Lange’s Legacy


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“Lange’s Legacy” “Lange’s Legacy” is a story about Sean Lange, a man who works on a huge star-liner as chief of security. It’s a monotonous routine job, and with around 3000 guests and 1500 crew to look after, there’s no rest for the wicked. Space travel is pretty exciting, as he would tell you – which only means you get to see your life flash before your eyes several times a day – but can’t hear much dialog over the sound of your own screaming.

The disappearance of the Red Star Liner “Demeter” becomes one of the great unsolved mysteries of commercial deep-space travel, until one day, a military ship on patrol spots an object drifting in space – which turns out to be a shuttle from the long-lost mystery ship, Demeter. They find a body onboard – a body clutching a very long letter…

“Lange’s Legacy” is the fourth title in the Galaxii Series by Christina Engela.

Details:

  • Published: First Edition, July 13, 2018.
  • Pages: 126
  • Words: 39,342 (Flowing Text eBook)
  • Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
  • Dimensions (inches): 6×9″ tall (US Trade)

Back Cover:

“My name is Sean Lange, and you will probably never have heard of me. I always wanted to leave some kind of a legacy in this life, and perhaps to be remembered in a good way. Instead, circumstances have arranged it so that this is probably the last time I will ever use that name, and it probably won’t be remembered very kindly.

By now you will have noticed the name and registration of the shuttle. Demeter. I’m sure when you run it through the interweb, or if you’re from a military ship, through your own database – you’ll see that you’ve stumbled across a relic of one of those great mysteries of deep space, and probably one of those missing ships people like to write spooky stories about. Well, whatever they wrote, buddy, they got it quite wrong. You can take it from me. I was the chief of security on that civilian behemoth, and I saw it all go down. Hell, I was right in the center of it.

‘Paradise between the planets’, they called it. Most of the time, that’s how it was. But not this time. On the last voyage of the Demeter – a deep space star-liner with the Red Star Line, passengers and crew got more than they bargained for. Way more.”

Christina Engela is that rarest of authors – able to seamlessly blend together elements of dark horror and sci-fi to create stories that will stay with you long after the last page has been turned.” – Mark Woods, author of Time of Tides and Fear of the Dark.


CHRISTINA WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! A few nice words go a long way! Please leave your REVIEWS on Amazon, AnobiiApple iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Bol, Book Depository, eBookMall, FictionDB, Fnac, Foyles, Goodreads!Indigo, Kobo , Lulu, Lybrary, Nook, Smashwords, Takealot, 24 Symbols – or wherever you see Christina’s books – or just send her an email via the Contact form!


Synopsis:

[Spoiler Alert]

“Lange’s Legacy” is a story about Sean Lange, a man who works on a huge star-liner as chief of security. It’s a monotonous routine job, and with around 3000 guests and 1500 crew to look after, there’s no rest for the wicked. Space travel is pretty exciting, as he would tell you – which only means you get to see your life flash before your eyes several times a day – but can’t hear much dialog over the sound of your own screaming.

The disappearance of the Red Star Liner “Demeter” becomes one of the great unsolved mysteries of commercial deep-space travel, until one day, a military ship on patrol spots an object drifting in space – which turns out to be a shuttle from the long-lost mystery ship, Demeter. They find a body onboard – a body clutching a very long letter…

This presents yet another perplexing mystery to the crew of the patrol ship: The Demeter had disappeared over 44 years earlier, while the body had only been aboard for perhaps 30 – what had happened on that shuttle? And, even more of interest to Captain Stuart Flane of the starship Mercury, what had happened all those years ago on perhaps the most celebrated and widely infamous ghost ships of all time?

Only Sean Lange seemed to know the secret, and to find out, all Flane has to do, is read the letter.

This captivating story, deftly told in the first person, is the tale of Sean Lange, former chief of security onboard the Demeter, one of the largest (lost) passenger space liners in Terran history. His rather mundane existence is derailed when the ship diverts from its course to answer a distress signal, and arrives at the scene to find that the SOS had been sent by a Corsair vessel. Although sometimes fake distress calls had been used to lure unsuspecting and defenseless passenger ships to their doom in the past, this is not the case this time, as it is obvious the pirate vessel really is in trouble.

The search party that goes onboard to investigate finds only one survivor, who is deathly ill from a mysterious disease, and takes him back to the Demeter for treatment. Lange and Dr. Cove puzzle over the odd circumstances that led to the Corsairs predicament, and the strange condition in which the ship and its unfortunate crew were found.

Less than 24 hours later, while the Demeter continues on its way, the troubled Corsair passes away without imparting anything useful to his rescuers. A short time later, Dr. Cove is found dead in his lab.

With suicide unlikely, despite everything at the scene pointing at a self-inflicted fatal injury using a Corsair blaster presumably salvaged from the stricken pirate ship, Lange sets about investigating foul play, assisted by his close friend and colleague Lisa Garfner – beginning with how the weapon got aboard the Demeter.

He begins with the members of the team that accompanied him to the Corsair ship, tracing the weapon from one suspect to another – but bafflingly, one by one, they too seem to fall victim to the same affliction that killed the Corsair survivor. It then becomes apparent that everyone on board appears to be at risk as well. Soon, with both doctors dead and only the bare essential medical services available – there is no little to no chance of identifying the disease, or finding a treatment.

To make matters even worse, the giant ship’s only communications array mysteriously detaches itself and floats away unobserved during the night, cutting the ship off from the rest of the universe completely.

This second unexpected act of sabotage complicates the investigation for Lange and his deputy, Lisa Garfner – and poses a very serious threat to Demeter and all aboard. The sick begin to die, and as the number of sick alarmingly grows by the hour, passengers and crew alike become fearful and paranoid, and some resort to violence.

