Author : Julian Miles, Featured Writer

My personality type is one hundred percent orbital, which means I need someone to be loyal to or I cannot function beyond mere subsistence.

Problem is, like any satellite, I can only circle one thing.

First it was my brother, Eduarde. I loved, slaved, lied, cheated, betrayed and eventually killed for him. Then we joined the army and it became shockingly clear who the competent one was. From there we just made it into the newly formed Extraplanetary Marine Corps.

I’d have been lost when Ed got incinerated if I hadn’t found Sergeant Stalde. He was a walking, talking god of war. He knew everything, and had an idea of what I was. Plus he liked my ass. Worship with benefits is always better than mere worship.

Then Stalde got another gopher, an enthusiastic and competent lass called Ella. So she had an accident involving a Type 18 osteoplasmic grenade. She was a lot less competent as a multi-celled amoeba.

Stalde suspected me and reported me. That’s when I met Captain Murdine. She was everything Stalde was, and everything he wasn’t. Plus she was female, which made the benefits even better. She really got me, understood my devotion. So when Stalde slipped and fell into the drive field of our fortress, she transferred me to her staff.

She introduced me to Jurgen, who was so intense, so vivid that I nearly prematurely demised Murdine. He stopped me and told me about a mission he thought I’d be interested in. I agonised for days before he let me meet Kandi. We just sat and stared at each other for six hours. Then we proved to Jurgen just how dedicated we could be by vivisecting Murdine with a spork.

Kandi is just like me. We orbit each other. We understand this thing we have, and we understand that Jurgen has let us be together for one thing. Because people close to us seem to die a little too regularly, Jurgen explained that to be together, we had to be useful to the Great Empire.

We go to undecided star systems. We come in as settlers to their peaceful worlds that do not need the protection of the Great Empire, because they have left the old crimes behind.

We bring the old crimes back. We work apart or together as needed, producing jealousy, encouraging greed, inciting murder, brokering betrayal and fomenting wars. We also do really good imitations of serial or spree killers if needed. It usually is, sometimes many times.

When a planet finally welcomes the Great Empire with open arms, it restores law and peace to the thankful populace very quickly, because Jurgen has taken us away to another planet. He says we are unique and with our augmentations, will be together for a very long time.

Long enough to unite the galaxy under the Great Empire. Then Kandi and I can retire to somewhere where there is only us at last, the binary star of our need all we need.


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