My new book, ‘Pirate’, the sixth volume in the Aurigan Space Saga, is now available. Although Pirate is set in the same star system as my other books, it can be read entirely as a stand-alone story.
“Undercover agent Liam Connell stared at his captor. He looked like a pirate from a holovid— black trousers, a white, puffy-sleeved shirt, and a purple sash wrapped jauntily around his waist. Wavy black hair fell to his shoulders and … Connell couldn’t believe it. He actually had gold hoops hanging from his ears. The pirate ran his forefinger lightly down Connell’s cheek and smiled. “Mmm! Mmmm! What do we have here?”
Just what had Connell gotten himself into? (M/M Romantic Sci-Fi) ”
The space drive died between one heartbeat and the next, not even a cough or a death rattle to warn him. One moment they were on a slow but steady course to Aykut, the newly completed station above Isis, to take on much needed supplies, and the next they were simply drifting in open space.
Captain Nicholas Mars stared at the control panel in disbelief.
The engineer on Bast had sworn faithfully that he had fixed the problem, but evidently not well enough to keep the Megan flying for more than another week. If they got out of this he was going to go back and smear the man’s face over the wall of his repair hangar. True, the Megan was over thirty years old, but Mars had kept her going with careful handling and repairs that should have kept her spaceworthy for another five years at least. He frowned as he remembered the engineer had initially said something about needing a new space drive. He backtracked hastily though, when he realised the cost was way beyond Mars’ reach and instead offered guaranteed repairs, expensive certainly, but nothing like the cost of a new drive.
So here they were—Mars and his crew—drifting aimlessly in space, hundreds of thousands of kays from the nearest port.
And that was possibly not the worst of the bad news. Mars cast a fulminating eye over the display screen which continued to tell him that they were getting closer to the asteroid belt they had been skirting for the last hour. Even at their current, slow speed, with no ability to manoeuvre it would only be a matter of time before they crashed into a large rock. Not the way he wanted to end his career.
It would be humiliating, but he could see no way out. He’d have to call for help.
He was just reluctantly reaching toward the console unit, which was still operating, fortunately, when a message flashed across the screen.
“Attention. This is the Patrol ship Ebano. Are you in need of assistance? Over.”
Mars hesitated for a moment before replying. What were the chances of another vessel being out here at the same time, let alone a Patrol ship? How could he be certain the vessel really was a Patrol ship? This was a largely uncharted area of space and he knew that pirates were a real and present risk for travellers. Still, what choice did he have?
“This is the Megan,” he replied. “We have a mechanical problem and would be grateful for your assistance, Ebano. Over.” Better not tell the other ship they were completely helpless, just in case.
The Ebano appeared on the display screen, a beautiful sleek craft made of sheer black metal that looked to be the latest model out of the workshops on Capella. Mars stared hungrily at it. Now that was a ship! It didn’t look like a regular Patrol vessel—perhaps he should take precautions. He gestured silently to his second in command. There was no need to give orders—Nowak knew what he had to do.
Mars kept in contact with the pilot of the other ship, relaying instructions to the crewmen at the docking bay. He felt a slight jolt as the Ebano docked and only a few minutes later, he heard strangers’ voices over the com unit.
“This way, sirs,” Nowak’s deep voice was easily identifiable. “I’ll take you to Captain Mars in the control room. Would it be possible for our medics to visit your ship’s infirmary while we sort this out? We are short on a few supplies.”
Quickly Mars brought up the visual. He saw the tall young man from the Ebano glance at the medic’s uniformed figure, hovering hopefully behind Nowak. A lad who scarcely looked old enough to be a crewman, was with him.
“I’m Medic Andrews, sir, and this is my assistant, Torin. I’d really appreciate a chance to stock up with some more anti-viral medicines.”
“Of course,” agreed the crewman, politely. He turned to one of the two men at his shoulder. “Saito? Escort the medics please, to the infirmary.”
Saito disappeared back into his ship, accompanied by Andrews and his assistant, while Nowak led the two remaining Ebano men out of the docking bay toward the control room.
The pirates attacked first, without warning.
One moment everyone was engaged in polite conversation as they walked along; the next, the ship’s passageways were filling with knockout gas. There was no chance to sound an alarm. The Patrol man barely had time to register that his companions were suddenly wearing masks before he fell unconscious to the floor. Other men wearing masks streamed in through the open hatch and swept through the ship, efficiently checking each room and disarming any man not fully overtaken by the gas. In less than half an hour, the Patrol men were all securely placed in the Megan’s hold, deprived of wristcoms and weapons which had all been transferred to the Ebano.