Michelle Levigne, Author

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AFV Defender

Science Fiction > AFV Defender


Centuries ago, the Human homeworld, Core, was threatened by a galactic disaster. The Gatekeepers scattered the Human race across the universe. At least, that's where most legends agree…

When the residents of Le'anka gained spaceflight, they launched a two-pronged quest:

First, reunite all the scattered races of Humans. Thus the Alliance was born.

Second, find the Gatekeepers and ask them: Just what were you thinking?

These are the adventures of  the E&D ship, AFV Defender. While they aren't quite as death-defying as a certain other notorious ship in the Fleet, they're developing a legend of their own. Some good. Some bad. But most important, they're a family, with all the benefits and drawbacks.

Every day is a new adventure. If their misfit luck doesn't finally run out on them.

From Ye Olde Dragon Books.

Captain Genys Arroyan has a problem with her shiny new command -- the dregs of the universe are laughing.

While the Defender is in spacedock, getting upgrades, Genys has to deal with mind-hunters and farting fur balls, merchants-of-insanity and diplomatic intrigue. Her Chief of Talents is hiding from forced matrimony and her new crewmembers aren't too happy to be transferred to the Nanny Ship.

Then she finds out that the insectoid Hivers have a taste for the brains of the children of her crew. Falling through a Chute to another galaxy might turn out to be a good thing, even if dangerous.

A rescue mission turns into a battle to save a race of miniature dragons from genocide. They might just be sentient -- but more important, dracs could turn out to be the defensive weapon the Alliance needs against the Hiver threat. Genys and her crew could end up breaking dozens of regulations in the quest to save dracs and maybe the Human race.  Just how much trouble could teleporting, fire-breathing creatures with the personalities of four-year-olds cause on board a military vessel?

The misfit luck of the AFV Defender might finally be running out.

Available in audiobook

Dracs: the gift that keeps giving. And making life very interesting for the crew of the AFV Defender.

A spatial anomaly near the drac homeworld, a forbidden island, and signs of a civilization that self-destructed are just the tip of the iceberg. When spoiled brat Ambassador Vitiarre's plot to get his hands on dracs is foiled, he sets out to make trouble for the Defender, and especially Chief of Talents M'kar. His long-standing feud with her father, Ashrock, just makes everything worse.

Then a new Chute opens up near the drac homeworld, leading to a planet with dragons in its legends. Despite no dragons present on the planet now, Vitiarre breaks regulations to invade and claim his own dragon. His schemes lead to the Defender being sent to mend the trouble he made with the matriarchal society of Castitarus.

The misfit luck of the Defender is hard at work. Male crew are kidnapped. The dracs develop allergies. Female officers are offered diplomatic gifts of men. And the crew race to find a cure for a disease that turns grown men into children -- starting with Security Chief Decker, and Ashrock.

A typical mission for the crew of the AFV Defender.

Etrusca was a warrior woman in the distant past of Nisandros, who defied the clan heads and fought to turn her world from the worship of the Ancestors and back to worshipping and serving Enlo.

For that she nearly died.
Many times.

Blue tattoo lines marked the scars around her eyes and mouth where her enemies tried to blind her and silence her forever. Women of Nisandros tattooed their eyes with blue lines to honor Etrusca and to vow service to Enlo.

M'kar earned her blue lines at age eight, when an adventure nearly killed her, and dropped her into a mystery she would spend the next twenty-some years trying to unravel.

Follow her as her Talent awakens and she gains allies and enemies, until the day she returns to Nisandros to solve the mystery, very much against her will.

Available in audiobook

Behind every legendary ship are the little people who make the incredible discoveries possible.

In the case of the AFV Defender, they really are little -- the children of the crew, growing up below decks, learning lessons on faith, honor, loyalty, and what it really means to be a hero. No matter what it costs.

Cadets long before they go to the Fleet Academy for official training, they are preparing for the day the fate of the Alliance, and maybe the Human race, lies in their hands.

Jorgan -- a new kid on the ship, an orphan adopted by Fleet doctors, with a talent for gizmos and secret fears.

Tress -- leader of the gang by default, with special talents ready to bloom, and a gift for attracting trouble, no matter how hard she tries to be careful.

