The Galaxii Timeline

Although the Galaxii Series launches with “Blachart”, the story – the untold story – really begins many years before that – at the conclusion of the Third World War, sometime in the 21st century… with the near annihilation of the Human race!

Of the Galaxii timeline, Christina wrote:

“At this point, you may be wondering about the setting and timeline of my stories, and one day I will likely sketch a broad outline of the general framework – but without giving any actual dates! Why? Well, to give you an idea, when I started writing it, mobile phones were still sci-fi and seemed a bit like something out of Star Trek when they first came onto the scene back in the early 1990’s – so as I wrote more and more, and as time went by, the less specific I had to be about the actual dates in my series timeline! Back in 1990, I’d originally set the date for WW3 in the original first book (then titled “Galaxii” – which later became “Best Served Cold“) at 2020! (Imagine my surprise when fiction very nearly became fact just 3 days into 2020!) Understandably I think, it was wise of me to edit all those references to exact dates out during subsequent rewrites and revisions of the books that came after that – I mean, what good would it do for my readers to read about a future war that never took place …last month! Suffice to say, I set the earlier stories ‘sometime in the 21st century’, so I’ll leave it at that!”

“Best Served Cold” – the origin story of the Galaxii Series

War. Devastation. World War Three.

“Nobody knew who started the War, or why. Nobody really cared anymore. It was all over so quickly – and anyway, it seemed so long ago now. More people had died in one single day than in all the human wars in recorded history put together – and that’s all it took: just one day.

Terrible …isn’t it?

Life had gone on and on like it had for years and years, and then suddenly it started raining nukes – and within ten minutes, everything just turned to shit and ashes.

That the Earth hadn’t just turned to dust under the force of all the strikes and counter strikes was a miracle in itself. By the time it was over, much of the formerly so-called civilized world lay in ruins, smoking like it had had really good sex and gotten fucked hard, sideways.” – Broken Promises

Looking at the outcome somewhat optimistically – especially given the circumstances in today’s world, humanity finally realized the futility of fighting each other over territories, riches, power – and differences in culture, ideology and beliefs. Instead, all governments that survived the nuclear holocaust, begin to co-operate as a matter of survival. In the years that followed, remaining military resources were re-purposed towards a peaceful life.

“In the past two decades, Earth had become practically one nation – a nation of diverse races and cultures at peace with itself – a peace built upon millions being sick and tired of war, saddened beyond the bounds of grief of loss – and frightened out of their wits by the prospect of annihilation!

There hadn’t been any wars on Earth in just over twenty years. There was no active military left, just what could be described as a large labor force utilized mainly in the farming and industrial zones, with sub-divisions performing emergency services, medical and rescue, and civilian police work. What had once been described as an ‘air force’ now flew crop dusters and performed rescue and relief operations during natural disasters and at sea. Likewise, a conglomerate UEC navy now enforced commercial trade and fishing regulations, rescued ships in trouble, and did little else. There were no more wars, no more warriors. The optimistic outlook was, that there never would be again.” – Broken Promises

After waves of strikes and counter-strikes, Earth is all but devastated – with vast tracts of the surface left uninhabitable. With so much of the planet unsuitable to grow food on, Earth establishes farming and mining colonies on Luna (Earth’s moon), Mars, and several asteroids and moons in the Sol system. With survival of the species being the highest priority, Humanity is by this time, a multi-planet species in its own system. In this time of peace, Earth recovers and begins to flourish. It is just about at this point that the hostile Ruminarii enter, stage left.

Without attempting to make any contact, this conqueror-species is first observed by long range probes, setting up what appears to be a military base on Pluto for staging an invasion of Earth. Desperate to avoid another war, Earth sends a specially modified long range loderunner to make contact with the aliens – but the aliens aren’t interested in talking at all, and destroy the ship without a word. Barely a day later, the Gimp as they are labeled, launch a massive assault on all Earth’s colonies in the system, destroying most of them in a single stroke. Cut off, practically unarmed and under-supplied, Earth realizes it is again at war – like it or not – for the same tired old reasons as before, greed, territory, and power – only this time, the fight would be between the Human, and the inHuman – and it would be a fight to the death!

