By H. Jason Schulz
Copyright © 2010 H. Jason Schulz
All Rights Reserved
Duke Lance Stalwart is a pirate, but a noble one, if you can imagine such a thing. He has the fastest ship in the galaxy and a crew of 15 loyal men and one robot. The ship is called the Silver Dagger because it's made of a shiny silver metal and has Lance's royal insignia emblazon onto the sides. Lance's insignia is that of an upturned dagger. The ship was originally built as a pleasure yacht but after the start of the great war it was outfitted with experimental blue streak engines and Murcian Navy armaments. It is the one ship that is feared by both the merchant ships and the Royal Navy of the Murcian Empire because of its uncanny ability to isolate and plunder the heavy laden treasure ships of the Murcian Empire and then disappear without a trace.
The Murcian Empire is ruled from Murcia, which a short time ago had been the main peace keeping force in the galaxy. The Murcians are devoted to a queen and follow her unquestioningly. That is until recently when a few of the Dukes who rebelled at the Queen's declaration of war on the whole galaxy. Lance was one of these Dukes that stood against the Queen. He had first openly voiced his opposition when the Queen took a new military adviser, Duke Harrence. It had been this Duke who had started a war in the eastern side of the galaxy and was steadily conquering more and more systems as it slowly spread westward. Many Murcians could not understand the reason for the change from peace keeping to outright war, but did not dare question the Queen’s orders. The other Dukes of the royal families were either too frightened to rebel and so they followed suit with Duke Herrance or like Lance Stalwart had disappeared.