Dust


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Of all the starships in the Terran Space Fleet, the I.S.S. Mercury is probably the unluckiest ship in history. Not once, not twice, but many times over, the same hapless crew – give or take a few dozen casualties – on a supposed voyage of deep space exploration, stumble into the weird, wake the creepy and trip over the downright terrifying and possibly even supernatural…

At a remote starbase, a long-lost ship missing for 63 years mysteriously appears out of the black. There’s no sign of the crew or any clue what happened to them. Plates of food are laid out on tables in the mess, a shower was left running, clothes laid out on beds – it’s like all 57 crewmen just disappeared – or took a walk out an airlock. The ship’s only shuttle is still in the hangar bay, unused and in perfect condition. On the bridge, the throttles are still wide open – indicating the ship had run until it ran out of fuel.

Captain Stuart Flane of the starship Mercury is called in unwillingly, kicking and screaming, to investigate the mystery of the ghost-ship Amundsen – but will his skeptical superiors approve of the outcome?

Dust” is book three in “Panic! Horror in Space”, a series by Christina Engela.

“While Captain Flane has seen it all in terms of the strange and macabre – he’s even been chased by superiors with golf implements and lived to tell the tale – this latest mission will leave you guessing all the way until the final stages. Its well written, fun and all around a good read to take one away from the mundane of life if only for a while. 4 Stars another fun read from Christina Engela” – Lee Hall UK writer & reviewer.

Details:

  • Published: March 24, 2020
  • Words: 28,293
  • Pages: 144 (6×9 format paperback)
  • Duration: (to be announced) min (eBook narrated by)


Synopsis: [Spoiler Alert]

At a remote starbase on the fringes of known space – an outpost near the border of the sprawling Terran Empire called Starbase 43, it’s an otherwise ordinary day until suddenly, out of the black, an object appears on the navigation screens of the traffic controllers on duty. The object turns out to be a ship on a direct collision course with the starbase! Frantic countermeasures are put in place by the highly trained crew – and a group of small tugs is sent out to intercept the unresponsive ship, with their prime concern being to deflect the ship off course!

Once the emergency is averted, the heroic tuggers decide, on their own initiative, to seize the opportunity to capture the derelict vessel, and one brave soul remains aboard to steer it back to Starbase 43… where station security receives it at berth 11 and sets about unraveling the mystery.

The ship – which set out on a mission of exploration 63 years previously, had vanished mysteriously just three months in to their voyage. There was no sign of the crew or any clue what happened to them. Plates of food are laid out on tables in the mess, a shower was left running, clothes laid out on beds – it’s like all 57 crewmen just disappeared – or took a walk out an airlock! The ship’s only shuttle was still in the hangar bay, unused and in perfect condition. On the bridge, the throttles had been left wide open – indicating the ship had run until it ran out of fuel…

What had happened to the 57 crew of the I.S.S. Amundsen – and why was it that several members of the starbase security team had been telling tales of supernatural encounters while aboard her? Was the ship haunted? Was it cursed?

With no clear answers in sight, a frustrated Commodore Peters co-opts the assistance of one of her least-favorite people in the universe – Captain Stuart Flane of the starship Mercury! Flane is called in unwillingly, kicking and screaming, to investigate the mystery of the ghost-ship Amundsen. Embittered and resentful towards Commodore Peters for the way his well-documented reports about paranormal activity encountered in his travels through deep space have been received, he is skeptical from the outset. His best friend and executive officer, Commander Vic Chapman, does his best to keep his Captain’s morale up while while helping to unravel the chilling mystery, assisted by the Mercury’s chief medtech, Dr. Fred Killian. Together they explore the network of corridors of the decrepit old ship, delve through the records and personal effects of the strangely absent crew, and every step forward in progress leads them deeper into nearly a century’s worth of dust.

Together they work to find the answer – but with every step leading them deeper and deeper into a chilling, terrifying darkness, will it be an answer his skeptical superiors approve of?

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Reviews:

Dust! The final frontier, for one unfortunate crew anyway…

“Captain Stuart Flane is back and is called in again to investigate yet more strangeness in what is becoming a fun and mysterious version of X-Files in Space. And by X-Files, I don’t mean government secrets and the truth being ‘out there’, as much as these stories are ‘out there’! Like most of Engela’s works, this book, like the others in the series, represents the better episodes of the X-Files or even the Twilight Zone in places. And by that I mean the good stand alone episodes that make you think and keep you interested until the end!

While Captain Flane has seen it all in terms of the strange and macabre – he’s even been chased by superiors with golf implements and lived to tell the tale – this latest mission will leave you guessing all the way until the final stages. An unmanned ship arrives with zero trace of a crew apart from an abundance of dust being left in their absence. It’s well written, fun and all around a good read to take one away from the mundane of life if only for a while.

4 Stars – another fun read from Christina Engela whom I must thank for the copy in exchange for a review.” – review by Lee Hall, UK writer & reviewer, May 04, 2020.

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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, 2019.

 

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