It’s Time… To Panic!
“Panic! Horror In Space” is a series of satirical horror misadventures in deep space with the crew of the starship Mercury – which, of all the starships in the elite Terran Space Fleet, is probably the unluckiest ship in history!
Not once, not twice, but many times over, the same hapless crew – give or take a couple of replacements – on a supposed voyage of deep-space exploration – give or take a few dozen casualties, stumble into the weird, wake the creepy and trip over the downright terrifying and possibly even supernatural.
Panic! Is a sci-fi horror parody set in the Galaxii Series universe, using many of the same settings, references and background material.
There are currently 3 titles in Panic!, with several more in the pipeline, so readers hoping for the release of new titles shouldn’t despair! View Coming Soon to see new titles still in the pipeline!
Below is a brief overview of the books and stories of the series:
Book 1: Static
Mercury Rising, Mercury Resurgent!
Mercury Rising (part 1) & Mercury Resurgent (part 2)
The starship Mercury and its unfortunate crew encounter a long-lost ghost ship, the Kilgary, which turns out to be a ship of mystery! Aboard are dead crewmen – from the Kilgary, and a host of other ships which may have encountered it during the intervening decades! It’s up to Captain Stuart Flane and his trusty sidekick, EXO and best friend, Commander Vic Chapman to solve the puzzle. Unfortunately, the answer they find is a hazardous one which leads to a day-long running battle for the away team investigating the Kilgary, and their troubles don’t end there, because the Mercury is also experiencing problems of its own! Can Flane and Vic overcome the hordes of undead – perhaps first without analyzing how it is even possible and leaving that bit for later? However will Flane explain losing 98% of his entire crew to his superiors? The word “carefully” comes to mind!
The dust had barely settled after his severe reprimand on Starbase 43, for losing the bulk of his ship’s crew in the Kilgary incident, when Captain Flane, his best friend and EXO Commander Vic Chapman, and a replacement crew are assigned to what is called a “milk run”. To try to make good with his superiors, the still shaken Flane must transport a TV crew to what is reputedly the most haunted abandoned outpost in the known universe – an abandoned mining facility called Floridia-7. The purpose? Well, the TV crew represents the most popular supernatural investigations show on the networks – “Specter Adventures”, and they’re planning to investigate the abandoned mining facility for the show – and worse yet, Flane has been volunteered by an irate Commodore Peters to participate in the episode as a “guest investigator”. It’s safe to say that things do not go quite as planned, and as Flane watches his fellow investigators get carried off, screaming, into the darkness of Floridia-7’s ruined administration complex (through his nightvision glasses) he desperately searches for an “out” himself! Unfortunately for Flane, explaining the disappearance of four investigators (Commodore Peter’s favorite nephew among them) doesn’t come easy, nor does it go down well.
Through A Dark Glassy
Haunted items. Cursed objects. Human history is filled with tales of such things. But the horrors connected to such things are often not enough to deter some strange people from collecting such things. What might happen should such a collector wish to transport such a collection through space? What might happen, for example, should such a collector finally wise up and decide to get rid of their collection? This episode examines exactly that scenario, as a crate filled to the brim with haunted and cursed objects takes on a life of its own aboard a civilian loderunner carrying just two pilots. A distress call is picked up – and, you guessed it, the I.S.S. Mercury is sent to investigate! Things escalate, and the spiritual shenanigans spread from the stricken loderunner Marconi to the inside of the Mercury. Flane and Vic must retake control of their ship – but how?
Book 2: Life Signs
Aliens! Ghosts! Paperwork!
The perception is that Captain Flane is being punished for the content of his reports, which lately have contained references to paranormal and supernatural entities – and in spite of all relevant evidence in the form of video and sensor footage being attached to his reports, poor Flane begins to notice that the Mercury is being sent on boring, dull, routine missions instead of the usual exciting opportunities to explore and chart new territory for the Terran Space Fleet!
It is while the Mercury is busy with just such a hum-drum assignment that the Mercury discovers Hamet, a long-dead world covered by signs of a long-dead civilization on the surface – and while the planet is radioactive and toxic, the only interesting life signs on the entire planet are found inside a millennia-old ship-wreck on the surface! Flane, Vic and Dr. Killian lead an away-team to investigate, where they encounter Miora – a beautiful alien girl who lives there alone, caring for the last remaining original plants and animals found on the ancient world – that may one day, reclaim the surface once the radiation and toxin levels drop. But there’s more to Miora than meets the eye – especially the eye of Captain Flane, who has become noticeably smitten with her… A lot more, as it turns out.
