Story & Theme
In the distant future, a long and bloody war is coming to a close. The fighting is technically over, but there is still a fortune to be made in the occupied-zone. Rumor is, a package is being smuggled out by a group of gangsters. Only one guy can do it. The Engineer. Name’s Ethan McKay. Mad genius with engines yet hard as nails. Small problem, our Engineer is in a prison camp. The underworld pulls some strings and busts him out. They also give him a ship. His old ship. The Mary Alice. A masterpiece of engineering that legend has it can disappear. That’s good because he’s running right at a Federal blockade, and if he’s not ‘dark’, he’s dead.
He’s two weeks out now. Hot cargo in his hold. Time to get his magic engine running again. The ship has been laid up for the three years he was in the clink. Even dark, he’s not sure if he can make it through the blockade, but it beats rotting in a correction camp. As he makes repairs, the golden rules of smuggling are never far from his thoughts: 1) Don’t deviate from the plan, 2) Always protect the package, and 3) No matter what happens, never break cover. Makes the boss nervous. Makes him think you’re gonna run. The rules are scripture for a veteran like Ethan… that is until he encounters a distress signal in deep space. Here the golden rules of smuggling bump into the iron law of space – Never leave a ship in distress, especially a life-pod.
Against his better judgment, he alters course and brings in the pod. Inside are two women – badly beaten – and a gravely wounded Federal soldier. They are in stasis. Out cold. Life support’s last-ditch effort to keep them alive long enough for help to arrive. The Engineer brings them aboard his ship and that’s when the dilemma begins… for one woman is a Federal Officer and the other her prisoner. Question is which one is which?
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In the closing days of an interplanetary war, a gifted smuggler rescues a life-pod containing two badly beaten women, a half-dead soldier and a whole world of trouble.
Breaking out is only half the battle. Now you’ve got to survive.
From a desolate prison colony to a galactic ship breaker, immerse yourself in the world of Prisoner’s Dilemma.