Below is one scene from Chapter 5 of my book. I like strong women characters, and here we’re introduced to Gina Russo.


Planet: Nearing New Midgard / Star: Epsilon Eridani / Sector: Eridanus

Gina Russo sat quietly, buckled into her seat as the Sparrow precipitated out of Hyperspace and into the Epsilon Eridani system. Gina was thinking about her new job. It was a big step leaving her home, her family, everything she knew. But the opportunities on New Midgard were boundless.

The colony on New Midgard was growing fast, very fast. The MID had underestimated peoples’ attraction to this new colony. The population growth was nearly twice what they expected. Not only were many people emigrating to New Midgard, but people there were having lots of babies.

The Earth’s already massive population of sixteen billion, and legal controls on births, meant there was no room for growth on Earth. Even with all the advanced technology acquired since contact with the Alfar, Earth was beyond it’s carrying capacity. The planet simply could not sustain more people and remain viable for future generations. The last century had been dedicated to reversing the destructive trends of the previous one, and was still a work in progress. This meant New Midgard was a Shangri-La for people who wanted larger families, new opportunities, or just some adventure.

As the new Security Director for Norvik, Gina would be responsible for building the entire security infrastructure. There were no people, processes or mechanism currently in place; a clean slate. Very few people got the opportunity to do this. In fact, Gina couldn’t think of any. Security was essential for any population. Not that there were too many security concerns on New Midgard currently, but the population growth was necessitating that such systems be put in place and her previous experience as a Marine MP gave her lots of training for hostile conditions and quarelsome people. Gina would be like a Sheriff in an old western frontier town – she even carried a plastic silver star that said “Sheriff “ on it – just for kicks.

Over the intercom came the announcement of the ETA to New Midgard – five hours. ‘Almost there.’ She thought. Flight attendants were walking the aisles, taking lunch orders and handing out beverages. Gina realized how hungry she was. At five foot eight inches, and a hundred and forty pounds, Gina was a very athletic woman. Not the treadmill-running, tennis-playing kind of athletic, but the mixed martial arts, eat big men alive kind of athletic – although you would never know it by looking at her very feminine form. But she was a tuff lady, she had to be. Many woman police and security officers relied on their sidearms for protection – Gina didn’t have to. It was there if she needed it, but for the day she didn’t have it, she was ready. Today would be such a day.

The first clue that there was a problem came when Gina heard two sharp thunking sounds on the hull of the Sparrow. People in any kind of vessel, whether sailing ship, starship or airplane, all react badly when they hear loud, unexplained noises on their hull.

She looked around the cabin. Nothing else seemed to be out of the ordinary.

Over the intercom came the Captain’s voice, “Ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats with your full harnesses fastened.”

That was disturbing news. Typically full harnesses were reserved for emergencies like loss of artificial gravity – she still felt her one-hundred and forty pounds pressing in to the seat, so gravity wasn’t the issue.

Next came a hissing sound, followed by a metallic banging on the top of the hull in the direction of the Sparrow’s cockpit. With a clang, she saw a section of the hull fall through the top of the ship, but the atmosphere in the cabin was stable. Gina thought it was likely another ship docked with the Sparrow. Some emergency perhaps?

The passengers were yelling and getting panicky. Thoughts of terrorists hi-jacking planes from previous centuries came to Gina’s mind, as well as pirates from even further back.

She had a feeling something bad was about to go down, and decided to act. She unfastened her seat belt and dropped down to the floor, keeping an eye on the hole in the ceiling. A tall man, Alfar maybe, dropped through the hole, holding a long gun of some type. He was very pale, Gina noticed.

In her peripheral vision, and through reflections on metallic surfaces, she saw a flash of dark purple light, then dozens of the passengers dropped to the floor with her. She looked across the aisle and saw several people, they appeared to be unconscious. The big man fired several more times as he walked down the aisles. Some kind of stun gun? She lay absolutely still.

The man walked back up the aisle towards the hole and shouted something. A smaller man, also a pale Alfar, dropped down. Not holding a gun she noticed. The two Alfar began speaking. The smaller one seemed to levitate back up through the hole, then the larger one started dragging the immobile passengers under the hole. Once there, they began to float up through the hole. Gina remained still, and quiet, waiting for some opportunity to act.

The big Alfar got to her, she remained quiet and limp. He dragged her to the hole. She felt herself lose all feeling of weight, and began floating up through the hole in the Sparrow’s hull and then through a hatch of some sort. Through a narrow slit between her eyelashes she saw the smaller Alfar moving people into a rough group, almost a pile, a few feet away from where he was standing. She let him grab her, move her to the back with the rest of the passengers while she scoped out her surroundings.

