The Himilco is the first story James Prescott wrote about adventures of Earthmen traveling to Arcturus. This short story takes place in the 28th century, ten years before the events in the novel Between Earth and Arcturus, and was intended to be the preface to the novel.
Conspirators was written to be the first chapter of the novel. These three episodes provide interesting backstory to the novel, but didn’t make it into the final draft.
Unfortunately, scientific opinion has concluded that the probability of aliens in the galaxy is zero, so Gentry’s obsession with his ancestry lands him in mental hospital until Clifford Poluka gives him the opportunity to prove the existence of aliens.
Gentry is a mathematics prodigy who, at the age of 19 years, finds a way out of the mental hospital and onto the Starship Himilco for the first manned mission to Arcturus.
The novel Between Earth And Arcturus follows the adventures of Gentry's sister, Lynda, as she tries to discover what became of her brother.
Here we also meet Lynda Stokes, 22 year old daughter of G.J. (Gentry junior) Stokes who is the head of Stokes Enterprises and the designer of the newest and best starship. Lynda is a prodigy with great intelligence, but can’t cook worth a damn.
This chapter was originally written to be the first chapter of the novel Between Earth and Arcturus, but did not make it into the final draft.
Aguire goes to the Spaceport in Kansas to pick up Captain Poluka, where he runs into a policeman whom he knows, and learns that the New Federation is arresting people for protesting, people who are never seen again.
Aguire learns more about the new government and he finds he has a new path to follow, still unaware that he is being manipulated.
(Note: The policeman, Mike Sullivan who is only briefly seen here, will be a major character in the sequel novel, Pioneers Of Arcturus).
She hacks into secret files and begins collecting information, while keeping it from being discovered by anyone else.
Though scheming to be a blackmailer, Elisa is not all bad, and tries to help a young intern stay out of trouble.
Admiral Higgs takes Admiral Fisher to the capital of Earth, West Point, where we meet Vice President Batastia and the inner circle of evil men who now rule the known galaxy.
Admiral Higgs has taken Fisher under his wing to guide him up the through the ranks, but is beginning to realize that Fisher is a monster.
The first follows Captain Paul Poluka as he takes Lynda Stokes to dinner in an attempt to change her mind about allowing Commander Aguire to serve aboard the Starship Hanno. Part of the problem is that their secret conspiracy depends on getting only people whom the evil government has blacklisted, but Lynda doesn't know who's on the blacklist.
The next chapter drops in on Admiral Higgs, who is finding unexpected troubles both with his protégé, Admiral Fisher, who has just murdered Julie, and with the vice president, who has just murdered thousands.
Finally, we get our first glimpse of the alien queen in the shortest chapter of the novel. Much more about this queen will be learned in later chapters.
Lynda is young, but already committing her life to a rebellion and is responsible for choosing a crew for the new Starship Hanno. A wrong choice could leave the conspirators with a crew which might turn against them when they learn the truth.
Too bad Captain Frazya didn't know this.
Commander Jose Aguire and his buddy Leroy Donno still have no idea that Vice President Batastia and Admiral Fisher expect the entire crew of the new ship will die because of design flaws, and have selected only people on their Black List as crew members.
Batastia picked the date of the commissioning to coincide with the World Cup Football playoffs (in Leicester this year, which is, by the way, not far from where the author's ancestors came from) so that there will be very little news coverage, making it easier for the public to forget all about the doomed spacemen.
Aguire learns that a hero whom he met years ago at the Last Stop hub station is a crew member...and has been demoted twice by Admiral Fisher. This leads him to a disturbing discovery while reviewing the ship's personnel records.
Hanson has his own agenda which leads them to a man who doesn't want to be nice to Hanson, the most dangerous man on Earth.
The Starship Hanno flees Earth as the conspirators try to keep the crew in the dark about what is happening.
A visit from G.J. Stokes reveals what has been kept secret from the world, and from G.J.'s daughter Lynda.
The Hanno is seriously damaged, and Lynda's feelings finally awaken.
Lynda Stokes begins wondering if maybe her brother was right when he claimed that their grandfather was an alien.
Captain Poluka is falling into his old tricks of keeping secrets from his people.
The officers of the Starship Hanno are finding their captain's behavior suspicious as Poluka rushes to move on to Arcturus, bringing the alien ship with them.
Captain Poluka has a few drinks with an old friend and reveals the pain he holds inside concerning his long lost brother.
Commander Aguire gets his first look inside the alien ship.
The King, Elpastre, has just received an unpleasant message from the Matriarch of the Old Rulers, who is the bitter enemy of the king and queen. Now, Elpastre must tell his wife, Lapastra, about the Matriarch's offensive offer.
Lynda sees that something has gone wrong with Captain Poluka.
They repair the shuttle and decide to take a look at those farms.
Poluka's mind is not working at it's best and he knows it.
In this episode we finally catch up with Lyndas's missing brother Gentry. It's also the first time we see the Himilco's complement of Army personnel in action.
Captain Poluka finally meets up with Lynda's missing brother, Gentry. They fly east to an Arcturusian hospital, and to meet the king and queen of the planet.
Commander Redbird arranges it so the meeting happens before Captain Poluka can recover.
G.J. and Lynda Stokes go to the planet and are reunited with Gentry.
Captain Poluka finds their arguments compelling enough to risk offending the king and all of the alien population, not to mention making his credibility among his own officers even worse than it already was.
Note to my Russian listeners: Sorry about the lawyer's unfortunate name. It is an accident of language that his name sounds like something disgusting in the Russian language. Ivan Tershensky is constantly amused by it.
The Queen has a plan that will not only help the hundreds of wounded Earthmen, but also generate good will among the crew of the Starship Hanno.
This episode brings back Ivan Tershensky, who last appeared in the prequel story Starship Himilco. Our roguish Russian spaceman has been a busy boy in the last ten years.
It will take something a bit more forceful to get results, and the force will come from an unlikely source.
Gentry Stokes and his Arcturusian wife and children go with the Hanno, but Commander Washington is uneasy about the existence of aliens and intends to investigate further.
Meanwhile, Captain Poluka has changed his mind about the direction of the conspiracy against the government of Earth and now wants to attack the defenses of Earth.
This sets the stage for a confrontation between Poluka and Aguire as the crew and officers begin to choose sides.
Gentry and his family are especially concerned about what Washington thinks should be done about the Arcturusians, and he tells a small audience what he learned about his ancestors, the Erosians.
Doctor Jayne Payne tries to relieve Captain Poluka from command, with disastrous results.
The Ship's Police and the Army detachment need to restore order aboard the Hanno.
The Starship Hanno reappears after sorting out who is in command of the mighty ship.
Elisa Santino joins Commander Martinsen to track them down.
They need someone who understands politics, someone who can forge a new government from the ashes of corruption. They need a new Poluka.
Our heroes have a little surprise for them when it turns out they may have to give up the Exploration Corps as well.