A Mind for Trade

1997

After their adventures on the Myklor habitat, the crew of the Solar Queen successfully own a second ship and a mining claim on the planet of Hespid IV. This could be an extremely lucrative trade as the ore is cielanite the basis of starship power plants. Also of the highly powerful cyclone blasters favoured by the patrol and pirates.

So the Solar Queen and the North Star approach the planet carefully, troubled by a contact that left the system just they entered it. Another potential problem they can see looming is the former crew of the North Star - there were more berths than dead when they had taken the derelict under tow.

What they were unprepared for was the weather. They knew it was bad, but they had no idea just how bad! What they were not expecting was native life.

When Dane Thorson and the other former apprentices of the Solar Queen, now promoted to full members of the crew take the Queen down leaving the North Star up in orbit watching out for pirates, they are confronted first by the surviving former crew members of the North Star, then by the natives. And all the time the weather, driven by intense solar storms, is getting worse, much worse!

It quickly becomes a race between the combined skills of the crews in recovering the cielanite and the weather - not helped when they are forced to abandon Dane to the fury of a storm. It takes the doubting Ali to trust in the growing psi link between the four former apprentices to rescue him.

And if that wasn't enough, Captain Jellicoe and the others aboard the North Star have to contend with a trio of pirate ships armed with those illegal blasters.

It quickly becomes a matter of whether the two ships are able to survive rather than whether they can make a profit on the mission!

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