News from the Cloak, April '17

Hello all and welcome to the April 2017 Edition of our newsletter. We hope that you will enjoy what we have to offer this month and share with your friends.

New Author Joins Our Team

Andrew Sweetapple is joining us here at Cloaked Press, he will be bringing you his flash fiction, "Nights on the Edge". Andrew is a writer from Long Island
who hopes to one day turn his hobby into a career. Based on what we have read, we feel he will go far.
You can find him on Twitter HERE .

Before we get to his story, lets get our winner for our Amazon gift card out of the way. This month's winner of the $5.00 Amazon gift card is, Bridgette Erskine. Bridgette, if you don't see the email from Amazon sometime today, please email to let us know.

One last thing before we get to the story of the month. If you like what you read and would like to support our efforts here at Cloaked Press to bring you great stories, you can join us on Patreon. For the cost of a cheap latte, you can help us pay our authors more, as well as get unique prizes for yourself, such as: increased entries into our monthly giveaway, advance copies of our books, and special giveaways from our authors.

"Nights on the Edge" will feature journal entries and short flash fiction accounts from the residents of Red Rock, a lawless, Old West style town on the planet Ignis. Ignis is a mostly desert planet on the fringes of the Milky Way Galaxy. Join us as we meet the residents and get to know what life is like on the Edge.

                                                                                                Nights on the Edge 01
                The edge of the galaxy, as far as humanity is concerned it might as well be the edge of the universe. We don’t have the technology or enough intelligent people crazy enough to try and leap over to the next galaxy. It’s taken nearly six hundred years to get this far and there’s still so much that we haven’t explored. Hell, we as the human race haven’t even really touched upon one percent of the available rocks in the Milky Way. Hundreds of thousands of untapped worlds, waiting to be explored. Funnily enough, humanity never found highly intelligent alien life so we could tell them we come in peace for the laughs. Probably not though, given our history. All we found were strange animals and bacteria that adapted to their own ecological systems. Not for lack of trying. I imagine there were many explorers over the centuries who were disappointed when there were no green women to seduce.
                Systems right next to the Big Empty are not thought about all that much. There really isn’t much to think about, even for the people that live here. A few colonies established by scientific research organizations, people not wanting to live under the thumb of the Central Government and mining companies. Sure, there’s a ton of different kinds of planets ranging from barren desert rocks to lush, full jungle worlds but we’re just so far out of the way people just don’t bother or forget. A couple light years away, you could live on a more established world. Places where there are more people, cities to explore and half-decent food. Nicer areas where you can build a stable life, get married, have a bunch of kids and die old and happy. Those worlds you don’t have to watch your back. Where the law is more established and less likely to be questioned.
                 X41-A, circling the star K24-H, less than a light year away from the Big Empty. That’s the designation that the rock was assigned when it was discovered years ago. You won’t find anybody but government bureaucrats calling it that though. Those that actually live here just call it Ignis, based on some old language way back on Earth but there’s no further data available. It’s a hot planet, about sixty percent deserts, twenty percent forests and twenty percent water. In total, there’s probably a few million people living on this planet in mining projects, outland communities and research stations like our own. Again, due to lack of a proper census done in the past twenty years, it could be more or less by a huge factor. Still, even with that variable that makes Ignis one of the most populated planets near the Big Empty, at least within twenty light years.
                Ignis is definitely a dangerous place. As mentioned before, the law is not exactly respected everywhere on this planet. There aren’t enough resources available to the planetary government to maintain the entire planet, just a few of the larger and more populated segments. That still leaves roughly one-hundred and sixty square miles of land free from the dangers of stability and reliable healthcare. Out here, you’ve got to watch out for yourself and those you care about. Sure, there’s government law patrols that pass through once in a blue moon but that’s not nearly enough. The only thing that most of us can rely on is community designated lawmen.
                Well, to say ‘lawmen’ is a bit inaccurate. There are many women who take on these roles as well from what I’ve seen. But lawmen just rolls off the tongue better than ‘lawpeople’ or ‘lawperson’ so I’m just going to keep calling them lawmen. There’s usually a handful of them per several hundred, not exactly a force to be reckoned with but it’s better than nothing. Some are people who are doing it because they can shoot straight and read. Others though, they’re professionals. Former soldiers of the Central Galactic Government and mercenaries looking to get into less dangerous work are the ones you want on your side. These are the people with actual training with weapons, tactics and could probably break your legs by looking at you hard enough. The kind that are able to actually make the respect of the law an actual thing out here in this wild wasteland. One of those kinds of people maintains order not too far from here, in a fairly sizeable mining town called Red Rock.
                A few of us here at the station are heading out there tonight. There’s supposed to be a pretty good synth-sitar player who is passing through and playing at one of the local bars. Figured the team could use a bit of rest and relaxation. As long as we stick together, stay in brightly lit areas and pay our bill, we should be fine. Still, why take any chances? On our last excursion to the town when there was a caravan market passing through, I picked up a little insurance. It’s a small laser pistol holdout, only about three inches long and it fits right up the sleeve of my jacket. If things get bad and we need a way to protect ourselves, I’ve got at least something. Can’t be too safe in this day and age. Hopefully things won’t get too rowdy. We’ve got a long day ahead of ourselves tomorrow. Bacteria doesn’t scan itself!
                                                                                                                                                    -From the journal of Doctor Julius Myerson, Head Researcher at Station BI-0 on Ignis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     19th of Mire, local calendar, 2617