Arla Lightrider is the newest captain of the Profit and Luck, her late father's aether tradeship. She plans to follow in his footsteps, shuttling cargo through the tradelanes as a member of the Galactic Merchants Compact.
Though her work is complicated by the new Imperium government's crackdown on the Compact's unregulated free traders, she thinks she can handle anything the stars throw at her. But when a strange alien offers to pay her handsomely for transport to a fringe world, she becomes caught in a conspiracy that could shake the foundations of the new galactic order.
For her passenger carries something the Imperium desperately wants; something it is willing to kill to possess or destroy. And, Arla soon learns, despite the new government's brutal consolidation of power, there are still pockets of resistance alive throughout the galaxy.
Not everyone is content to live under the heel of the Aether Imperium.
Under the Heel of the Aether Imperium is a 12,000 word steampunk space opera novella.