While patrolling deep space, the Mercury encounters and recovers a shuttle that had been on the long-lost deep space liner, Demeter. Aboard was one dead body and a very long letter, written apparently by another former occupant of the shuttle. It tells the interesting tale of how the Demeter – and its crew and passengers met their end, leaving Flane and Vic both very glad that they were not the first to discover the shuttle…
The Big Rain
Most (sane) people would, one would think, steer clear of a cursed object suspected to have been responsible for the deaths of more than ten of its previous owners. One would think. Instead, on the planet Atooin, the workers at the terraforming plant put it up for auction, with predictable results. Enter, stage left, Captain Stuart Flane, the Space Fleet’s own unofficial ghost buster, sent to clear it all up. Trouble is, some passing space pirates want the Jug of Death for themselves.
Book 3: We All Fall Down
…Ashes To Ashes…
The thing that really annoyed Stuart Flane, Captain of the starship Mercury, was that although he was being perpetually steered into situations featuring the paranormal, the same superiors responsible for sending him into those situations stubbornly appeared to refuse to give his official reports any credence. Flane could almost hear the peals of laughter ringing down the hallowed halls of Space Fleet HQ whenever his name came up!
Consequently he shouldn’t be blamed for the reluctance with which he arrives at Starbase 43 to answer to his latest assignment: to investigate the unexpected Marie-Celestial arrival of the ghost ship Amundsen, a deep space explorer lost for 63 years. Apparently his “supernatural expertise” precedes him. What happened to the crew of the Amundsen? Why did they apparently just leave a perfectly functioning ship, with a shower running and meals laid out on the dining tables? Where did all this dust come from? More importantly, what would Commodore Peters – she who’d chased him while swinging a golf club at him, have to say about his frightening and terrifying conclusion?
The Song Of The Drillipede
Eriksen-A, a mining colony, is in trouble – and it is Captain Stuart Flane and the I.S.S. Mercury who answer their call. (Of course, Vice-Admiral Tawney might have had something to do with that). Children are vanishing in the underground colony – and the fact that it’s sealed off from the surface is in itself suspicious, but the nightmares and machinery moving around by itself lend an otherworldly aspect to the case. Worse yet, people are dying too. Sheriff Mortgensen needs help in solving this case urgently! Leading from the front, Flane charges – into an old photograph to take the fight home to the entity responsible! But… will it be enough?
Flane’s reputation at Space Fleet HQ has been brought under review – after all, it’s a crime to submit false situation reports! Captain Flane has submitted a large number lately, containing references to things which many people still do not accept or believe in, and so poor Flane expects trouble from his superiors. Believing his career is in ruins, he has become increasingly demure and downcast. Then he has a fight with his only real supporter aboard ship – his best friend and EXO, Commander Vic Chapman. Just then, the Mercury is called back to base – to collect a senior officer who is very curious about Flane and his reports.
Commodore Steven Link is a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic of all things paranormal, and right away, the senior officer begins to turn Flane’s life upside down, questioning his every instruction, intimidating his senior staff, and second-guessing his sanity and worthiness to command. It’s right about then that Vice Admiral Tawney plays an ace in the hole and the Mercury is sent to investigate troubles at one of the most haunted hotels known to Humankind – and Commodore Link is coming along for the ride.
Book 4: Terror In The Outblack
Space exploration is no piece of cake, and neither is the paranormal.
The Outblack: that treacherous swathe of under-explored space at the fringes of the Terran Empire, the very cutting edge of civilization – also known as the ass-end of space… a place where good fortune is almost as common as death, and the dead don’t always stay that way. These are the stomping grounds of Captain Stuart Flane and the crew of the starship Mercury – a shipload of jaded cynics who know from experience that there’s more to life than meets the third eye.
Braver than the harshest skeptic, Flane, his EXO, Vic Chapman, and Dr. Fred Killian, must face all sorts of terrors, from paranormal possession, to shadow figures from the lost starship Jacoby, to mysterious alien life-forms that ate the scientists at the research station on Tangerine-178, and a mysterious force that lobotomized the colonists on Ramus-12. Will they succeed? Or will they succumb to the terror of the Outblack?