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Books 1-3: Starfighter Origins (Audiobook)

Books 1-3: Starfighter Origins (Audiobook)

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Ever since they became refugees, Elya Nevers collected bot parts.

He didn’t know exactly how the idea had first come to him. Even his memory of it as an idea was nebulous. Elya couldn’t recall the concepts of collecting and bot parts ever pairing in his brain before they fled their cliffside solar farm in the night. He barely had time to throw a change of clothes and his tab into his rucksack before his mother dragged him and his two older brothers out the door and into the darkness. In their flight to the city, there had been no time for such thoughts.

He didn’t remember making a conscious decision to be a collector when the four of them shoved their way onto an orbital transport shuttle, fighting against the panicked crowds, nor when the shuttle blazed through the planet’s atmosphere. It was hard to focus on much of anything when the seat was rattling so hard he thought his brains would shake out of his mouth and splash all over his only pair of boots.

When they passed into space and the shuttle stabilized, Elya looked down and noticed that his left hand was bleeding where he gripped a gold-tinted gear in his palm. Its reflective surface, even smeared with blood, calmed him for some reason. As he studied its finely cut teeth, noting its purposeful shape, he realized that he must have picked up the gear along the way, although he couldn’t for the life of him remember where or when. Its golden color was distinctive compared to the dull grey of the utility bots they sometimes rented as extra hands to help during harvest time on the farm. Elya didn’t really have a use for the gear, since the Nevers had never been able to afford a bot of their own—especially not a gold-plated one. But I do have room in my rucksack, he thought, and decided to keep it.

When the shuttle reached the limit of its range, the refugees were transferred to a Mammoth longhauler. Elya had plenty of time to contemplate his new habit of collecting bot parts during their harried spaceflight, while his mother clutched her bead necklace and muttered prayers under her steaming breath. When she finally slept, he and his brothers listened to their frightened fellow refugees speculate how long it would take the Imperial Fleet’s starfighters to find them and guide them to safety. (Answer: twenty-three days, Galactic Standard Time.)

While they waited, the slow-moving longhauler drifted on minimum viable power—life support only. They kept the passenger cabin above freezing, but not by much, and the pilot had the ship’s comms beacon off so that the Kryl couldn’t track them. The only lights found among the stowaways were hoarded by the few people smart enough to pack electric torches, or wealthy enough to own personal servant bots in their previous lives. Elya had never seen luxury bots like these up close before, but he saw that only a few of them were finished in the same shade of gold as his gear.

He stayed warm by searching the passenger cabin for more spare parts. The behavior became as much a part of him as his darkly tanned skin or his long, dextrous fingers. When he was alone in the dark, Elya would pass the time counting and cataloging his growing collection by feel. Since the gear, most of the spare parts he gathered had been found on the floor of the longhauler. Others he looted from a closet full of damaged Mammoth repair bots. Once, he won an aluminite power switch playing aleacc against a rich merchant’s son. The stunned look on the kid’s face when Elya rolled doubles three times in a row was his greatest source of pleasure on the seemingly endless journey. Elya placed the switch carefully in his rucksack. At night, when sleep wouldn’t come, he would take it out and flip the mechanism back and forth, back and forth.

But nothing cleared or calmed his mind like the feel of the golden gear against his skin. It was the only thing he had left that reminded him of home.

Forged in fire, marked by fate

The xenos came to devour.

Three worlds they invaded before the Solaran Fleet ground them to a halt.

The aftermath spared no one in the Empire. Refugees flooded the core, trade routes crumbled, and economies collapsed.

Homeworlds were lost, lives shattered.

But from the ashes, three heroes emerged.

Witness the origin stories of the Fleet's finest starfighter pilots, the trials that molded them, and the events that put them on a path to ultimately save humanity.

In Starfighter Origins, M.G. Herron presents a captivating collection of three action-packed space opera novellas: Spare Parts, Raptor, and Operation Heartstrike.

Fans of MG Herron’s hit series, Relics of the Ancients, will enjoy familiar characters, while new readers get to savor three standalone space adventures that serve as the gateway to an epic and sprawling science fiction universe.

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Series reading order

Starfighter Origins
1. Spare Parts
2. Raptor
3. Operation Heartstrike

Relics of the Ancients
1. Starfighter Down
2. Hidden Relics
3. Rogue Swarm

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