Karen is seeking the man responsible for the death of her sister. But one simple case of mistaken identity and a reckless decision suddenly sees her life in turmoil. She discovers that she is a stowaway on Larry’s spacecraft and her future is now irrevocably linked to his.
But Larry’s future looks bleak. He was an undercover agent for the Interstellar Exploration Programme, when he stumbled on a covert operation by Zilon, a ruthless member of the Galactic Union. He was framed by the Ziloni and became a fugitive from the Union. His only chance of finding evidence that will clear his name entails a near-suicidal invasion of a Ziloni military base. Karen has no choice but to accompany Larry on his mission, where she is thrown into the strange environment of the Union. Together they face the ultimate test as they battle with the collective might of the Ziloni and the Galactic Union.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This is my latest book and my first novel, a science fiction story. It is a story that I have had in mind for a long time. I had the idea I wanted to explore of what would happen if a woman from Earth accidentally encountered a human from another star system. I had certain elements that I wanted to include, but it took a long while, thinking about it in spare moments, to develop a full plot.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The key character was Karen, the woman from Earth who became entangled with a stranger from another star system. Her role required her to be a bit reckless, acting before thinking but courageous when in difficulties. The stranger was Larry, a man from a different star system, a member of the Galactic Union of advanced planets having interstellar travel, but effectively human due to parallel development. His job was covert study of less advanced planets, which is how he became involved with Karen. These two are very much the principal characters and much of the story is about the development of their relationship as they struggle to overcome their enemies. Most of the other characters are ‘bit parts’, except for Larry’s sister Gen and her husband (and Larry’s good friend) Ket, who help Larry before he becomes a fugitive fleeing to Earth, and again near the end when Larry and Karen return to the Union to complete their fight for justice.
As Larry sat peacefully, enjoying the ride out to the hyperspace boundary in his scout ship, a voice behind him shattered the silence.
“Hello, Grant. I bet you didn’t expect to meet me again.”
He leapt up and spun round. It was the girl he had seen earlier in his favorite bar, now sitting in his rear seat and pointing a gun at his head.
Her face was expressionless as she spoke again. “I’m going to make you pay for what you did to Rachel. I know you’re responsible for what happened.”
How in the name of the seven saints had she managed to get aboard his ship, why was she mightily pissed off, and why did she seem to think his name was Grant? The last time he had seen this strange girl, he had been intrigued by the wig she wore. He had perhaps stared too obviously, because she had glared at him before abruptly walking out of the bar. He had never expected to see her again.
Before he could frame a suitable reply to her, a siren on the control console blared.
His world turned upside down for the second time. One glance at the viewscreen told him the worst. A ship was bearing down on him on an interception course, its ident declaring it to be a Galactic Union Enforcement vessel. Shit, he was in deep trouble.
Larry made a rapid decision. The girl wasn’t likely to shoot him straight away. She seemed to be looking for a confrontation first. But if that ship got a tractor on him, he was finished. He’d have seen it seconds earlier but for the distraction of the damned girl.
“Hey, asshole, I’m not finished with you. Listen –”
How could this be happening to him? It was like a nightmare. And the stupid Earth girl who was distracting him hadn’t the faintest concept of what was going on. “Lady, shut up and let me concentrate, or we’ll both be in deep shit.”
He slammed the stick hard left and back. The ship’s gravity compensator whined as it struggled to cope with the rapid changes of direction, and the slight lag made him clutch the top of the instrument panel to avoid being thrown about. He was vaguely aware of clattering behind him as the girl was thrown off balance by the same uncompensated forces.
His maneuver put some distance between him and the pursuer. The girl shouted something else. Forget about her, she probably wouldn’t kill him, but he had to keep that other ship out of tractor range.
Larry rammed the control stick forward, to maximum thrust. There was more scrabbling behind as the violent maneuver unbalanced the girl again. He dared not look at her yet. Once she had got his attention, she wouldn’t put up with him ignoring her a second time.
He wouldn’t be able to outrun the Enforcer, but he should be able to keep out of its clutches long enough to reach the boundary, if he didn’t make a slip and let it get too close.
He checked the hyperspace unit. It had a suitable random jump programmed in. Everything was set for the jump. He just needed the active light to change from red to blue.
The wait to reach the boundary was less than a minute, but it seemed far longer. The girl was frantic now, screaming at him and punching him on the head and shoulders. He ignored the blows as he jinked the controls in a series of violent twists and turns. It had the advantage of throwing the girl off balance. Heaven knows what it was doing to the gravity compensator, but he had to risk it. He couldn’t let the Union vessel take him.
Soon the hyperspace active light turned blue, and thankfully he punched for the hyperspace jump to safety. The Union ship couldn’t track him through the hyperspace jump.
Outside the canopy there was an abrupt rearrangement of the stars, and he felt the familiar momentary tearing sensation of the jump. It silenced the girl behind him for a few moments. Larry took the opportunity to turn to face her. He eased up out of his seat as he did so and raised his hands to shoulder height, palms outward, in a token show of surrender.
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