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Yesterday's Legacy
 

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Yesterday's Legacy


  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  About Yesterday’s Legacy

  Praise for Yesterday’s Legacy.

  The Endurance Timeline

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  The next book in The Endurance series

  About the Author

  Other books by Tracy Cooper-Posey

  Copyright Information

  About Yesterday’s Legacy

  Only Jonah has the potential to save the Endurance.

  Tightening food rations, cramped living quarters, unhappy and frustrated citizens. Life on the Endurance is unravelling fast. It is Marlow Fitzgerald’s job to maintain peace, including containing trouble-makers like Jonah Solomon, the radical thinker and society drop-out who just might be able to save the ship…if only she could believe him.

  Yesterday’s Legacy is the second book in the science fiction romance series readers are calling gripping, superb and fantastic. Written by award-winning SFR author Tracy Cooper-Posey, it is set aboard the closed-system marathon-class vessel Endurance, a generation ship a thousand years from its destination. If you like the smart, romantic SF of authors like Linnea Sinclair and Anna Hackett, you will love the Endurance series.

  Dive into this thought-provoking new romance series today!

  __

  This book is part of The Endurance SFR series:

  Book 0.5 5,001

  Book 1.0 Greyson’s Doom

  Book 2.0 Yesterday’s Legacy

  Book 3.0 Promissory Note

  …and more to come!

  A Science Fiction Romance Novel.

  Praise for Yesterday’s Legacy.

  …lead characters that I'd love to meet in person.

  Excellent caption of human nature at its best.

  It opens your eyes to what people think, want and how they achieve their goals.

  So many schemes, twist and turns, it's no wonder I couldn't put the story down!!

  I loved this book! I was constantly on the edge of my seat not knowing where the story would take me next.

  I would highly recommend Yesterday's Legacy to anyone, even if you don't consider yourself a SFR fan. Trust me, Tracy will convert you!

  When this book arrived I devoured it, I just could not put it down.

  It was an amazing love story, full of surprises and plot twists, with many good characters, and some evil ones. Loved it! Bravo!!!

  The Endurance Timeline

  Ship Years 210 – 219

  The events of Greyson’s Doom

  Ship Year 313

  The events of Yesterday’s Legacy

  Ship Year 735

  The events of 5,001

  Chapter One

  She was caught off guard. That was what Marlow told everyone later. The tankball game that night was the Panthers, the reigning champions, against the Spanners, who had lost the championship to the Panthers only last year. There was resentment there and the fans for both teams were ferocious in their support. She had warned Cantrell, whose squad was point, to expect some issues with the fans. The trouble, though, came from an entirely different direction.

  During the middle break in the game, Marlow directed Cantrell to spread his guards out around the access areas and service tiers of the arena, to watch the tight knots of people gathering there. Most of them would be talking about the game. It was the ones who were not they needed to watch.

  In the last few years, the more hardcore fans had started to call themselves team members. They used all their spare time and effort to support their team. They were vocal on the Forum about the glories of their team, the strength and brilliance of the players. They spread gossip, they came to every game and they gathered together whenever they had the chance, to denigrate the other teams.

  It didn’t help that tonight the two top teams were playing each other and they just happened to be Palatine and Capitol teams. The arena was in the Aventine, so all the fans travelled in groups to the game, which had built tension long before the game had begun.

  Marlow took up position on the main concourse level, on the inside of the curve where she could see along the concourse in both directions for a good long distance. She listened to Cantrell’s squad reporting in every five minutes.

  The continual reporting had become necessary, since a guard had been clubbed during a heated Blues and Rebels game just over a year ago. The Blues and Rebels were both plebeian teams, only from different districts, which still left the fans standing toe to toe, their attitudes belligerent. It was possible the guard had tried to break up a fight and the fans had turned on him. They would never know, because Graham had not yet emerged from his coma.

  Graham’s misfortune had caused Marlow to form the policy of live and consistent check-ins. Every five minutes each guard was to report their position and status to their midshipman or sergeant.

  Marlow shifted on her feet. She had been on them for sixteen hours already and there was still the other half of the game to go. She took her mind off her aching feet by picking out the furtive glances in her direction and following those people with her gaze. Anyone keeping an eye on the Bridge Guards probably had something to hide and was worth monitoring.

  It seemed as though more and more people were watching over their shoulders, lately. Even here in the arena, where everyone was supposed to come for entertainment and relaxation, there were clumps of people standing with their heads together, talking in deep earnestness.

  Dissatisfaction seemed to seep into the very air. There were not a lot of smiles to be seen and the few she noticed were quickly gone.

  She had heard the talk, just as everyone else did. Selena Roscoe, the commander of the Bridge Guard, lectured Marlow and the other two lieutenants on a weekly basis on how the morale on the Endurance was at an all-time low, which increased the risk of some sort of civil unrest. Roscoe insisted they should watch for signs of impending strife.

