I’ve been making a lot of progress on Chronicles of Aria Prime Episode Two, and it shouldn’t be long before I start asking for beta readers to review this work.  To give everyone a sample of what is to come, I’ve decided to start posting sections of the story online.  Today, I post the prologue.

In exchange for the sneak peak, I do ask one favor in return.  Please share this post on your favorite social media. Facebook, Google+, Twitter, whatever your preferred platform, sharing will help me get the word out about this story.  Social sharing buttons can be found at the bottom of the page.

Thank You,

AJ Reissig

PS  This work hasn’t been through final editing yet, so the final version may contain minor changes.

PROLOGUE

February 25th, 2285

It’s hard to believe we’ve been marooned on Aria Prime for one month. Days seem to fly by, assisted in no small part by the massive workload necessary to ensure our survival.

I wish I could say everyone was in good spirits, but that would be a lie. Morale is at an all-time low. Long days of grueling physical labor, lack of basic comforts, and no contact with home are all factors. I also think everyone has finally realized we’re on our own and unlikely to be rescued. In any case, I’m not sure what the solution to our morale problem is, but it needs to be solved soon.

Trade has increased with the tillers. At first, we received goods in payment for our protection of Vale. While that protection continues, we now trade timber products from our newly built sawmill. Prior to our arrival, the tillers cut lumber by hand using saw pits, a very labor intensive and time consuming task. By contrast, our sawmill produces a better quality of lumber in a fraction of the time, and the tiller craftsmen are more than happy to be rid of the dreaded saw pits.

In exchange for our timber, we receive grains and a variety of livestock. While the animals are of unknown species, Jessica Frey has learned the nuances of the creatures rather quickly, and has started a breeding program to increase our supply.

Our relationship with the tillers is a mixed bag. They are honest and true to their word, and their timberwrights are excellent builders. However, Conrad Lockskin only allows a handful of their craftsman to come and work for us. I have assured him the tillers will be well compensated for their work, but for whatever reason he won’t allow a larger number of workers. I’ll continue to pressure him, but at the same time I don’t want to alienate him or his village.

There are other concerns as well. We’ve made great progress in the past month. Our sawmill is in operation, farms are built and metal shop is nearly complete. We also have hydroelectric power for our industrial area. However, not a single dwelling has yet to be built, and I doubt we will have but a small portion complete before winter arrives. While the wreckage of the Trident continues to provide shelter, we don’t have the power supply to heat it through the cold season. There is too much to be done and not enough people.

To that end, it is my desire to make contact with the diggers. Unfortunately, the tillers are little help with the location of digger towns. Not only do the tillers rarely leave their village, but when they trade with the diggers, the diggers come to the tillers and not vice versa. Perhaps we will be lucky and encounter a digger traveler? Otherwise, the trade caravans don’t show up until after the fall harvest, and that is a long time to wait.

Colonel Christopher Nash