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My novella “The Haunting of the Ginger’s Regret” has been accepted by Starry Eyed Press for their 224-Verse. This will be the second story published in their Andromeda galaxy collection, the first being The Fallen Shall Rise.
“Haunting” is set in a different part of the galaxy and in a different era, so the two storylines are completely dissimilar. Those of you who are long-time readers of my blog know that the “Regret” and her pilot have had many adventures here. For publication, I changed quite a few things, so those older stories aren’t the same as what will soon appear in the 224-Verse.
I don’t have any cover or other graphics yet, but here’s a brief sample of the story:
Screaming. The sound of low velocity frag rounds crashing through Kevlar and flesh. Something wet splattered across the right side of Kam’s body. Judging by the muzzle flashes, he was behind the pirates now. For an instant, he caught their silhouettes. The grav boots must have held up because the trio were dangling at unnatural angles, the force of the cannon fire having broken their legs and ankles as they were blown forward.
The lights came on and the lift back to the upper airlock was gone. “Oh crap, she made it off the ship.” Kam got to his feet, ran around the mess that used to be three pirates, and dashed for the hatch leading back to the Regret’s hab module. “I still don’t know how much of you is compromised, Ginger, but if they’re free, they can blow us…”
The ship vibrated and lurched twice, but Kam had gotten back inside the conduit between cargo and hab, so he braced himself against the tunnel’s bulkhead, blaster still in one fist.
“That could only mean the pirates are still stuck, trying to break free.” He shoved the handgun in its holster and triggered the hatch into the lowest hab deck, the machine shop. The Regret vibrated at a low rumble, just enough to throw off Kam’s footing. He got to a console, secured himself in the seat, and ordered the cargo airlock to release the tube binding them to the pirate. “You’re going to tear my fucking ship apart if you don’t let go, you bloody bastards.”
Surprisingly, it worked, but then half a dozen alarms went off. The cargo module with the Nirvana was decompressing. “Oh damn. You didn’t just rip the airlock off, did you? Fuck it all to Hell. Got to get up to flight.”
Kam left the shop for the crew cabins, his on the left, and two spares (you never knew when you’d score a nice, easy charter) on the right.
He was almost at the entrance to the galley when the decompression alarms stopped. He thought he heard the transfer of atmosphere through the piping, but then something else got his attention.
Even the pressure door and bulkheads between the cabins and the gallery couldn’t muffle the ghastly scream of a woman in terror. Kam keyed the hatch but it wouldn’t release. The lights started strobing. Something in the deck plates was groaning and humming like a wounded animal. Whoever was on the other side of the hatch was terrorized and maybe dying. Kam had pulled out his blaster and kept trying to get into the galley. Even the manual emergency release failed.
The lights blacked out again. He heard the hiss of the hatch opening just inches in front of him. A blinking red crisis light over his head triggered and the assassin, her face twisted into a hideous rictus, staggered through. For a second, he thought she’d fall dead at his feet. Then she jammed the barrel of her needle gun into his ribs and fired.
The publisher says the book should be out fairly soon, but I don’t have any solid dates as yet. I’ll let you know more as the info comes in.