Science to build a starship. Wizardry to take it past light speed. A crew to give it a soul.
In the year 2254 gravity was officially declared to be magic; the scientists gave up trying to figure it out and handed it over to the wizards. Without the inherent respect for the laws of physics, the wizards poked and prodded at gravity, poring over all that science knew about the attraction of one object to the
The dreams of children came alive, and humanity expanded into the cosmos, unlocking the secrets of the galaxy.
Who could have foreseen that three hundred years later, a down-on-his-luck captain would be answering distress calls, hoping to arrive in time to get
Galaxy Outlaws: Complete Black Ocean Mobius Missions
Meet the galaxy's unluckiest outlaws.Carl Ramsey is an ex-Earth Navy fighter pilot turned con man. His ship, the Mobius, is home to a ragtag crew of misfits and refugees looking to score a big payday but more often just scratching to pay for fuel. The crew consists of his ex-wife (and pilot), a drunkard, four-handed mechanic, a xeno-predator with the disposition of a 120kg housecat, and the galaxy’s most-wanted wizard. Along the way, the Mobius crew crosses paths with the Black Ocean’s vilest scum, from pirate fleets to criminal syndicates, and most law-abiding scum, including Earth Interstellar Enhanced Investigative Organization, ARGO high command, and the Convocation of Wizards. Time and again, riches lie just out of reach, because for all the talents Carl Ramsey and his crew possess, they’ve also got an outlaw’s greatest weakness: a conscience.
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Mission Pack 1: Missions 1-4
Science to build a starship. Wizardry to take it past light speed. A crew to give it a soul.The Mobius is a cobbled-together ship with a matching crew. Captain Carl Ramsey is an ex-Earth Navy pilot whose crew won’t let him fly his own ship. The pilot is his ex-wife, the mechanic is a drunk, and the chief of security is from a predatory species. Instead of a star-drive to travel through the astral space between worlds, the ship’s wizard does it by hand.
Mission Pack 2: Missions 5-8
Just because every job we pull goes supernova doesn’t mean this one will.Captain Carl Ramsey and the crew of the Mobius are constantly on the run from one bad decision to the next. Every time it looks like they might score big, something goes wrong. But no one ever got ahead by quitting, and the only alternative is honest work. There are always more jobs to pull, more schemes to hatch, and more authorities to evade.
Mission Pack 3: Missions 9-12
Being a criminal kingpin is more work and less fun than everyone makes it seem.Carl Ramsey is the head of his own criminal Syndicate. With a hundred men and women and the resources of a tiny jungle moon at his disposal, life should have gotten easier, not harder. Infighting, politics, and a lack of income to pay everyone begin to tear the syndicate apart from the inside. And the last thing Carl needs is his father stepping in to try to help.
Mission Pack 4: Missions 13-16
It's impossible to outrun your past, no matter how deep you drop in the astral.With the weight of his conscience growing by the mission and a fiancee who makes him want to be a better man, Carl Ramsey decides to try his hand at being one of the good guys. But there’s a long line of enemies who won’t forget so easily.
Salvage Trouble: Mission 1
Hitchhikers are trouble in any galaxy.Carl Ramsey has a starship to run. Down on his luck, struggling to pay the cost of fuel, he’s just looking for some quick, easy cash. While looting the wreck of a passenger ship, they discover that one escape pod never ejected, and the passengers are still alive. A routine salvage job turns into a rescue mission, and a good deed never goes unpunished. With two refugees aboard, Captain Carl Ramsey finds that his ship, the Mobius, has a target painted on its hull. Someone is after the new passengers, and willing to stop at nothing to get them back.
A Smuggler’s Conscience: Mission 2
The job: a delivery, no questions asked. The problem: curiosity is a deadly sin.A simple pickup and delivery. No questions asked; no looking inside the cargo. All it requires is a fast, stealthy ship and a crew who can keep their imaginations and consciences in check until the drop-off. The Mobius is up to the task, but when the crew can’t control their curiosity, they’re faced with a moral dilemma. Do they cut their losses? Contact the authorities? Take the money and run? Or do they get talked into the stupidest, most reckless, and least profitable course of action they could possibly take? Doing the right thing.
Poets and Piracy: Mission 3
In a crime family, there’s a thin line between the Christmas list and the hit list.When the crew of the Mobius takes on passenger Bryce Brisson to make some easy money, they find themselves caught up in his business dealings with Tanny’s estranged family: the Rucker Syndicate. On top of that, Tanny has exhausted her supply of the drugs she needs to keep up her enhanced marine physiology. But will Carl double-cross family to make his payday, or dive headlong into a trap that wasn’t meant for him? If he plays this wrong, he risks making enemies of the most ruthless gangsters on Mars.
