Sebastian Nathanial Hayn

Soldier | Loss | Self-conscious | Way too tall | Discipline | Quiet | Violence has its time and its place and that time and place is probably now | Protector

Sebastian lived a soldier’s life until the Earther-military was done with him. He is self-conscious of the scars that gave him, yet bears them openly for what they are; lessons written on his skin.

The Vickers took him after he intervened in a fight that would have otherwise cost V his life. Instead, all he lost was an eye. And what he gained was a lover, turned friend for life.

To this day, Sebastian still calls him his Power Bottom.

He was with the Vickers when Horizon’s Crown fell to the Quarantine, and while Varrett took the path of independence, Sebastian joined the Castle Guard. He serves as a Marshal Captain. A detective, really. And he’s very good at it.

You can meet him in Aphelion, my Cyberpunk-lite, soul magic, and zombie apocalypse web serial.

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Collin Hop

Lanky Genius | Large dreams, wings clipped | Fashion Disaster | Kind | Scared | Too many crushes to count

Collin is half Aestling, half Earther-Asien and he’s never figured out where he belongs.

He’s fallen a long way from neuroscience studies to running a NetSage clinic at the back of a bar run by his uncle. There, he gets high, dreams of all the crushes in his life, and tries hard not to think about how he is just one dose of Shimmer away from being kicked out of the Castle and left to turn into a soulless monster.

He’s terrified 99% of the time, and yet he smiles through most of it, and he’ll always let you have the last drag. But if you ask him to step foot out of the Castle, ever, he will put salt into your coffee and hide all your socks (and run crying to Varrett, who’ll probably punch you in the face for making Collin cry).

You can meet him in Aphelion, my Cyberpunk-lite, soul magic, and zombie apocalypse web serial.

Collin Hop
Character Sheet by Nikos
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APHELION: CHAPTER 5 & 6

We close Episode one with Varrett lamenting how he’s the one who always gets to do the heavy lifting in a relationship.

“Fine.” Varrett got his madly spinning head down to turn the Caster over onto her stomach. “See this?” he complained, slid his arms under her shoulders, and pulled her against his chest. She was heavier than he’d anticipated, what with how she’d barely reached up to his chin when she’d thrown herself at him earlier. Not quite heavy enough for his knees to file a restraining order as he got up, but enough to make him go hmmm as her dead-to-the-world weight hung off his front like one of those boneless couches he’d been pondering this morning.

This is why we broke up,” he continued and draped one of her arms around his neck so he could heft her up on his shoulders in a passable carry. “We go on a date, who gets saddled with the work?”

Seb snorted, turned around, and headed for the door.

“Me,” Varrett said. He stomped after him. “That’s who. Cooking? Me. Go on an assignment?” He turned his chin to look at her head rolling against his shoulder. “Wanna take a guess?” A pause. “Mmhm. That’s right. Me,” he said while carefully navigating through the door without clipping the frame with her head. “And you?” he added quietly, addressing the unconscious Caster. “You are going to bleed all over my backseat, aren’t you?”

Her head kind of wobbled, which— if he squinted —passed for a nod.

“Awesome.”

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This finalizes Episode One! I’ve got two more chapters of Episode Two to write before I start posting it, so, for a while, Aphelion’s updates will consist of worldbuilding nuggets and art. To anyone on here who picked up reading it so far though? Thank you.

APHELION: Chapter 4, Desperate Measures

A free web serial; Cyberpunk-lite, Zombie Apocalypse included, and Soul Magic to tie it all together.

There’s laughter.

It has sharp edges and it rattles with glee; like a belly fashioned from metal that shakes and booms and clanks. Sophya stands surrounded by it, her eyes fixed on her hands. They’re trembling. A steel grey ring sits on one of her fingers, its wide band etched with delicate fawn antler patterns. Her chest tightens. She knows the ring; knows when she’s last worn it.

But this isn’t right— is she dreaming?

That can’t be. Sophya doesn’t dream. Hasn’t ever and would never.

When she looks up, there’s Krisi. A long-fled home surrounds them, the memory of it washed out like a painting soaked in water. Krisi walks a step or two ahead.

Sophya hurries after her. She doesn’t want to, would prefer to turn around and walk the other way, because she knows what’ll happen when she reaches her; she’ll grab for Krisi’s slender shoulder and Krisi will pull away. That’s how it always went. That’s how it would always go.

