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An Eorl of the Kingdom of Wessex, in desperate love with a woman doomed by the “coughing sickness”, Cynric grasps at the straw a visitor from the stars offers him. Use his prowess with a sword to recover a precious red gem and his love will be cured. He no sooner boards the strange ship than things begin to unravel for him. Instead of an honorable quest, the alien is a criminal, a pirate. Interstellar travel takes longer than he could have imagined. True to his oath to return for his Bridget, he returns home, only to find things have changed in the mean time. Steorrum is Old English for 'to the stars.' This is a short work of about 13000 words.