(The link is here to find this week’s excerpts from novels or WIP written by Science Fiction Romance Brigade group members. Left it out by accident last week – felt really bad about that!)
The next excerpt from my 2013 SFR Galaxy Award winning WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM but then we start to get into spoiler territory, so not too many more weeks on this one….I’ve skipped ahead again. The party of survivors is on their way to the bridge, having rescued another passenger in a tight jam. Readers, meet Twilka. People seem to love her or hate her. Here’s how Nick regards her and her normal set of companions, the “Inner Sector Socialites – the kind who were to be found at any high-visibility, publicity-laden event. They travel in flocks, with no purpose other than to be of the moment. Their world was so far removed from the grit and danger of his reality, he could hardly comprehend it. ”
I’ve edited a bit to fit the word count requirements:
“How in the Seven Hells did you end up in the hands of those thugs, anyway?” Nick said.
“We were going to party in Fippi’s cabin.” Twilka’s voice was tired, all ’Lite affectations abandoned for now. “Only I was on an incredibly hot run with the dice, cleaning up big, you know? So I stayed when the others left. Can’t walk away from hot dice, you know? Bad luck for days after. But then something happened to the ship and I – I guess I got knocked out.” She glanced at the children, sitting wide-eyed in their plush chairs, taking in every word she was saying. Swallowing hard, Twilka visibly, and no doubt uncharacteristically, edited whatever she had planned to explain next.
“Don’t stress yourself by recalling the details,” Khevan said firmly.
As if registering for the first time who and what he actually was, Twilka stared at Khevan, raising her hand to stroke the scarlet tattoo curling on his cheekbone. “You’re a D’nvannae Brother!”
“Yes.” Khevan captured her hand and lifted it away from his face.
“Hey, I want to offer contract terms.” Her voice gained animation and energy. She didn’t even notice the tranq inject he gave her. “Get me out of here alive. I can pay, whatever the going rate is. You can do it – I know you can. The D’nvannae can do anything.” She worked to remove the intricate collar of golden chains and charms dangling around her neck and upper body. “Here, this has to be worth enough.”
“Now wait a minute.” Mara’s voice was sharp with annoyance. She frowned. “He’s with us.”
Here’s the story:
Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets. All his vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.
But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?