Lifetime

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An entrepreneurial couple, happily married, run their deep-space prospecting company together. They are unexpectedly separated when the ship one of them is aboard is lost during a prospecting voyage. The other spares no effort in an attempt to find her, and immediately sets out on another ship to find her. Meanwhile on a remote planet, surrounded by wreckage and the bodies of her crewmates, she has survived and treated her injuries, and fights to stay alive while she awaits rescue…

Details:

  • Published: August 07, 2020
  • Words: 13,337
  • Pages: 44 (6×9 Paperback)

Synopsis: [Spoiler Alert]

Survival. Desperation.

You may be wealthy, you may be influential, even popular… but just because you’re successful at life, doesn’t mean you’re necessarily successful at everything. Those things don’t protect you from everything fate might have in store for you.

This is exactly the case for Harald and Virian Vanderbilt – an entrepreneurial couple, happily married, who run their deep-space prospecting company together, building a small business empire.

Then one day they’re unexpectedly separated when the ship Virian is aboard is lost during a prospecting voyage. Harald spares no effort or expense and launches a desperate attempt to find her. He immediately sets out on another ship to mount a rescue.

Meanwhile on a remote planet, surrounded by wreckage and the bodies of her crewmates, Virian has survived, treated her injuries, and fights to stay alive while she awaits rescue… Will Harald find her? Will he ever see her again? Will he be in time? Will she be okay?

Sometimes not knowing is better.

The History of “Lifetime”

Lifetime” started out as a short story intended to be included in a Moon Books short sci-fi anthology, but which was released as a novella instead.

Completed on April 15, 2020, it was published in eBook form by Moon Books on August 07 of the same year.

Lifetime” was also put up for audiobook auditioning the same day.

Unlike most of Christina’s short stories, “Lifetime” had been previously entirely unpublished.

For Christina, “Lifetime” was a foray into the sub-genre of suspense, which carries the reader to an uninhabited planet light-years away from civilization where a lone survivor of a space crash awaits rescue… over days, then weeks, and then months.

The Story

What’s the story about?

Survival. Desperation.

You may be wealthy, you may be influential, even popular… but just because you’re successful at life, doesn’t mean you’re necessarily successful at everything. Those things don’t protect you from everything fate might have in store for you.

This is exactly the case for Harald and Virian Vanderbilt – an entrepreneurial couple, happily married, who run their deep-space prospecting company together, building a small business empire. Then one day they’re unexpectedly separated when the ship Virian is aboard is lost during a prospecting voyage. Harald spares no effort or expense in a desperate attempt to find her, and immediately sets out on another ship to mount a rescue. Meanwhile on a remote planet, surrounded by wreckage and the bodies of her crewmates, Virian has survived, treated her injuries, and fights to stay alive while she awaits rescue… Will Harald find her? Will he ever see her again? Will he be in time? Will she be okay?

Sometimes not knowing is better.

An extract from the story:

It was only the next morning when he arrived at the office, that Harald Vanderbilt received the terrible news – during the night, the Alluvion had sent out a distress call. Despite all efforts of traffic controllers to contact them, no reply had been received yet. The ship’s beacon had given a position continuously, so there was no doubt that rescuers would know where to find them. The only questions open were what had caused the emergency, and could the crew hold out until a rescue could be mounted? Feeling shocked, fearful, and suddenly deflated, Harald slumped down into the plush, expensive and very comfortable seat behind his desk and stared at Richard Uhlofsen, his Manager of Operations. His face displayed disbelief.

“Virian!” He wanted to cry out, but his mouth wouldn’t articulate her name. A grunt was all he managed to emit.

“We’ve also been unable to raise the Alluvion,” Richard continued. “But you have to understand, Harry – it’s a very long way away from here, it’s in uncharted space, and we’ve no idea if the communications array is damaged.”

“I know how far away it is, dammit Dick!” Harald suddenly exploded at his employee and friend of many years. “I was out there flying loderunners when you were still at business school!”

Richard fell suddenly silent. Feeling regret for his outburst, the troubled Harald held up a hand in apology.

“I’m sorry, Dick.” He apologized. “I didn’t mean to…”

“I know, Harry – don’t worry about it.” Richard said, brushing it off.

“So there’s no information on what’s actually gone wrong on the ship?” Harald asked.

“No.” Dick said, and shook his head. “The message only said they were declaring an emergency and gave their position. After that, nothing.”

Coming soon in audiobook format!

“Lifetime” (2020) COMING SOON!

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If you would like to know more about Christina Engela and her writing, please feel free to browse her website.

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All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2020.