A dead planet. A rogue AI. A secret mission.
Tara Royce’s first day as the Academy’s newest Earth Defense Engineer was anything but ordinary. If humanity has any hope of returning to the dead planet in the next few thousand years, that is assuming it regenerates at all, they must first protect it from alien attack – and the Defense Engineers are its first and last line of defense. Aliens aren’t the only thing the new Engineer needs to look out for, though, and she soon discovers that the stakes are much higher than she ever could have imagined.
“This is a great intro to what promises to be a very interesting scifi series. It's got a little bit of everything without going overboard on anything, and more than that, it's a solid premise with far-reaching implications to a future society we're not even introduced to yet. Fans of scifi without all the hard science or too much techno-jargon, that focuses more on character and crisis will enjoy this for sure.”
“I didn't except so much action and mystery in such a short story.”
Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KCQF86M
“I want to thank you.”
The hatch closed behind her with a snap-hiss and she started down the handrails to the bottom level. “Thank me for what?”
“For not disclosing the parameters of our mission.”
“I don’t think this is ‘our’ mission, Aiden. That would have to mean that you let me in on it from the beginning. Instead, you’ve kept me in the dark this whole time, remember?”
He was silent until she opened the door to the bottom levels. “Then I want to thank you…for keeping my secret from Engineer Tyrese.”
“Sure, Aiden. Whatever.” The hall down here was dimly lit, with strips of light on the floor that led to the separate sections.
“I would not have liked Tyrese to know what we are doing.”
The armament section was the first door on the right. “Why would you care what Tyrese knows or doesn’t know?”
“Because…I do not like him.”
A sense of forbidding creeped up her spine. Aiden was doing it again. Sounding far too human and far too…interested in her. “You don’t like Tyrese?
“Aiden, you don’t know him.”
“I know he wants to see you. I don’t like that.”
She bit down on her lip. She was definitely going to have to inspect Aiden’s programming, whether he wanted her to see him naked or not. For the moment, she chose very carefully to not ask any more questions. She didn’t want to know what he was going to say next.
Instead, she opened the door to the section where the weapons tubes were charged and loaded and maintained. Usually an Engineer would never have to come down here. The flash lasers were maintained by the droid crawlers on the rare occasions when something went wrong. Only Tara wasn’t looking for something wrong. She was looking for something that shouldn’t be there.
Inside, among the standard configuration that she expected to see from the simulations and technical data specs, among the massive cable lines and sleek black tubes that carried the energy for the flash lasers, was something that definitely should not have been there.
Twice as long as she was, sheathed in a spiraling metal shell, with four direction jets built into the fins at the back. A device perfect for launching through a planet’s atmosphere to the surface, and then retrieving it from there again.
“Beautiful,” Aiden’s voice said to her. “Isn’t it?”
She had to admit, it kind of was.
“All right,” she said after another moment’s consideration. “Let’s go find out if the Earth is worth saving.”
Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KCQF86M
TJ Ryan is a Canadian author, born on the rainy West Coast (or is that wet coast?) of British Columbia. He spent his early years travelling the world, obsessing over new cultures and culinary experiences. Preferring spaceships to airplanes, he has now settled into his little slice of rainforest paradise, escaping reality through Science Fiction.
He is known for packing high levels of action and mystery into his writing, and his latest book The Dead Planet has a growing number of 5 star reviews. TJ has a number of exciting new sci fi books planned for this year, including the second book to his Broken Earth Saga space opera series.