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The Wind at my Back, Stars at my feet Chapter (Cover Art)

Chapter 16 - The Wind at my Back, Stars at my feet[]

Colleen System...

CWO Toi Falcone (Chistu) was an artist. A failure in Sibko because she couldn't quite make the levels of physical perfection needed, with her bad eyesight. Tech caste had been an obvious direction, and she'd been an ordnance tech for five years before getting the offer to work support for a Warrior doing a scheduled tour in the Hue Enclave.

Hue was an eye-opener. Normally, the Khanate's borders were closed to emigration-once you are in the Clan, you are in the clan.

Jarrold, however, her warrior, was getting old, and he'd requested her specifically as his personal tech for his tour.

She hadn't understood why, except that when he failed his latest Trial of Position, she had been there when the Coast Guard recruiter came on base, with immigration forms-he could still be a warrior, he could still (Indirectly) serve the Clan, he simply couldn't be a Clan Warrior any longer.

The crisp, clipped tones, the clarity that there was a different option than being a Junior Tech who accumulated disciplinary marks for asking questions Junior Techs aren't supposed to ask? it was a selling point.

Being allowed to walk out the gate with her own Immigration papers? well, it was a bit mystifying at the time.

But she soon learned-the official claim in the Khanate, was a long-term deep cover Watch tour...but that was only the fig-leaf to cover for the Clan's agreement to allow immigration/emigration through Hue and Blair Atholl.

A few jobs, including an apprenticeship among the Rockjacks, led to an enlistment.

Enlistment led to being able to play with things not normally permitted even the most skilled techs in the modifying thermonuclear warheads using a shipboard machine shop, a few hours of CAD modeling, and her own sweaty hands (well, to run the manipulators).

Among the Jade Falcons, she was considered a bit...dim, too dim to be a scientist caste, too clever to be a laborer, too weak to be a warrior.

Aboard her ship, she was the leading expert on thermonuclear ordnance and exotic, weapons-grade physics devices, and she realized where she belonged.

Toi's Coast Guard record is spotless, with commendations for original thinking and awards for demonstrating cleverness as an engineer and weapons designer.

"Heyha Toi, gotchu som'fin' froda mess. J'all skepped Brikfist."

"I was busy, Lerner." she said without looking up from the project the boat's captain had given her. "Give me a few more minutes..."

"Sho'nuff." Lerner said, and set the redimeal in its container on a magnetized shelf.

It's my creation! It is reaaal! It's my creation! Oooh I do not know! she thought as she bobbed her head to imagined music as she finished the last input on the printer, and the portable started layering silicon patterns. The new guidance module would be resistant to ECM interference, if the mods held, and if they didn't, it would revert to standard guidance. she turned and checked the redimeal.

Lerner is such a nice boy, he always picks out the foods I like! thought Toi

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