"The distance is nothing when one has motive."
And from the moment Lib Bennet sets eyes on the darkly handsome Master Darcy, heir to the dangerous and powerful Pemberley trading cartel, she’s almost irrationally certain that whoever that wife’s going to be, it won’t be her.
Heiress-presumptive to a deep space trading family fallen on hard times, Lib is steering an uncertain course among the stresses incumbent on a free trader’s life: a weary father saddled with his own father’s debts and an entailed ship in which his family can’t rest secure, a foolish mother mostly living in a glorious past that was never really that glorious, and a covey of sisters proving difficult to marry into trading families suitable to their station. Libby pushes down her own feelings about the uncertainty of her own fate. She’d be glad enough to die a spinster captain, free to trade where she pleases until she’s too old to feel the subspace currents on her skin.
But the endless politicking and shifting power-balances among the great families will never allow her that leisure. At the frequent balls and gatherings of the sector’s trading houses, Lib knows she’s mostly a symbol for a potential corporate acquisition… and she herself just another asset. All her intention is bent on making sure that the family ship Longbourn is at least treated with due respect when it’s inevitably swallowed up into some more vital cartel.
And as for acquiring anything for herself beyond the respect her pride requires, Libby’s too much a pragmatist to have any real hopes. Expecting love as well as partnership in her life is nothing more than a girl’s sweet but unrealistic dream. Lib concentrates on keeping her head amidst the glittering blandishments of the Great Houses idly jockeying for the Bennets’ attention, and on keeping her heart well out of play.
Until fate takes a hand…
Pride and Prejudice and Starships is the first among a number of serial fiction projects by Diane Duane that will be housed at FicFoundry.com when it opens in Q2/3 of 2021. Early chapters will be accessible to all. Later chapters will be available by subscription only. When it becomes available, check the project page at The Fic Foundry for more details.
(Please note that the former PPS website has been closed down and its contents moved to their own section at FicFoundry.com, where they will be available when the site opens. If you are a former PPS registered user, please check your email box(es) for an informational mail sent to you on May 14, 2020, containing further details. Thank you!)