- Publisher: Spiral Publishing, Ltd.
- Available in: ebook, Paperback, Hardcover, Large Print
- ISBN: 978-1-948890-57-1
- Published: July 15, 2020
A Dispatches from the Galaxy Collection
A generation ship with an impossible problem.
A food supply planet at risk of starvation.
A faster-than-light space communication network in danger of collapse.
Join Kari Kilgore on a trio of exciting Space Opera novella adventures!
In the middle of disaster, impossible strikes
Sue Warrell, Systems and Security Chief aboard Expedition Mission Bellagos, fought long and hard for a one-way trip.
Protecting the lives of over eight thousand people and the generation ship they call home.
As a failed systems update tests Sue and her team to their limits, a crew member’s disappearance pushes disaster into the impossible.
Can Sue solve the mystery before the Bellagos passes the breaking point?
An exciting race against time and technology!
Earth Wars veteran Jim Turhan loves his quiet life on supply planet Mossera 4, teaching young cadets the art and science of xeno-farming.
Pollinator drones never sting or bite. They simply do their jobs.
Then crops all over Mossera 4 begin to fail.
Will Jim discover the cause before starvation, or worse, turns his dream life into a nightmare?
Bitan, the most valuable substance in the human universe, makes communication across vast distances possible.
Bitan only comes from one planet.
And that planet has a problem.
The TransGalactic Corporation sends Luis Ahmad on a desperate mission to help the human colony on Bitanthra.
Can Luis save the colony and stop the collapse of communications throughout the galaxy?
Excerpts from Dispatches from the Galaxy:
A Deep Space Disappearance
Evans took a deep breath. “Senior Tech McHugh is missing.”
“What do you mean, missing? In case you’ve forgotten, this is a deep space vessel, Evans. No one can get in or out.”
“I understand, ma’am. I made sure to investigate before I brought this to you. Just like you taught us.”
“I also taught you about the geo-sensor, didn’t I?” Sue tapped the tiny bump hidden in the hair above her right ear. “Mr. McHugh is an experienced member of our crew. He would not simply disappear, even if he could.”
“Yes, ma’am, the tracking screen was the first thing I checked. Pull it up if you could, please, and we’ll make sure.”
Sue’s eyes darted to the crew count, and her whole body flashed hot, then cold and clammy.
“Eight thousand seven hundred fifty-three,” she whispered. “That can’t be right. Even if he were dead…”
She switched over to the specific report on McHugh, and a deeper chill ran through her.
The yellow of Invalid flashed behind his name.
Not the normal green that every single other person showed, or the sad black of the deceased that Sue hadn’t yet had to deal with on Bellagos.
Not one other person showed that impossible status.
Maerlis leaned forward, holding the comm in her lap. “I know we’re a fresh food outpost, so I hate to ask. What happens to our supplies in that time?”
“Considering that the freighters won’t bring a damn thing with them?” Jim said. “Besides what little we can’t grow here. Even if we warn them, they won’t likely be able to detour to another supply planet.”
“There aren’t any other ones close by.” Rob’s face was as pale as it had been flushed.
“Not that they could re-route to.” Jim scrubbed his face. His brain didn’t want to see the answer, much less say it out loud. “We won’t actually starve to death. At least I don’t think so. You’ll know the nutritional deficiencies we’ll run into better than I do, Maerlis, with a year or more before we get a good harvest. But we’ll have a planet full of miserable cadets and furious miners on our hands.”
Jim kept his true worries, and his memories, to himself. He’d seen people as rough and hardened as the miners on a desolate planet. At the end of the last wars on Earth.
He knew how more shortages and hardships they weren’t prepared for could turn a difficult situation into a nasty one.
“We don’t know what’s going on,” Luis said, “but I don’t think it’s trauma. I see no signs of disease. With the way it only affects some people in a family, I don’t believe this is contagious at all. Mind if I ask you a question?”
Both Bitanthrans shook their heads.
“What do you think is going on? What do people who live here, who’ve been watching this happen for years, think?”
Willis drew in a slow breath, and Luis saw tears standing in his eyes.
“Some of us are afraid it’s poison, something to do with Bitan. It seems to be getting worse over time. Like we’ve been exposed too much, and we’re passing it along to our children.”
“Well, I can’t rule anything out yet since we just got started. But your medical center here has tested for everything we know of, and off-world facilities have too. Nothing seems out of line with your bodies. Nothing seems to accumulate or get depleted over time.”
“Except our kids’ feelings,” Myrtle said. She didn’t look sad like Willis. She looked furious. “That’s depleting, more and more every year.”