  Marlow didn’t need to be lectured. She lived in the same conditions as everyone else. She dealt with the lack of extra food and dwindling resources just as they did. She didn’t have anything to offer for trade, either. Energy rations had been reduced at least three times in the last year. Now there was even less possibility of printing or making something that could be traded for even the smallest luxury, like a cup of ice-cream.

  She saw the same clumps of densely-packed people everywhere. It wasn’t just an arena phenomenon. She heard the same talk. The complaints. The anger.

  That was why she was standing guard in the arena when she could have gone off shift just after noon today and spent the afternoon with Erron. Instead, she watched hundreds of Capitol and Palatine people coalesce into distinct groups to share their general unhappiness and their dissatisfaction with the game, which was tied one-one.

  She didn’t see Bordon at first. He shuffled onto the concourse yet no heads turned to look at him and no one spoke to him, which was natural, of course. Only, it meant she wasn’t alerted to his presence on the concourse until one of Cantrell’s squad murmured on the broadband.

  “Willard Bordon has entered the arena.”

  “Leave him alone, per protocol,” Cantrell said shortly.

  Marlow turned her head, looking for Bordon. He wasn’t likely to cause
mischief tonight. His trouble-making days were over. Still, he tended to send ripples of uneasiness over anyone nearby and the fans were already unhappy.

  She saw his head bobbing, far down the length of the concourse. Judging by his direction, he was heading for the general admission gate. It was only twenty meters away from her post and across the concourse from where she stood.

  Bordon stood out because he was a very tall man. He also stood out because he was alone. There were very few people who attended games and watched them on their own. They might arrive here individually, but they met with fellow team mates or friends and during the intervals, they stayed in their cliques.

  Bordon was also singled out because he wasn’t walking with the same easy stride that most people had. He took small steps, his head turning from one side to the other. He was scanning to see if anyone was looking at him. Of course, no one was. If they happened to spot Bordon, they looked away immediately.

  Marlow was free to study him because of her position as a lieutenant of the Bridge Guard. She was shocked at what she saw.

  She had been part of the detail that had controlled the public square where Bordon’s trial had been held, five years ago, so she had watched Bordon’s face for two days. He had been a fit man in his mid-forties then, with an easy smile and a cynical look in his eyes. He had sat through the trial unmoved, as if it was all beneath him. Even when they had announced his punishment, he had shrugged as if it were of no consequence.

  He didn’t look confident, now.

  In the five years since his trial, Bordon had lost so much weight it looked as though he was barely above minimal functional levels of muscle and fat. Perhaps that explained his shuffling and hesitant walk and the way his head was jerking up and down. Food beyond basic rations was hard to get for most people these days. Bordon, though, looked starved. Perhaps he was starved—just not for food. He was as entitled to basic rations the same as anyone else. They had not taken that away from him.

  His gaze flicked ceaselessly to either side. His cheeks and chin were prickled with short whiskers that were more gray than black and his hair was pure white. When he had stood for trial, he’d had a completely black head of hair.

  Why was he here? Marlow considered and discarded any number of reasons why he might have dared to wander among so many other people and couldn’t settle on a reason, even a bad one. He wouldn’t be stupid enough to try to attend a game. Surely not.

  He was definitely shuffling in a slow curve toward the gate. The arena crew manning the gate were doing their best to pretend he was not approaching. Now other heads were turning, tracking his progress. Even though they pretended he was not here, everyone had noticed him.

  “Cantrell, send the two guards nearest to me to the main gate,” Marlow said quietly.

  “Coleman, Eastov,” Cantrell said. “Report to the lieutenant at the main gate.”

  “Coming.”

  “At once.”

  Marlow moved forward a few paces, putting herself into the center of the concourse, forcing people to walk around her as they hurried toward a gate and their seats. Her uniform stopped any protest before it formed.

  The interval was nearly over. There were more people streaming toward the gates now. Those who wanted to use the main gate were hanging back, watching to see what Bordon thought he was doing.

  Borden walked right up to the gate controllers. Neither of them moved to open the beam for him. Their gazes roved out and around him as if he wasn’t there.

  Bordon swallowed. She could see his throat work.

  “I just want to watch the game.” Even Bordon’s voice sounded old and tired. He spoke softly yet she had no trouble hearing him. It was deathly quiet, all around them. No one was pretending they couldn’t see him now, except for the two gate controllers.

  Marlow eased through shoulders and around people, moving closer to the gate. She spotted Eastov’s ginger hair and Coleman’s dark mop, coming in from either edge. They were forming a nice trident. Good.

  The gate controllers didn’t move. They were not looking quite so relaxed and casual, yet they still did not look at Bordon directly.

  “Just open the gate for me,” Bordon said. “That’s all. You don’t have to talk to me. Just open the gate.”

  There was a note in Bordon’s voice that made Marlow’s stomach clench. He sounded desperate.

  “All I want to do is watch the game,” Bordon added. “I’ll pick a seat that isn’t near anyone. I won’t try to talk to them.”