To Err is Azrin: Mission 4
She killed her brother. She saved his son. Can one good deed repay a blood debt?When a foiled bounty job results in the Mobius rescuing Mriy’s nephew, they divert course for Meyang to deliver him home. Upon her return, Mriy finds that gratitude and resentment don’t cancel out. Instead of the welcome she hoped to earn, she finds herself challenged to a ritual hunt to earn back her rightful place in the family. But with the whole clan turned against her, where can Mriy turn for allies? …yeah, she’s not too happy about being stuck with them, either.
Alien Racer: Mission 5
The need for speed meets the need for greed.Carl Ramsey can’t watch race pilots without scoffing that they’ve never faced hostile fire. When Roddy and Mort can’t take it anymore, they goad Carl into entering a racing contest to prove it. The 250,000 terras prize money in the Silde Slims Cadet Racer Challenge would be the biggest score yet for the crew of the Mobius. Of course, Carl hatches a plot for an even bigger score, dragging in an eliminated racer, an old squadron mate, and an unwitting corporate accomplice. With so many moving parts and Carl’s seat-of-the-pants planning, what could possibly go…right?
Retro Version: Mission 6
Simpler times don’t always mean simpler troubles.With captain Carl Ramsey presumed dead, the Mobius crew heads off to a retrovert colony, among the history-loving residents and old-Earth lifestyle. With limited scanning tech and access to the omni, the crew believes no one will recognize the not-actually-dead Carl–until the galaxy’s sharpest investigators show up. But not even a utopian middle-twentieth century colony can suppress Carl’s natural instincts for mischief and greed. Now the crew of the Mobius has to shake their off-world snoops, then find Carl before his antics ruin everything.
Siege of Mortania: Mission 7
Never look a strange wizard in the eye. The problem: all wizards are strange.Mort has been on the run from the Convocation for decades. Time and again, they’ve tried—and failed—to capture him. But a new adversary is taking a crack at claiming the bounty on Mort. Someone has done extensive homework, and found the weakness in Mort’s armor. Now the Mobius will become a battleground, putting Mort in a double bind: to save himself, he just might have to kill the entire crew; if he wants to save them, the only way out might be surrender.
Moon of Odysseus: Mission 8
One man’s crash is another man’s treasure.Carl Ramsey gets a comm from an old squadron mate with a lead on the salvage of a lifetime: an ARGO battleship. But experimental battleships don’t just fall from the sky, and the Mobius will have to overcome whatever caused the Odysseus to crash in the first place. On an uncharted moon outside ARGO controlled space, Carl and the crew will have to contend not only with local wildlife and warring factions among the survivors, but a mysterious magical effect that renders technology inert. But some treasures just might be worth dying for.
Adventure Capital: Mission 9
There's a new crime lord in this galaxy. Time to make crime actually pay.Carl Ramsey had a derelict battleship and a hundred stranded navy veterans fall into his lap. With Earth Navy happier pretending none of them existed, it only seemed logical to turn them into a criminal empire. Of course, when 95% of your employees have clean criminal records and by-the-book instincts, there are bound to be some bumps along the way. Never one to take failure lying down, Carl enlists the help of some old squadron mates to show the newcomers how to make a living on the wrong side of the law. Unfortunately, Carl has a blind spot for his fellow Half-Devils. Will one rogue take building a dangerous reputation too far, and get them all killed in the process?
Collusion Course: Mission 10
The biggest problem with employing criminals is that they're criminals.What’s a guy gotta do to get a little respect? As the head of an up-and-coming criminal empire, Carl Ramsey just can’t seem to catch a break. Stranded in the middle of nowhere, he is forced to rely on loyalty, savvy, and the promise of a big payday to keep the rank and file in line. But how can he deliver on his promises while overseeing repairs on a dead ship, praying that his lover and best friend can recover their lost loot, and keeping the galaxy’s most notorious crime lord at bay over long-range comm? And to make matters worse, his parents dropped in for a visit and have settled in while he’s away. It’s going to take all the fast talking Carl can manage, and he still might need a little help from his friends.