She was in another ship, but didn’t see or hear any other Alfar. There was almost no gravity on the side of the ship she was standing, but where the smaller Alfar was standing there seemed to be. Or maybe he was wearing magnetic boots. More likely they had artificial gravity turned off down the axis of their ship, on the side where the Sparrow’s passengers were being piled, and the Alfar stood on the site with gravity engaged. She needed to find a way to get to him, but she had no leverage or traction with the gravity off. But if she inched her way towards his side…

Gina waited for a few more passengers to be loaded before she began moving – very slowly, so he wouldn’t notice her.

She suddenly felt her weight return. She peeked up at the small Alfar and saw him about ten feet away. It might take her two seconds to jump up and get to him, that should be enough time she thought.

Gina sprang up and at him like a panther. She hadn’t even registered in his peripheral vision when she reached him. She swung her right forearm and elbow towards the side of his head and connected solidly. He dropped hard, and with a bit of forward momentum – enough to carry him to the side of the ship with artificial gravity turned off. He hit the field and floated quietly until he bumped up against another passenger and came to rest in the pile of people closest to the edge of the hatch.

‘One down.’ She thought.

She heard the big Alfar shouting from the Sparrow. She didn’t recognize the language. It wasn’t Alfish or Yggdrasi. She glanced left and right. No weapons in sight. Gina knew he would be coming up soon. She saw a series of buttons on the wall above the hatch – one was glowing red, the rest were blue. She guessed that must be the artificial gravity control panel. She pressed the red button, then saw a few limbs slap against the floor as gravity was re-engaged. That was it.

The big one was hollering again from inside the Sparrow. Good, at least that way she knew exactly where he was. She decided to give him some company, and rolled his friend, and a couple of other passengers down the hole – she heard the first land with a thump, then a much more muffled sound as the others went down on top of each other. He was quiet after that. Gina wanted to get back to the Sparrow and deal with the big Alfar.

She oriented herself so she would end up facing the back of the Sparrow, and jumped the six feet down the hole. She landed on top of some older woman with tight red curly hair. She dove and rolled after she landed, looking up and back. Nothing. ‘Where the hell are you?’ she thought.

Gina crouched and listened. Still Nothing. She could see all the way back to the cockpit hatch, which was ajar. He wasn’t in between her and the cockpit. He might be inside the cockpit though, so she crouched and made here way back as silently as possible. She took a breath and kicked the cockpit hatch violently. It flew in with a metallic bang, and she saw the pilot, co-pilot, and navigator, all slumped in their seats. Unconscious like the rest of the passengers. She concluded the big Alfar must be aft, and he knew where she was now thanks to her kicking open the cockpit.

She left the cockpit, walked back six rows, and dropped down on the floor, crawling between the middle rows of seats, listening. She was completely still. She lay there for a few minutes before the big Alfar got impatient and began walking forward. She could hear his soft footsteps, barely. She worked her way under the seats and was completely hidden from view to anyone walking down the aisles. He would have to bend down to find her. Perfect.

Gina saw him pass the eighth row where there was a curtain, he was leading with his gun, sweeping it across his from left to right, looking for a target. When he was next to her aisle, Gina kicked him in the ankle as hard as she could from her prone position. He tripped, dropped his rifle and want sprawling forward. She scrambled out from beneath the seats and jumped towards him, but by that time he was back on his feet, minus his rifle, but ready.

She threw up her hands in a standard combat ready pose. He looked at her, and laughed. He was a very big man, well muscled under a tight black uniform, scars on his face, sickly white skin…but he had beautiful ice blue eyes. Gina was almost mesmerized – until he attacked.

He bridged the gap between them inhumanly fast, and instead of punching, threw his right hand towards her throat, fingers out, and connected. He now had a firm grip and began squeezing her windpipe. He just held here there and smiled, hungrily eying her ample female form. That was the first, and last time he would underestimate her. She coughed, choking, but didn’t panic. Gina’s hobby was mixed martial arts. She had been in this kind of situation dozens of times, the difference was that what she normally couldn’t do in a competition, was perfectly legal here.

She clawed his eyes hard, and he stumbled back, but maintained his grip. His left hand went up to shield his eyes, and that was all the opening Gina needed. She grabbed the bottom of his right elbow with her left arm, pinching nerves, at the same time throwing her right elbow into his windpipe. She maintained her grip on his right elbow as he crumpled to the floor, then she hit him on the side of the face with her right forearm, several times in rapid succession. He was out for the count.

“Yes, I do fight like a girl. Thank you very much,” she said, and she stood up.


Hope you enjoyed it!

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