Life finds a way—to get in the way. As a novelist, sometimes projects get delayed. Sometimes it’s for good reasons, other times it’s not. As Book 2 from my first Buck Rogers trilogy has been delayed again until the end of the summer, I thought it prudent to share the teaser with an anxious audience. These three novellas take place between the first and second season of the 1979-1981 television series and mark the transition between the vastly different format of each season.
Please enjoy a taste of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Draconian Fire Book 2—”Who Mourns for Theopolis?”.
—Andrew E.C. Gaska
Pulse cannons flared and disappeared in the inky abyss.
_________Seconds later, there was searing light.
_________The long-range blasts had found their mark—the earth starship Aniello. Balls of fire erupted along her peppered metal body. Her blemished skin ruptured and exploding atmosphere dashed to the stars.
_________The void blared violence.
_________Defiant, the Aniello wailed.
_________Her hull blistered and boiled under the onslaught. Milium burst and vented both men and ambuquad into space. Still, she would not die alone. Her assailants zigged about the starry battlefield, zagging to and fro. The pale green coppery starfighters were fast—too fast to get a lock on. And the Aniello wasn’t their only prey. Double pontooned Thunder fighters also blossomed in fiery death spasms under the aliens’ assault.
_________Inside, things were no better.
_________Cast in crimson hues, the starship’s bridge was in chaos. Alarms blared and klaxons burned. Aniello’s steadfast captain sat at attention in the command chair, helpless as the battle unraveled before him. Bridge displays birthed sparks and unconscious crew slumped over their consoles. As medical teams pulled the wounded from their stations, the other craft in his caravan blinked off of his tactical screen one by one.
_________The Aniello would be the last.
_________Reserve batteries destroyed and power conduits crippled, there was no way to bring pulsars back online, raise the shields, or do much of anything. Holding thrusters were at his command, but they would do very little under these circumstances. Listing forward, the Aniello began to shudder.
_________The battle was lost.
_________The ship’s captain depressed a button on his command pad. He rose. Pulling at the sides of his indigo tunic, he straightened his military uniform and brushed any debris from his shoulders. Finding himself presentable, Commodore Efram Asimov squared his shoulders, set his jaw, and prepared himself to deliver one final order to his crew. Two decades earlier, he had made a similar decision. He had been but a young lieutenant, in command of his first squadron of light cruisers. An unfortunate accident had forced his hand then. It was an order he had hoped he would never have to give again.
_________Yet here he was.
_________The channel was open, all he had to do was speak the words.
_________Those words. For the second time in his life. He hoped it was the last.
_________“Now hear this,” he began. “All crew make way to the lifeboats.”
_________Efram drew a deep breath.
From the back cover:
The year is 1987, and NASA launches the last of America’s deep space probes. In a freak mishap, Ranger 3 and its pilot, Captain William ‘Buck’ Rogers, are blown out of their trajectory into an orbit which freezes his life support systems, and returns Buck Rogers to Earth, 500 years later…
The next chapter of the first original Buck Rogers in the 25th Century® adventure in over three decades! Set in the continuity of the original series, Draconian Fire Part 2: ‘Who Mourns for Theopolis?’ is the second of three novellas that fill in the gap between the first and second seasons of the 1979 disco sci-fi TV show Buck Rogers in the 25th Century®. Join Buck, Wilma, Twiki, Princess Ardala and Commander Kane as they face a threat that will either unite the known systems or instigate all-out war.
A BLAM! Ventures™ Production. Buck Rogers and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century® © and ® 1979-1981 and 2017 Dille Family Trust and are used under license. Published by BLAM! Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.