Wednesday, 6 June 2012

ALPHA ONE - THE KRONAN - another excerpt!

Whilst those of us in the UK wait for the paperback; I thought I would give you another little taster from book two in the Alpha One series:

The romance with space began on the moon and it very nearly
ended there. The loss of the first manned space station on the
moon in 2032—with fifty-eight crew members perishing in the
aftermath of a huge explosion—set space exploration back twenty
years before the people of Earth regained their fascination with
the cosmos and a second more permanent moon station opened
its doors. The new facility at Black Rock became the center of the
vast Alpha Two joint military commercial complex and it was here
that new non-ranking recruits and graduates of Alpha’s academies
arrived to start their tours.
Lieutenant Carla Stevenson’s shuttle touched down at 0800
hours after the short flight from Earth. Just two days after graduation
and only twenty-four hours after she said goodbye to Jake,
she was here. The cosseted, leafy surroundings of the South Down
Academy seemed a very long way away.
Carla was led into a large hall with two hundred other Alpha
personnel to await further instructions. After a few minutes,
names were called alphabetically and the numbers in the hall
slowly reduced. After what seemed an eternity, her name was
called and she approached the front to be greeted by her sponsor,
Major Thomas Harrington.
“Lieutenant Stevenson. Thomas Harrington, Communications
Lead. I trust you had a good trip?”
“Yes, it was fine, thank you Major.”
Carla was taken aback by the informal nature of her
introduction.
“Excellent. We need to take a shuttle to the Senate headquarters
on the eastern side of the base. Your accommodation will be
on site, rather than within the base.”
Carla followed the Major back towards the shuttle landing
bays and within minutes, they had boarded a small senate shuttle
for their short trip across the complex.
“You will see that we try to keep things informal. May I call
you Carla?

We are Alpha personnel, but what we do is to a degree separated
from the main body politic and our funding is direct from
ECG not Alpha. You will enjoy your work with us. It will be varied
and interesting and we are a sociable bunch. Your apartment
should be quite comfortable and we have direct access to the
eastern leisure facility, which helps to relieve the pressure of our
responsibilities.”
The shuttle landed and they entered a domed automated walkway,
which carried them the last three hundred meters to the senate
building.
“As you would expect, we are extremely busy. Both Alpha and
the ECG are desperately trying to engage the support of other APF
members. There are over seventy separate negotiations in place
at present, including some indirect attempts to open discussions
with the Kryl. For the immediate future, we will be moving from
one negotiation to the next as and when we are called for. This
afternoon, we will be sitting in on a discussion between Alpha
and the Elkhert’s Tribe. Are you familiar with their species and
language? If not the translator software will assist.”
“It is not a language I know but I can start to familiarize myself
right now.”
“No need. We are here to support and to listen. This is an APF
led initiative.”
“I am rather confused, Major. I thought my post was Junior
Communications Officer to the Senate. This role seems more diplomacy
than comms?”
“Your comms experience will come in useful, believe me, but
probably not today. As I suggested, our role is varied and there
will be quite a lot of listening, some comms and translation work,
a little diplomacy and occasionally a mix of all three. Don’t worry
it will all start to make sense in a week or two.”
Carla was uncertain but went ahead with the Major’s assertions.
She would listen, take it all in, and prepare herself. Although
she was finding it hard to see what relevance her four years of military
training had. However, in this environment, everyone had
to be flexible and she was ready for whatever challenge that was
brought before her.
She missed Jake and wondered how he coped with his threeweek
shuttle endurance. She was concerned for him but reasoned
that his combat ban would keep him away from immediate danger.
If there was anything the Senate could do to help the crisis to
resolution without a major battle, then she would do her utmost
to assist.


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