PREVIEW OF THE BLACK LOBSTER

READERSHIP IS DOWN SO I’M PASSING IT AROUND

TAKE A GANDER AT MY NOVEL TO BLOG SERIES

CATCH UP WITH THE BLACK LOBSTER

OLD PORT, MAINE

LOCAL TAVERN ALONG THE WARF

“Shark Frenzy,” The lady with the THICK Russian accent said as she slammed down her third Black Russian shot. I was working on my own, a White Russian shot though I had lost count some time ago. “Black man, White Russian, White girl, Black Russian,” She wailed a hardy belly laugh. The bartender handed her another shot glass full and it never made it to the bar top.

The guy looked at me, “You paying?” and I gave him the okay. He hesitated so I pulled out a hundred-dollar bill and put it on the bar. He made her another drink.

“You think you’re going to get lucky, tonight don’t you?” She said guzzling the drink down again.

“Not really. I’ve already been lucky once this year.”

“Why do I do what I do you ask?”

“What do you do?”

“I’m an Escort, a prostitute,” She didn’t wait for me to respond. “The money? Oh, it’s a great career choice, I go out there and service 10, 15, 20, 30 middle-aged, greasy, hairy white men every night only to have the privilege of turning the money over to my pimp.” She finally sat down on her stool.

We both downed our drinks. I was starting to feel it. “You like tattoos? I have a special one, it’s hypnotic.” She turned her back to me and pulled up her shirt. Her back was covered by a very strange tattoo that seemed to move and change shape as I looked. I personally hate tattoos but suddenly hers was beginning to look better and better. She staggered to her feet. “I’m ready, take me home now.”

Just my luck a drunk off the wall Russian call girl with a quivering tattoo. I’d be crazy to mess with her. Good thing I already got lucky this year.

All at once a brute of a man slammed through the door rushed over and slapped her across the face. “BITCH.”

I moved quickly in-between them grabbing the man by the collar and slapping him across his. “Don’t you know that hurts?” The guy went to punch me, but I blocked it and body slammed him into the bar. He groggily said something in Russian then he passed out.

A lovely lady who was watching from the end of the bar, all smiles walked up to me. “Wow, it’s not every day that you get rescued by the famous BLACK LOBSTER!”

NEW STAR HORIZON (ENCORE)

IN ORBIT AROUND ALNIHAM ORION 4 ONBOARD THE HORIZON

TRANSMISSION FROM THE NEW STAR HORIZON

TO SPACE STATION AT ALPHA CENTAURI

TRANSMISSION AS FOLLOWS

THE HORIZON NEW STAR CLASS HAS FIRED ITS THRUSTERS AND SLOWED INTO ORBIT AROUND THE FOURTH OF SEVEN PLANETS OF THE BLUE SUPERGIANT STAR ALNILAM OF THE CONSTELLATION ORION

THE PLANET IS DESIGNATED ALNIHAM ORION 4

MISSION OBJECTIVE

HORIZON’S PRIMARY MISSION IS COVERT SURVEY OF THE PLANET AND RETURN TO ALPHA-CENTURI WITH THAT INFORMATION NOT TO ENGAGE ANYONE UNLESS THE CREW OR THE COLONISTS ARE THREATHENED

MISSION BASIS

30 YEARS AGO, THAT THE ‘ORION EXPEDITION’ TO THE 4TH PLANET NEVER EMERGED FROM THE WORMHOLE AND THAT EVERY ONE OF THE 40 SHIPS CARRYING THE COLONIST WAS LOST IN SPACE. TWO YEARS AGO, A SIGNAL WAS RECEIVED FROM THE PLANET ALNIHAM ORION 4

MISSION STATUS:

THE SHIP ACCOMMODATION OF 40 ONBOARD THE ENTIRE CREW IN STASIS CHAMBER UNITS DESIGNED TO PROTECT THEM AGAINST THE EXTREME EFFECTS OF TRAVELING THROUGH WORMHOLES

THE MAIN CREW IS AS FOLLOWS:

CAPTAIN SCOTT DRAPER MISSION COMMANDER

LIEUTENANT COMMANDER JIM QUINN EXECUTIVE OFFICER

COLONEL BARBARA SCHENCKLER M.D. MEDICAL OFFICER

MAJOR PATRICIA WHITE M.D. MEDICAL ASSISTANT

LIEUTENANT MICHELLE MCNAMARA FLIGHT COUNSELOR

MAJOR MATT STEWART ACTING SHIP ENGINEER

CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER JOHN CONRAD OPERATIONS

SENIOR CHIEF PETTY OFFICER BOB “O.D.” O’DONOVAN SECURITY

SERGEANT GREG HAFFS NAVIGATIONS OFFICER

ENSIGN PETER BELVEDERE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER

PETTY OFFICER MIKE O’DONOVAN MACHINIST’S MATE FIRST CLASS

SPACEMAN 1ST CLASS ERIC SEAVER SENIOR PILOT

CORPORAL 1ST CLASS DORIS TRAVERS CO-PILOT

DR. JOSEPH DEFOREST ACTING SCIENCE OFFICER

DR. KEIKO MATSUI ASTROBIOLOGIST

SADIA MIRZA PHD ASTROPHYSICIST

AMBASSADOR APRIL FLOWERS ACTING ENVOY

THE FOLLOWING WERE ADDED TO HORIZON’S CREW:

SHUTTLE CREW

LIEUTENANT COLONEL MARIA MIRANDA SHUTTLE CREW COMMANDER

LIEUTENANT JETSENIA HERNANDEZ

ENSIGN RUTH NICOLET

ENSIGN DANAYA PATTERSON

CORPORAL ANDREA RODRIGUEZ

PRIVATE ALISON MUNDY

WARRANT OFFICER TATIANA DURAN

MESSAGE INTERRUPTED

JUST A MINUTE — JUST A MINUTE

PLEASE STAND BY

PLEASE STAND BY

PLEASE STAND BY

PLEASE———

NEW STAR HORIZON (BOOK ONE) ENCORE

THE MOST RECENT INHABITANTS
Jihan Aurora stood on her mountaintop lookout where she could see the entire desert all the way to the mountain ranges they called the outlands. She could see a mighty dust storm sweeping across the desert floor and she hoped none of the desert dweller’s caravans were caught in it though she knew the dwellers and the outlanders were a hardy bunch so she knew the storm be nothing special to them.
Then she turned her eyes to the night sky. It was an exceptionally clear night and in the distant darkness she could clearly see the bright stars Mintaka, and Alnitak. along with their sun the star Alniham they formed the BELT OF ORION as seen from Earth. Her grandfather spoke fondly of Earth, with its green valleys, purple mountains, and blue oceans and matching blue skies. That was hard to imagine.
The other two stars supposedly had no inhabitable planets. As she gazed around her desert world she wondered if her planet was in fact uninhabitable too. Life there was difficult on a good day. But Alniham Orion 4 was the only world she had ever known. Its oceans were pale purple and the sky was a reddish pink in the day and hazy indigo at night.
Then there was the Khad. They enslaved the colony upon their arrival. Like the planet Jihan knew no other way of life. The struggle that came with it had driven her to often want to escape. But even the calm night could not soothe her troubled mind. She was being forced to marry the prince of the House of Basrilian. Many colonists blamed them for the deaths of the original crew including her father Captain Aurora and that had been a thorn of contention for the Khad Regime.
Jihan sighed realizing just how much she missed her Governess Old Bethany. She predicted things would change one day. A spaceman would come and rescue the colony. this very same spaceman would become her Jihan’s husband. Old Bethany had never been wrong. Still the whole thing sounded like a fairy tale and how could it ever come true?
Just then Jihan was startled by a bright flash of light in the sky. Having watched the Khad Armada ships come and go for years she knew the difference between a shooting star and a spacecraft entering the atmosphere. But this one was somehow different from any she’d ever seen.
The star seemed to be decelerating until it was on a smooth trajectory as it disappeared beyond the east horizon. If it was indeed a spaceship establishing orbit it would have to reappear over the other horizon at or near the same height.
Jihan rushed across the mountaintop to a ledge where she could see the western horizon. Trying hard to catch her breathe she eagerly waited for her star to reappear. After several moments, nothing happened.  ‘It must have been a meteor.’
Disappointed she began to walk back down the path wondering how she could have let herself get so excited. Then it occurred to her it was decelerating meaning it would take longer to travel around the planet. With renewed energy, she sprinted back up the path. Before she could catch her breath again she saw her star coming into view over the western plain.
“OH MY GOD THEY’RE HERE.” She shouted. “Old Bethany you are never wrong. I should have never doubted you.” Her mind raced as she tried to put what was surely the impossible into perspective. “The prophecy… it’s true.” It took a moment then for the first time in years Jihan believed again. Bethany stood before her always in her working garments with her unkempt hair a blanket of clothes under her arm. ‘One day a ship from Earth will come. The ship will be led by a spaceman. He will free us from the Khad Empire. And you will marry the spaceman and become the first Queen of Alniham. When that day comes don’t forget to pray.’
Jihan fell to her knees and began to pray.

 

FOOT NOTE: NEW STAR HORIZON came about from a short story I wrote about a picture for an online contest. Turns out the contest was actually for children, probably why it got my attention. The host site really liked my story idea thought it was not appropriate for their age group. But it sparked me to try an write a novel based on the idea.  As they say; the rest is history…

 
 
 

NEW STAR HORIZON (BOOK ONE) BONUS

SO FAR AS WE HAVE YET ASCENDED  

Jihan stood at her spot on the mountain top. From there she could see the troops overrunning the green energy dome that covered her fellow colonist. She hated herself that she was not there with them waiting to die.

She was about to turn away when something caught her eye. There were two flaming balls of light up in the sky. Coming down out of the sky came two flaming streaks. The air cracked as a sonic boom ricocheted off the mountain walls. The first one came down to the west of Heaven’s Peak. It detonated with blinding white light. The second flash exceeded the glow of the first and Jihan had to hide her face from the blinding light. When she could see again a pair of matching white mushroom clouds rose to the height of where she was standing. Nothing could be seen below the towers of smoke and fire.  

