I’ll keep going a bit more with excerpts from WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM but then we start to get into spoiler territory, so not too many more weeks on this one….I’ve skipped ahead a bit. Nick, Khevan and Mara have managed to shift enough wreckage in the family’s cabin out of the way to allow him to climb through and reach the trapped children. Now he’s trying to convince the kids to trust him, before the bulkheads give way. Paolo is eight and his sister is three.
“Okay, Paolo, you seem like a pretty level-headed trooper,” Nick said, squatting to be at eye level with the boy. “We need to get out of here as fast as possible. You see the outer wall there?”
Paolo nodded. “It’s going to break, isn’t it?”
Nick tried to be reassuring. “We’ll be long gone first. Now, can you help me get your sister –”
“Her name’s Gianna.” The boy pushed his sister closer to Nick.
“Help me get Gianna to crawl out through all the mess to my friends? We’ve made a tunnel for you. She’ll have to leave her toy, though.”
The girl hugged the bear tightly and shook her head, trying to retreat from her brother and Nick. “Won’t,” she informed Nick, taking her thumb out of her mouth briefly.
“Sweetheart, we have to go. It’s going to get pretty windy and cold in here soon.” Don’t scare her, if she retreats deeper into the wreckage, might not be able to retrieve her. With an effort, Nick kept his voice level and calm.
“Carry me.” She raised her arms to him, the bear dangling in one grubby hand.
“Sorry, I can’t, there isn’t room,” he said with a small laugh, reaching out to tousle her hair. “We have to crawl. It’s like a game but really important. Tell her, Paolo.”
Here’s the story:
Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets. All his vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.
But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?