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THE McGREGOR CHRONICLES
Book 1 – Saving Mike
BY LARRY K. COLLINS
Matt is awakened from cold sleep by a voice saying, “Life support is failing.” After making corrections, he discovers his brother, Mike, has been kidnapped.
Stories of a space-faring family and their adventures, The McGregor Chronicles series features aliens, thieves, murder, kidnapping, political intrigue, and nanomedical robots.
This series was originally intended to be a trilogy, but the characters had other ideas. Even before book one was completed, they were clamoring for their own stories. Larry just completed Book 8 – Trouble on Vida-7, and it is now with beta readers. It will be published early next month.
“Wake up, Matt, wake up,” an insistent voice repeats in my head.
It’s cold, really cold. I try to force my eyes open. My lids won’t cooperate. Finally, my eyes focus on the frosted plastic dome above me. Shit, I’m still in cold sleep.
“Matt, you need to get the man-back running,” the voice pleads.
The man-back? Oh, manual backup system. Right. I try to raise my arms, but they’re heavy and dead.
“We’ll help you.”
I feel sensation rushing through my left arm. It moves. I push the handle, and the dome rises. A blast of warm air strikes my face and bare chest, bringing me fully awake.
I roll off the bed and land hard on the floor. The air is stale and smells faintly of disinfectant. Everything is dark, except for red and green control lights on the other sleep-bed panels. The room is empty. Where’s Mike? Where’s my brother? What’s going on?
My legs don’t work. I crawl toward the red-lighted switch on the console near the door, grab the wall-mounted handrail, and pull myself up. Then I flip open the safety cover and turn the emergency backup power system to manual-on before collapsing to the floor.
* * * *
“Wake up, Matt.” The voice is back. I squeeze my eyelids to try to clear my brain. “What a headache.”
“We can fix that,” the voice happily announces. Immediately, I feel better.
“How did you do that? Fix my headache, I mean.” I move my arms and legs, and bend my fingers to make fists. Everything seems to work.
“It’s our job,” the voice proudly announces. “During the ten minutes you were unconscious on the floor, we enhanced your muscle tone and eased the bruise on the back of your head. You’re at about eighty-percent capacity right now. But you’ll need to eat soon.”
I sit up and look around the empty room. “Who and where are you?”
“We’re your medbots. We live inside your body.”
The voice continues, “Yes. Nanomedical robots. Now that humans are exploring new planets, they have to be protected from alien viruses and infections. Your immune systems are far too slow. We can identify and eliminate foreign substances.”
A second, higher-pitched voice adds, “We’re also pretty good at repairing injuries. We keep you healthy.”
“But you’re speaking in my head. You’ve never talked to me before.”
“Never had to. We’re connected to the ship’s network, so medics can monitor crew status. When my twin strain, the one injected in Mike, sent a message the ship was under attack and then went offline, we began to worry. Then, as life support started to fail, we knew we had to wake you.”
“So, where are we?”
“We don’t know. Both the navacom and main computers are down. Fortunately, the network’s still up. The ion-drives have stopped. We’re drifting blind somewhere in space. Until you can get to the bridge and start the computers, we won’t know anything.”
“Mike said we were under attack?”
The deeper voice answers. “My strain injected in your brother did. On your last downside visit on Auriga-3, you and your brother were both inoculated with the latest serum. It included a self-replicating medbot. For some reason you got two of us.”
I let this news sink in while I go to the locker to put on a jumpsuit. Do these guys care that I’m naked? I heard two distinct voices. One sounded female. Do medbots come in genders?
“We never get involved in human emotions.”
“You read minds, too?”
“No, but an increased pulse and sudden temperature rise usually indicate an emotional response.”
I could almost sense laughter from my internal companions.
Larry grew up in Alhambra, California. He studied engineering at California Polytechnic College in Pomona, He and wife, Lorna Collins, have been married for fifty-five years and have one daughter, Kimberly. Lorna and Larry now reside in Dana Point, California where Larry enjoys surfing as often as possible.
As an engineer, he worked on projects throughout the United States and around the world. He and Lorna both worked in Osaka on the Universal Studios Japan theme park. Larry was a Project Engineer, responsible for the Jurassic Park, JAWS, and WaterWorld attractions. Lorna was the Document Control Supervisor in the Osaka field office.
Their memoir of that experience, 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park was a 2006 EPPIE finalist, named as one of Rebeccas Reads Best Nonfiction books of 2005. Their mysteries, set in Hawaii, are Murder…They Wrote and Murder in Paradise. The latter was a finalist for the 2012 EPIC eBook award. Their latest joint venture is The Memory Keeper, a historical novel set in San Juan Capistrano, California in the 1800s, told from the point-of-view of a Juaneño Indian.
Larry’s collection of short stories is entitled Lakeview Park..
All their books are available in print and ebook on Amazon, their website (www.lornalarry.com) and other online book outlets. Several are also available as audiobooks.
Larry K. & Lorna Collins
Read about our books: 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park, Murder… They Wrote, Murder in Paradise, Lakeview Park, The McGregor Chronicles, Snowflake Secrets, Seasons of Love, The Art of Love, An Aspen Grove Christmas, …And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe, award-winning Directions of Love, Ghost Writer, Romance in the Time of Social Distancing, Jewel of the Missions: San Juan Capistrano, Lola: The Parrot Who Saved the Mission, and The Memory Keeper at www.lornalarry.com
Links to Larry‘s website, blog, books, etc.
The Mc Gregor Chronicles: Book 1 – Saving Mike
The Mc Gregor Chronicles: Book 2 – Escape from Eden
The Mc Gregor Chronicles: Book 3 – Alien Invasion
The Mc Gregor Chronicles: Book 4 – Kaùsan’s War
The Mc Gregor Chronicles: Book 5 – Nina’s Revenge
The Mc Gregor Chronicles: Book 6 – Queen’s Gambit
The Mc Gregor Chronicles: Book 7 – Return to Ankr 4
The Mc Gregor Chronicles: Book 8 – Trouble on Vida-7 will be released next month
Co-written with Lorna Collins
Special Giveaway: BEGINNING TODAY, OCTOBER 26, LARRY’S MC GREGOR CHRONICLES: RESCUE – A SHORT STORY IS FREE FOR KINDLE. THIS SPECIAL WILL RUN THROUGH OCTOBER 30.
Thanks, Larry, for sharing your story with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!