No, she’s not dreaming. She’s fashioned her own Hell and starred herself in its opening act.

She grabs for her sister. And catches only air.

“Krisi, please,” she hears herself plead. “It’s not what you— we didn’t— I’m not—“

Gods, she doesn’t want to be here. She doesn’t want to see any of it, not ever again, and she’s certainly not okay with how she feels it all so vividly, how her heart drums in her ears and her throat constricts like she slipped a noose around it.

When Krisi spins around, her eyes are puffy and red and filled with rage and grief.

“You’re defending it!” Krisi shrieks. It’s not a question. It’s an accusation. “You’re defending it and they’re dead!

The noose tightens and Sophya can barely breathe. Her lungs scream. Her eyes feel as if someone threw a handful of salt into them. There’s no steady footing under her — the world is upside down but she’s not falling.

She should be falling. She wants to. Anything would be better than being here.

“She had nothing—“

Krisi slaps her. It’s a quick, sharp blow, one right across the cheek. Her head whips to the side. Blood wells in her mouth. For a moment, Sophya stares at the wall. When her eyes find Krisi again, her sister has composed herself. She stands very straight, her spine stiff, her shoulders back. Her chin is up and her eyes hold a subtle glow; she’s made a call.

Her lips move.

Sophya knows what she’s saying, word by word. She hears it so, so, so often and it never changes. Always ends the same.

“… there’s a NetPagan in my house …”

There’s laughter?


She can’t breathe.

・・・ ”SNAP OUT OF IT!

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Sophya Soulwright

Imagination | Anxiety | Don’t see me | SIN | Secrets and Lies | Sarcastic Bean | Odd | Isolation | Avoidant Attachment | Shy | I’m trying, I swear

Sophya is a Cad’his; a soultrickster. Technology whispers to her. Souls call for her. Surprising absolutely no one, she wants nothing to do with any of it. 

I’m delighted to figure out what she finds in Horizon’s Crown and if she’ll come to terms with what (and who) she is. And if you’re curious, then you can read about her journey in Aphelion, a slowly unfolding cyberpunk-lite zombie apocalypse novel with a heavy helping of romance and a dash of sassy soul cat.

Aphelion: Chapter 3, Urban Decay

In which Varrett considers therapy and has a very profound epiphany about bean bags; and we learn what the life of a Runner in Horizon’s Crown looks like.

Preview:

Varrett hauled his reluctant ass out of bed. 05:02 his bedside clock said with an obnoxious neon-orange flash of light and a quiet buzz. He swatted for it — and much like every other morning, the stupid clock dodged him. All while being perfectly immobile.

Oh, how he’d have liked to be immobile too; stay flat on his back in his room and let Horizon’s Crown do its thing out there without him for a day or two. Yep, of course he had a room. Nothing near as spacious as Naemie’s bedroom (which he’d totally been in before), but big enough for a low bed with a reasonably comfortable mattress, a desk of the orderly, yet cluttered variety, a dresser with the drawers never closed, a standing mirror in a corner, and enough floor space left to allow for one Varrett-sized klutz getting laid out face first.

Because sitting up had been one thing. Blearily rubbing at his face and forgetting he’d dropped his pants next to it? That was a different story altogether. One that ended with his feet tangled up and the floor saying Hi by smacking him in the chin.

“This is going to be an amazing day,” he mumbled into the dusty carpet and wondered if, maybe, just maybe, he should have stayed in bed.

But then who’d earn all the credits he’d thrown at Clive yesterday?

Ten minutes later, and he’d herded together his work gear, slapped it on, and was busy latching his vest shut while he sifted through a handful of messages that’d come in overnight. They scrolled by at the edge of his vision: two repair offers for the water boiler, a garage bill with a countdown crawling towards zero at the bottom of the message, three variations of Hey, V, would you mind [insert errand here], and one from Naemie with a— woah, hello —attachment. Plus a bunch of spam. Because where would civilization be if no one tried to sell you snake oil cures for the known universe’s most terrifying virus or add another inch or so to your dick?

It’d be— once and for all —over.

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Exploring Horizon’s Crown as I write it is so much fun. There is a lot to see and not enough words that fit into one chapter. Though what’s even better? Exploring it with Varrett. He has got just the right amount of fucks to give and his optimism helps me through the grimmer places.

I’ve also got to say I am really enjoying Campfire. It helps me keep my own facts straight and I’ve reached a point in Aphelion where that’s beginning to be really important.