“Bomb Number Nineteen” is a reference to John Carpenter and Dan O’Bannon’s student film Dark Star, a movie that changed my life. Icarus is obvious if you’ve bumped into Greek mythology. Most of the galaxy hasn’t, and even if the human diaspora have their own mythological equivalents they certainly don’t have the same names, so Raven figures that naming the pod Icarus is both safe and harmonious.

If you’ve pledged to support ATC on Patreon you know it’s also foreshadowing. If you haven’t pledged and decide to do so within the next couple of weeks, you will also know this.

Thad’s attitude towards their stuff is somewhat similar to my attitude towards my stuff – over the past couple of weeks I’ve thrown out a few hundred pounds of electronics that I should have disposed of during my last major move in 2008, I’ve shredded something like thirteen years of bills and no-longer-applicable paperwork, I’ve sorted my entire Nintendo DS library into a box I’ll be sending to my cousin, and I am very much in the process of cleaning house. I am Immanentizing my own personal eschaton.

In fact this scene is being posted in parallel with moving preparations, with the intention of the final page of the book going live shortly before I leave this place. The fact that I am leaving is why things are unfolding the way they are now. The last time I put ATC on hold to deal with a move the result was the nearly five year gap between Earth -42- and Water -1-. I’m fine with a long healthy life-living gap between books, but stalling a chapter while it was in production? No sir. I created four chapters of Dead City Radio during that time but that’s not really the point – the point is that unfinished books hung over my head for thirteen years and waking up free of that weight is exhilarating.

Xand covers an off-screen change in orientation in dialogue – I’ve done the flip sequence a couple of times already – in Water and Air – and figure it happened shortly before Thad and Ornix started putting on spacesuits.

In panel four Ornix explains what he was doing on the bridge way back in Fire -7-. The trajectory switcheroo from Unity West to Unity North will have serious consequences, though those won’t play out until the next book. This chapter is as much foreshadowing as it is resolution and I think I’ve finally figured out how to hide both of those facts in natural-sounding dialogue.


And speaking of progress… tune in on Wednesday for some serious plot “action!”


  • A traumatic Awakening in the summer of 1997 was just the beginning of Thad’s emotional problems. The disappearance of most of his Pittsburgh friends a few weeks later compounded his issues and, while he...

  • Ornix doesn’t let trivial things like ethics and morality get in the way of his loyalties or sense of reality. A longtime friend of Thad and a fellow “victim” of the Templar Waking God...

  • The first extraterrestrial human to be born on Terra. Home-schooled by Templar, he left the organization in 1997 citing management issues and took the Daedalus with him. John is an incredibly talented Navigator, having...

  • A pink-haired mechanical genius with a full complement of prosthetic limbs (one “bolt-on,” three high-quality synthetics) and no memory of her first twenty years, Xand is the Daedalus flight engineer. A non-terrestrial human with...

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