At the onset of the Gimp War, Humanity faces a terrible foe who is better equipped, better prepared – and also violent, remorseless and cruel. Earth’s would begin by having its military put down its farming implements and begin the mass manufacture of cutting edge weaponry whose designs had been buried in a vault for over a decade, and later, improvised from reverse-engineered captured Ruminarii tech. Although outgunned and outmatched technologically, the Earth Defense Fleet (EDF) would distinguish itself through desperation, ferocity, and tenacity. The Gimp War would last five years, culminating with the Battle of Pluto – when the EDF finally pushed the invading Ruminarii force all the way back to Pluto, and defeat it outright. It is at this time that Earth is strongly unified socially and politically – and on the verge of achieving interstellar travel for itself.

A collage of sketches done for the original first title of the Galaxii Series, originally titled “Galaxii”, from about 1990.

The original prequel to the series “Best Served Cold” (original title “Galaxii”) tells this story, interlaced with the stories of numerous characters and events of these times. Although I finished the first draft in the early 2000’s, and began a second complete redraft of the work nearly a decade later, it remained unresolved until early 2020, when “Best Served Cold” was finally released.

Between “Best Served Cold” and “Blachart”

Some changes occur at this point, where Earth’s central governing body transforms – according to public sentiment – into a constitutional monarchy. This results in the foundation of the Terran Empire, headed by the first elected Emperor. The Earth Defense Fleet also first ventures into interstellar travel, and transforms into the Imperial Space Fleet. Having just tasted the metal of alien contact, determined to never again fall victim to alien aggressors, Earth prioritizes a program of deep space exploration – shortly followed by a program of colonization which is mainly aimed at ensuring that enough of the Human species can exist independently from Earth and the Sol system. The intentions of the Terrans are first and foremost peaceful – and overall this period is free of war, but it is not without incident. This phase of human history begins with one very important mission – the very first Earth ship to ‘go beyond‘ the Sol system, to explore a neighboring star system. It is here that the short story “Beyond” fits in.

Over the next 80 years or so, Earth grows and expands its territory to encompass many star systems – most of which are uninhabited. Colonies are founded, such as Tremaine (the first extra-solar Terran colony). These begin to grow over time in their own right, spawning the development of trade routes, population shifts and further social diversification. Right about here is where my short stories “The Devils In The Sky” and “A Really Bad Day In The Life Of Lance Corporal Thomas O’Blivion” fit in.

During this time, while Earth constantly pushes the boundary of known space backwards, many alien species are encountered, although very few are sentient or civilized, or civilized to the same level as the Terran Empire believes itself to be. For the most part, these alien civilizations are less-technologically advanced or capable of defending themselves, and while Earth opens diplomatic relations with all of them, many are convinced by envoys or diplomatic missions to join the Empire as protectorates – which means that although they are within the boundaries of Imperial space, they remain fully independent of Imperial rule while essentially becoming allies to the Terran Empire. It is around this time where “I, Mac” and “Little Green Men” slot into the time line.

In the meantime, while the Space Fleet is happily exploring space and pushing back boundaries, Terran colonies begin to come under attack from space pirates. The pirates are of Earth stock – the descendants of refugees who fled Earth during the turmoil of the Third World War (The Big Nuke) and the Gimp War – and they see the rich, flourishing colonies as fair game! After all, why work hard to produce much needed commodities yourself, when you can just take someone else’s? The space pirates become known as “Corsairs”, and they wear black, run black ships – usually older type converted loderunners armed with improvised or scavenged weaponry.

The Corsairs reputation grows as they strike seemingly with impunity, sacking smaller, younger colonies and outposts. Traveling along the trade routes becomes a hazardous proposition, with Corsairs pouncing on lone loderunners ferrying valuable goods between the outer colonies and Earth. Merchant ships (loderunners) begin the practice of traveling in convoys, escorted by smaller warships (battlespringers). This is where the short story “The Thirteenth Ship” fits in. The Corsairs become more confident with each passing year, until the high point of their reign of terror is the series of infamous attacks known as ‘the Christmas Massacres’. For many years, the Corsairs are a fearful menace to not only new and poorly defended Terran colonies and outposts, but also to all shipping near the outskirts of Terran space – the Outblack. Many attacks by Corsair ships are documented and the Corsairs are blamed for a great many vessels that go missing during this period.

