In Chaos Station (Chaos Station #1), Zander Anatolius and Felix Ingesson are reunited after nine years apart. Zander believes Felix was captured and executed by the enemy in the years long Human-Stin War. Felix believes Zander was swallowed by a black ops program, probably never to surface again. Their reunion, therefore, is a rather profound event and the basis for the five-book Chaos Station series.
That’s not where their story begins, however.
Collected here are the extra stories written alongside the Chaos Station series. “Graduation” and “Reunion” are set before the adventure begins, “Kiss the Guardian” and “Salute to the Sun” during the action, and “Honeymoon” serves as the final chapter.
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As always, these stories remain free to read and download from our website!
Hemera Station, 2260
Felix could have waited at the hostel. Done the cool thing and cornered a table in the bar downstairs, lined up some empty shot glasses and pretended to be simultaneously drinking, flirting and solving complex equations on his wallet. Or he could have left a key to his room at the desk with a note. Waited sprawled across the bed in a state of partial undress, feigning sleep. Nah, he’d have gone nuts alone in the dark or taken himself in hand, and neither would have been the picture he wanted to present when a certain someone opened the door.
Instead, he researched (hacked) the passenger manifests from several incoming transports, assigned a gate to the last one, jumping it to the head of the queue, and crossed the docking hub of Hemera Station at a leisurely stroll. No arriving harried and sweaty for him, and no hanging out in space for Zander Anatolius while the incompetent boobs piloting his shuttle stared at the pretty lights and tried to remember their training.
But the wait, short as it promised to be, might kill him.
It’d been four years since he’d last seen Zed—since he’d stood on a rooftop and declared his heart. Heat stung Felix’s cheeks at the memory. He’d embarrassed himself and probably Zed…but he’d also won a single night with the man he loved. A handful of hours filled with the wordless promises he’d promised not to make. Kisses filled with the taste of Zed; his skin, his mouth, his sweat. The essence of him.
He’d also promised to forget. He never had.
Scrubbing his hands against the worn patches of smart fiber along the front of his pants, Felix paced up and down the dock lounge. He arrived at a row of molded plastic seats, each stuck to a long, metal beam. The garish pink curve of each seat looked something like an exotic flower, the whole construction some sort of alien vine. His bum caressed one of the seats for ten seconds before Felix leapt up to pace the length of the vine again. Then he strolled to the window in defiance of the old adage regarding watched things never doing whatever the fuck they were supposed to do.
To his left, Felix could just see the faint outline of the corona surrounding the distant gate. The glint of light to his right was reflected sunlight. The darkness of space blanketed everything else, but it wasn’t a frightening sort of darkness. Not small or oppressive. Myriad lights circled the station, bright against the thousand thousand pinprick stars strung behind.
Heart drumming a frantic but familiar rhythm, he scanned the lights, looking for Zed’s transport. “Where are you?”
It’d taken six months for him to answer Zed’s frequent ripmails with something more than: I’m fine. Very busy. Then he’d shared the fact he’d made a friend in specialist training, a close friend, and let Zed draw his own conclusions. Felix hadn’t wanted to say he’d moved on, but he had. Or he’d tried to, even though he tasted ash every time he thought about the fact Zed also had a close friend. A girlfriend. It wasn’t until each of them had walked away from those relationships that their own friendship had started to come back together, via ripmail and the occasional jazer—on Zed’s credit, of course. Long, rambling conversations that sometimes approached nights at the Academy when they’d lain side by side in a bunk, or up on the roof, and talked about nothing. When they’d simply spent time together.
They’d rebuilt the stack of bricks forming their friendship and these five days together on Hemera Station were to be the cement. So maybe he should stop fretting and head back to the hostel. Line up those shot glasses.
A tremor pushed through the floor beneath Felix’s boots. Looking up, he saw the familiar Allied Earth Forces logo as Zed’s transport nudged the docking hub and the clamps engaged. Felix scrubbed his hands over his thighs again and took a deep breath. No amount of oxygen could calm the butterflies performing zero-g maneuvers in his stomach. Or dry the sweat at the back of his neck, down the column of his spine, at the back of his knees and, for the love of all those useless gods, on his palms.
This was it! Zed was here. Felix felt his mouth curving into a big, stupid grin. He wrestled his features back into a soldierly countenance right away, but knew that the minute Zed stepped through the ’lock, he’d be grinning like a boy again. He strolled over to the hatch and tried not to twitch in place.
Jenn and Kelly met in 2009 through a mutual infatuation with a man who wasn’t real. After all but crashing the video game’s forums with daily dissection of their obsession, they started writing together, discovered they really liked writing together and began plotting stories in worlds of their own creation.
The CHAOS STATION series aren’t the first books they’ve written together, and they’re pretty sure they won’t be the last. As long as their so-called smartphones keep making autocorrects that trigger brainstorming sessions, they’ll have enough character ideas and plots to keep them writing for years to come.