I would like to offer the following brief excerpt of Ghost Fleet, book two of the Home World Series. I hope to have Ghost Fleet out by mid-summer. After that, a return to book three of the Last Elf Prophecy Series, Awakening of Lillestrom.
The main science lab was in the midst of a cycle change. The bustle of crew coming and going, exchanging information and data was nothing short of a near-deafening event. Andren knew if need be she could lock herself away in Danson’s office and get away from the commotion. But that was not much of a desired option these days. Before she met Frank, the solitude would have been welcomed as well as the companionship. She had grown close to Danson. They were more than just friends, they were good friends. She had grown accustomed to the sound of his voice, his slightly self deprecating nature, and his presence when he was in the lab. She turned at the sound of Danson’s voice behind her rising above the din. The only warmth she now felt within the lab, the one place she had called her sanctuary, was the porcelain teacup nearly glued to her hand.
Danson pointed toward his office and immediately turned left. She watched him disappear through the doorway, his lab coat billowing out at the sides. She inhaled deeply knowing she now wanted no part of this discussion no matter how routine it was. She told herself that’s all it would be, a routine change of cycle. She set her cup down in its familiar place, stood and pressed her hands against her white coat reminding herself she was a scientist, a professional. She strode forward with all the confidence she could muster and stepped into his office.
“Nothing much to report sir,” Andren began as she stepped up to his small desk.
“Sir is it now?” Danson lowered his eyes to his desk before glancing back up. “Is this what we’ve come to Andren? Sir?”
“We need to keep it professional Danson.”
“We’ve always kept it professional. At least I thought we did.”
“I have a report, if you’d like to hear it.” She looked down at her notes and began to fire off her summary. Danson stared blankly at her without hearing a thing she said. After three minutes, she dropped her papers on the desk and looked up.
“That’s the cycle report of the main lab, yes.”
“You’ve changed Andren. You used to be dedicated to your craft. Now, it almost seems secondary to …”
“To what? To Frank? Don’t be so petty Danson. My work hasn’t suffered, only my time spent with you. I’ve come alive for the first time in years. I see things outside of this lab. I see my life in a different context.”
“But this is a time of war!” Danson’s face hardened.
“It’s always war Danson. Don’t you understand that? It’s been war for ten years, and for ten years I’ve put my career first. And what did it get me? It got me stuck on a starship in a hideous white lab coat sailing through the Void on a suicide mission.” She slammed her hand down on the desk. “Where is my time Danson? What’s in it for me?”
“Your service to this ship, Lieutenant!”
“That’s just not good enough any more,” she shouted as she rubbed her stinging palms together. “Maybe it’s about time you see the same thing.” She took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a moment. “My time is no longer yours, it’s mine,” she said quietly. Andren pressed her hands against her sides and turned heading toward the door. “Will that be all?” she asked, and walked out with no answer from Danson.