Not knowing where the Corsairs will strike next, all the Space Fleet can do is react to reported attacks and try to anticipate where next the Corsair nemesis will strike. The Corsairs’ home world is called Turtle Island, after the mythical island colonized by Earth buccaneers in the 17th century. This world rises to infamy under the name Meradinis. Meradinisis somewhere in deep space, its location kept a closely guarded secret – and it is this obstacle which hampers the Space Fleet in its role as defenders of the Terran colonies. For a number of decades towards the end of this period, this is the status quo. Rumors, myths and legends abound.

Blachart

Action! Adventure! Space opera!

Mykl d’Angelo, skipper and owner of the loderunner Pegasus, had fallen on hard times – and he’d just had the worst day of his life in that field. Due a minor misunderstanding, his crew had stolen the “Short Shit” – the ship’s only shuttle, leaving him and two others behind to crew the ailing (and now understaffed) loderunner on their own. As if that weren’t bad enough, just a few hours later, the ricketty old ship literally lost its stardrive in the middle of the middle of nowhere. To add insult to injury, Mykl’s two remaining crewmen were killed in the explosion. Marooned alone in deep space, Mykl d’Angelo counted his blessings, offered prayers to any gods who specialized in miracles, and prepared to await (A) seemingly unlikely rescue, or (B) a lingering death.

In the meantime, as though in answer to d’Angelo’s pleas, a starship of the Imperial Space Fleet had been dispatched to investigate the mysterious silence of a remote starbase nearby. Rescue takes place, but at a price – taking into consideration Mykl d’Angelo’s past service in the Fleet – and his not insignificant knowledge and experience of Corsairs, he quickly finds himself re-activated in an advisory capacity. Proceeding at full alert, the Antares prepared for the worst – that is, the probability that the lost starbase had been attacked and destroyed by Corsairs… space pirates who dominate the space lanes and whose bloody choke-hold on interstellar trade overshadowed the last 100 years of Human history.

Seemingly by sheer coincidence, their paths cross with a legendary and fearsome Corsair – a man whose name sent shivers running down the spines of lesser men. Blachart… Blachart the Bloody.

Blachart” is book 1 in the Galaxii Series by Christina Engela.

“At times tense, at other times funny, Christina manages to maintain a healthy balance between humour and excitement – producing a first novel that is as easy to read as it is a joy to experience. Truly this is one of the very best sci-fi novels that I have read all year!” – Mark Woods, author of “Time of Tides” and “Fear of the Dark”.

Demonspawn

The I.S.S. Mordrake is in serious trouble – after a skirmish with a Corsair marauder, she is stranded in deep space far from regular shipping routes – and death appears certain.

…but in space, not all things are certain, not even death.

Adrift and stranded in deep space with no hope of rescue, the I.S.S. Mordrake has six month’s worth of food left, but just less than two weeks of air – and things are looking pretty grim. And, as if there’s not enough on their plate already, something dark and mysterious drifts into their path – an ancient derelict ship littered with the dusty remains of its long-dead crew! The derelict presents an all-too convenient and timely solution to their problem, offering the desperate castaways the spare parts they badly need to repair their ship… but nothing’s ever really that easy, is it? There’s no such thing as a free lunch out here, in the cold empty wastes of deep space.

Resentment, bitterness and malaise having taken hold of the survivors, this sudden reprieve brings new challenges – in order for the crew of the Mordrake to survive, they have to work together – even though the faceless, cold-blooded killer who murdered the Mordrake’s Captain still walks freely among them! Despite a further run of mysterious accidental deaths, they must find a way to retrieve the parts they need to repair their own vessel – no matter what it was on the derelict ship that seemed to want to keep them for itself!

