The enemy is within (Published 2010 Xlibris)
Patrick G Cox
Harry and Ferghal have been transported forward in time from a sailing ship from 1804 to 2204, with no way to return. They find themselves in a world where sailing ships have been replaced by space ships, though their skills and experiences are sometimes transferable. In a previous adventure, they had been tortured and experimented on by scientists associated with the Consortium, who performed illegal gene splices using genetic material from a Lacertian. As a result they have found that the cybernetic implants given them by the Fleet, to cope with their move forward in time, allow them to work with computers in an unusual way.
In this adventure, having been rescued from Pangaea by the Fleet, they have returned to base in order to study at the Fleet College. Here they make both friends and enemies. Eon Barclay, a Midshipman, is a Consortium spy, detailed to capture them, but also bears a personal grudge towards the pair because they were responsible for the death of his brother, and is determined to murder them if possible. Among other things, he attempts to discredit them at Fleet College through sabotaging their work and orchestrating attacks on them. Though he is a spy for the enemy, he is a reluctant one and is eventually unmasked, but not before his own efforts for revenge almost derail the efforts of his paymasters.
Harry and Ferghal have powerful friends, including members of the Lacertian race, who owe them a debt of honour, which they endeavour to carry out by protecting them wherever possible. After completing their course of studies at Fleet College, the pair is assigned to the starfrigate Leander which first takes them back to Pangaea so that the Fleet can complete its investigations of the facility where they were captured and tortured. Here some of their torture is revealed, but they then try to gain rapprochement with their former enemies, successful in one sense, but almost disastrously wrong in the other. They venture to the strange world of New Eden where, following a battle in which their ships are badly damaged, they are temporarily stranded. It is here that some of Harry’s “outmoded” skills come to the fore yet again and he is instrumental in saving the survivors when they are attacked.
Harry and Ferghal are re-assigned to the cruiser Der Grosse Kurfurst and find themselves sent as “prize” crew to a captured freighter. When the original crew try to retake their ship, it is Harry and Ferghal who turn the balance with their Napoleonic approach to dealing with such matters. Once the ship is secured Harry finds himself in command. He brings the damaged ship and her crew back to earth and a final attempt to take him and Ferghal, foiled by their observant and quick witted response.
Further stories are planned for these “heroes” as they grow up – a story arc rather in the same vein as Hornblower or Bolitho.
Born in Cape Town and educated at Selborne College in East London – also South Africa! Patrick is a published technical author and a now retired Fire Fighter and lecturer after thirty-six years of soot, heat, blood, sweat and laughter. He has spent the last twenty-three years in England and now lives in Germany. He is a Licensed Minister in the Church of England, has three adult children of whom he is enormously proud, and has created this series of books in pursuit of his own dreams of spacefaring and adventure.