Back in late August, I began a space opera called Eloisia as an anniversary gift for my husband. Lo and behold, quite a few people liked it, so I wrote Episode Two, Secrets in late September, and Episode Three, Sabotage in early November. This week, I’m giving away Episode One. With that in mind, I thought I’d give you a taste of what you can download free.
Earth is gone. Colonel James Striker, space marine and captain of the Intergalactic Peace Council’s Explorer class ship, Eloisia, must find a new planet for the six hundred people aboard his vessel. Sounds easy enough. The coordinates are plotted, and he and the ship’s crew and passengers go into cryogenic sleep for the duration of the thousand-month trip—but something goes wrong.
When Striker awakes, the ship’s computer has malfunctioned. The vessel is racing through space, and he and those in his care are lost in time and place. One third of the passengers and crew are dead, their cryo units damaged and more than half the ship, including Engineering, is without atmosphere. Chief Engineer Mags Magregor works to repair Alpha, the advanced android computer running the ship. The sooner they can figure out where they are, the better.
Episode One: Stowaway
Marines searching the cargo bays discover two stowaways. Darla Edison doesn’t understand how she came to be aboard the Eloisia, but the camoid telepath will do whatever it takes to protect herself and Patrick … And if that means exposing her talent to others, so be it.
I hope you’ll enjoy it!
This week’s tease.
“Got a minute?” Mags asked.
“For you, Mags, I’ve got all the time in the universe. What’s up?”
“I’ve finished examining the ship. A number of subroutines were embedded in Alpha’s computers, but most of them failed to activate because of redundant code specifically designed to prevent sabotage. Our air supply, food replicators, and regenerators are fine, but the fuel cells are at fifty percent, and the extra cells we had on board are gone. It looks like they were jettisoned into space.”
She fisted her hands at her side, her anger and frustration palpable. Her short, red hair, spiked along the top of her head, gave the illusion of fire, and her freckles stood out against her pale skin, disappearing into the apple-red staining her cheeks. Tall and lean, she reminded him of some Celtic warrior queen from mythology.
“The damn things were there the day before I went into that frigging tube.”
He nodded. It could be worse. “So what does that mean in terms of this ship and our chances of survival?” He had a rough idea, but she’d be able to give him the specifics just as well as a fully functional Alpha could.
“We should be okay for some time provided we stay at our current speed or less, and you don’t wake up too many more of the passengers, although when you do, there’ll be fewer of them than you expected. I recommend waking Dr. Frye, the astronomer. She could help Cruz map where we are. Alpha’s external sensors are all online now, but none of our star maps, including those we had of the Eden Galaxy, match anything within a thousand parsecs. I know Alpha’s frustrated since she can’t get into her body and help us, but I haven’t found it yet. I’m going to try and put something together from the spare parts we have aboard, but it won’t be anything like what she had. Once she’s got hands, she’ll be able to help.”
“Do the best you can. Check the passenger manifest. I’m certain there has to be a robotics expert in the science contingent. Wake him or her to help.” He pursed his lips, wished he could indulge in another java, and sighed. “From your comment about the passengers, I assume the medical team has finished checking the rest of the passenger cryotubes.”
She nodded, and Striker waited for the bad news.
“He has. I spoke to Clint before coming to see you. I’m supposed to remind you to show up in Sick Bay for your physical.”
“Right. Like I’ve got time for that now. What’s the damage?”
“We’ve lost 230 people, including six from the science team.”
Striker swallowed the emotions threatening to overwhelm him. Since the Eloisia was an ark, everyone aboard had been selected for a reason. Some for their abilities, others for their talents. There were artists, craftsmen, farmers, technicians—every race and occupation needed to successfully keep humanity alive. Losing even one, was a heavy blow, but losing a full third was a disaster.
Now, please drop over and visit the rest of this week’s teasers: