All posts by Snekguy

Brokering Trust – Gay Version

The first four chapters of the gay edition for Brokering Trust are live. This is going to be a little more involved than I was hoping, so please bear with me as I work my way through it. I would also welcome any feedback about errors or weirdness that you come across.

Both versions of the story are now accessible via this page:

Brokering Trust

Brokering Trust – Editing

All editing phases are complete, that should be it for this version. Next step is rewriting a few scenes for the gay version.
Weaver dialogue formatting is still fucky but I need to experiment with how that shows up in ebooks and on other sites before I commit to a fix.

Brokering Trust

State of the Galaxy Poll

After a lot of large, status quo changing stories in the Pinwheel setting, I’m ready for some smaller, less impactful slice of life tales. These will be around 30,000 words each and will explore various colony planets and aspects of Coalition relations. I’m thinking of doing three, and I’ve collected a bunch of ideas that you guys can vote on over on the Patreon page. Your top picks will be written next once Brokering Trust is finalized.

I may take a break to write another Halloween story in October, which will also have a poll, so stay tuned for that!

Remember that you can vote for multiple stories, so be sure to pick all of the options that appeal to you. Here are the options:

1. EE-4:
After the planet was liberated by the UNN Shiroyama during the events of Splashdown, EE-4 has gone largely ignored due to its dense and unforgiving jungles making it poorly suited to human habitation. Now, a joint colonization venture by the Araxie and the Jarilans is changing everything. With the Jarilans building underground infrastructure and the Araxie taming the jungles, human visitors often find themselves caught in the middle.
Pairing: Human x Jarilan x Araxie

2. Jarilo:
Now a thriving colony world and a center for shipbuilding, Jarilo has become a place where those who are down on their luck can start anew, leaving their old lives behind for the promise of blue skies and friendly insects. Whether you’re seeking medical care or a homestead to call your own, you’ll be welcomed with four open arms.
Pairing: Human x Jarilan

3. Rask:
The Rask territory is starting to recover from the events of the rebellion, and its warlike inhabitants have turned much of their energy towards farming and reconstruction. Greening the inhospitable deserts is a tough call, but not beyond the combined resources of the Coalition. That doesn’t mean the natives aren’t out to badger any off-worlders who happen to be working on infrastructure, however. Wayward engineers sometimes find themselves the target of prowling packs eager to give their new allies a warm welcome.
Pairing: Human x Rask pack

4. Valbara:
Despite its reputation as a peaceful and welcoming planet, adapting to life on Valbara can be challenging for humans. Their strict gender roles and unusual customs often put male expats on the back foot, and the rigors of their hectic work lives can be hard to keep up with. Office politics has a whole new meaning for the few aliens who seek employment in their shining cities.
Pairing: Human x Valbaran flock

5. Siberia:
The Siberian colony continues to grow and thrive since the Polars sought asylum on Earth, and the aliens have turned the inhospitable taiga into a bustling settlement with several outlying villages. Polar hospitality is as warm and as welcoming as their hearths, and even visitors who only stop by for a few days can expect to be ushered into their longhouses to share a hot meal and a warm bedroll.
Pairing: Human x Polar pack

6. Earth:
The crown jewel of UN space has seen few alien visitors, but the more time passes and the closer relations become, the more off-world tourists find themselves touching down on the human homeworld. For a solitary Valbaran male journeying alone, the experience is as exciting as it is overwhelming.
Pairing: Male Valbaran x Female Human/alt gay version

7. Pinwheel:
For new arrivals to the Pinwheel, navigating human social conventions can be a challenging affair, but those looking for advice can usually find it in the aliens who have spent more time living on the station. Valbaran and Borealan courtship methods might be very different, but when they put their heads together, they’re sure to succeed. Right…?
Pairing: Human x Valbaran x Equatorial

8. Jump Carrier:
Ever wondered what the crews of UNN jump carriers get up to during their long, uneventful voyages into deep space? How do they occupy their free time, and how to all of the different Coalition species interact when thrust into a confined space for such long deployments? When left to their own devices, their only option is to amuse themselves.
Pairing: multiple couples and situations

