Panic! Characters & Plot Devices

These are some of the characters and other plot devices used in the “Panic! Horror In Space” series of novels:

Characters and objects are listed separately and in alphabetical order, categorized into Characters, Objects, Planets & Colonies, Ships (Civilian), Ships (Alien), Alien Races and Events.


These are some of the more prominent or regular characters that appear in the series, others that are minor, incidental and transient are not listed.

  • Chapman, Vic – Commander, Executive Officer of the Terran starship I.S.S. Mercury. Vic is the long-time friend of Captain Flane, and a secondary main character in his own right. Despite coming forward more as man of action than thought, Vic is also drawn to matters of historical interest, arts and academics and philosophies.
  • Flane, Stuart – Captain of the Terran starship I.S.S. Mercury. Stu Flane is the heroic leader of the crew – who has the unhappy distinction of having his reports ridiculed at Fleet H.Q. level by flag officers who find his reports featuring paranormal events suspicious at best! He fears his chances of being promoted are outweighed by his chances of his being fired. Out of a torpedo launcher.
  • Franklin, Paul – Lieutenant, nurse aboard the Terran starship I.S.S. Mercury.
  • Killian, Fred – Doctor, chief medical officer of the Terran starship I.S.S. Mercury. A genteel, reserved man, Fred Killian has a lengthy career with the Pioneer Fleet and is known for his bedside manner and for not swearing. Except in unusually stressful circumstances, in which he may also use the word “dude”.
  • Mahoney, Samuel – junior pilot & assistant of the loderunner Marconi.
  • Severance, Abel Dyke – Senior pilot of the loderunner Marconi.


This is a listing of general objects frequently referred to in the”Panic! Horror In Space” series.

  • Cajuna – A furry creature that looks something like a cross between a cat and a large bunny rabbit from Brigid 4.4, the pets of the former inhabitants.

  • Corsairs – space pirates.
  • Durastress – an extremely durable plasto-metallic alloy made from a combination of plastic and metals, and blended in an industrial-scale transmatter. Durastress alloy is used for everything from ship hull-plating to garden furniture. It’s also a handy replacement for glass panels and windows as it can be made transparent.
  • Gravitas – a company that manufactures artificial gravity systems for use in space ships and stations etc.
  • Gravity net – the artificial gravity system networked into the deck plating of space ships and stations. The graviton emitter network creates artificial gravity. Unlike people generally expect, the gravity net is not fitted to the deck plating itself, but above it, usually in the ceiling above the deck, since the effect of a graviton generator is to repel objects away from it, downwards.
  • Hands & Feet – A painting of a little boy standing barefoot in front of a shop window, in which disembodied hands and feet are displayed. According to accounts given by several previous owners, the child-like figure in the painting moved around at night, sometimes disappearing from the canvas entirely, only to reappear after dawn. The little boy in the painting was said to creep about the house where the painting hung at night! The artist who painted the item, when consulted by an art gallery before his death in 2016 expressed surprise when told of the paranormal drama surrounding what he always thought of as a ‘art student’s experiment fueled by a drunken binge’ – but did mention that the first three original owners after him had each died within a year of purchasing ‘Hands And Feet’.

  • Purple Shirts – the security marines of Terran Pioneer Fleet ships wear purple tunics.
  • Jug of Death – an alien object discovered on Atooin by a terraforming crew believed to be responsible for at least 13 mysterious and messy deaths.

The Jug of Death – a cursed alien object.

  • Kilgary – a loderunner, Foreman class,  lost for over forty years until rediscovered by the I.S.S. Mercury. At the time of it’s disappearance forty years previously, the Kilgary was last seen in orbit around Tegra, forty three years ago. She was reported missing, given up for lost with all hands six months later.

  • Marconi – a loderunner nowhere near as unlucky as the I.S.S. Mercury.
  • Portascan – a portable scanning device.
  • Snork – a kind of pet alien animal with a suitably silly name. I have no idea what one looks like yet.
  • Spectre Adventures – Interstellar Travel Channel’s most popular paranormal investigation TV show, featuring (until their mysterious disappearance on Floridia-7) Mak Sagan, Nick Gruff, Erin Goodman and Milly Marley.

  • Starbase 27 – a Space Fleet outpost often visited by the I.S.S. Mercury and run by the unforgettable Commodore Peters.
  • Tesla City – a city on Mars.
  • Transmatter – a matter dematerialization/rematerialization transportation device.
  • Viro-suit – essentially a space suit, but much more than that, thin, comfortable, and easy to move around in, viro suits protect the wearer from toxins, temperature or pressure extremes, and include a variety of onboard systems including fluid and oxygen recycling apparatus, communications, lighting, HUD, and most importantly, pockets to put stuff in.

  • Zoms – a contraction of ‘zombies’, applied to undead walking corpses, sometimes operated by alien nanites.

Planets & Colonies:

  • Altimitsu-2 – a planet.
  • Atooin – another planet.
  • Brigid 4.4 – once called Hamet by the extinct race that once lived there, Brigid 4.4 is the fourth moon of the planet Brigid-4, which orbits Brigid, a gas giant located in the system’s habitable zone, being just the right distance from its sun, and has eight moons of its own, one of which is Brigid 4.4. The planet-sized moon appears to have supported an advanced civilization once. Debris, including dead satellites, several defunct nuclear warheads, and a few small ships that look like shuttles and fighters drift slowly around the planet like bugs swarming around a corpse. Even though the nuclear winter has begun receding, most of the polar regions are still covered in thick sheets of ice. Tell-tale signs of radiation still cling to the surface. The equatorial region is virtually free of ice and snow, and the ruins of giant cities mark the devastated land – broken and shattered towers, craters that marked the site of devastating explosions, collapsed structures, roadways choked with rubble and the remains of long-decayed vehicles. The planet was devastated by war approximately 2987 years ago.

  • Delubrian-3 – another planet.
  • Floridia-7 – known as the most haunted abandoned Terran outpost in the universe. According to the team of paranormal investigators from ‘Specter Adventures’, Foridia-7 was ‘A promising paradise planet settled by two thousand miners, artisans and administrators over 40 years ago – suddenly abandoned for no apparent reason! What drove the people who came here in search of adventure and wealth in a highly profitable selenium mine to suddenly just walk away from it all? Was it abuse of power by the administrators? Was it the high accidental death rate? Is the Prosperity Selenium Mine on Floridia seven haunted?’ Apparently, it was.

  • Vista Prime – a young colony in the Quillian Sector.

The I.S.S. Mercury, The Primary Setting

The main setting of the Panic! Series is the I.S.S. Mercury, a Ningan class battlespringer, a ship of the imperial Terran Space Fleet’s exploration division, the Pioneer Fleet, registry number P476.


The bridge of a Ningan class ship is typically small and relatively crowded with control desks for the helm, weapons array, communications, sensors, and a snug little command seat for the Captain right in the center. In fact, the bridge on a battlespringer class ship is so cramped that jokes abounded in the Fleet that it comes equipped with bucket seats!

A typical Bridge/Command Complex layout of a typical Space Fleet ship.

Sickbay – like all sickbays on Ningan class ships – comes equipped with an SMD (Space Medical Doctor) and nursing staff – and an airlock at the main entrance, fitted with a cycle of decontamination filters, which includes bombarded with radiation, chemical cleaners and other light-spectrum purifiers in case of infectious diseases.

Inside the sick bay – Dr. Killian has a ‘moment’.

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

If you’d like to send Christina Engela a question about her life as a writer or transactivist, please send an email to or use the Contact form.

Show your appreciation for Christina’s work!

All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2019.


Spread the love
%d bloggers like this: