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HSAR

Joined March 2010 and calls The Flash of Silver home.

362 stories, 4 challenges, 832 comments, and 29 friends

Master of the Armory and Chief Nibmaker of Our Strange and Wonderful House. It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Like many others in this community, I have no qualifications for writing except a head full of ideas and a passion for good storytelling.

You can find me at shusamchen@gmail.com, or you may bump into me elsewhere on the internet as HSAR.

Stories

  1. Recovery

    Armored black figures move with silent purpose through the ruins of the past. Goggle-eyed, seeing far more than visible light, they stalk down the corridors of dead and dying machinery. At last, in the corner of the hall, they come to one monolith of b...

  2. Airships: Five Minutes to Midnight

    Hawkeye’s mind flashed through the possibilities, eyes flicking across the map. “These devices are detonated in these cities. No doubt, there will be panic and accusations. Some strings will be pulled, ears whispered into – before lon...

  3. Writing History

    In the midst of the silence, white knight and dark knight cross blades. In a perfect circle described by stars and moons and seasons, the future hangs; it swings delicate on an edge of steel. Dark knight and white knight are alone yet witnessed, the ju...

  4. The Keeper of Secrets

    I have stood guard here for decades, halberd pointed rigidly up at the vaulted ceilings of the palace throne room. Watched as concessions were made, trust violated, ideals betrayed. The fa├žade of peace wears thinner than ever, and the King’s pat...

  5. On Patrol: The Storm after the Calm

    Rorcester shook me awake. Snapping instantly into alertness (a trick learned at great cost), I excused him with a nod of thanks and hurriedly pulled on my waistcoat. In the corridor, I checked the noticeboard tube. The flags for “Deck Officers On...

  6. Airships: Dangerous Science

    Below them, the entire valley floor was consumed by a writhing inferno, powerful new thermals suddenly sending the Silver Skies into a steep ascent before the helmsman managed to regain control. Elletra could hardly believe one of those capsules was th...

  7. Airships: Plans and Hopes and Triumphs

    The Silver Skies took another few minutes to arrive; Elletra called Keanan over and put the wounded onto makeshift stretchers. Further off, the dying Edwards called out once and was still, succumbing to a multitude of wounds. Both the midshipman and th...

  8. Airships: A Cloud of Red

    Hawkeye sighed. He’d taken dozens, hundreds of lives in his time, seen them breathe and cough and bleed their last down the sights of many different weapons. But he could never deny that it was such a waste, to end another’s life like that....

  9. Airships: Orderly Retreat

    Elletra spun and danced, a slim figure in the melee weaving a pattern of steel around herself. She heard Hawkeye’s gun go off another few times, and then six quick shots. Despite herself, she twisted around to see him engaged sword-to-sword with ...

  10. Silhouettes in the Darkness

    The water was calm, the sea a near-perfect mirror stretching across the beach. The sand smoothly transitioned to pebbles, then rocks and boulders in shadow where the bay’s smooth crescent ended and the cliffs began. Clouds had splashed themselves...

  11. He Never Made it Home

    Everybody was calm, but there was an unmistakeable undercurrent of fear beneath it all. The crowd jostled, moving forward slowly. I kept tight hold of our luggage, half an eye on Nan and was having a quick glance around when I noticed a code that had e...

  12. On Haiku-Writing

    The apple falls free Slowly turning in the air The ground calls gently Beauty in the world Briefly captured in words Fickle like the wind Move just fast enough Fingers wrap around green fruit Pluck it from the air

  13. On Patrol: Penmanship by Candlelight

    I was both meticulous and comprehensive, copying down observations from throughout the day; comparing them against listed tolerances and known limits. The huge folder containing the plans for the Heart’s Desire came out and slowly spread itself a...

  14. Airships: Flare

    The captain broke off but stayed close, too close for Hawkeye to use his gun. The sharpshooter fired again, then cursed and threw the weapon aside – left hand drawing his knife in a perfect arc from boot to chest-level, buying time. They circled ...

