Collision Course

Collision Course by Cora BuhlertOnce, Anjali Patel and Mikhail Grikov were soldiers on opposing sides of an intergalactic war. They met, fell in love and decided to go on the run together.

Now Anjali and Mikhail are trying to eke out a living as mercenaries on Metra Litko, an independent world on the galactic rim, while attempting to stay under the radar of those pursuing them.

Anjali and Mikhail are working a routine bodyguard job. But things quickly go awry, when an assassin bypasses all security measures to shoot the wrong target… or does he?

Anjali and Mikhail set off in pursuit, only to find themselves confronted with a figure from Mikhail’s past who could threaten their newfound freedom.

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More information:

  • This is a novelette of 8000 words or approx. 37 print pages in the In Love and War series, but may be read as a standalone. This story is a digital premiere and has never been published previously.
  • Collision Course was one of the stories I wrote during the 2018 July short story challenge. The idea was to write a short story per day in July 2018.
  • Like many stories in the July challenge, Collision Course was inspired by concept art. Usually, I use only a single piece of concept art for inspiration. Collision Course, however, was inspired by two pieces of artwork, this one and this one. I felt that the second piece of art looked like the long distance view of the first one. And even though the two characters in the first piece of art do not look all that much like Anjali and Mikhail, they turned into Anjali and Mikhail as I started writing about two guards posted on a roof and waiting for something to happen.
  • Once the shots had been fired and the assassin fled, I looked at the second piece of art and wondered where he might flee to. The doughnut shop on the other side of the road seemed like the logical place.
  • In Freedom’s Horizon, there is a throwaway line about how Anjali and Mikhail ran into a Republican spy at a place named the Plasma Café and that’s why they have to leave Metra Litko so quickly. And when I sent Mikhail and Anjali chasing an assassin into a doughnut shop in the story that would eventually become Collision Course, it suddenly occurred to me that this doughnut shop could just as well be the Plasma Café mentioned in Freedom’s Horizon. So what if Anjali and Mikhail ran into the Republican spy while chasing the assassin? And what if the assassin was the spy? The story pretty much wrote itself from there on.
  • The cover is once again stock art by the talented Thai artist Tithi Luadthong a.k.a. Grandfailure.
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