Among the passengers, a religious extremist cleric whips the fearful into a frenzy. In the midst of all this, Sean Lange sees a pattern to the affliction and is determined to run his investigation to the end, despite all the obstacles. His security personnel too begin to become affected, and gradually he finds himself facing this thing alone.

Finally, as things fall apart, the Demeter’s Captain and bridge crew seal themselves off to maintain control of the ship and increase speed to their nearest harbor, while Lange interviews one last unlikely suspect, a mysterious lady who seems to be keeping many secrets.

As order continues to break down on the ship, Lange discovers a secret so dark and terrifying that the Captain of the Demeter will do anything to prevent the thing that is killing passengers and crew from reaching any habitable world, even if it means killing everyone left on board…

Meanwhile, here is a little more information about the Red Star Line:

…or watch the video:

About The Galaxii Series

The History of “Lange’s Legacy”

Originally written in 2014, “Lange’s Legacy” started out as a short story called “Space Vacation”. In 2015, the short story version first appeared in “Fearotica” an anthology of short horror stories.  In 2016, a film-maker showed interest in doing a film version of the story, but that never materialized. 

At over 17,000 words in length, “Space Vacation” was later published as a standalone title related to the Galaxii Series in 2016.

Space Vacation.jpg

In June 2018, Christina reworked the entire story, changed the title to “Lange’s Legacy”, and more than doubled the content to over 39,000 words. On 13 July 2018, “Space Vacation” was taken down, and “Lange’s Legacy” officially became the fourth title in the Galaxii Series after the previous three newly reworked titles, “Blachart“, “Demonspawn” and “Dead Beckoning“.

Fun fact: “Lange’s Legacy” introduces two characters who feature strongly in Christina Engela’s third series – “Panic! Horror In Space“, Captain Stuart Flane and Dr. Fred Killian of the starship Mercury.

Reviews:

Reader Comments:

A Touch Of The Old ‘Who Done It’

“It was an adventure with a touch of the old ‘who done it’ feel to it. Also kind of romantic. Another really good read along with that ever present wicked humour!” – Wendy Keran Gloss

Vampires In Space? Loved It!

“I really didn’t see that coming! Vampires in space? Loved it!” – Jim

Impressive!

“Nice twist at the end. I like unforeseen twists. Loved it! A very good story, its impressive!” – Duncan Greene

Author Questions:

1) You’ve written several LGBT characters in your previous books – are there any in Lange’s Legacy?

Yes, at least two. In Lange’s Legacy there’s a gay man who works as one of the crew of the Demeter, and one of the passengers is a FTM (female-to-male) transsexual or transman.

2) What inspired you to write this story?

I’ve always enjoyed stories about lost ships reappearing many years after having mysteriously disappeared, stories about maritime disasters and so on – and I thought it would be interesting to explore that angle in a sci-fi/horror.

3) Why vampires? I thought this was a sci-fi story!

Now that’s an interesting question! Before I get to answering that, let me first illustrate my point by using an example: The movie “Event Horizon” – is it a horror, or is it science fiction? It has elements of both, correct? Now, because it has a paranormal, supernatural or religious aspect – that is, the myth of “Hell” right at the center of it, it could also be labelled “fantasy”, at least in part , not so? So which is it? In order to categorize it, we’ll have to look at these things – the theme, the setting, or the tone of the piece.

The theme is undeniably supernatural – a good versus evil clash of the two paradigms, so you could call it fantasy.

The setting is in the future, in space ships traveling through space, so in light of that, it could be called sci-fi.

The tone of the movie is definitely scary – it’s intended to frighten and scare the viewer – so in that light, it’s definitely a horror.

…and yet, it’s all three at once. That doesn’t mean the story isn’t sci-fi – after all, to give another example, the book (and movies) “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson was one of several sci-fi legends that explored vampirism as a medical condition, if you’re looking for a precedent.

Now, to come back to why I used vampires in my sci-fi story:

Because I felt like it.

4) “As a participant in the Vampire subculture, I noticed you seemed to use the correct terms in the right context, and I think that’s rare among authors who write vampire characters. Are you, or have you been part of the scene?” – Anonymous, 20171211.

Thank you. I think it’s wise to do research when you’re a writer. I’ve participated online in various groups, including the VC over the years, and have met many interesting people along the way! Ever since then, I like to portray my fictional vampire characters as close to the reality as possible without losing the aspects readers love about them – and (hopefully) without upsetting friends in the VC!

5) Where is Lange’s Legacy set in relation to the previous three stories?

Lange’s Legacy features Corsairs as one of the many plot devices, so it’s reasonable to say it takes place roughly at or before the time of the fall of the Corsair base-world, Meradinis, at the end of book 1 (“Blachart”). The story also mentions the colony Tremaine receiving its first-world status, which is likely to be some time before “Blachart”, since by that time, Tremaine has already been a first-world colony for some time.

6) What happens to Sean Lange and the others in the shuttle?

They’re bound to turn up again one day. Stay tuned to find out!

7) “I noticed you used characters from another series in this story? Aren’t your series separate?” – Bree, 20180710

Captain Flane and Dr. Killian are two characters from “Panic! Horror In Space”, another of my series, and in Lange’s Legacy, they make cameo appearances in the beginning and end of the story. I felt they added to the mystery and to the richness of the story by helping to frame the mystery in its context. I suppose I could easily have substituted other names for the roles, but decided against it.

All three my series (“Galaxii”, “Quantum” and “Panic”) are set in the same timeline and settings anyway. From time to time, one or more artifacts from one series will make an appearance in another. As an example of this, the starship Antares from “Galaxii” visits the planet Deanna in “The Time Saving Agency”, a title in the Quantum Series, only about thirty years later.

Copyright © Christina Engela 2005 – present

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