Jihan turned and ran down the path of the mountain where she was so tired she fell to her knees and began to cry uncontrollably. The Khad’s were dead, but so were the colonists and Matt. It was the price of freedom. But the price was much more than she could ever have imagined it would be.          

Jihan was beside herself with grief. She had never dreamed that her people would decide to sacrifice themselves in the face of defeat. To see them all obliterated in front of her eyes was more than she could handle. Beyond the loss was the complete unknown. Her life had come crashing down upon her. Yet to make matters worse she was still alive. Only then did she understand what her mother must have felt the moment before she plunged herself into the raging river. All this time Jihan could not comprehend how she could kill herself and leave her only child behind. It was clear just how much pain she must have been in.

Up ahead there stood the very same river she had lost her mother to. She had very little time to decide but even less hope to live for. There was no point in continuing in the agony. She would join her mother and father.

Just then Old Bethany appeared shaking her finger at her. “How could you kill your own child?” 

“What?” Suddenly Jihan stopped walking and placed her hand on her belly. “What are you telling me?”

Old Bethany spoke again. “Kill yourself kill your child.”

“My child?” The realization was stronger than the pain she felt over her loss. It was a realization filled with hope. It was Asim’s child she was carrying. For that reason, she wanted to live. To find him and tell him they were to have a child. Jihan hurried down the path towards Asim’s camp.

Behind her Old Bethany transformed into Rumana.

NEW STAR HORIZON (BOOK ONE)

THE PARTS OF THE FIRE THAT BURN

Matt realized all eyes were on him.

“Time for plan B.” He said self-assuredly.

“There’s a plan B?” Maggie asked.

“There is now. Everyone, inside the compound.” 

Most would have a hard time understanding the principles behind the stasis field. Stasis came about as a weapon during the war with Taurus. Matt knew the effects well. No energy could be generated in the field. No electromagnetic radiation, no electricity, no magnetism, and no light. The result of it was to make all conventional weapons useless.

The idea was to project the field over the compound just above the force field at a radius of ten meters. That would neutralize the enemy’s weapons before they could hit the force field. This would prolong the remaining energy shield by hours. 

Deforest was convinced the move was for morale only. He knew that it was only prolonging the inevitable. “We’re not going to make it are we?” He asked Matt directly. 

“How old did you say your son was?”

“He’ll be ten years old on his next birthday.”

“Really, when’s that?”

“In June.”

“Well make plans to be there.” Matt went back to work.

As soon as the techno crew had the generator hooked up they were ready to activate the Stasis field. For the next eight hours, they watched the exploding lights in the sky just beyond the dome. His idea was working but for how long?

Matt had seen enough. He knew what he had to do. Without asking anyone for an opinion Matt requested terms for surrender. Everything went silent as they all listened. Still no one wanted to argue. The Link came back on Matt turned up the speaker for everyone to hear. The dialect was easily recognizable to Maggie and the others. She also knew what it meant. Almost by reflex she let out a cry. Matt also knew what it meant. Translated said PREPARE TO DIE.

Over the speakers came a tirade about the Khad and the mighty Throojan Armada and how this day would go down in glory spewed from the Comlink. At that point Matt shut it off. The hysteria he had tried to avoid had started.

“We trusted you,” A woman yelled.

“Get him, it’s his fault.” A group of them quickly formed and tried to get to Matt but Sadia stood in the way gun drawn. “We all knew what our chances were.” Sadia yelled.

People were scattered about in desperation.

“Die with some dignity.” Maggie rose and shouted at the top of her lungs. “I’d rather die free then live as a slave.”

“I’d rather live as a slave than die.” A man shouted. “Now we can’t even do that.”

 “Who said anything about dying?” Matt finally shouted back. He walked over to Storm and pushed her weapon down. “There’s no enemy in here.”

“So, this is it.” She said her eyes welling up with tears.

Matt looked at her puzzled, then he looked at his Timepiece. “Not just yet.” Matt smiled. “But any minute now.”

Now Sadia was puzzled. She looked at Deforest.

“He’s got something up his sleeve.” Deforest supposed.

“He can’t possibly have something up his sleeve.” Sadia protested and grabbed Matt’s arm. “Matt what’s going on?”

“Major what’s plan B?” Maggie wanted to know. The word spread quickly that something was up. Soon everyone had quieted down and gathered around at the center of the hanger holding hands. “Major, tell us what’s going to happen.” She pleaded.

“Oh my God there is a plan B!” Storm said a huge grin on her face.”

Matt looked at his timepiece again. “Everybody, please cover your eyes and do not look up at the dome for any reason. Thank you.”

A moment later the dome suddenly turned to a blinding bright orange for several seconds. It turned a whitish purple but soon the dome went orange again. Suddenly the ground dropped away and then flexed back up. Everything went airborne in all directions, making it impossible to still be upright. Then the entire dome began sinking downward like a slow elevator. When the sinking stopped everyone was wondering what had just happened.

NEW STAR HORIZON WILL RETURN

IN BOOK TWO

STORM WARNING