Sneak Peek—Stories from The Expanding Universe Anthology #4: ‘The Burden of Honor’ by Kevin McLaughlin

There are 20 short stories in the latest volume of Craig Martelle’s The Expanding Universe anthologies. Today, with his permission, we are taking a sneak peek at the start of Kevin McLaughlin’s story, ‘The Burden of Honor’. Here’s how it begins:

Sir Drake returns home to rally his people against an ancient enemy. But threats far closer threaten to turn his mission to ashes before he can even begin.

The HMS Armistice broke out into normal space in a blaze of light. For a brief moment it was like a second sun flashed into being, then the light was gone. Transition from warp completed, the ship arced toward the nearby planet at high velocity.

Sir David Drake stood at the ship’s helm, staring at the world below as it grew in the ship’s front window. It all looked green and blue from up here, but the place he was going wasn’t either of those colors. No, he was headed for the center of a massive grey spot on the surface, looking from space like a cancerous bulge on the face of the world.

That was Lusitania, the capital city of both the world Lyonesse and the entire Star Kingdom. It was the seat of Her Majesty’s power, the center around which the rest of their cluster of stars spun. A hundred naval vessels hung in orbit over the world, varying in size from corvettes like his own ship to massive dreadnoughts with world-killing weapons.
Would you like to read more?