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Pirating Christmas

Pirating Christmas

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Pirating Christmas

93 pagine
1 ora
Jan 25, 2017


Christmas Eve, Captain Faraway and her crew are ordered to a desolate planet to rescue a crashed cruise ship. However, all is not as it seems. With the commander of the pleasure ship not being forthcoming, most of the surviving passengers didn't know they'd been shot down. Faraway is put in the position of revealing some unpleasant truths to attractive medical officer Ethan Roarke. Can Captain Faraway and the sexy doctor ferret out those whom don't belong before they've killed her crew and taken over her vessel, or will they pirate Christmas along with their ships?

Jan 25, 2017

Informazioni sull'autore

Leona Bushman goes by many names but the most common one is superhero. She earned this name from saving a kangaroo from a tree and yes that is as hard as it sounds. The dragons taught their queen how to write, and Queen Leona hasn't looked back. Even when her muse tries to muck things up. Or, as one blogger put it, Leona Bushman is a whirlwind made of sheer will, with a dash of clumsy to keep her grounded. She can be found solving mysteries, exploring space, making art, and loving dragons and other creatures of the supernatural at these places: Twitter: @L_Bushman Facebook: Facebook artist page: Website: Blog: Newsletter: Currently Released Romance: Murder by Succubus Luck of the Draw The Ulfric's Mate** The Midwife's Moon** Duty, Honor, Desire* Pirating Christmas Magic and Weres anthology Winds of Fire Other genres: Mayhem in Mexico: Zombie Infestation Death's Car Coming soon: Slow Fever **War of the Weres Chronicles: Volume 1 Cerisa's Quest **The Panther's Hunter *Denotes charity anthology. All proceeds go to Help for Heroes. **Denotes War of the Weres series

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Pirating Christmas - Leona Bushman

Pirating Christmas

Leona Bushman

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Pirating Christmas

Copyright © 2016 Leona Joy Bushman

All Rights Reserved

Original Editor: Deadra Krieger

Cover Artist: Victoria Miller

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.

Chapter One

Faraway Hastings, Fara for short to a select group of friends, stood at ease next to her captain’s chair as she surveyed her bridge. The clean lines of the command areas, silver accents matched the arms of her captains chair. The warm colors on the crew chairs and walls between stations combined for a calming environment for her crew. Many of them were new to her command. Christmas was a stink time to be called out on a mission, but someone had to go, and the Empire had decide it would be her ship, her crew.

Her umber hair lay tight in a bun at the nape under her formal captain’s hat, with the spotless matching uniform pressed to its best line, and gleaming shoes. She’d ordered full dress for everyone on and off duty to help the mood of her people, allowing for suits and dresses off duty as desired.

She gazed around her bridge with pride. Newest in the fleet and recently upgraded in the speed department. They were the first of its class—full-fledged medical ship, closely in tune to an actual hospital as well as full military class ship. A prototype, but only a select few understood the reality and fewer still knew all of the ins and outs on her ship.

She watched the crew as they each went about their duties, pressing buttons, scanning, taking reports. It all ran like clockwork, much to her satisfaction. They were headed to Paradox 3, near their own star system, for a possible rescue mission of a downed ship. The planet had a small base for emergency landings and six other outposts, mainly to set up communication lines on the ground. The planet held nothing for her young crew to get excited about on their holidays.

No warm sun, no exotic peoples, no reason to e-tag family members to share or brag that they’d been there. The Empire had cultivated Paradox 3 as a utility planet. No private entities had asked to be allowed to expand to the outer limits planet.

Which brought them around to why it had to be a military class ship that went and her ship in particular, despite it being the eve of the most popular holiday for their species. Only the military could safely make an attempted rescue, and if the small passenger ship had landed on the other side of the planet, they would have waited. However, this time of year, temps dropped way below zero at night on the continent the other ship had crash landed on, and no one knew for sure the status of the supplies on that continent for such a large group of people. The admiral had briefed her on all this when they’d made the decision for her ship to be the one to leave port.

Ensign, she said. What is the latest status of the crashed refugees?

Reports have come in steadily from their med officer and captain. Their captain states the crew is holding up well, despite the strain. The med officer is more eloquent.

The young ensign, named Norld Barl, an Uralian, with hair blue as his eyes and skin white as an albino, cleared his throat. He was the first Uralian she’d had on her crew, and Fara wondered if the throat clearing meant the same for him as his Earth counterparts. The universal translator automatically told her his words but couldn’t interpret sounds and facial expressions.

Yes, Barl?

I will quote what he says. ‘If we don’t get people off this fucking planet, there won’t be anything but bodies to rescue. A week of subzero temps have cost more than one of our elderly their fingers. I don’t care if you have to cram us in like a can of sardines, but put down your goose and pie and haul your ass here and get us off this should-have-been-forsaken planet.’ The ensign stopped and partially turned to look at her. There is more along the same speech pattern, he added.

She didn’t know whether to laugh or send back a scathing reply. Give me a synopsis of what he says. I get the overall tone of his message.

Barl nodded and turned back to his console. The medical officer does not approve of the conditions on the planet or of the medical facilities. He is extremely worried about the people in his care.

Now Captain Hastings did smile. Good, safe description of the medical officer’s more colorful pronouncements. Message back the captain. Tell him our ship will arrive in four and a half hours. Prepare your people. We will be taking on the medical patients first. Then tag our Medical Officer Riley and tell him to prepare for the new arrivals and forward him the latest medical files I presume were included in the colorful message from their MO.

Aye, Captain. The ensign began pushing buttons as she paused to think of the best way to tell the other medical officer to piss off and still be professional. As for the passenger ship’s medical officer... What’s his name, full rank, and species?

Barl mumbled something and pushed a few more buttons. His name is Ethan Roarke, lieutenant first class on current mission. Has a full ranking of lieutenant commander. He is human, sir.

Captain Hastings spread her full lips into a not-so-nice smile. Oh good. I can’t wait to meet him. Anyone who saw her smile might be fooled into thinking it would be a pleasure to meet with him, but she’d be willing to bet that one look at the steel in her amber eyes would belie the idea. You may tell the lieutenant medical officer that our sick bay is at his patients’ disposal and that I will meet with him privately as soon as the sick and injured have been logged in.

She heard the intake of breath among her officers. Her first officer entered the bridge in time to hear her message. Captain, sir. Problems? Eric Salem was a good-looking off-worlder. His family had been among the first humans to reach for the stars past the dwarf planet Pluto. They had been gone from Earth for so long, they were called off-worlders to differentiate the humans born and raised on Earth or its moon.

We have a mouthy refugee medical officer. He ranks lieutenant commander, so I shall deal with him personally. She couldn’t help the glee that entered her voice. Lieutenant Ethan Roarke would soon find out how she dealt with whiners. Her young crew had been underway for three days, knowing they would miss out on the holidays with their families. Some had children with them; others had left them behind for various reasons.

But none, not a single one, had complained or tried to bow out of their

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