Ficlets Synopsis: The Ship of the Way (Desert Story Prelude)

First: (continues via “We Come In Peace”)
Second: (a sequel didn’t get posted with the link intact)

Part of the first story from the Aegis/Marauders setting.

An alien starship, the Ship of the Way, guided by Chanteuses who include a pair of sisters named Jiana and Maius, enters the solar system seeking to purchase supplies, and attempts to make contact with Earth. Its signal is intercepted by the Lordun Protectorate (aka the Marauders), which sends an “ambassador” who sneaks a number of disguised robots aboard the ship.

The Marauders manage to steal the Heartstar, a small glowing gem that provides motive power for the ship. Afterward, Jiana examines their technology and determines they are “neuro-users”—they use scanning technology to digitize human minds, which Jiana’s people consider anathema.

Jiana is dispatched with a strike team to retrieve the Heartstar. But things don’t quite go as planned on contact with the enemy…

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