A Wheel Inside a Wheel

A Wheel Inside a Wheel
3k pages

Two brilliant young men, Reinhard von Musel and Yang Wen-li, are forced to flee the countries of their birth and become refugees on opposite sides of a century long galactic war. While they both struggle to adapt to their new lives, their obvious talent propels them to the forefront of the conflict. Their choices will shape their adoptive homelands forever, and their clash will decide the future of the galaxy.

This story is broken up into volumes, each following one half of the story. You can read them in chronological order, or you can follow just Yang or Reinhard. See individual descriptions below.

Part One - Speaking in Tongues

When Yang Wen-li’s father dies, the only thing that he inherits is a mountain of debt, which can only be paid off with fifteen years of his life. Wanting to escape that indentured servitude, Yang flees his homeland and takes up a false identity in the Galactic Empire, a hyper-stratified society where stepping out of line is punishable with imprisonment or death.

Yang enrolls in the Imperial Officers’ Academy to study history, but despite his unusual and unmistakeable talent as both a tactician and a scholar, his classmates resent him for being a visible outsider. When tensions at the school boil over and several of Yang’s classmates attempt to murder him, Yang finds an unlikely ally in the top student in the class: the aloof Oskar von Reuenthal. But Reuenthal and Yang both have secrets, secrets which could destroy both their lives and their newfound friendship.

[70k words, complete]

Part One (Alternate) - Talking Without Speaking

When Oskar von Reuenthal enrolls at the Imperial Officers' Academy, he doesn’t expect to make real friends. The IOA is a competitive place, and Reuenthal has never been well liked. But when a foreign student shows up to challenge him for the top spot in the class, Reuenthal can’t look away.

[77k words, complete]

Part Two - Life out of Balance

When Reinhard von Musel's mother learns that her husband is about to sell her daughter to become the concubine of the Kaiser, she takes her two children, Reinhard and Annerose, and flees to the Free Planets Alliance, where the three of them must start a new life. 

[129k words, complete]

Part Three - Servants of the Pharaoh

Now an officer in His Majesty's fleet, Yang Wen-li struggles to maintain his principles in the face of everything that is expected of him. When he's unwillingly drawn into the politics of the court, he has to use all of his talents to keep himself and his new friends out of danger.

[173k words, complete]

Short - Whatever It Takes to Keep the Body Warm

After their falling out, Reuenthal and Mittermeyer are both posted to the brutal wasteland of Capche-Lanka. It's difficult to hold a grudge when you're just trying to survive.

[23k words, complete]

Short - Keep the Home Fires (Burning)

Three soldiers. Two bodies to be buried. One haunted house.

[33k words, complete]

Part Four - Lighting Out for the Territories

While his sister has joined the fierce Rosen Ritter regiment, Reinhard's fame has earned him a post stuck on Phezzan. Instead of getting to fight, he's caught up in a web of secrets, including the shelter and care of a mysterious refugee from the Empire. Separated from everyone he cares about, Reinhard is forced to make some unexpected allies, and make connections with old friends.

[147k words, complete]

Part Five - Serpent's Mouth, Serpent's Teeth

After having sacrificed his freedom to save his best friend's life, Yang must figure out how to win, and not just survive, the largest civil war in human history.

[In progress]

Part Six - Lightless Labyrinth

[forthcoming, TBD]

Part Seven - Silent Spiral

[forthcoming, TBD]

This story is crossposted on ao3 at bit.ly/wheelinsideawheel

View Page
In the Shadow of Heaven

In the Shadow of Heaven
472 pages

Yan BarCarran is the orphan daughter of a spacefaring clan, about to graduate from the school where people with the rare God-given power are sent to train. The next phase in her life is the apprenticeship, where she will begin her lifelong career. She’s hoping for a research position, but that's not what she gets.

Aymon Sandreas is the Voice of the Empire, wielding the unfettered power that being a theocratic dictator provides. But he’s getting older, and he needs to choose a successor. He needs someone that he can shape into a leader: someone who will carry on the tradition, someone who will be able to make difficult, correct decisions, and someone he can bear to spend the rest of his mortal life working with. He picks three students as potential leaders: the talented and thoughtful Yan, the impulsive and striving Sid , and the mysterious and troubled Kino. Only one of them will survive their apprenticeship to take his place.

Yan’s life spirals into chaos. Her best friend, Sylva, is in love with her; she can’t make her new coworkers get along; she hates the man who is supposed to train her to survive assassination; and above all, she's learning how large of a burden it is to keep the machine of Empire running.

Act 1 complete, act 2 coming 2024? We'll see. TBD.

View Page
Every Hateful Instrument

Every Hateful Instrument
260 pages

Hail-and-Farewell Vinright is a pirate, ferrying drugs and weapons across the galaxy. When he discovers that the headaches he's been plagued with are not a sign that he has a brain tumor, and are instead the rare God-given gift of the power, one in a million psychic abilities, Hail sees the opportunity to help his family profit. Only people with the power can build the stardrives at the core of every ship, and the market for them is controlled by the Imperial government. Pirates would pay huge sums for one, so Hail's family enters the market.

Aymon Sandreas is the least likely candidate to take the Imperial throne upon the retirement of his master, First Herrault. When Aymon steps too far out of line, his master sends him away to find the pirates who are flooding the galaxy with stardrives, destabilizing the Imperial government and the spacefaring Guild. Expecting an easy but boring task, Aymon's interest is piqued when the mysterious stardrive maker proves a clever and capable adversary.

When Hail and Aymon finally come face to face, Aymon offers Hail an opportunity: work for me, in exchange for your life. But Hail wants nothing more than revenge, and he's willing to play the long game to get it...

View Page
In the Shadow of Heaven [ORIGINAL VERSION]

In the Shadow of Heaven [ORIGINAL VERSION]
3k pages

This is the original draft version of ItSoH. It is incomplete, partway through act 3, and will not be finished in this form. The new version is available here. The new version follows most of the same continuity, but is significantly better written.

ACT ONE: New Creatures with New Hearts

POVs: Yan, Aymon

Complete act. Chapters 1-42. Approx word count is 225,000 words.

To catch up on the story faster, you may consider reading the abridged act one.

Table of Contents / Reference Sheet for part one can be found here. Contains spoilers.

ACT TWO: The Realms of the Unreal

POVs: Yan, Aymon, Sylva, Sid. +Kino bonus chapter.

Complete act. Chapters 43-89. Approx word count is 329,000 words.

To catch up on the story faster, you may consider reading the abridged act two.

ACT THREE: The Eyes that See the Glory

POVs: Yan, Aymon, Sylva, Sid. +Halen bonus chapter.

Incomplete. Chapters 90-current.

View Page
Arcadis Park

Arcadis Park
245 pages

 Jonah is a college senior who can't seem to score an internship, so she's returned to the summer job that she's had every year since she was old enough to work: lifeguarding at the run down waterpark on the outskirts of her small town. Things take a turn for the worse when a dismembered body is discovered in the lake that feeds the park's attractions, and the whole staff becomes convinced that they are the murderer's next target.

[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge] 

(this story is complete as of 12/3/19, though no promises I won't make edits at some point lol)

View Page