*Edit: I’ve removed all of the other stories. They will be heavily revised given my writing style has changed since these were written a year to two years ago.

Static Signals: This is the Orsen Emergency Broadcast System, a short story collection.

On a world in a distant galaxy far from ours, humanity rises on another planet, another primordial soup. Call it parallel evolution or a luck of the interstellar draw. On the surface, their world is similar to ours. The human mind can only comprehend/have a reference point so much. It is a world much like ours on the surface. But as you begin to peel back the technology, the casualness, and the somewhat mundane future, their past (not ours) lurks right under the surface. The past is buried, and society has little interest in what made mankind the dominant species on their blue spinning ball.

It is a time of the Long Peace, over a hundred years since the Great War. The Verand Union advances technologically, culturally, and economically long after the horrors of the War faded. To the east, Mother Linere is a dream, a whisper of expats and the old Exodus seven centuries before. Silence between the East and West ensures stability, ensures little questions, and brings with it the illusion of the mundane. The monsters are gone, people do not use ard (mana) disciplines anymore, and no one cares.

Across the Narrows, the losers, survivors, and reformers of the Orsen Confederacy (also known colloquially as the Reach), have recovered after family tensions, old power struggles, and the decline of the High Lord of the Reach’s influence after the death of Jacob Harkan, the last true unifying figure in the south. The Reach is proud, old, and will never again bow to the powers of their ancestral Mother Linere. No clan, no Archon, no figure will demand they turn from their faith, their creed, or their ways. But a good Reacher knows when to put down the caster, put down the handle, and grab a drink with their fellow countrymen. They will defend their homeland from any after the five years of hell and the Void opening over Karstel at the end of the war. When the Black Sun appears, mankind takes on its true shape and the Sun judges and consumes all equally. But the Void is silent, the Watcher’s sacrifice forever honored with his younger siblings guiding the Union, their people, and their nation, and a clandestine group wages an eternal vigil outside of society’s indifferent eye. But nothing stays the same. People forget, and others learn from the mistakes and successes of those who sought the Void.

This is the moment when the phantoms of the War, the world, and the whole goddamn past come spiraling out of the Black Sun.

This is the end of the Reach.

This is Static Signals.