Armed with only his grandfather’s coin and a fake ID, sixteen-year-old Neil Ericson is desperate to join the Air Force like his grandfather before him. A flip of that coin instead launches Neil into an academy onboard Space City beyond the moon. His first day on board, Neil befriends Riagan Byrne and together they take on the challenge of field exams set on desolate planets and the Academy Games, which are rife with serpent hawks capable of gutting them if they miss a step. One instructor has already remarked that in a few rare instances, particularly undesirable students are launched into outer space. A joke. Right?
Despite the danger, Neil thinks he’s finally found a home and friends. Plus, he attracts the attention of the beautiful Maellyn Travena, even though his ability to talk to girls consists of noting that the moon is shrinking on their way to Mars. She probably thinks he’s an idiot now.
But traitors within Space City are attempting to smuggle away its newest and most prized piece of tech to the Dahaka, a blood-eyed warring alien race. After stumbling into the plot, Neil is forced to risk the friendships and home he’s gained because if the traitors succeed, Space City will end up a husk, and he’ll be dead or stranded millions of miles from Earth.
Summer meant freedom. An Escape from academic responsibilities.
In this collection of tales, Escape becomes personal for some of the Space City Preparatory Academy students.
Nico has created a flying Venice sim to explore, but when he discovers invisible monsters on the prowl, and a classmate hacks the sim as a prank, he finds surviving to the end a precarious prospect. Trini is reluctant to assist her aunt in handling an infectious disease outbreak among the natives on the planet Letos, but a near fatal encounter with what was believed to be a mythical creature forces her to re-examine her perspective. When his father is seriously injured during a hunting trip on a remote exomoon, it is up to Jiro to locate help, a dicey prospect when two rogue aliens pick up their trail. Dirk and Arielle believe they are in for a nice weekend hike until an ambitious town official wants to frame them for a crime they didn't commit during their summer-abroad diplomat training program. Cade hopes to enter the dangerous Tefnot sub race on Araxia, only to be sold into slavery for his troubles.
For these six, Escape means not just survival, but choosing the futures they want, no matter the odds.