Planet Terato has become a member of the assembly of the Confederated League of Allied Star Systems. The Murian Outpost Terato once commanded by His Imperial Majesty’s Lord High Chamberlain Herklo Korvo XXXIV is now Teratoan staffed and under the command of Teratoan Eklam a’Qoc.
From the uncharted reaches between galaxies, attacks of extraordinary weaponry come against Terato and the Myr worlds of the Murians. Terminus Terato’s expanded link-portals and converter power modules are virtually useless. Power loss, defenses, communications and travel are totally disrupted. High Chamberlain Korvo’s unexpected return to Terminus on a mission for His Imperial Majesty leaves him stranded on Terato. Attacks grow more massive, more unpredictable; spread across the worlds of the League, as an isolated Terminus struggles among the shattered rubble and whispering remains of an ancient Polity of star-walkers.
Family and friends are lost, empires and civilizations in disarray, Terminus and Planet Terato almost defenseless. Desperate for answers, their worlds being overwhelmed by this remorseless aggressor, Eklam and Korvo reach across unexplored space in a despairing gamble and the last reserves of converter star-substrate, seeking one insignificant star system of gas giants and rocky inner planets for possible relics of the elusive Lantaraan Polity.
The setting of Terato’s two suns at the end of that day stopped his short boyhood and started another life. At the graves of his parents, filled with grief, he wanted to look his grown-up best; show respect for his parents. Before dawnlit that morning he’d shaved for the first time with his father’s stropped blade, the way a man shaved. There had been a few blood-smeared nicks. He’d stopped with half of his face unshaved; looked at his reflection. He wasn’t yet old enough to have a voice in the village debates, but from that point on he would follow his parents’ guidance; honor their care for him; make his own decisions. Keep them to himself if he could, but his life would be his. Whether he shaved or not, Uncle a’Qoc would continue to treat him like a kid. Uncle a’Qoc could be gruff and strict. It was his uncle’s way. Uncle a’Qoc was never purposely unkind, just set in his ways. He didn’t want to disrespect Uncle a’Qoc. In the emptiness of death, families of the close-knit rustic farming hamlet of a’Qoc gathered to console this rangy, long-limbed youth the only way they could. The pestilence had taken many. That night Eklam a’Qoc slept in the bed he’d slept in his whole life, in an empty, echo-filled house his father had built, now no longer a home. Uncle a’Qoc would bargain it to strangers he’d never met, a young family with a new baby girl.
With postgraduate degrees and faculty appointments in several medical universities, Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem. In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk has authored several works of fiction.
Hawk began writing mysteries for his school newspaper. His works of fiction, historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers are not genre-centered, but plot-character driven, and reflect his southwest upbringing in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series. Vault of Secrets, the first book in the Ingram series, was followed by Nymrod Resurrection, Blood and Gold, and The Lady of Corpsewood Manor. All have received national attention. Walking the Pet is Hawk’s latest release in the Ingram series. The first book in another mystery-thriller series is scheduled for release in 2015. The Bleikovat Event, the first volume in The Cairns of Sainctuarie science fiction series, was released in 2012. Its sequel, The Missing Planets, has just been released.
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