Monday, July 10, 2017

PC Haring Introduces Character Nira Fen Amado

Greetings!   I’m P.C. Haring, the author of Slipspace: Harbinger and I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this and check out my new book.     

Today I’d like to introduce you to the character of Nira Fen Amado.  As the civilian head of medical services on board a military battleship, she finds herself in an uncomfortable position, given that her husband serves aboard as well.  With that in mind, I present an excerpt from an interview she would have given to embedded press reporters during the ship’s shakedown.  

So, let’s get right down to it, Dr. Amado, and address the elephant in the room.  Your husband commands this ship.  The phrase ‘conflict of interest’ seems appropriate in this circumstance, wouldn’t you say?

I can certainly see that point; however, it assumes that our interests are mutually exclusive.   Captain Amado and I both share the same interest in ensuring the wellbeing of this crew for the duration of its tour of duty.   Yes, we have different functions, but our overall goal remains the same, even if we approach a problem from different angles.  

But, at the same time, your relationship with your husband might give the impression that one of you might cave when it came to a legitimate conflict of interest and make a decision that would not be in the best interest of the ship or its crew.  

Actually, I think my relationship with him as my husband is an advantage, unlike your implication.   Because we know each other as well as we do, we know how to approach the other and present our points of view to each other in meaningful and constructive ways.   If anything, it should help us resolve any professional differences more quickly and productively as a result.   

You can’t be that naïve to think it’s always going to be smooth sailing on a professional level, Doctor.

I’m not.  At some point, there’s going to be a patient in my ward who has information the captain needs and we’re going to butt heads over ships security vs the patient’s well-being.  I don’t envy that argument.

Who wins that argument?

That’s something I’d prefer not to think about.   No matter which one of us ‘wins’, we both lose.  

So why put yourself in that position?  Why take this posting at all, knowing the inevitable tension it would put on your marriage?

You just answered your own question.   He’s my husband. 

Yes.  But you had a successful career back on Lumo.  You could have easily stayed there.

True.  But that wouldn’t have done anyone any good.  Our goals as a married couple are incompatible with one of us being left behind.  I go where he goes, and vice versa.   Therefore, the only options would have been for one of us to give up our career for the other. Again, no matter who ‘won’ that argument we both would lose.   But we were able to avoid that problem when the Captain offered me the job here.  

Sounds convenient.  

I resent that implication.   The Alliance puts all of their civilian contractors through a rigorous vetting process and retains final approval for all civilian assignments.   If I were unqualified or inappropriate for the role, I would not be here.   For you to imply that I am either unqualified or jumped ahead in some non-existent line because someone called in a favor is insulting at best.  

I see.  Well, I suppose time will tell us how that bears out.   

Yes.  Yes, it will.  

And there you have it.  Thank you again for reading and letting me come in and share some insight into one of my favorite characters in this book.   I hope you enjoyed it.  If you did, and you enjoyed the excerpt, I hope you’ll consider stepping aboard for the maiden flight of the Mjöllnir and her crew.   

Slipspace: Harbinger
Book 1
P.C. Haring

Genre:  Sci-Fi/Space Opera

Date of Publication: 5/1/17

ISBN: 978-1545253663

Number of pages: 336
Word Count: 110,600

Cover Artist: Starla Hutchton

Tagline:  The War went cold a decade ago…

Book Description:

A fringe colony world has gone dark, and Captain Cody Amado and the crew of the ISPA’s newest battle cruiser, Mjöllnir, must respond and investigate. No one is prepared for the destruction that awaits them.

Agendas collide as the bonds of duty, loyalty, and family are tested, and the major governments position themselves to prepare for what is to come next. With interstellar tensions rising, the crew of the Mjöllnir race to discover the connection between the colony’s destruction, an alien society so reclusive it has only been rumored about, and an enemy that disappeared a decade prior.

Is this merely an isolated incident, or is this a harbinger of much darker things still to come?


October 13, 2832
Mjöllnir - Captains Quarters

Morning came too soon for the Amados, much to Nira’s chagrin.  Together, she and Cody made their way through the endless corridors.  With the Mjöllnir just a few minutes out from Artez, the decks were buzzing with activity as the crew prepared for as many contingencies as could be planned. 
They exchanged a brief kiss before going their separate ways- Nira towards the Med-deck and Cody  to OpCom as Cassie’s voice echoed through the ship’s public address system announcing their pending arrival and setting the ship at condition two.  He stepped through the hatch and found the ship’s command center no exception to the activity about the rest of the ship.  The traffic on deck paused to give the Captain room to move to his station and log in. 
“Give me a sit-rep,” The Captain ordered.
Cassie stepped to the opposite side of the central station.  She betrayed no anger or frustration.  Any animosity she had towards him lay buried behind as much professionalism she could muster.
“We can’t find an exit aperture. According to navigational charts, we’re well within range of the outer guide-buoys, but there’s no sign of them.  We’ve also tried to raise the gate on comms, but no luck.”
“Deploy a replacement buoy,” he spoke to Cassie.  “We’ll have to make a blind exit.  Hopefully it won’t be in the middle of an engagement.” 
He paused and reviewed the data.  “Still, best be prepared.” 
He stepped away from the console and turned to the deck.  “Sound General Quarters!  Set condition one throughout the ship!”
The order relayed through the chain of command.  The Mjöllnir’s klaxon rang out only seconds later and the already busy decks burst into further action.  Two minutes later, Cassie turned from her console. 
“All rail positions are manned and armed.  Main cannons are charging.  ECM is charging and calibrated full negative; frequency coverage at ninety seven percent.  Replacement nav-com buoy has been deployed.  ETA to Artez...,” she paused to check her watch. “Three minutes.”
“Good work.”
“Captain, we’re close enough to pick up preliminary data,” the navigator reported.  “Without the buoy, we’re without detail, but I’m detecting over one hundred separate energy signatures.  The data is too obscure to plot an exit trajectory.”
The display in front of Cody updated, a wave of distortion sweeping out from center, erasing old information and leaving new data in its wake. 
“There go my hopes of not walking into a fight,” Cody muttered.  “Pilot, overshoot the combat area!  Tear us an exit to normal space and double back!”
“Aye, Skipper!”
The deck rumbled as the ship tore itself into normal space.  Without the aid of a functioning gate, the transition came with far more violence.  The ship shuddered and bucked, throwing both Amados off balance, and a few crewmen to the deck.  Cody and Melor exchanged looks of tepid relief.  He noted that even as an emergency maneuver, one within the ship’s tolerances, the blind exit always carried dangerous risk. 
Power transitioned to the Mjöllnir’s sub light engines as the pilots brought her about and proceeded on course at flank speed. 
As they approached the edge of the zone, the first signs of debris floated past the ship.  The pilot and navigator avoided it with ease but soon found the ship surrounded by hull fragments from broken fighters.  This was no surprise as fighter wings always took high casualties.
“ECM to full, activate all fixed weapon positions and roll the Gryphons onto the tarmac,” Cassie ordered. 
Cody continued to study the out-of-focus holograms on the central display.  The objects still showed as general spheres, indicating the sensor’s inability to obtain a full resolution scan.
“Can we clear up this interference any time soon?” Cassie asked.
In response, Melor turned to a secondary console.  “I’m trying, Commander.  There are a lot of cross signals out there preventing us from getting a full resolution scan on the area.”  She transferred a data module from one console to another.  The device whirred to life as she accessed its programming.  “However,” she muttered as she worked, “I have a couple of algorithms up my sleeve.  I’m bringing them online right...”
At the same time, all screens and displays showing the battle zone refreshed to show its data at full resolution.  Melor, Aler, and both Amados looked to the center and watched. 
“My God,” Cassie muttered.
No one responded.  Everyone’s eyes locked on the displays and the sensor returns.  Op-Com fell silent save for the humming of the ship’s engines and the beeping of the computers.  No one moved, as they stood locked in a trance of awe and horror.  The Mjöllnir’s engines powered down as they arrived at the coordinates.  What should have been a fully functional slipgate was little more than a field of burning hulk and slag. 
“The’s just gone,” Cassie said, to no one in particular.
After what seemed like an eternity, Melor turned back to her console.  “Sensors are detecting no weapon signatures, no power signatures...”

“This isn’t a battle zone,” Cody stated. “It’s a graveyard.”

About the Author:

A fan of Science Fiction from an early age P.C. Haring has always been one of those who looked up at the night sky and wondered “what if…”

P.C. Haring made his debut as a writer and podcast novelist on 01/01/10 with Cybrosis. This production met with a strongly favorable response that propelled it to number four on the Top Ten list when it was re-launched there that October. His audio fiction can also be heard in Scott Sigler’s The Crypt: Book 1 — The Crew and in Philippa Ballantine’s Chronicles of the Order anthology. His contribution for Tales from the Archives, co-produced by Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris, won him the 2012 Parsec Award for Best Short Story. This momentum propelled P.C. Haring into publishing Cybrosis as well as his latest project, Slipspace: Harbinger independently.

When he isn’t developing new projects for podcast and publication, P.C. Haring works as a corporate accountant in the Chicagoland area and as a husband to his beautiful wife.