If you stare upwards at the night sky this week, you may see up to 70 shooting stars an hour from the Orionid Meteor Shower as the Earth intersects the orbit of Halley’s Comet. Today & tomorrow is due to be the peak viewing opportunity of the meteor shower.
The perfect time then, for a guest post from Andy Oppenheimer, who today publishes the second book in his Fields of Orion trilogy, The Mission – which actually begins with this astronomical event. Read on for the book blurb and a short extract from the new novel!
Fields of Orion (II): The Mission is the second gripping thriller in the explosive science-fiction trilogy by Andy Oppenheimer, set in the near-future world of terrorism and first contact.
In October 1993, a vast explosion lights up the Earth’s upper atmosphere.
It is passed off as an exploding meteor emanating from the Constellation Orion.
The conniving director of the most top-secret project ever launched knows it is something else.
He also knows why handsome Army bomb disposal operator Major Adam Armstrong displays superhuman powers and telekinetic abilities while on service in Iraq.
And another even more astonishing skill.
Which makes Armstrong the only man on Earth to stop the most devastating event in its history.
Set to be unleashed by an entity that is the reason for his very existence.
He has already faced the ultimate terrorist threat in London.
He will do anything to achieve the next impossible mission.
His enemies will do everything to stop him.
On his broad shoulders rests the fate of the world.
Fields of Orion (II) The Mission continues this series’ captivating fusion of mystery, intrigue, action, heroism, romance, betrayal, and heart-stopping drama that will propel you relentlessly to its jaw-dropping finale.
Above Earth: 18 October 1993, before dawn
Cocooned in flames, his capsule exploded. Flung out into space, he plummeted down through clouds and ice. Dropping at the speed of sound. Fighting for air. Like a bullet shot from a rifle barrel. The force of the Earth’s gravity tearing him apart…
Falling, falling, falling…
A momentary flash lit up the higher atmosphere, for a split-second shining brighter than the Moon. No loud blast was heard; more a resonant pop reached his hypersensitive ears as trillions of particles, like some deadly cosmic shrapnel, erupted high above the northern hemisphere. The fallout from his disintegrated entry vehicle merged with the fragments exuded from Halley’s Comet in the brilliant celestial firework display that is the Orionids, the fastest meteor shower to grace the skies every October.
As our small planet passed through this orbital minefield, thousands of earthbound stargazers around the world gazed up as the explosions of light streaked 60 miles above their heads at 40 miles per second.
In among them, a black capsule disgorged its sole occupant before it blasted itself apart.
Falling, falling, falling. Falling to Earth, eighty miles down.
At two hundred miles an hour.
Gasping, his eyes bleeding, his diaphragm crushed.
His parachute… WILL NOT OPEN…
He fought to trigger the pull, his frozen hands in an agony of fumbling. Heaving for air he had never breathed before, plummeting down, spinning, somersaulting through clouds, the speeding shreds from his shattered capsule piercing his spacesuit like stings from a celestial scorpion.
Free-falling, his lungs bursting.
Two minutes before impact.
About the Author
Andy Oppenheimer AIExpE MIABTI is an author and consultant in counterterrorism. An Associate Member of the Institute of Explosives Engineers and a Member of the International Association of Bomb Technicians & Investigators, he has written and lectured worldwide on terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, bombs and explosives since 2001.
The first in this trilogy, Fields of Orion: An Odyssey, was published in 2019. Fields of Orion: The Mission continues this epic story of first contact.
Andy Oppenheimer is the ‘scribe’ for Orion the Mighty Hunter.
On Twitter: @warrior_orion
On his blogsite: https://www.andyoppenheimer.com/
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andy.oppenheimer.33