by Matthew Cox and Tony HealeyGenre: science-fiction, action-adventurePublisher: Curiosity Quills PressDate of Publication: October 20, 2014.Description:
Generations of war with the savage Draxx have left humanity desperate for a way to gain the upper hand.
A chance to turn the tide in their favor is all legendary Captain Nicholas Driscoll needs to hear to lead an expedition behind enemy lines to the Chimera Nebula - a region of space so unstable it remains largely uncharted.
Lieutenant Michael Summers sees an opportunity to matter, a chance to let future generations exist in a universe without constant war. He and other brave young cadets join the Manhattan for its first dangerous mission - to penetrate the Chimera Nebula and discover what it is the Draxx are doing in there.
But first the ship and her crew will be tested by enemies both outside and within…
The Officer's Conference Room was a blend of soft greys and blacks, with subdued lighting from above.
“I took the liberty of getting you a coffee, sir,” Commander Teague said as Captain Driscoll walked in. The room was brightened momentarily by the outside corridor, then became dim again as the door closed behind him.
“Thank you, Commander. Though I did have one before coming aboard, I'll never say no to coffee,” Driscoll said. He sat a few seats down from her at the big table. It seemed almost absurd to be using the room for such a small meeting. Just the two of them. At least twenty personnel could fit around the table, not counting standing room. The head of every department aboard could attend any meeting there if needed.
There was a reason for Driscoll choosing it; the conference room was the one place on the Manhattan guaranteed to be free of any bugging equipment. It was completely sealed. If his many years of service had taught him anything, it was to never trust anywhere on a starship to be free of devices listening in on your every word. Not even your own quarters. The Draxx had spies everywhere.
He took a sip of his coffee. “Ah, yeah. Just the way I like it. Cream, and plenty of sugar. How d'you know? Lucky guess?”
Teague stifled a laugh. “Actually, I did some research before I arrived at Horizon Station. Got in touch with your previous Executive Officer. Commander Hathi'i was it?”
The Captain nodded. “Yes. Hathi'i. Good man. Well, Jihir to be exact. What did he tell you about me? Anything incriminating?”
“Nothing I can't read anywhere else. Apart from how you like your coffee that is,” Commander Teague said. “Oh, and that you like to make surprise inspections from time to time. I've made a point of not relating that to anyone.”
Now it was Driscoll's turn to laugh. “He's right. I do like to do that. I find it keeps people sharp. Now then, I want to get a few things out in the air first, Commander. If that's okay with you…”
“Yes,” Teague said.
“When it's just you and I, nobody else around, I'm not Captain. I'm not Driscoll. I'm Nick. That's it. If we're to work together, I want us to relax a bit. But only when we're away from the crew, right? I mean, you're my XO for Christ's sake. If we can't be on first name terms behind closed doors…”
“The other thing you may be aware of… I hand-picked all of you. The Manhattan wasn't meant to launch on such a shortened timetable. But we have. And with the exception of the Chief―who I need to get around to seeing―I decided who was assigned here. I didn't have long, and nearly all of you I've never met before.”
A frown crossed Teague's face. “Don't mind my asking, but how did you know who to pick?”
“Word of mouth. I went on what I heard. A small handful of people I've worked with in the past. Commander Grey, for example. We go way back. But mostly, you're all new faces. Yourself, for example. Captain Waters had nothing but praise for you. Said you were one step away from being promoted to Commander and given the lead as Executive Officer. I decided to make that happen. Throw you in the deep end.” Driscoll smiled. “By the way, how are you adjusting to the promotion?”
“Fine,” Robin Teague told him. “It's not much different to my role on the Starbuck. Just a bigger ship. And we didn't have an AI…”
Driscoll drained his coffee. It'd been piping hot, and yet he'd swilled it as if he had a cast iron mouth. “Goddamn thing. I don't know. I hear it's good, but you never can be sure. I trust buttons and levers, Robin. I trust men and women. Does that make me old fashioned, do you think?”
She smiled. “If it does, then that's two of us.”
About Matthew Cox:
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.Hobbies and Interests: Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it. He is also fond of cats.
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About Tony Healey:
Tony Healey is a best-selling independent author. Born in 1985, he has lived his entire life in the city of Brighton, UK.
In 2011, he found his fiction published alongside Harlan Ellison and Alan Dean Foster. A year later, his sci-fi serial FAR FROM HOME became a best-selling sensation, followed by similarly successful sequels. Since then he has collaborated with authors Bernard Schaffer, Matthew Cox and William Vitka on various projects. He has also had work published by Curiosity Quills Press. He is married and has three daughters.
For the latest on Tony's various projects, visit his site www.tonyhealey.com
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