Once, Anjali Patel and Mikhail Grikov were soldiers on opposing sides of an intergalactic war. They met, fell in love and decided to go on the run together.
Now Anjali and Mikhail are trying to eke out a living on the independent worlds of the galactic rim, while attempting to stay under the radar of those pursuing them.
When a seemingly routine courier job turns out to be a trap, Anjali is hit by a so-called smart bullet, a Republican weapon that slowly and inevitably kills its victims. Mikhail is given a choice by his former commander Brian Mayhew: Surrender or watch the woman he loves die in excruciating pain.
It is a choice between two equally horrifying fates. But maybe, there is a third option…
Bonus story: Shipbound
Pilot Pietro Garibaldi is angry to be stuck aboard the freighter Freedom's Horizon, holding the fort, while everybody else gets to enjoy themselves on the rim world of Varishka. What annoys him most is the sneaking suspicion that he wasn't chosen to keep watch at random, but because he is considered unreliable, someone who cannot be trusted in port.
But when trouble comes calling, it becomes clear just why Pietro and his crewmate Sabrina Cho were exactly the right people to stay aboard the ship.
These are two interconnected stories of 10000 words or approx. 35 print pages altogether in the "In Love and War" series, but may be read as standalones.