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Meet Tabitha Enns, Trainee on the Kestrel

A young woman among a crew of men

Tabitha Enns is a young woman from the first Earth colony, Alpha. The gravity there is twice that of Earth, so the first colonists had to wear powered exo-skeletons, but over the generations their bodies have adapted by becoming short and stocky. This means they are fast and strong in Earth-normal gravity. Enns looks like the Olympic swimmer Ellie Symonds.

Over the years the colony has become insular, having little to do with other humans or alien species. Tabitha always wanted to see the rest of the galaxy, but it took a long time to persuade her father to let her apply to PACT. Her mother was never happy.

Intruders coverShe joined the PACT Training School on Alpha and her enthusiasm quickly took her to the top of the class. She was about to transfer to the main training facility on Earth to do her last year of advanced training, when the Kestrel arrived at Alpha looking for a top student as an emergency replacement crewman.

Before she knew it, she was on board, excited but scared stiff she would do something wrong. She was initially appalled at having to share a cabin with a man, but Andrew Chambers took her under his wing. Apart from an initial bout of space sickness caused by lack of training to acclimatise her to the lighter gravity, she settled in very well and proved to be a useful addition to the crew.

Through her, we get to know the various characters in the book Intruders, especially the alien representatives who join the mission. To keep them busy, they are asked to teach her about their race and culture, and pass on their area of expertise.

All is not plain sailing, however, since Roy Stubbs, the assistant engineer, takes a shine to her. His advances are not welcome, but she doesn’t know how to discourage him without being rude. She wishes she had been allowed to have boyfriends at home so she had some experience of how to handle men.

Enns is not in Alien Secrets because she has gone to Earth to finish her training, but she qualified and is lucky to be posted to the Kestrel to replace Stubbs in Crisis of Conscience. Her luck changes however since she is part of the landing party that gets taken hostage. Life never seems dull when Enns is around.

Head shot Ann Marie ThomasAnn Marie Thomas is the author of five medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel, Intruders, Alien Secrets & Crisis of Conscience are out now Follow her at