“This spectacle of stars, with its fiery unspeakable majesty is only outdone by the endless, oceans of lonely darkness between our destinations. It twists my mind, Isaac, and chills me to the bone!” __Veronika Taylor Morgan
Veronika Taylor Morgan knows interstellar mining like the back of her hand. But leading an expedition into deep space is another matter altogether. With a mind-devouring pandemic sweeping Earth and civil society crumbling, the discovery of an alien spacecraft in Antarctica leaves the remnants of humanity hopeful for deliverance. Already shaken—when a message, offering help from the planet Nemesis is received, there is finally hope. Torn by her responsibility to care for her desperately sick son, Veronika knows her mining frigate, Assurity, is the only ship capable of following the map to a cure. But with a barebones rookie crew and a couple of androids, taking the wrong step could seal humanity’s fate.
Assurity is an action-packed sci-fi novel with a hint of ancient biblical mystery. If you like tenacious heroines, interstellar exploration and unexpected twists, start your journey into the Unknown today!
VERONIKA TAYLOR MORGAN, the heroine, is a driven professional. Married to Dr. Niles Morgan, they have a son, Ori, and a daughter, Cassia. Trusting no one's ability more than her own, Veronika knows interstellar mining like the back of her hand. But leading an expedition of young, inexperienced Space Corp crew members into deepest space is another matter altogether. Skeptical of anyone else's ability to perform a job properly, especially androids—and deathly afraid of cryosleep—she must overcome her inability to trust and work in concert with others if she is to take on this vital mission.
DR NILES MORGAN, married to Veronika is Director of Disease Control for the World Health Continuum (W.H.C). The prominent Morgan Pharmaceutical family has for generations been a major player in pioneering drugs, most recently their dementia drug ClearThought TM. When delirium is recognized as a world threat, Niles is chosen by W.H.C. to lead a team of scientists in developing a cure. Unfortunately, delirium mutates faster than a cure can be developed. On earth, Niles works closely with Prof. I’jaz Nehem and his daughter Cassia. Together the three uncover the true genesis of delirium and begin to unravel the deliberate corruption of humanity's genetic blueprint.
CASSIA MORGAN: Daughter of Veronika and Dr. Niles Morgan, plays an important role in Assurity. Like other young students in medical school, due to the lack of doctors or nurses, she is put on a ''fast track'' toward her medical license. As a doctor, she joins her father in London as part of his team to search for the correlation he sees between ancient man's DNA and the aliens' DNA. Cassia strikes up a close friendship with her co-worker Prof. I'jaz Nehem but disagrees with both her father and I'jaz's line of research. Seeming to fight them all the way, eventually, her quick intellect allows her to enhance what they have uncovered and offers enlightened insight.
DR JADA BLACKMAN COLE: Jada's mother died when she was only seven. An only child, Jada was raised by her father, a neurosurgeon at John Hopkins University. As the crew joins Assurity, we see that Jada and Zeke are a ''pair''. At times unreliable, she is instrumental in keeping the crew moving forward to accomplish their mission.
ISAAC NEWTON is Assurity's A.I. responsible for running most of the processes on the ship. He has been fashioned utilizing the persona of the 17th Century Sir Isaac Newton. Isaac brings logic, character, and humor to the story. As Veronika's most trusted ally, she seeks Isaac's advice more readily than any human crew member. Isaac is also the ship Chaplin and Philosopher bringing a level of spirituality to a young generation from a time when religion is no longer considered relevant.
LT. COMDR. RIGEL is a Multan A.I. prototype. An android. Self-actualizing, he is in command when the crew is in cryo-sleep. Rigel is male, six ft. tall, slim, muscular, and very handsome. He will not, however, be mistaken for a human due to the slight but distinctive security stamp dressing the right side of his forehead.
LT. PHILEX-B (30), her name pronounced "fylex", is 5’ 9”, android, very attractive. Unknown to her at first, Philex models are no longer being produced — she is the last of her kind. Like a young teenager, often distracted, she is on a constant search for life’s meaning. A major character, her search for transformation begins with constant questions directed to Veronika about love, family and why am I here. Distrusted, blamed, and put down by the young crew for the death of their fellow crew members, she’s determined to understand and better relate to humans.
PROF. I'JAZ NEHEM is a professor of anthropology at the Alexandria Muslim Caliphate of Islamic States. Specially recruited by his friend Dr. Niles Morgan, I'jaz brings a unique perspective to the team. His father, now deceased, was a Muslim and his mother is a Christian. I'jaz believes that there is an ancient connection between the celestial beings found in Antarctica and the disease delirium. Having studied the sacred literature of many disciplines, I'jaz is convinced that the giants of old that ruled the earth, appearing in almost every culture, are somehow connected to the disease that now threatens mankind's existence.
SABINA TESLA is a gifted pilot. With a broad understanding of Assurity, she is able to compensate for the two deceased crew members. Italian/Brazilian, her parents are successful industrialists living in Brazil, part of the League of American States. Sabina, the youngest of the crew, is nicknamed ''beauty''. She’s little and pretty. She is the kindest girl you will ever meet, but she will throw you an insult faster than a shooting star. Compassionate, she makes fast friends. She's a great friend, and you can always depend on her, but if you cross her she'll tell you to ''take a leap out the airlock''— as long as you're not the captain.
ZEKE ALEXANDER is trained in astrophysics and advanced navigation. Commander Zeke Alexander is the son of Rhea Alexander, British Columbia's League of American States senator. His father is L.A.S. Brigadier General Cyril Alexander. A brilliant and capable pilot he distrustful of the android's allegiance and the captain's ability.
TATIANA KOROLEV is from the Russian Federation. She is Chief Engineer and a capable pilot. Tatiana is an energetic, vivacious, Russian beauty and her greatest desire is to reconfigure the antimatter system to increase near-light speed. Her great, great Uncle Sergei Pavlovich Korolev is considered by many as the father of practical astronautics. She is easily manipulated and changes alliances quickly. Slow to make a critical decision in a dangerous situation, her delay almost leads to the demise of the crew.
XIAO XING (pronounced “Shou Shing”) is a Chindian professor of ancient languages at Chindian Legacy University. The crew is resentful about her joining the crew late—she is untrained and a citizen of the sometimes adversarial country of Chindia. Having studied under Prof. Grostok at the Russian Federation Institute of Ethnography and Anthropology, Xiao Xing is a brilliant linguist as well as a highly trained anthropologist.
POLDI STOSS is Assurity's Science Officer. German, his father, Heinz Stoss, a renowned engineer and his mother, a bioengineer, were both residents of the State of Germany but escaped to Norway as the European Caliphate of Islamic States closed in around them. Poldi's a nerd, a pushy German, and has a quick mind, always looking at all of the possible outcomes. He usually assumes the worst.