You, Robot: Mission 11
He knows the three laws, but they're really more what you'd call "guidelines."Two and a half million terras worth of contraband won’t do Carl Ramsey any good unless he can find a buyer. But when dealing with that kind of money, any deal is liable to turn sour when it’s time to make the exchange. So when things go smoothly, Carl knows his luck can’t be that good. When the double-cross is revealed, the Mobius crew sets out on a chase to track down their stolen merchandise. But once they find out who took them for fools, everything turns on its head. Instead of a foe, they might have stumbled onto a powerful new ally: a robot who hates the Harmony Bay corporation even more than they do. Now they just need to find a way to stop Mort from killing it as an abomination.
Stowaway to Heaven: Mission 12
If you can't beat 'em, hijack 'em.Push a man hard enough and long enough and he’s going to push back. Carl Ramsey finally has a plan to deal with transgalactic megacorp Harmony Bay. With the aid of a new ace up his sleeve, the Mobius crew finally have a heist that can put an end to the company’s harassment. They’re going to steal the ship responsible for Harmony Bay’s black ops.
Mission Inadvisable: Mission 13
Part-time heroes. Full-time outlaws.Carl Ramsey has done the unthinkable: he turned down a lucrative job. When the deed is too despicable even for outlaws like the Mobius crew, someone nasty had to be behind it. Carl and his friends decide to hunt down their potential employer and turn him over to the authorities. But as amateur vigilantes, they mire themselves in a moral quagmire of conflicts of interest. With victory (and a tidy payday) in their sights, can they live with the awful truth they uncover? Carl will have to decide if being one of the good guys means letting a friend pay for their crimes.
Moral and Orbital Decay: Mission 14
Reminder: science and magic don't mix.If anyone were ever to forget that magic can disrupt science and technological equipment, they need only refer to the incident at Mobile Mining Station YF-77. That poor, unfortunate station had a wizard for a guest, and that wizard lost control of his magical powers while the mining station was moving to a new drilling site. Bereft of attitude control, the station fell out of stable orbit on a collision course for a deserted, lifeless planet. The crew of the starship Mobius would like everyone to know that they had nothing at all to do with this incident. They had no knowledge of any magical anomaly. They certainly didn’t cause it. And they most definitely did not plan to interfere with a team of Convocation investigators, rescue a fugitive from justice, or cause all the steel surfaces on the station to turn rubbery. That was some other ship.
Planet Hustlers: Mission 15
The hottest card game in the galaxy puts the fates of three worlds at stake.Pirates have taken over and occupied a refugee world, and the exile government turns to the only human they can trust—Carl Ramsey. Trying to make a better man of himself, Carl agrees to help in whatever way he can. Since he’s a notorious outlaw, his plan involves a little double-dealing. As Carl unravels the tale of how an entrenched pirate band got displaced from their cushy hideout and found a ripe target to bully, he stumbles across a twisted web of deception, intrigue, and political puppeteering behind the scenes. To get the squabbling factions together, Carl—known by everyone who’s met him to be a compulsive gambler and loser at cards—arranges a poker game. They’re all coming to the table to rob him blind. Carl’s hoping that cheaters can prosper. If he can’t pull this one off, millions of alien refugees will remain trapped, and if he gets caught cheating, he’s a dead man.
Eternity or Bust: Mission 16
One mission short of retirement. What could possibly go wrong?Carl’s looking forward to a quiet life with his soon-to-be wife and the child they’re expecting. But when Amy makes a simple request, there’s a catch. She wants their wedding on Earth so her mother can be there. For a law-abiding citizen, that would be a pricey but straightforward request. For a band of outlaws, flying into the galaxy’s headquarters for law and order would be suicidal… without a plan. As usual, Carl refuses to take impossible as an option. But somewhere amid the complicated web of deception, betrayal, and lies, a key part of the plan doesn’t go as expected. As Carl’s house of cards collapses, there’s only one thing they can do: rescue who they can, while they can. Because after that, it’ll be time to disappear. Who will survive this final mission of the Mobius crew’s story? Is a happy ending even possible in the Black Ocean?
The crew of the Mobius is (mostly) retired, but look for them to occasionally make special guest appearances in the other Black Ocean series.
You can check out more Esper and Kubu in Black Ocean: Mercy for Hire or follow as Cedric The Brown tries to help make amends for the mission 14 accident on the mining station in Black Ocean: Astral Prime .
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Join the Black Ocean fan group to discuss Black Ocean with other outlaws. Chat about ebooks, audio, or paper versions; main series, Astral Prime, or Mercy For Hire.
Looking for swag?
Wish you could live in the Black Ocean world? I can't promise you'll win an argument with the universe, but you CAN wear your own wizard hoodie (complete with Convocation medallion), disguise your boring soda or beer with the Earth's Preferred can cooler, or fly the Poet Fleet Jolly Roger.