Story: “Blood Ace" by Allan and Aaron Reini
Narrator: Aaron Ochart
Genre: Science Fiction
Dex D’Felco had every reason to feel good. His polished dress uniform shoes clicked smartly on the duranium deck plates of the United Coalition carrier Callisto as he navigated the thick press of the always-busy passageway. He nodded curtly to new subordinates making eye contact while smiling in acknowledgement to peers offering their congratulations. Typical of most Coalition Navy observances, Dex’s promotion ceremony had been short but meaningful. Under the clear panoramic dome of the Callisto’s observation lounge—the pure white void of etherspace playing havoc on reality just beyond—he had stood at attention while Captain Anton Walters pinned the UCN Medal of Valor and a new gleaming gold bar to his uniform tunic. The recognition of Dex’s heroics in the Oranos engagement had only taken two weeks to clear the customary bureaucracy, and now it was official. Dex D’Felco, the pilot who had single-handedly saved a civilian light transport from six bandits, scoring kills on three hostile Razors in the process, was now a full-fledged lieutenant.