to at least dual-wield.  (A lot of the spacer clades have switched from the two-arms-two-legs model to the four-arms model, but the need to hang on to something to avoid action-reaction problems when shooting don’t make this as useful as it sounds for this purpose.

It’s still largely averted beyond that and the other naturally multi-armed species, though, because while you can – and some people do – add extra arms over and above one’s natural endowment, you can get much the same effect with even more flexibility by slaving a bunch of quasi-autonomous battle-drones to your neural interface, or occupying a swarm-bodied cybershell, which will not only let you have plenty of “arms” to fight with – just not restricted by being attached to you at one end – it’ll let you surround the enemy personally, too.

Drones Don’t Kill People, People Kill People


From: Bureau of Social Hygiene, Ikklar Triumvirate

Subject: Nightwing-class military-grade security drone
Issue: Drone refuses to obey orders.
Priority: Urgent



I’m sorry to hear that you have had problems with our Nightwing-class security drone.

Unfortunately, in this case, the drone’s systems are working as designed. While not a sophont product, the Nightwing‘s AI is programmed for strict adherence to the Ley Accords and the guidelines put forth by the Imperial Institute for Ethical Warfare, and as such will refuse all unlawful or unethical orders while operating correctly, including refusing to permit such orders to be carried out while operating as a remote extension or in manual override. As such, it is unsuitable for use as an instrument of assassination or asymmetrism.

Please refer to the user documentation, section four, pp. 369-440. As this function is described therein, I regret to inform you that no return/refund will be available.


Taris Antilochios,
Artifice Armaments Support Services


No, actually, I’m not sorry. You want to use our products to do what, now? With any luck at all, you’ll trip the anti-atrocity/anti-tamper code soon and put yourself out of our misery. Either that, or go back to throwing rocks, or whatever the fashion is among barbarian savages these days.

Bloody shits, so you are.

For The Honor of the Second

The drone stood in the hangar, its blunt nose and forward-swept wings scarred with the black lines of kinetic strikes and near-misses with explosive-tipped missiles, the capped remnant of one sensory pod dangling uselessly from its side.

“For great valor in the face of the enemy,” the Wing Commander read, “when on Theater Elapsed Day 17 of the Liir Conflict the Second Squadron off CS Calencine Upreaching was ambushed by a numerically superior force, six squadrons of Liirian wingdrones. While englobed by the hostile force, the order to immediately retreat to low orbital positions was given, although with the expectation of heavy losses.”

“In defiance of standard procedures for such circumstances and the order as given, unit Calencine-2-18 of the Wing remained in the battlespace to cover the retreat of its fellows, utilizing innovative tactics to draw the attention of the Liirian wingdrones to itself and avoid destruction, allowing the majority of the Second Squadron to escape from the ambush with only minor damage.”

“Wingdrone Calencine-2-18’s innovation and valor saved his squadron and defeated the ambush laid for them, and reflects the highest traditions of the Imperial Navy and the Military Service.”

A small utility spider scuttled across the dais, and in a shower of sparks and the thunder of applause, welded the silver medal to the side of the drone’s carapace.

Calencine-2-18 itself, not being designed to be sophont, thought very little during the ceremony.

But not nothing.