The Knight of Chains, the Deuce of Stars
The tower is a black spire upon a world whose only sun is a million starships wrecked into a mass grave. Light the color of fossils burns from the ships, and at certain hours, the sun casts shadows that mutter the names of vanquished cities and vanished civilizations. It is said that when the tower’s sun finally darkens, the universe’s clocks will stop.
A tactician with a promise to keep, a warden who guards the universe’s games, and a game of linguistics.
Inspired by a quote from Big Bang Theory S6 involving—what else—games. Thanks to Joseph Betzwieser, Peter Berman, Daedala, dormouse_in_tea, and Yune Kyung Lee.
Reprinted in Prime Books’ Space Opera, ed. Rich Horton and Warrior Women, ed. Paula Guran.