Hi. I’m Sylvia Stryker, security section for the Moon Unit 5.
That sounds pretty good, right? I bet you almost thought it was true. It will be, some day. Just not yet. Oh, I’m qualified to work in the security division, all right. I was at the top of my class at the space academy until I had to drop out and help my mom run the ice mines on Plunia. And even after I dropped out of school, I traded Plunian Potatoes for used textbooks from the courses I hadn’t been able to attend and studied after our work day ended. I studied so much I practically memorized the course material.
Who am I kidding? I did memorize the course material. If the space academy had let me take the final exams, I still would have graduated at the top of my class even though my last year had been self-taught. I don’t want to brag, but I really am that smart. If I didn’t live under the curse of Jack Stryker, a.k.a renegade dad who got arrested and left mom and me alone, I could have had any security job in the galaxy. I could have been a contender.
And then last week, I found out the Moon Unit Corporation was reviving their branch of cruise spaceships with the newly designed Moon Unit 5. That was the day that everything changed.
I bought the Book of Protocols from an earlier Moon Unit on the black market. Mom found me reading it at the breakfast table. Three days after I told her about it, I received a packet in the mail. A confirmation letter, stating that my application for work aboard the Moon Unit 5 had been accepted, along with an orientation packet.
Mom had filled out the application for me and the Federation Council had accepted it. She told me I’d sacrificed enough of my life to help her after dad was taken away, and it was time for me to go out on my own and make her proud. The only detail left was for me to send in the results of my physical.
I took it three times.
Every time, I got the same results: my lungs had become accustom to the high concentration of oxygen on Plunia—almost 100% pure in the ice mines—a far cry from the 78% nitrogen, 22% oxygen mix found in the environments people from Earth tolerated. Every doctor said the same thing: the survival risks were too great. They predicted I’d pass out before the ship reached the breakaway point.
Everything I’d ever wanted—my dreams, hopes, and desires—gone, just like that.
I had a choice: tell my mom that, despite the risks she’d taken by filling out the application on my behalf, I wouldn’t be working on the Moon Unit 5 because I’d failed the physical, or upload falsified test results to the Moon Unit mainframe computer and come up with a plan for survival.
I pressed send.
You can read more about Sylvia in Murder On Moon Trek 1, the first book in the NEW “Sylvia Stryker Outer Space” mystery series.
When space academy dropout Sylvia Stryker hacks her way into the position of Uniform Inventory Manager aboard the Moon Unit 5, she jumps at the chance to leave her small planet behind. But when the ship’s second navigation officer is found dead in the uniform closet shortly after departing the space station, Sylvia’s problems become bigger than falsified test results. And when her supervisor places her on probation for her own uniform infraction, she’s at risk of being dropped off at the nearest substation. Juggling red shirts, white lies, and an army of little green men, Sylvia has to expose a killer before the Moon Unit 5 becomes space dust.
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Giveaway: Two readers selected at random will receive a kindle copy of Murder On Moon Trek 1. Leave a comment below for your chance to win. The giveaway ends December 20, 2017. Good luck everyone!
About the author
After two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. Murder On Moon Trek 1 is the first in her new Sylvia Stryker Outer Space Mysteries. Diane also writes the Madison Night, Samantha Kidd, and Lefty Award-nominated Material Witness and Costume shop mystery series. She started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. Visit Diane at dianevallere.com.
All comments are welcomed.