Name: Jennifer Rockwell Ganoung (writing as J.B. Rockwell)
Twitter Handle: @Rockwell_JB
Genre: Adult Science Fiction
Word Count: 85K
My Main Character's Most Fearsome Obsession is:
Her crew and keeping them out of harm’s way. After she’s nearly destroyed, Serengeti loses everything—weapons, navigation, communications, even access to her star charts and other critical data. Protecting her crew is the one thing that keeps her going when her systems fail and her shredded body starts to come undone.
It was supposed to be an easy job: find the Dark Star Revolution Starships, destroy them, and go home. But a booby-trapped vessel decimates the Meridian Alliance fleet, leaving Serengeti—a Valkyrie class warship with a sentient AI brain—on her own, crippled and abandoned in an empty expanse of space.
On the edge of total failure, Serengeti thinks only of her crew, herding the survivors into a lifeboat, and freezing them in cryogenic sleep before slinging them into space. But the escape pod sticks in her belly, locking the sleeping crew inside. Isolated and adrift, Serengeti and her last two robots struggle to break the lifeboat loose. But when a scavenger ship arrives to pick her bones clean, Serengeti and the robots abandon their efforts and focus on simply keeping the trapped crew alive.
With her engines dead and her guns long silenced, Serengeti must find a way to fight the scavengers off, or risk losing her crew forever.
Serengeti dropped out of hyperspace into a quiet, empty section of the cosmos.
Too quiet. Too empty.
Sensors drank in data, feeding it to Serengeti’s AI brain.
“Something’s not right,” she said
Henricksen cocked his head, looking up at the camera. “Because we’re here or because the ships we came after aren’t?”
Serengeti shunted the sensors’ feeds to the bridge. “Take a look for yourself.”
Henricksen frowned and stabbed at a panel, parsing through the information it displayed. “Nothing.” He shook his head. “Doesn’t make sense. There should be something here.”
“There should,” Serengeti agreed, studying him through the camera’s electronic eye. “That’s what has me worried.” Brutus—Bastion class, commander of their fleet—sent three scouts ahead, but none of them came back. Needless to say, he was not happy. So he sent Serengeti to find them—she and Henricksen, the rest of their crew.
She scanned the area around them and found nothing. No marker buoys or distress beacons. No radiation signatures, none of the electronic noise interstellar vessels endlessly squawked out. Not one sign of their scouts or the enemy warships they’d been tracking. Just an unsettling silence
Not good. Not good at all.
Space was many things, but it was seldom quiet.
“Nothing.” Henricksen pounded the panel in frustration. “Not a god-damned thing.” He straightened, looking out the huge windows wrapping the front of the bridge. “Where the hell are they, Serengeti?”
Gone, she thought, drifting in the darkness, the stars keeping her company outside. Destroyed like all the other ships before them.