I’ve got an excerpt from The First Officer this week. The book focuses on Jack Samson again, our naval officer from book 1—he’ll continue to be the focus character for the series generally for as far as I’ve outlined it—but I’ve got a couple of new characters in this book who help expand the story for this book, and the broader arc for the whole series.
Here’s the excerpt to give you a little taster of what’s to come in the book. Yes, it ends in a cliff-hanger. Sorry, not sorry!
‘Make connection with the sensor buoy and pull its data,’ Captain Jones said. ‘Set ship’s passive sensors to maximum range.’
‘Aye, Captain,’ said the sensors officer, Lieutenant Perez. ‘…Ma’am, the sensor buoy is inactive.’
‘Why?’ The captain sat up in her chair.
Perez frowned. ‘It looks damaged.’
‘Can you give me anything more than that?’ Jones said, adrenaline starting to seep into her blood.
‘Not without an active sensor scan, ma’am.’
Jones chewed her lip. An active scan would light them up like a Christmas tree. There was no way she was going to do that until she had a better idea of what was here.
‘Stick to the passive sensors for now,’ she said. ‘Pull whatever you can from the buoy.’
‘Aye, Captain,’ Perez said. ‘It looks like the basic cartographic array is intact. We should be able to pull that data completely, but I can’t make any promises about anything else.’
‘Get it to me as soon as you have it.’
Jones took one more look at the readout of the ship’s vital statistics and considered returning to the letter she had been writing. The situation with the buoy had worried her, though, and she didn’t like to write to her son when she was worried. He could always pick up on it. She stared at the viewscreen, which was blank except for some telemetry data and ship status icons. They didn’t have enough detail in their system yet to put anything on it, and unlike some captains of her acquaintance, Kallista Jones didn’t like fake representations of whatever star system they happened to be in.
‘I have the cartography data,’ Perez said.
‘Put it through to my station,’ Jones said. She tapped some buttons on the armrest of her chair, and the buoy’s preliminary system scan came up on her private viewscreen.
They were aware there was a star in this system, but they didn’t know much else. It was easier to simply send a probe or a ship to a system you were interested in, rather than trying to watch it with telescopes and work out how much dark matter there was.
Her eyes drifted across the image that appeared. Four planets, and—
Her eyes stopped, locked in place.
‘What the hell is that?’
I hope that whets your appetite for The First Officer! You can preorder a copy now at the links below. The book will be released on Thurs Dec 1, so only a few more days to wait!
You can preorder your copy of The First Officer here now: