Safe Conduct

Work in progress
Book 2 of the New Foundation Project series

With the ark ship Redemption practically falling apart, accidents are happening more often — but the timing of this one couldn’t have been worse for Kathleen Tarragó. She was supposed to be on the planet right now, part of a two-person team scouting for a place for the troubled ship to land. Instead, she’s stuck in orbit with the rest of the anxious settlers on the deteriorating ship while she recovers from the “incident” that scratched her from the mission. The disappointment is almost worse than the pain. 

The captain has good reason to believe there’ll be trouble if people learn that Redemption’s navigation — and the landing — depend on psi energy. So while the ship’s engineers struggle to coax a couple more months from the sputtering systems, the captain tries to buy time for the scout’s mission to find psi allies down there on the planet.

Kath is one of the few non-Empaths who know why rushing the landing would be a disaster, and what the most important part of the scouts’ mission really is. As the daughter of the chief engineer, she’s privvy to some bridge secrets. She knows, too, that there are Empaths on the ship who are desperate to keep their ability hidden.

With her insider knowledge of the scout program and the access she has to the bridge crew — to say nothing of access to the engineers-only parts of the ship — Kath would be an asset to anyone trying to change the landing plan. When she starts to suspect that her accident was part of a plot, her questions make her a target instead. Can she expose a mutinous plot without setting off a chain of events that threatens the survival of everyone on board? 

 

August 2022: Real life has slowed down my writing a bit just at the moment, but I’ve still been spending time with the story and I’m excited about where it’s going. I believe I’m still on track with my intention to publish early in 2023, but I still have a lot to get done. Because the timeline matches that of Signal, I know that I have about ten days of shipboard life still to account for — and these are action-packed days. Between the characters’ busy days and my own, this is a wild ride right now.

About the New Foundation Project

The NFP was controversial from its inception, but there had been enough people, sick to their souls at the wreck they saw coming, willing to pay to give humanity another chance. Using timedrive technology — developed and destroyed centuries before — the project’s engineers set about creating a new future for humanity.

Three exoplanets were terraformed. Then there were three pairs of ships equipped with timedrives: a pioneer ship that would found a colony on each world, followed by a ship of settlers and supplies.

The ark ship Redemption was the last ship to launch. Its 720 people settled into life-suspension beds expecting to arrive at the destination planet 25 years after the foundation ship. A mishap with Redemption‘s timedrive dropped them into realspace almost a millennium later than expected, and a long way from the planet. They traveled for 80-odd years, and arrived at the planet on an overcrowded ship with failing systems. Their homecoming is complicated by the fact that there’s no sign of the technology they expected to find on the planet — and no indication that anyone down there is expecting their arrival.