A billion-year-old alien ship.
A great treasure.
A great danger.
With a last surge of the main drive, Barnet matched our bearing and speed with the alien derelict.
Twisted lines of tubing and conduit curled around the hull. After a billion years, micrometeor collisions had sandblasted the ship to a dull finish.
But behind that battered surface might lurk exotic materials beyond the manufacturing capability of any human world. Magnetic monopoles, dyons, condensed matter. Even a tiny amount delivered to Earth or a major world could set up a crew for life.
Risks? Yes. I'd seen men die horrible deaths from alien nano. But the rewards could be worth it.
And I had nothing to worry about.
I knew Barnet had my back.
Want to learn more about science fiction author Raymund Eich? Here's a Q&A to tell you more about this distinctive voice in new science fiction.
First off: Raymund Eich. Am I spelling it correctly? And how do you pronounce it?
That's the correct spelling. My immigrant parents split the difference between the Anglo-French Raymond and the German Raimund.
My last name is pronounced with a long-i vowel sound, like both syllables in Einstein. The preferred consonant sound is a sh. Overall, one syllable, eye-sh.
Tough to pronounce, and also tough to spell. I've seen Elch, Einch, Etch, Eitch, Iech, and Erich. The misspellings used to bother me, but I've grown philosophical about them.
What are some of your publishing credits?
I've had short stories published in Analog science fiction and fact magazine and the sci fi anthology Surviving Tomorrow. And over a dozen novels and six short story collections are available as ebooks and paperback books, and some also as audiobooks.
Final question. Science fiction, sci fi, SF, speculative fiction, or spec fic?
Is it an adventure on future Earth, an exploration of a distant planet, a discovery beyond the limits of human knowledge, or a journey across deep space? Then I'll read it. The genre fiction label doesn't matter.