Commander Scott McNabb and the remaining crew of the ill-fated Hermes survey ship, journey to Earth to an area formally known as Death Valley, now an irradiated wasteland. Their mission is to connect the quantum intelligence, Athena into the pan-solar communications network, enabling the QIs to rollback control of Earth by The Seven and their AI servants.
But their shuttle is damaged as it enters Earth’s atmosphere and it lands far from their intended location. Worse, it has been spotted by the AI that controls the region, and security drones are now searching the area to find it. With little hope of repairing the shuttle, Scott makes the fateful decision for them to journey through the wasteland on foot, even though some of the crew argue that this would be reckless.
But Scott is driven by a deeper motivation. One forged by the singular desire to find out what happened to Flight Officer Miranda Lee and the child she was carrying. This is because Aria has made him a promise. The QI has assured him that once Athena is reconnected it can then analyze Earth’s vast data-stacks and find her location, and more importantly, find out if she is alive or dead.
Now, nothing else matters to Scott. He is willing to risk everything to achieve the mission and ultimately find Miranda—even if that means risking the lives of his friends.
About the series:
The story is set a few centuries into the future where humanity has colonized most of the inner solar system. The asteroid belt (The Belt) is now a hive of mining activity and ships ply the trade routes to Earth and Mars. The technology depicted is, for the most part, what I consider to be technically plausible, although I do stretch it a little with quantum entanglement. That said, you won’t need a calculator or a slide-rule to enjoy the story.