Mage-Queen's Thief: A Starship's Mage Universe Novella by Glynn Stewart

Mage-Queen's Thief: A Starship's Mage Universe Novella by Glynn Stewart

Author:Glynn Stewart [Stewart, Glynn]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Faolan's Pen Publishing
Published: 2023-09-11T16:00:00+00:00

Whoever had put together the security modules and code that had Shuttle Bay Echo locked down was good. Barry had never before met a door that could hold him up for more than about ten minutes—though he would freely admit that he hadn’t, for example, tried to crack bank vaults.

He was a shuttle thief, after all, and shuttles had very different security protocols—including physical-part lockouts.

The systems that had been rigged up to secure the hatch, however, were closer to the systems he was used to on high-end aircars and shuttles than on any door he’d ever seen. It took him over thirty minutes to break through the door’s systems—long enough that he was worrying about who was going to come through behind him and was considering using his magic to brute-force the door.

Somehow, though, Barry figured that cutting the door open with his magic was definitely going to trigger some alarms. So, he stuck with it and breathed a sigh of relief when the hatch finally slid open enough to let him through.

The second relieving piece of news was that he was definitely in the right place. He’d been pretty sure, but it was still a reprieve to actually see the utility hauler he was looking for. The ship didn’t look special—but the fact that she was inside a secured shuttle bay that had been cut off from the ship’s networks told Barry everything.

The jump shuttle was an ugly thing, all fuel tanks and extendable gantries wrapped around a personnel pod barely big enough to provide the two-person crew a place to sleep. She was a working spacecraft, one that no one would take a second look at.

But even a momentary glance at her serial numbers confirmed she was the one he was looking for. If this shuttle wasn’t actually the jump shuttle—somehow—she was still the one the client had asked for.

So, she was the one Barry would deliver.

He looked back at the hatch behind him and considered the situation. It was still almost half a day until the jump, and he didn’t want to leave with his prize much before then. Except…he was pretty sure the Marine Mage-Major would be back inside that time. There was something going on there.

But…if something secretive was going on, that would also limit the Mage-Major’s ability to ask for help.

Between rejiggering the aftermarket security modules and a little bit of magical welding, it only took Barry about five minutes to permanently seal the hatches into Shuttle Bay Echo.

That left him alone with his prey, and he took a few minutes to just pace around the gangly-looking spacecraft. At first glance, there was no sign that she was magical beyond a faint buzzing sensation in his teeth that he’d never felt before.

Examining her, though, the truth slowly became obvious. The problem the people upgrading her had encountered was that large chunks of a utility hauler were open to space for ease of maintenance and operation.

Those pieces of the shuttle had still needed to be included in the jump matrix, but they weren’t easily concealed.


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