The Waifs of Trove
Captain Rod Striker of the Starship Magellan rescues the alien survivors of an apparent accident in space only to become embroiled in an interstellar treasure hunt that could destroy the Alliance of Worlds Star Service.
Captain Rod Striker of the Starship Magellan prepares to take his ship to the tercentennial celebration on Earth, which champions the formation of the Alliance of Worlds Star Service. The mission is soon sidetracked when an explosion in space attracts him to the stranded mining freighter Sorop lost in the Ahlstrom Anomaly. They mystery grows when only the passengers are found aboard, but the crew and the lifeboat are missing. A valuable cargo of concentrated metal ores is also found intact aboard. Endira and Lisa are the wife and daughter of the missing captain are among the passengers, but why were they left to die along with the other passengers? Lisa has a parasitic animal called a Max Monkey attached to her, but it’s doing her no harm. Six diminutive aliens of unknown origin were found with them. Charles Osborn the company geologist was another passenger, but why was he found unconscious on the bridge but armed with a laser weapon? Apparently, he had welded the door closed himself with the weapon.
The mystery only increases when the survivors are taken to the point of origin, a nearly mined out treasure planet known as Trove operated by Copal, a sadistic administrator who does not welcome the presence of a starship in his jurisdiction. The discovery of a valuable mineral called Malanite embroils the crew of the Magellan and the survivors of the Sorop disaster in an interstellar treasure hunt through forbidden Kraagin space that could destroy the Alliance of Worlds Star Service.