Arrival ~Sneak Peek

I hope by now I don’t have to tell you that there could be spoilers in this preview. If you haven’t read the other four books what in the world are you waiting for? Go check them out over at the Starship Hope series home page.

Now on to the good stuff…


People ran in every direction like cockroaches on fire. Asteroid fragments fell from the sky every day, taking with it their world one piece at a time. They dodged a guard by ducking behind a storage container.

“We won’t make it.” Robby’s eyes shifted from left to right in time with his panic. He’d had the same look the first time he’d gotten caught with his hand in mom’s cookie jar.

Robby was named for his father. Their mother had named both of her sons for their fathers, just to be sure they could track them down should they choose to find them. Unlike himself, the only physical trait his little brother Robby shared with his father were the gray eyes.

The older boy gave his brother a stern look, willing him forward. “We’ll make it. Now shut up and run.”

The two of them bolted through the panicked throng, racing for the hangar. They dodged weapons fire from the guards defending the last ship leaving the planet. With one day left and only one functioning ship on the ground, things were beyond catastrophic.

The countdown to the planet’s inevitable destruction played on every visible display. They’d named their destroyer Harvey, like something out of a Blue Earth movie. Harvey was coming, whether they liked it or not, and it would crush whatever was left of Zelenia.

Government and military personnel had reserved the Intent for themselves on a base on the outskirts of the Western continent. They believed hiding the truth from everyone somehow gave them a free ticket off the planet. The Coalition had other plans, and so did he. As soon as he heard of their plans to take the last ship, he knew it would be Robby and his last chance to survive.

The Starship Hope had left the rest of the world to burn, carrying with it the future of their planet. Days later, reporters discovered a second and third ship preparing to launch. The Aspire left the planet a week ago and had immediately lost contact. The third, they named the Reliant never made it off the ground because of some technical problem. That left the Intent, the fourth and final lifeboat.

As the most sought-after target, they’d focused their attention on the Intent. The collapse of all worldwide systems of government and law enforcement made it impossible for security to be everywhere at once, but dragging his brother from behind one storage container to the next was taking its toll. The Coalition’s leak of the location of the last remaining ship gave people like him, who paid attention, a fighting chance.

But that meant getting past the desperate crowd, the guards, the security protocols, and getting on the ship itself without detection. Reaching the ship dressed in maintenance clothing had been their best option. So far, the guards had waved them forward toward the ship, but in the chaos, there was the risk that they could still take on stray fire.

The guards had their backs to the only other way onto the ship. Studying the specs of every ship and reviewing their designs would save them.

Robby remained glued to his older brother’s back as they ran until they reached the last container before their final mad dash to the ship’s waste system. It would be clean, but only until they took off. Once they launched, the ship would purge the system and anyone caught inside would suffocate and die in the waste.

After two attempts, the hatch released, and he climbed halfway in before he turned back to wave his younger brother forward.

Robby shook his head, then scanned the moving crowd again.

“Come on.” He mouthed the words and gestured to his brother with one hand.

Robby hesitated a beat, then rose and ran forward. He was still moving forward when the shot hit him in the back. His body fell in slow motion, but his eyes stared straight ahead toward his older brother.

His older brother’s scream died in the air. It took him several moments to stop shaking from rage. He still hadn’t gotten onboard the ship.

“You there!” a guard shouted. The voice came from behind him. It took him less than a second to determine this was the one who’d shot his brother.

“You shot him…” The words trickled out of his mouth like the blood on his brother’s lips.

“This crowd is out of control. He got in the way.”

It hadn’t been because they’d discovered, it was because he’d gotten between the guard and someone else.

“Where are you supposed to be?” the guard demanded.

“We were supposed to be working on the waste outtake system.”

“Well, get to it. You don’t want to get caught up in this mess. Besides, I’m pretty sure this ship is taking off early. We can’t cover you any longer.”

He took one last look at his little brother, then started to climb.

The waste shaft wasn’t clear, as he’d been expecting. It was already in use. He slid around in the muck, hoisting himself up in places using the tips of his fingers and the toes of his boots. After several tries, he willed himself forward. Every hatch he passed led to rooms where he overheard crew talking or maintenance checks being performed.

Once they initiated the launch, things only got worse. The smell of off-gas made him choke as he crawled to the next hatch.


Gagging on the smell, he scrambled to the next opening. He didn’t care anymore if he crawled out of the system on the floor of the bridge. He had to get out or else he’d die.

Fortunately, the hatch gave under his hands, and he crawled out coughing and gasping for air. He rolled onto his back, sucking in fresh air, and for the first time noticed where he’d ended up. He lay face-up on the floor of an empty storage hanger, staring at the exposed beams on the ceiling and the large crates all around him.

From his position on the floor, he felt the shift of the craft as it lifted off the ground. Alone with his grief at last, his thoughts went to Robby. His brother should have been panting on the floor beside him. He’d lost so much already, too much. This was supposed to be their last chance to set things right.

 He’d lost track of how long he laid there. The minutes became hours, and in his exhaustion, he’d grown too weak to care. Instead, he dreamed of his younger days with his mother and brother back home. He could almost feel the sun beating down on his bare back.

He turned toward it and its rays blinded him. Then the bright sunlight turned artificial, and he lifted his hand to block the flashlight beam shining in his face.

The young man holding a blaster and the light on him wasn’t wearing a uniform. He couldn’t be much older than his younger brother. The realization of it set his teeth on edge. This young man stood with a confidence his brother hadn’t gotten to live long enough to attain.

“Who are you?” the young man demanded.

Just because he had the confidence didn’t mean he’d earned it, though.

“You’re not crew,” he replied, his voice scratchy from mourning his brother.

The man’s blaster lowered to his side, and he commanded others to do the same.

“No, neither are you.” He didn’t wait for confirmation as he continued, “This ship belongs to the Coalition now. You can choose to join us, or get thrown out the airlock with the other resisters.”

“You’re with the CAH?”

“You haven’t answered my question. Who are you?”

He could be CAH if that meant his survival. He’d do what he and his brother would have done together. Captain Dana Pinet would pay for her father’s mistakes.

“I’m Coalition, too. The name’s Tank.”

***To Be Continued***

Pick up your copy of Starship Hope Arrival and finish it today!


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