9. BFF:
When her human friend expresses a fascination with a Rask mercenary who frequents his favorite bar on the station, his Polar companion promises to teach him all the tips and tricks for courting (and pleasing) the alien. After scoping out the situation, however, she soon discovers that the mercenary is a terrible fit for her friend, and she decides to take the hands-on tutoring to a new level in the hope that he’ll lose interest.
Pairing: Human x Polar

10. Kiss the Cook:
Jarilan Repletes spend their whole lives producing food for their hive, but when one Replete feels that her duty should extend beyond her immediate kin, she’s confused by the negative reception to her honey. Undeterred, she decides to learn human food preparation techniques, opening up a bar and restaurant in the colony that serves all species.
Pairing: Human x Replete

Brokering Trust – Editing

20,000 words. Chapters 23, 24, 25, and the epilogue are done. That’s it! The proofreading phase is finished. I have some more Grammarly passes to do on some chapters but the editing is pretty much complete.
This isn’t quite the end of the project, as I promised a gay version and will have to rewrite some scenes and make some changes for that, which will take a few more days.

Brokering Trust

It’s my birthday, and Starfield just came out, so I’m going to take the rest of the week off to visit family and play a little.
Stay tuned, because I’ll be running some Patreon polls over the next few days so you guys can vote on what I work on next.

Leadbeater Dropship Concept Art

The US-82 Leadbeater is the UNN’s favored dropship and the workhorse of the fleet, serving primarily in a troop transport and utility capacity. Being designated as a spaceplane, the US-82 is capable of achieving orbit under its own power in as little as fifteen minutes using its twin hydrogen engines, as well as operating in a vacuum through the use of its arrays of thrusters. The airframe has seen a long and storied service over its forty years of operation, and has been adapted into many different variants. These include the US-82C light cargo hauler, the US-82H medevac vehicle, the US-82M spec-ops dropship, and even civilian transport shuttles.

In its primary role as a troop transport, the Leadbeater leverages a blend of high maneuverability and considerable armor to ferry troops and VIPs into contested airspace. These hot drops often involve the rapid insertion or exfiltration of Marines and auxiliaries, requiring the vessel to contend with enemy small arms fire, anti-air, and hazardous terrain.

While it lacks some of the more specialized geometry of its counterparts like the Beewolf, the dropship nonetheless employs an EM-absorbent coating that reduces the likelihood of a successful lock, which is supplemented by a defensive flare system. The armor is reinforced around the cockpit and troop bay to ensure maximum protection for the occupants, and the resilient airframe has earned a reputation as being especially hardy, able to land successfully even after sustaining considerable damage. The ceramic tiles that coat its belly serve both to protect it from the heat of reentry, and as a thermal shield to dissipate the energy of plasma weapons, making it especially resistant to Betelgeusian small arms.

Not being equipped with any offensive weaponry, the Leadbeater will rely on escort craft as the situation requires, often being paired with Beewolf fighters or Penguin gunships to provide close air support around the drop zone.

The reinforced landing gear with its thick tires and protective coverings make the Leadbeater well-suited to difficult terrain, inspired by the bush planes of old. Coupled with a VTOL system that makes use of the vessel’s thrusters, it can set down anywhere that can support its footprint, including forest clearings and rooftops.

The US-82 has the capacity to carry two Marine fireteams of six (a squad of twelve), a pack of six Borealan Shock Troopers, or a pair of Krell Linebreakers. While Valbaran Commandos commonly make use of their own specialized vehicles, the troop bay can seat twelve.

Equipped with a Sentinel upgrade package, the Leadbeater can deploy a rotary electromagnetic cannon that fires the same caliber of slug as anti-material railguns, serving as a door gun and providing support fire for troops as they dismount. This weapon is usually operated remotely by the co-pilot.

This awesome concept art comes courtesy of artist and illustrator Simon Contreras.
Check out more of his work by following the link.