Demonspawn” is the second title in the Galaxii Series by Christina Engela.

“This story reminded me of films such as Alien and Event Horizon but Demonspawn could easily stand shoulder to shoulder with them. There were many concepts of the sci-fi genre in this book that were original and put together in a way not seen before anywhere else (this was especially so for the ‘Akx’.) It’s an enjoyable read that will leave you wanting more. 5 Stars.” – by Lee Hall, UK-based writer, playwright and reviewer.

Although “Blachart” (book 1) and “Demonspawn” (book 2) run in sequence, both stories occur more or less simultaneously. Both tell the stories of imperial starships on the hunt for Corsair ships, with “Blachart” focusing on the crew of the ISS Antares tracking down the Corsair base – which would result in the first mass military action by Terran forces since the end of the Gimp War – while “Demonspawn” tells the tale of another starship (ISS Mordrake) which is severely damaged in a skirmish with a Corsair ship and becomes stranded in deep space with little hope of rescue.

Following the discovery and infiltration of Meradinis by the crew of the imperial star ship Antares, the assembled might of the Terran Space Fleet descends upon the Corsair planet. The Battle of Turtle Island rages in orbit over Meradinis, resulting in the absolute destruction of the Corsair fleet – ending the Corsair menace for all time. It takes imperial forces eight months to bring Meradinis completely under Terran control, with the intention of rehabilitating Meradinis and its population and eventually re-integrating them into Terran society. This of course, leads us up to “Dead Beckoning“, the third book in the Galaxii Series.

Dead Beckoning

Action! Adventure! Space Pirates!

The fearsome Corsairs had waged a campaign of terror against the Human colonies for nearly a century, plundering and dominating the space lanes that crossed the Terran Empire, at will, all the while keeping the location of their base a closely guarded secret. Then one day, quite unexpectedly, the Corsairs luck finally ran out…

After nearly two days of fierce fighting, the Battle of Turtle Island left the skies of the Corsair world darkened with their dead. In orbit, the remnants of the once feared Black Fleet drifted, blazing… while below, the Corsair civilization breathed its last. The Terrans had finally defeated the dreaded Corsairs.

For a while, the terror seemed to be over, but not just yet.

Not all the great Corsair figures of legend had been killed or captured – a few had slipped through the net.

Dead Beckoning” is the tale of Adam – a former Corsair captain working to expunge his bloody past by doing good – starting by helping the imperial star ship Antares to track down and capture one of the most powerful and feared Corsairs in legend: Sona Kilroy… aka The Hammer.

Like every warrior who leaves home to go to war, Adam hoped to return to the arms of his love – but Adam wasn’t exactly a soldier, and Marsha… well, Marsha wasn’t exactly standard spec either… but if he did return at all, he hoped to return to her.

For Mykl d’Angelo and Ripley Jones, Joe Lofflin and Dellon Bennett, Space Fleet was more than just a job – and the Antares and Mordrake more than just ships – they were home and family.

Dead Beckoning” is the third title in the Galaxii Series by Christina Engela.

“Engela’s eye for the quirky humor of even the darkest situations sets her writing apart from the masses. Her fiction combines oddball humor, in the tradition of writers like Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, with the best of traditional science fiction.” – Sarah Rutledge Fischer, Focus Mid-South Magazine.

Following the defeat of Meradinis, many stragglers escape the Corsair home world. One of the most notable of these is ‘Martel the Mighty’, the Corsair leader – and Sona Kilroy, the Admiral of the Corsair fleet. Kilroy sets out recruiting new ships and crews, picking up other stragglers along the way, and gradually builds a new Corsair fleet based at Endicor, with the intention of starting the Corsair civilization anew. Following rumors of sightings of Corsair ships, a task force consisting of the I.S.S. Antares and I.S.S. Mordrake is formed, with the intention of putting a stop to the Corsair menace once and for all. The taskforce discovers Endicor and the Second Battle of Turtle Island is fought there.


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 christinaengela@gmail.com or use the Contact form.

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All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2020.

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