In Beyond Aurora the superstitions of this ancient land clash with the technology of tomorrow. And the men who fly these advanced machines face threats far removed from the engineering world they know.
Jim Braddock has been assigned the most challenging program of his career. He is the Program Manager for the Dreamship Series of Advanced Aerospace weapons. It is his job to develop a ship that will survive on the edge of space, a ship that will respond to every thought of the skilled pilot.
Jim is ready for the technical and management problems. He has faced them in various forms over many years in the industry. But there is something he has not faced. Something that is found only in the high desert. Something that has declared the Dreamships its own!
Real or imagined the pilots find themselves with an unwanted co-pilot. Dreamship One is airborne, piloted through its paces, only to fall prey to - pilot error, or something far worse?
Even the aircraft assembly plant is not safe. Accidents of unexplainable origin plague the production line. And the workers claim that a dead man works night shift!
Jim himself, pragmatic and realistic though he is, begins to fall under the spell. Dr. Volte, a psychiatrist working with the program, volunteers to find a solution. Is he the next victim?
The Reverend Samuels claims the ship is a demon in aircraft form. He and his followers vow to destroy it. Fanatic and dedicated they march on Edwards Air Force Base, supported by demonstrators from throughout the nation.
The self-styled "Dragon Lady" ferrets out secrets of the Dreamship. Reporter, spy, or but an innocent ready to fall victim to the strange forces at work in the Antelope Valley.
In the background the politics of Air Force life, the pressure from Washington bureaucracy, and the everyday organizational strife add to the problems of the manager. And on the international scene evolving treaties between our potential foes highlight the desperate need for the Dreamship System. Throw in the economic chaos engendered by inept politicians, and the gradual buildup of nations antagonistic to the United States. Add the women who make life in the High Desert livable. And the story moves toward a dark but inevitable conclusion.
The key element remains, as always, the men involved. John Holms, the pilot for Dreamship Three, wrestles with the forces which would destroy him and all he loves. John is operated on to install the Dreamship interface, and his wife fears him as a "Frankenstein monster." Will John find that his own worst enemy is a handsome fellow pilot, a lady's man with an eye for John's wife? And what of Dreamship Three? Will the ship go the way of its predecessors?
Black, ominous, the dreamship itself, a massive aerospace vehicle, couples with the mind of man to form a deadly symbiotic entity, Has it powers beyond those designed, derived from that strange coupling?
Brooding, waiting, the blind witch controls the destinies of men and machines. Real? Imaginary? The legends of the valley, the tales of the blind witch, perhaps reveal the answer.