StoriesInformation about Michael's works-in-progress.
Michael currently has two projects. They are part of an overall future history but are also their own distinct stories.
Fractured Children of Earth
(Hook:) When a Deaf smuggler and her partner stumble upon a universe-wide conspiracy, getting humanity to understand the threat proves tougher than achieving their dreams of having a child.
A deeply personal story stemming from things that have happened in real life for Michael and his wife, as well as an outlet for his frustration at the conservative direction the United States is heading.
Here's the full cover artwork by the talented Ashe Samuels:
An appendix is available at https://guildlibrary.colianna.net, as well.
They went to the back of the store, where Tahlia indicated a shelf with some tools. Mary spotted a video monitor near the shelf, with a news broadcast declaring an urgent update. Some kind of military event. A person in an ornate white suit stood behind a podium in the background, waiting to speak. The camera panned left, to a row of cages containing peacocks.
A reporter appeared on the screen. Captions came up, so Mary ignored her computer and read them. “Today marks another triumph in the Lairian government’s efforts to crack down on smuggling. Here, we see some rare birds, liberated from a ship called Soltivrabbo, run by a man called Impalo Galino.”
As the camera panned to the right, Mary suppressed a gasp. Seven people, handcuffed, lined up side-by-side. All the way to the right, a person with long brown hair and a maroon robe stared at the ground, bleeding profusely from a wound in their abdomen.
What kind of grotesque, fear-mongering display was this?
The Kinetic Conspiracy
She grew up stealing to survive, but now she's an artist and a loyal citizen. He's a hard-of-hearing city guard, secretly hoping to join the army. They're best friends, and when a force that draws upon planetary energy to fight threatens war, they both learn how they can help defeat it. But that knowledge entangles them in an organization they must keep secret at all costs. It alienates them from their friends, their families, their allegiances—and, worse, from each other. (This story was completed but he is re-writing to better reflect his life.)
Though, that still left Dia Ukata. The man responsible for all the misery in her childhood. Her mind conjured up a scene with Ukata, facing her and Mekin down. They twisted, turned, fought, and struck the evil man down. Vengeance wouldn’t bring her parents, friends, or village back. But if she learned to fight, she could taste a little bit of it while helping Mekin out and keeping the people of her new home safe. She let reality intrude upon her thoughts, finding Belzamus had risen and opened a lattice window.
“Adviser,” she said, drawing the man’s attention. Just as he’d recognized apprehension on her face, he seemed to notice her resolve now and returned to his cushion at the table. “I was born in a village called Kenst. Marauders sacked it, and killed my family. But I lived, and raised myself. I traveled Maxar looking for a new home and I found it here, in Taerin. Those marauders were Diazurians, led by Dia Ukata, so I know what he’s capable of. I won’t let him repeat what he did to Kenst. I’d like to join the army.”
She expected him to rebuff her request, but instead his face warmed and the smile reached his eyes. “Miss Faraise, you’ve done a great service to Taerin, protecting it by uncovering the sleeper cell. I don’t wish to deter you from this path, but I hope you aren’t thinking you owe it.”
“No, I wish to serve,” Ruñe replied. “Though, admittedly, I know very little about fighting or weapons.”