Taylor’s Ark Series by Jody Lynn Nye
Title: Taylor’s Ark
Author: Jody Lynn Nye
Publish Date: 1993
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Sub-Genre: Space Travel, Spacecraft, Alien Worlds, Alien Encounters, Romance, Advanced Medicine, Advanced Technology, Sabotage, Murder, Alternate Societies, Genetic Engineering, Plague, Mining
Shona Taylor is a doctor employed by the government to help colony worlds with environmental illness problems. Her team consists of a dog, cat, two rabbits, six mice, and one alien otter named Chirwl.
When the government work slows down, Dr. Taylor signs on with a galactic corporation to serve as a relief doctor when colonies need medical assistance in a hurry. A colony has a need for her right away.
Outbound to the planet, she learns of the epidemic affecting them. Because of communication delays caused by warp travel, the epidemic is wiping out the colony before she can even arrive.
Shona discovers the similarity of this plague to one of ancient Earth and tries to get to the colony faster, but to no avail. The lone survivor is a mere child.
Even though it wasn’t her fault, the loss of the entire colony is indirectly blamed on her in the media. Now, instead of being greeted as a helper, she’s greeted as “Doctor Death…”
Dr. Shona Taylor was stationed on Mars base, in the Sol system, working for the government of the United Galaxy. Twenty-six, and married to a space trader, she’s carrying her baby and looking forward to getting back out in space.
Unknown to her, the corporation wants her for an entirely different reason. After her child is lost due to odd circumstances, the corporation is able to maneuver her into their service.
A colony world has a strange epidemic and are in dire need of a doctor. So, she accepts a contract and ships out. She has received no real medical information on the illnesses and after she is over a month from Mars base, she finally hears directly from the colony. The doctor in the message is clearly upset she has not read any of the material he had sent to the corporation, and that she is coming unprepared.
Taken aback, she soon discovers that the information had not been forwarded to her due to a ‘communications glitch’; She requests and receives the medical update and information directly from the colony.
She soon discovers that the epidemic is similar to the one that struck Europe in the Middle Ages, but only slightly mutated. Armed with this new knowledge, she tries to send the information to the colony, but by then it was already too late.
And now, the sole survivor is a young child, scared and alone, and also heir to the fortunes and the colony contract. But, if she was to die as well, the corporation’s general fund would be bolstered by billions.
But Shona and her husband have grown attached to the youngster, and she to them. With the loss of their own child, Leilani fills a void in their lives; they fill her loss too.
But the corporation has other ideas…