Monday, October 30, 2017

NoQS Minion 2: Pale Path, Adult Science Fiction

Genre: Adult Science Fiction
Word Count: 118,000

My MC and MA (main antagonist) are dressed as:

Taln and Llorven are dressed as comically inept human politicians. Taln is only aware that the costume is of a human—all that matters to her is stealing a few moments as the species she wishes so much to be. Llorven, of course, is aware how ridiculous the humans are, and views his attire more as a commentary on the inadequacies of every race and government except his own.


Idealism kills. Luckily, for mercenary Taln, knives do too. But the last thing this human-feline hybrid wants is to fight for a higher cause. Ever since her sister died in a cultural revolution, Taln has seen “noble” causes as nothing more than a speedy way to commit suicide.

Taln’s current contract is protecting the overly idealistic Prince Alistair, a handsome human she might serve even without the paycheck. Her biggest concern is not failing him as she did her sister. Taln’s talents are tested when Alistair’s goals for his people land them both on a dangerous quest to uncover the secrets of the galaxy’s elf-like ruling race—the Pale Elari.

Retracing the paths of the Pale Elari to their origin galaxy, the travelers unearth a corrupt empire thriving on the backs of dwarf-like genetically-engineered slave races. Taln finds herself torn between her growing feelings for Alistair and an intrusive realization that no one is separate from the world they inhabit. To be the hero Alistair needs, Taln will have to do far more than keep him alive. She must risk both of their lives for something bigger—because saving him may mean dooming countless others.

Elves, dwarves, and damsels in distress are altered in unexpected ways by a sci-fi setting. Pale Path is an 118,000 word space opera which blends the fantasy world-building and races of The Hobbit with the trope-twisting of Guardians of the Galaxy in a fast-paced romp through space.

First 250 words:

Spying is wrong. But morals had never stopped me before, and as long as Prince Alistair insisted on keeping secrets, they probably never would. I paused in the doorway of the suite he’d been assigned for our voyage, checking the steel corridor of the spaceship for witnesses.

I inched into his room, toward the desk across from the sealed bedroom. I could get in and out without Alistair noticing—unless he heard my boots. Carpeting surrounded the desk, but the rest of the floor was bare metal. I crept cautiously, one hand gripping the vest that held most of my knives, pulling its fabric tightly over my breasts to keep the blades from clanking.

Slinking to the bedroom door, I listened for him. I couldn’t make out words in the babble of his praying, but my shoulders relaxed at his contented murmur. Before getting lost in his voice, I forced myself to turn away; Alistair’s worship wouldn’t keep him busy long.

No hiding spot presented itself near the desk to obscure even my meager five-foot frame. Not good. Like a house with no back door, this left me with no exit strategy. My catlike ears pinned back, and my tail twitched.

I had a key to Prince Alistair’s quarters, so I’d done nothing illegal yet. But the facts were that he didn’t know I was there, and this was his personal space. Human cultural ideas of privacy varied too much by situation for me to track them, and why should I bother when their application disrupted my ability to protect Alistair?

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