  The gate controllers were silent, their eyes on the ground at their feet. One of them looked very young. His hands curled into fists against his legs. He didn’t move, otherwise.

  Marlow finally reached the edge of the crowd that had formed in an uneven semi-circle around the gate. Bordon stood in the middle of the clear area between the crowd and the gate. The two gate controllers stood shoulder to shoulder in front of him.

  “I don’t need a ticket,” Bordon added, speaking patiently, as if he was talking to children. Explaining things. “I’m entitled to watch the game. Just open the gate.”

  Marlow considered her options. The gate controllers couldn’t acknowledge Bordon. They had to pretend he was not there, just as everyone on the ship did. Bordon was the first person on the Endurance to be formally shunned. Everyone had been taught how to treat him.

  Marlow, though, had a wider latitude in dealing with the first shunned person in Endurance history and she realized with a sinking heart that she might have to do something in the next few minutes. Bordon, for whatever reason, had decided that tonight, he was going to make a stand.

  Perhaps, after five years of existing on a ship and in a city that didn’t speak to him or interact with him in any way at all, he had reached the limits of his tolerance. Perhaps the punishment he had shrugged off as irrelevant had become more of a burden than he had first supposed.

  Looking at him now, with his ragged clothing, bushy and unkempt hair and the light of desperation in his sad eyes, Marlow thought the punishment had indeed had the intended effect, even though many people had been skeptical about how effective simply ignoring a criminal would be. If they could see him now, Marlow suspected they would be more than satisfied at its efficacy.

  “Come on,” Bordon said, his voice cracking. Then he swallowed. “Please,” he added.

  The gate controllers held their ground. They could do nothing else.

  Bordon spun on his feet to face everyone else. It created another ripple of concern and movement, as everyone looked away from him. Many of them turned their backs, facing their friends instead.

  “You don’t understand!” Bordon cried. “I just want to watch! I want to listen, to hear people talk!”

  Marlow wasn’t close enough to confirm that the sparkling in his eyes was from tears. Her chest tightened anyway.

  She also swayed her weight onto her toes, ready to act. The tension around her was thick, like a drawn-out wire strumming with energy.

  “We don’t react unless he becomes physical,” she warned everyone in the squad, speaking very softly. The pick-up was highly sensitive and would channel her voice across the broadband. “Acknowledge.”

  Twelve acknowledgments came back. Thirteen, including Cantrell himself. She didn’t bother counting, because that was Cantrell’s job and he was good at it.

  “Oh, for pity’s sake!” someone cried, farther back in the crowd. It was a deep voice, rich with frustration and anger. “Let the poor sod in!”

  Movement drew her gaze. Another man, even taller than Bordon, was pushing his way through the crowd, which was murmuring in reaction. Marlow knew the face of the man. The name didn’t come to her immediately. “ID of second subject,” she snapped as the dark-haired man pushed his way out into the center of the cleared area where Bordon was turning, trying to look at everyone at once.

  Cantrell responded, his voice in her ear. “That’s Jonah Solomon.”

  Jonah Solomon. She knew who he was. She had read his
ravings on the Forum more than once and had always had to shake her head when she got to the end of the hyperbole and vitriol. Solomon was a trouble-maker of a different sort. One who used his tongue instead of his fists. However, trouble was trouble.

  “Tighten up,” Marlow ordered and stepped into the clear space herself. It would draw attention to her. Her uniform might help dampen the rising emotions on the concourse.

  Jonah Solomon pushed his way into the tight little semi-circle at the same time Marlow did. He stalked up to the gate controllers, who had no problem watching him, their eyes wide and wary. “Let the poor bugger in,” he demanded. “He’s not going to hurt anyone if he sits on the bottom row in the corner.”

  Behind Jonah Solomon, the crowd shifted uneasily. They didn’t like that.

  One of the gate controllers shifted. “We can’t,” he said, trying to keep his voice down.

  “Can’t you see the man is completely harmless?” Jonah said, his voice angry and loud. “Have a little human decency and open the damn gate.”

  A tiny corner of Marlow’s mind tended to agree with him. Bordon was a pathetic shell of himself. Only, that was the point, wasn’t it? Shunning was supposed to be punishment. If they took pity on him, then he wasn’t being punished. He had brought this on himself when he had tried to con people out of their possessions and homes. He had talked himself into a small fortune of other people’s belongings, so now he could not talk to anyone, ever again.

  This was his fault, yet Marlow felt as though everyone else standing on the concourse were the mean ones, right now, including herself.

  The law was the law. Wiser people than she had decided Bordon should be shunned. It was her job to make sure it happened.

  She moved closer to Jonah Solomon, who was standing in front of the guards where Bordon had been a few seconds ago. Solomon was taller. He was also considerably larger than Bordon’s wasted body. The long jacket he was wearing added to the width of his shoulders, almost completely masking the two young gate controllers.

 
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