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The Galaxii Series Omnibus 1 By Christina Engela Characters: 5756

Updated: 2018-06-29 19:02

Up until three days ago, I.S.S. Mordrake had been a fully functional Benatar class cruiser of the Imperial Space Fleet. That is, until the incident at Horner's World – an isolated desolate chunk of rock in the furthest known, godsforsaken reaches of the Omegan Quadrant – a vast stretch of barely charted, let alone known, space. Now, thanks to the ill-considered actions of Captain Philip Wainright Blaine – that bombastic old bastard, the task of telling two hundred and twenty six crewmen to prepare to die fell to yours truly – Joe Lofflin.

Two hundred and twenty six!

It was a frightening thought! A sobering thought – which was why it was so hard for Lofflin to actually get drunk that day… the thought of certain death kept seemingly counteracting the effects of the alcohol. Certain death by hypoxia – freezing cold and suffocation, as the ship's waning emergency batteries gradually and inexorably wore down… Death looked pretty damned certain alright!

Or was it? In space, not all things were certain… not even death.

And yet, here they were. So many men and women, confined together in a floating metal, artificial, technological tomb – so much collective talent, skill and experience – and none of it any use to them! There was nothing they could do to prevent it! So they'd given up… They'd already done all that was Humanly possible, after all. There was only so much that a superbly skilled crew could do with tons of steel and plastic.

Two shuttles were left intact onboard the ship, but they were useless as they were well out of range of any safe haven. In emergencies, one shuttle could carry forty people – but would run out of oxygen in as many hours. That minor detail had settled any argum

Corsairs would raid here, and while the Fleet responded as quickly as they could, the Corsairs retreated, and raided there… and so it went, on and on, for years and decades, seemingly without end. The Fleet's inability to find the Corsair home world after all this time was what had prevented the Terran forces from actually combating the threat and taking it out at the root – and until they knew where to find the Corsairs, or figured out how to be everywhere at once, nothing would change.

The Corsair's intelligence was excellent. This led to the suspicion that they had spies and agents at ship yards, space docks, star bases, colonies, and perhaps even in the Space Fleet itself. They seemed to have a knack for striking only at the least well-defended settlements, which seemed both terrifying and abhorrent at the same time. Raping, killing, looting, pillaging, wanton violence – hell, if there was a word to describe all the things they did in one word, Lofflin still hadn't found it! Their list of crimes against Humanity was piling up to the point of becoming an obscene parody of the Space Fleet's inability to protect the Colonies.

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