From a workstation on the moon in the twenty-second century, where a team has monitored strange screeching noises emanating from Saturn for six years, a member calls his family, only to notice that the family cat, a female, reacts strangely to the sounds coming through the transmission. By this pure chance, USARIC, the American-Russian consortium tracking the sounds, discovers that only female cats react to the code, which is the only link they have to an expedition that disappeared while searching for the source of what’s now called “the Saturn Cry.” This realization leads to a worldwide contest to find the feline most suited to venture into space. The ultimate choice is Jelly Anderson, the beloved cat of five-year-old Jamie Anderson of Great Britain, and while his mother recognizes the value to their impoverished lives of the $250,000 reward for Jelly’s two-year mission, he regrets letting her go.
However, as a member of Space Opera Beta, Jelly exceeds expectations and, with the help of a supercomputer named Pure Genius, interprets the bizarre sounds. They’re coming from what turns out to be the lost expedition, Space Opera Alpha, which is hiding, abandoned, on the dark side of Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons. However, they have no clue what the two-word message means. When the crew ventures to the deserted ship to investigate, they discover carnage and mayhem, as well as saboteurs in their midst. Only through the bravery of their captain, and the human-like heroics of Jelly, does the crew survive to return to their ship, but what will happen as Space Opera Beta runs out of oxygen?
As encapsulated in the name of the vessels, Andrew Mackay has constructed the perfect space opera. Star Cat: Infinity Claws is a suspenseful beginning to Team Beta’s, and more importantly, Jelly’s, journey to discover just what lurks in the voids of the universe.