The nights are long on the rebel world of Pyrs, most of the man and women hiding out there have demons that haunt them and everybody deals with those demons in their very own way.
For Holly di Marco and Ethan Summerton, two of the more than two thousand rebel fighters on Pyrs, the best way of staving of the nightmares is arguing about politics, eating sweets and getting drunk, very drunk.
But one long night of arguing about politics reveals some unexpected truths about the history of the Fifth Human Empire… and also about Holly and Ethan.
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- History Lesson is a novelette of 13000 words. This story is a digital premiere and has never been published previously.
- This story is part of the Shattered Empire saga, a series of more or less loosely connected novellas about the great rebellion against the Fifth Human Empire told from the POVs of the people who fought it.
- History Lesson is exactly what it says on the tin, a primer on the history of the Fifth Human Empire, as told by Ethan, who had a good education due to his position as well as a critical and politically active family, to Holly, who had neither. We also get a bit of additional characterisation for Ethan and Holly plus the fun of watching these two interact under what passes for normal conditions at the rebel HQ on Pyrs.
- If you are at all familiar with the history of postwar (West) Germany, the various Emperors and their political antics will seem strangely familiar. But then, it is a longstanding tradition of the subgenre to have one’s Galactic Empire be a reflection of whatever real world political system one happens to live in. Besides, it was fun mining real life political and historical events as background detail for a space opera series.
- For the record, I don’t think that any of the real world political figures I turned into not so savoury Emperors of the universe are or were actively evil. Misguided maybe, but not evil. However, History Lesson is fiction and what would a Galactic Empire tale be without an evil Emperor or several.
- In the Shattered Empire chronology, History Lesson fits between Mercy Mission and Debts to Pay.
- Wonder who Carlotta’s mystery lover is? Read Debts to Pay to find out.
- The cover image is digital art by Angela Harburn and looks very much like I envision the rebel base on Pyrs.