Space Captain Smith (Chronicles of Isambard Smith)
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In the 25th Century the British Space Empire faces the gathering menace of the evil ant-soldiers of the Ghast Empire hive, hell-bent on galactic domination and the extermination of all humanoid life. Isambard Smith is the square-jawed, courageous, and somewhat asinine new commander of the battle damaged light freighter John Pym, destined to take on the alien threat because nobody else is available. Together with his bold crew—a skull-collecting alien lunatic, an android pilot who is actually a fugitive sex toy, and a hamster called Gerald—he must collect new-age herbalist Rhianna Mitchell from the laid back New Francisco orbiter and bring her back to safety in the Empire. Straightforward enough—except the Ghasts want her too. If he is to get back to Blighty alive, Smith must defeat void sharks, a universe-weary android assassin, and John Gilead, psychopathic naval officer from the fanatically religious Republic of New Eden before facing his greatest enemy: a ruthless alien warlord with a very large behind.
ever think of taking a break from the juice, Rick?’ ‘I’m taking a break alright. From this. From the killing. For good.’ ‘What’re you telling me?’ ‘I’m quit.’ ‘What?’ ‘I’m quit. I’m an android. I shouldn’t be doing this. I should stick my elbows out and say pansy things about protocol, not go round killing people.’ ‘Hey, don’t give me that! You do what you’re made to do!’ ‘The four I killed last night . . . they could have been me. That last one, the guy in the suit – I shot him, and I
sighed. ‘You sadden me. Has mankind become so decadent that its pilots are not willing to charge into a savage gunfight they will almost certainly lose anymore?’ Carveth rubbed her head and said, ‘No way. There’s two of us, Suruk! There must be a hundred of them. How are we to deal with that?’ ‘Three. You forget Gan Uteki.’ ‘Who’s that?’ He turned and reached for a spear by the door. ‘Gan Uteki, weapon of the ancestors, blade of the spirit world.’ ‘Well, thank heaven for that,’ Carveth
point is made.’ ‘Cheers,’ she said. Suruk raised his spear. ‘Not long, I think, until we meet our destiny. Now, I must obey the traditions of my people. It is time for me to sing the death-song of my ancestors. As you are kindred, I shall translate it for you.’ He threw back his head, opened his mandibles and, in a mighty voice, he sang: Today we raise our weapons high, Today we prepare for death. We might be slain; alternatively we might not. Lie-la-lie, la-lie-lala-lie, Lie–la-lie,
back. What, she wondered, was that? Smith looked down at the three Ghasts. Suruk had bound them with plastic bin ties and now they lay in a neat row on the pavement, pressed together like politically extreme sardines. Smith bent down and took the officer’s identity pass from his coat pocket. ‘Now,’ he told them, ‘you are all captives of the British Space Empire. I am a man of my word, and I can guarantee that so long as you remain civil and don’t try to invade anywhere, the worst you can expect
took him to a vast building that jutted out of the city centre like a gigantic black fridge. Half a dozen praetorians escorted him through a hall big enough to produce its own atmosphere. A sign on the wall read: Party Rally here later – Rain Expected. The praetorian on the door saw his scarred face and stepped aside. The door slid back and he was led into the presence of Number Two. Number Two was small and ferret-like. He had cameras instead of eyes: rumour had it that these relayed everything