The Distance

A covert government agency has developed an experimental spacecraft.  Armed with more sophisticated equipment, technology and weaponry than anything used by NASA or known to the public, the ship is designed for exploration of distant space.  Essential to this mission is prototype technology developed from debris recovered from the wreckage of an alien spacecraft.  The power source for this technology is relatively unstable, and the prototype, designed to allow the craft to traverse vast distances by opening temporary portals in space, has yet to be tested.

Determined to be the first to exploit the untapped resources across the universe, a member of the design team forms a secret cabal to steal the ship.  They recruit Hayward Jones, a skilled pilot in a vulnerable position, to steal the ship and deliver it to them.  With some coercion, Jones agrees, and a heist is planned and executed.  Though the heist is not without its complications, Jones succeeds in taking off with the ship.

Concept art for Zee drawn by Casey Hulbott

Unbeknownst to Hayward, ships’ engineer Dana “Zee” Zaborski was on board at the time.  She confronts him in the cockpit.  Amidst a tense confrontation, Jones activates the experimental technology, and the ship is transported to an area of space so remote, it is beyond any stars and planets we have ever charted.  To complicate matters further, the instability of the power source proves to be a fatal flaw, as the single use of the transporter has exhausted the power source and obliterated the device.

Stranded countless light years from home, Hayward and Zee must come to terms with each other as they explore new planets, scavenging and assimilating new technology along the way, as they try to make their way through unfamiliar territory.