I’m not exactly what the title of the book is supposed to mean with relation to this story. We’re on a routine survey mission taking us into the central astroid belt of the Solar System. Our ship is the *Hermes*, commanded by Commander Scott McNabb. He’s not an exactly dynamic commander, spending most of his time in his cabin. The ship is usually ran by the ship AI or rather QI, Aria. She usually has to remind her crew that she is a Quantum Intelligence and not just some Artificial Intelligence. That makes her almost sentient, but no one knows for sure.
Our other crew is Flight Officer Miranda Lee, Ship’s Engineer Cyrus Sanato and Dr. Steph Rayman, Ship’s Medical Doctor and lastly, Rick Marantz, former asteroid miner. They are at least involved in what they are supposed to do much more so than Commander McNabb. Why he is this way is a long story that you’ll get into during this book. It has to do with his Father and the Dyrell Labs. Still, the QI, Aria, has notified the commander that his presence is required on the bridge.
Scott manages to get himself out of bed and eventually stumbles to the bridge where the rest of his crew have already arrived and are busy doing their jobs. Scott asks the QI again why she woke him. She tells him that she has spotted another ship. That’s kind of unusual, but there could be asteroid miners floating around although seeing one in close proximity would be usual. They are pretty far into the belt and pretty far from everything else. Still, Aria says that the ship she has detected appears to be a derelict! Now, that gets Commander McNabb’s attention. Any derelict space ship could and would be considered salvage. He asks Aria to see if she can identify it.
The only information she has says it’s classified. That’s a little strange, but if it is derelict and no crew is alive aboard, his salvage claim will still be valid. The QI has notified Ceres HQ and they are awaiting more information. It eventually arrives. Ceres HQ which is paying for the five-year mission the Hermes is currently on, says that the ship is an Earth ship, “Bad Zheng”. Being an Earth ship, that raised the salvage value that much higher. Scott had told his crew about this potential big payday, but then they received more information from Ceres HQ. They were told to rendezvous with the derelict, board it and recover a specific cargo container. They were then to head back to Ceres at their fast speed. Their five-year mission had come to a screeching halt.
That didn’t really bother Scott or the crew, although they wanted to make sure they got paid for the full mission, but even if they just brought back this one cargo container, they still retained salvage rights tot he ship, classified or not. So, they got close to the derelict and were able to retrieve the mysterious container. It looked nothing like a normal shipping container and there didn’t appear to be anyway to open it. What they also soon found out was this container did contain something that was of great value when it was lost on its way to Europa.
That value hadn’t diminished one bit and while Scott and his crew hadn’t been talking to anyone except Ceres HQ, some how the information that they had this storage container had gotten out. Their trip back to Ceres HQ just got a whole lot more difficult. There suddenly appeared numerous other parties that wanted the container and they were not necessarily going to pay to get it. The Hermes soon was in a whole lot of trouble and eventually got hi-jacked by an unknown ship with a powerful plasma weapon. The Hermes was unarmed so it wasn’t much of a contest. The unknown ship headed off, but Aria was kind of able to track it and it appeared to be going to Neo City.
So, all the crew of the Hermes had to do was go to Neo City and retrieve their stolen cargo. Piece of cake, right? Not even close. So, this is where everything leads. The story is very interesting and has a lot of scientific stuff that adds well to the story. You’ll find out that Earth has had Armageddon, but at least not everyone was living on Earth when that took place. Now the place is one big corporation or more like seven big corporations one of which is Dyrell Labs.
This particular book is part of a six-book package I got from Amazon. Since each book is about the usual length of single books, I’m going to write my reviews on each one as I read them. I’ve already gotten started on Book 2, “Entropy”, and will probably continue reading all the books, in a row, maybe. Good reading to you.