This has been a big week for me with a new novel out. Moreover, I have stories out in three new anthologies. Today, I’m focusing on Full-Throttle Space Tales #5: Space Tramps edited by Jennifer Brozek. The book is available at the Flying Pen Press Bookstore and will be coming soon to Amazon.com, BN.com and other retailers soon.
One thing three of the new books I’m in have in common are fabulous covers by Laura Givens. Here’s the one she did for Space Tramps.
The anthology includes stories by such authors as Rick Silva, Nayad A. Monroe, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, and Ryan Macklin.
Now, I thought it would be fun to share a short excerpt from my story in Space Tramps called “Locator Beacons”.
Within the hour, Legacy had docked with the freighter and Roberts stood at the airlock. He swallowed hard as the door opened with a hiss. Across the way stood an eerily silent and brightly lit corridor. Holding his hepler pistol at the ready, he led his men across to the freighter. Roberts’s eyes scanned the corridor, looking for any sign of a trap. He saw none as he continued forward. When he reached the main corridor that ran the length of the ship, he decided to lead the crew to the bridge before going to the cargo hold.
The boarding party’s footsteps echoed as they strepped down the corridor. The only sound the ship made was the soft whisper of air blowing through the ventilation system. Arriving at the bridge, they found it empty and pristine. There wasn’t even a coffee cup or a pen laying on a console. “Looks like they were preparing for a short flight,” mused Roberts.
Stepping up to the ship’s command station, he activated the holographic flight recorder. In the holo tank, he saw the crew of the freighter jolted as the Legacy attacked. An officer reported that the enemy had no transponder signal.
“Pirates, just as we thought,” said the freighter’s captain. “All hands to the yacht. Abandon ship.”
As though rehearsed, the freighter’s crew shut down their stations with cool efficiency and filed neatly out of the bridge.
Roberts called the Legacy. “It looks like they were expecting us.”
“I was afraid of that,” said Firebrandt. “Anything of value over there?”
Roberts checked the cargo manifest. “If this is accurate, they’re hauling military supplies.”
“Munitions?” asked the captain.
The first mate shook his head. “No. Looks like uniforms…tools and hardware… toilet paper.”
Roberts smiled. He could picture the captain rolling his eyes. He continued scrolling through the manifest. “Looks like about a dozen lifepods in inventory.”
“Hmmm…” The captain sounded interested. “We might be able to sell those and even some of the tools on Sigma Draconis. At the very least we might be able to break even. Meet me in the cargo hold and we’ll take a look.”
“Aye aye, sir.” With that, the first mate signed out and left the bridge with the rest of the boarding party following close behind. They made their way through the corridors, still wary for potential traps.
Reaching the cargo hold, they fanned out and began making an inventory of what could be useful and what they should leave behind. A moment later, Ellison Firebrandt entered the hold and looked around, eyeing the contents with keen interest. He stepped up to Roberts.
“Could be better,” grumbled the first mate.
“Still not bad.” Firebrandt made his way over to one of the lifepods and ran his hand over its smooth surface. “They’ve extended the life support capacity on these pods. The demand for them is growing since they don’t take up as much space as full-sized…”
Firebrandt was interrupted by a sneeze from a nearby cargo container. He and Roberts drew their sidearms and cautiously approached. The captain nodded to his first mate, who stepped over to the controls. Firebrandt aimed his gun as Roberts opened the container.
Inside was a man in baggy coveralls with several days’ growth of beard on his chin. He blinked in the sudden light, then slowly held up his hands when he saw Firebrandt’s weapon.
“Well, well. What do we have here?” asked the captain.