Cormorant Wood Unsung

by
Andrew Gray

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It is the mid-twenty-first century. It is a time of change. The United States of Europe have succeeded the European Union, balancing, complementing and rivalling the power of the USA. Space travel has increased greatly. Small colonies exist on the Moon and Mars. Mining is conducted on asteroids such as Europa, Jupiter's moon. Scientific teams are beginning to reach further than Man has ever ventured and private ventures are not being left behind.

It is the end of a 'hitch' on Europa, working in teams to excavate the riches of that enigmatic planetoid. The small Scots team of four young men is readying itself to return home to Earth. It will be a long journey; anything up to three months. In order to reacclimatize themselves to Earth gravity, they will enjoy and benefit from the 'G Room', an area which creates 1g gravity on the space freighter which will be their home on the return journey. Wearing VR suits, they will be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of Earth, as if they were there in person. Skilfully blended film taken at locations throughout certain cities on earth literally just before their ship, the 'That Will Do Nicely' left Earth's vicinity is mixed with computer-generated characters with whom the VR 'visitor' can interact, enhancing the verisimilitude of the scene within which they are participating. The exercise that the participant gains while enjoying himself, gradually acclimatizes him to normal, Earth gravity.

Mitchell Strang is the son of a wealthy, successful New Town lawyer. However, all is not as settled as he would wish. There are tensions between his parents. Is there a dark secret about his mother's past? As the story unfolds, we discover how Scotland, now a separate nation from England, with its own Government and institutions looks. Elections are the 'Votefest' and the political situation is in flux. South of the border, England is free of Europe. The same forces that drove Scotland to separate from her sister, also drove England to seek independence herself; independence from the EU before it became the USE.

Mitch and his companions, now comparatively comfortably-off, enjoy their first chance of relaxing for many months. They enjoy the VR facilities and get to know some of the other nationalities on board. Mitch opts to visit Paris, 'City of Light', a city he knows in reality. However, he is troubled by something he sees when he takes a VR trip there. For some time, though, he cannot think what it is. Suddenly, he remembers. It may have been innocent enough. An apparent argument between two burly men and a beautiful, blonde woman. It is only in retrospect that he realizes that this was no small altercation. It was an abduction! His worst fears are realized the next day when he discovers that the girl he saw abducted has been found dead; murdered!

The implications of this woman's death are far, far wider than might have seemed likely at first. It is the implication of the involvement of DXT, a massive French off-world company that starts to concern the French Government. Soon, Mitch and his friends' interest in this incident come to the attention of someone aboard their ship. Someone with murder in mind too. Who is it?

In an action-filled novel, follow the fortunes of Mitch Strang and his friends, Bradley, Jess and Mickey as they deal with an attack on their ship. Murder and mayhem, the planting of bombs aboard the ship, fire-fights and sheer brutality demonstrate clearly that Man is still a violent, savage creature, however advanced his science may be.

Cormorant Wood Unsung
A Sci-Fi Novel by Andrew Gray
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Cormorant Wood Unsung
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