Honor’s Reserve — Snippet #1

Mysterious Ship Inspection

From the bridge of the Galactic Guard Cutter Horizon, Petty Officer Grayson McCoy shone a spotlight into dark space, onto a lone starship slowing as it cut its engine. Two white, blinking lights appeared on the roof. A yellow gravity ring rotated clockwise around the center of the ship.

“I’ve got a visual,” Grayson said, locking the ship in his sights. “Engine’s off.”

He kept his eyes on the ship and swept the light up and down the hull. It was a sleek passenger ship, leisure grade, big enough for fourteen people. Most private passenger ships usually had salons, living quarters, kitchens, and bathrooms. This one looked like it had all of that, plus a hyperdrive. Its long white wings gave it the look of a dove floating among the stars.

He scanned the side of the ship where the name and port of call should have been.

There was nothing — the side of the ship was blank.

He glanced over at a black-haired, tanned man in a headset and an olive green flight suit who was bent over an instrument panel.

“What do you think?” Grayson asked.

Petty Officer Romeo Beauregard radioed to the base. “We’ve located an unidentified starship near the nebula border. No name or port of call.”

Beauregard waited for a response. A voice crackled in his headset. “Base says to proceed with boarding.”

It wasn’t every day that Grayson came across a ship like this. Most of the time, boarding a regular private passenger vessel was boring. But boarding one with no name or I.D. — you never knew what to expect. He preferred search and rescues, but this might be interesting.

He stopped the spotlight on the ship’s bridge, a large glass bubble on the front of the ship. A man and a woman put their hands over their faces.

“We’ve got a male, late thirties, maybe six-two, salt and pepper beard. A woman that looks like his wife, late twenties, black hair.”

He heard a computerized chime behind him. The rotunda-shaped bridge of the Galactic Guard ship was quiet.

Petty Officer Will Stroud, the flight mechanic, was sitting at his instrument panel, its green lights illuminating his face and red hair. “I charted their path. They’re not from our galaxy, guys.”

Outsiders. Or travelers returning home. In any case, they were still subject to the laws of the Rah Galaxy, and to searches from the Guard.

Beauregard swiveled in his chair and motioned to Grayson. He wore his trademark calm expression, the look of wisdom and experience. He was probably only a few years older than Grayson. He was an active duty petty officer, first class. As the only original active duty Guard on board, he took it as his responsibility to train Grayson and Will. He used everything as a learning experience.

“Grayson, what do you think?” Beau asked.

Grayson glanced back out at the ship. Things were quiet in space. “Looks fairly innocuous to me, but you never know.”

“Let’s see if you’re right.”

Beauregard activated the communicator and established a transmission with the ship. “This is Petty Officer Romeo Beauregard with the Galactic Guard. Please identify yourselves.”

Silence.

Grayson watched as the woman scrambled to the communicator.

“Hello.”

“Identify yourselves.”

Silence again.

“Do they speak English?” Will asked. “Don’t you speak a couple of languages, Beau?”

Beauregard considered the remark, but then the woman spoke.

“My name is Rina.”

Beauregard frowned. He took his finger off the radio. “Guys, go ahead and suit up.” He pressed the radio button again. “Hello, Rina. How many are on board with you?”

Silence.

“Just me and my husband.”

“You have entered Rah space and are subject to boarding and inspection. Please make ready to accept our boarding party.”

Silence. This time, the woman’s shadow turned to the man before answering.

“Very well.”

The radio went quiet.

Grayson watched the two silhouettes disappear into the bowels of the starship.

“Looks like they speak English just fine,” Grayson said, shutting off the spotlight.

“Give them a thorough search, gentlemen,” Beauregard said. “They’re awfully quiet.”

***********************

So big news.

I haven’t blogged in almost 2 years, and I’m going to try this again. But I’m going to do it differently.

In the past, I did writer-focused blogging. But this time around, it’s going to be reader-focused.

On this blog, I’m going to post snippets of what I’m writing. Probably around once a week.

I’m doing it because honestly, I haven’t done a good enough job connecting with my readers — -you wonderful people out there who buy my books.This will be a glimpse into what I’m currently writing, with some other fun things thrown in. Plus, it will be a good way to keep up with what I’m doing, as I work fast!

In the meantime, click here to grab your copy of Honor’s Reserve.


Originally published at Michael La Ronn.