Elli -- raised by her older brother, and tormented by a new crop of bullies just when she's earned her place in Tress' gang.

Bo -- musical prodigy with brittle bones and unsure if the Fleet or Enlo can use a boy without real legs.

Dafna -- her love of solitude and dark, hidden places turns into the needed advantage when the Defender is invaded.

Kati -- her blooming talent isn't "cool" like everyone else's, and needs to learn the hard way that Enlo gives gifts to those who are willing to obey, no matter what.

Jorgan Pace, adopted son of Fleet medics, wants to be an engineer on a starship. Going to the Fleet Academy is far in the future. He’s only ten years old.

When his family is transferred to the Defender, they meet two other families also traveling to their new assignment. Despite the short voyage, by the time they reach the Defender Jorgan has made a new friend and earned several enemies. When the bullies play a nasty trick on him, he uses his engineering skills to pay them back, which disappoints his parents. Then, when another nasty trick threatens to get Jorgan in even more trouble, it turns into an opportunity to put his skills to good use.

Problems with another boy's mechanical legs present a mystery for the new friends to solve together, and brings them face-to-face with a creature out of legend. At the end of their journey to their new home, Jorgan's efforts earn him a chance to meet his hero, Chief Engineer Jasper Lore of the Defender.

Available in Audiobook.

Listen Carefully
Tress Lore, daughter of the chief engineer and chief linguist, was born on the Defender. Only nine years old, her life is about to change.

While exploring the space station where their ship is undergoing upgrades, she overhears people saying things that frighten her. Threats against her friends, and even the ship. But when she tells the adults, nobody else has heard what she heard. Tress is confused. What is wrong with everybody?

When she hears Lt. M’kar wishing to play a nasty trick on some people who are giving her trouble, Tress breaks some rules to try to help. When she is caught, the captain and her parents begin to understand what is happening to her. She isn't hearing people's voices, but their thoughts.

As she starts training to use her new Talent properly, Tress starts to understand what her parents have been teaching her: Enlo gives gifts for a reason. And the reason for her Talent appearing far too soon may already have arrived.

Available in Audiobook.

AFV Defender Universe: Short stories
From time to time, a chance remark or a moment of, "Oh, so THAT's how that happened" will spark an idea for a short story in the AFV Defender universe.

Here's where you'll learn about them.

All will be released in ebook format only ... until there are enough to put them into their own print collection.


Class Reunion
They were the anomalies, the Talents that didn't check all the boxes or fit within neat, understood, traditional guidelines. Gathered together under a Premier Master at the Academy on Le'anka, the nine Talents were called Infrenx, for the magical bird of legend, of healing and power … and sometimes destruction.

When they graduated, they scattered through the Alliance, using their Talents to serve and protect.

Their greatest challenge came when some members of Infrenx class returned to Le'anka for what they thought would be a time of rest and fun and reunion. An enemy had struck, managing to slide past the security precautions of the Academy, the headquarters and birthplace of the Alliance. As the members of Infrenx class discovered, even the mighty bird of legend had a nemesis, and it would take all their combined strength and training and the ultimate sacrifice to defend their home.

The Short-Lived Escape of Jorono Cynes
A story between novels.

The crew of the Defender had run afoul of the irritating, silly little con man Jorono Cynes one time too many.

He was supposed to be in custody for the rest of his life, but somehow Cynes showed up in the middle of a shore leave that was anything but relaxing.

Lt. M'kar and Security Chief Decker were supposed to be guiding some of the ship's children through a wilderness survival experience, but even though they were on shore leave, they knew their duty. They had to deal with Cynes and get him back into the hands of the authorities ASAP.

And if they could have some fun and frighten the irritating little troublemaker while they were at it, all the better.

Before Genys Arroyan was captain, and M'kar was Chief of Talents and Treinna was head of linguistics and Jasper was chief engineer … in the golden years under Captain Rob Hollis's leadership …

A dark shadow from the crewmates' past shows up to make life and a new, precarious mission difficult for the junior officers of the Defender. A nomadic fleet grudgingly agrees to host a diplomatic team from the Alliance.  M'kar's animal-focused Talent is needed to help the ambassador leave the flagship when the birds that inhabit and overwhelm and perhaps even run the ships of the fleet … won't let him leave.

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