  15. Welcome Party

    I swung around for what seemed like the thousandth time, visor optics clicking and whirring in the silence of my climate-controlled helmet. The hyperspectral view was in constant motion, advanced heuristics controlling the ultra-rapid selection of poss...

  16. Airships: Discovered

    Hawkeye quietly re-folded the scarf and put it back on without looking at it, following the captain down belowdecks to the cargo bay. The cargo bay itself was small, even by the standards of fast clippers – smaller by at least a third than the Si...

  17. Last Man Standing

    I finished clearing up, throwing the foil packets and plastic bottles away. Across the room, the news feeds kept rolling. It was worldwide now, they said. The government – all governments – had lost control. On shaky video I saw hordes brin...

  18. Sudden Waking

    The blast knocked him from the tree, white pulse blinding my night-adjusted eyes and a shower of vaporised bark and organic matter filling the air as the surrounding area ignited from the intense heat. More blasts lit up the night, eliminating the rest...

  19. Airships: Momentum Transfer

    The spiral of men slowly contracted against the tiny airship below, until the last man in front of her made some sort of sign at her and arrested his movement in one elegant tilt. Panicked, Elletra opened the flaps out and managed to replicate some of ...

  20. Airships: Windriding

    They locked eyes then – hers narrowing in defiance, and his softening into a smile. She turned at a slight nod from him, where a smaller one hung. “We never could work out who would fit into such a small suit – just as well you’...

  21. Airships: Chasing the Wind

    The deck underfoot started to rumble slightly, the engineers pushing the Silver Skies even further than her usual clip. Gladstone, at the helm, held the wheel in a grip of steel while his eyes flitted between instruments and gauges, trying to divine th...

  22. Airships: Gathering Speed

    Elletra glanced at the distracted Hawkeye, rubbing the scarf he wore in an unconscious action. Thinking back, she noted that he seemed to only make this action when speaking of his father, and carefully filed the thought away. Hawkeye’s thoughts ...

  23. One Answer is Not Enough

    With another rasp of metal, the hatch was closed. In the silence that followed, she considered her reply again and again. Did I say it right? Was it the right thing to say? The hatch opened again, revealing a much younger face than before. Its eyes loc...

  24. Arise

    With quite some care and determination, I sat up. The drugs made it hard to focus, but I persevered and peered up the lift shaft. The two guards had disappeared and the doors were now closed, but I thought I distantly heard the sound of gunfire. Exhaus...

  25. Closure

    The huge doors swung shut behind me and I stepped back out into the light, shaking off the coldness that always clung to me after an extended period in the Lower Vaults. The guards racked their weapons and left with me, though they remained impassive b...

  26. Traversal: Networking

    With that, the AI’s representation flickered and was replaced by a map immediately familiar to Harking. The chaotic, bifurcating clump of nodes and hubs was the pseudo-random arrangement of the Interlink, a galaxy-spanning distributed processing ...

  27. Traversal: So At Odds

    There was a certain expectant silence on the bridge. Harking took a few deep breaths, feeling in those scant seconds the weight of his years fall away. Then reality came back, and he snapped into decision-making mode. “Navigator – do we hav...

  28. On Patrol: Lonely Walk

    They made an interesting pair, I had always thought – Rorcester the officer, quietly efficient with a good eye for detail, and Borheil the veteran with more fights to his name than most of the crew put together. They were an ideal pairing for wat...

  29. Fading Light

    I didn’t need the red blocks all over my display or blinking warnings over the virtual image of the suit. I could tell, deep down, that this would be it. There was a dark coldness within, a terrible lack of feeling that was slowly spreading outwa...

  30. AB441

    “AB four-four-one, any time you like.” The message had been waiting for me when I reached the office, floating serenely in holographic splendour over the desk. I sat, in my chair, and re-read it for quite some time. I checked; the terminal ...