Star Cat: Pink Symphony

Now that Jelly’s heroics have catapulted Space Opera Beta into another dimension known as Pink Symphony, matters get even stranger. The ship has landed on a surreal pink beach straight out of a Dali painting, complete with bizarre approximations of forest and marine life intent on devouring anything in their path. In addition, the ship’s organic creatures undergo a grotesque transformation that often, but not always, kills the subject. That reveals one secret lesson USARIC gleaned from the Alpha mission: not everyone aboard Beta knows who, or what, they are.

Even as USARIC has collapsed on Earth, the saboteurs are still at work, despite having been trapped in Decapadiscs, which behead the wearer at the touch of a button. What stops their destructive mission is the need for everyone on Beta to fend off the deadly sea creatures Jelly calls Shanta while trying to get the ship aloft and back into their universe, a possibility that, with Botanix blackened, Beta seriously damaged, and Manuel utterly bewildered, seems remote. Meanwhile, Jelly shape-shifts, speaking wondrously of a war mage, and her companions fend off the Shanta with the last of their ammunition, knowing they must, above all, protect Jelly …

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