I’ll put a few excerpts here but don’t expect it to be done for awhile… (probably a week or so)
In our first installment, “The Condition Of Subject 7” Stephan was awakened (resurrected) aboard a generational ship of Olar. Their goal was to salvage several lost civilizations for study, and ideally make colonies to preserve those lost races. In one such colony: Stephan, George, Harold, and an Olar named Dr Cinder, fought off invading forces of hostile aliens.
It is worth knowing that Olar are very Alien beings, who travel great distances over hundreds or even thousands of years. Some Olar are quite peaceful and above all value freedom of expression. They avoid undue influence as though it were sinful, or at the very least scornful. Other Olar ships were launched in later eras containing sects of more aggressive Olar from times of War. Some of those beings influence older generations to join their causes.
In the second installment we see a bit before the presumed destruction of Earth. Stephan, who is arguably our main character, and Chelsea, who’s perspective is categorically dominant throughout book 2, entitled “Aftershock”. Chelsea is a being of many names as she is a possessed human, who eventually becomes a possessed alien hybrid through no fault of her own. By the conclusion of book 2 we see the reemergence of the demon, and a makeshift crew of Humans and Olar leaving Murdarie to find a permanent solution to Lilly’s condition.
Among this crew are Elaine, George, Henry, Stephan, Dr Cinder, Burl, Victoria, Miles and his fighting men. You’ll note that at this time “The Demon,” aka Chelsea has been known as Lilly by the crew since her last recovery. Dr Cinder and Stephan and crew do know about both names, and have been friends with Lilly for a while.
Miles and his crew represent an earlier attempt by other Olar to revive humans and build a colony. They are aboard the same ship and in search of a slave named Lucas who may know of a nearby holy order who might be able to exorcise Lilly. Now you are at least caught up, enjoy the book!
Elaine faithfully hovered over Lilly. As she stood stroking her hair away from her eyes and whispering soft words of encouragement, Cinder skeptically watched her vitals dropping. It had become a game between a Dr and a demon. The demon would start a seizure in hopes that Cinder would disengage the neural inhibitors. This would be enough for a serious attack to take place. Cinder was acutely aware of this and in spite of her training, began allowing the seizures to go longer and longer without doing anything but taking notes. Lilly’s brain was showing signs of damage, but Cinder had no recourse. She prepped her for a medical coma.
Miles and Stephan were discussing the shortest route to where they imagined Lucas would be. It would be a 3 month trip at minimum, in a ship that had been only minimally maintained for years. Henry and George were assisting Miles’ crew with the most obvious repairs that would be necessary to even get out of the solar system. Burl and Victoria were watching Cinder and Lilly on camera from a security station and noting the artifacts on screen and wondering if they were dust, or little orbs of energy.
Henry tapped on one of the tanks of coolant and listened for the echo, George shook his head woefully and finally said, “This isn’t enough to run the environmental systems. I’m not sure we can even run the main generators past 30%.” Henry nodded, “It’s possible but we need to synthesize more high temp coolant and dilute it.” George argued immediately, “High temp coolant isn’t safe in environmental systems, the vapors alone are toxic and its an open system!” Henry nodded and added, “Until you dilute it with ethanol. That’s what my environmental systems at home use, it’ll be fine.”
Burl saw on the monitor a small red light flickering just as Cinder was about to administer the injection and shook Victoria’s arm and pointed. Elaine reached for Cinder’s arm and the ship violently shook. Stephan’s head was swimming as he reached for the inertial dampening controls and he suddenly felt a compulsion to vent atmosphere from the midship decks. As he widened his eyes and turned the inertial dampening knobs he felt heavy, extremely heavy.
Cinder glanced once more at the brainwave scanner as she inserted the needle. She saw the now abnormally low activity, but didn’t think it was a bad thing. Lilly’s body and brain had been on overdrive for 72 hours. Heart and respiration slowed, the body cooled, and moments later Lilly was placed in a cryo stasis chamber. Elaine and Cinder now walked towards the main bridge feeling tired. Elaine patted Cinder on the back and remarked, “You have been incredible throughout this whole thing.” Cinder understood the human’s statement to be more than praise. She reckoned it was perhaps a kind of gratitude, and an attempt to illicit comaraderie. She was tired and made her best guess at the right response, “You make good stuffing I’ve heard.”
Elaine beamed, “I’ll fix you some tomorrow!” Cinder nodded, “I’ll certainly study it.” Elaine shrugged and added, “Maybe even have some?” Cinder struggled to now reason out what stuffing was. From her perspective it was used to pack wounds, “If it meets our sterilization standards I’ll certainly try it.” Elaine was delighted at this and practically skipped towards the galley to look for ingredients.
Cinder stepped into the bridge and looked at Miles who was drifting off to sleep and Stephan who was looking at the thruster controls and fingering the switches. “Stephan, what is stuffing in the sense of Elaine’s wording?” Stephan replied, “Bread, sage, cranberry, celery, and some kind of chicken stock.” Cinder puzzled over this, “Is this something you pack into a wound?” Stephan giggled, “No it’s food, it’s generally believed that our early ancestors stuffed it into chickens and turkeys before baking them. Around holidays some of us still prepare it that way.” Cinder sat and looked at the environmental system readouts. “If we put these in standby we should be able to leave the ship on autopilot for about 6 days before we need to do anything else.” Stephan nodded, “6 days of rest would be nice.” Cinder nodded, “How do you get the turkey to hold still to be stuffed?” Stephan cocked his head and looked at her with a pained look, “Oh!” she replied, realizing the bird was killed by this point. Stephan hadn’t thought to ask before now, “Were the Olar always vegetarians?” Cinder corrected him immediately, “We are not vegetarians. We eat anything we please, we do not generally hunt our food. I like meats and cheeses, I don’t like fish.”
Stephan remarked at this, “You never really specified your food preferences and I don’t recall ever seeing you eat.” Cinder thought about this, “You have, you simply do not recall because it has been a long time.” Stephan flipped the controls to automatic and reached over to wake Miles, “We’re on auto, you can head to bed if you want.” Miles opened one eye and smiled, “Is tomorrow Taco Tuesday?”
George sat across from Victoria now staring blankly at her as she ate an old MRE type ration. She hydrated a bit at a time with her water and seemed to relish the experience. “You know the best ones have a candy in them for after.” George nodded, “The food aboard is fine thanks.” Victoria grinned and added another drop of water to her noodles, the catalytic reaction heated it immediately to steaming and she took another bite. “These noodles are better than the synthesized ones.” George widened his eyes a bit and replied, “It’s all synthesized though, those are just dried out after and treated.” Victoria shook her head at this, “These were wheat flour, and it was grown on our planet. You can’t say it’s synthetic.” George considered this a moment and added, “That wheat was cloned.” Victoria grinned, “You were cloned.”
Elaine sat near Henry now as he poured the processed chemical mixture into the vat of ethanol. The smell was not unlike an old perfume. It was almost a floral scent and Elaine remarked immediately, “Gardenias, it smells like gardenias!” Henry smiled at this and remarked back, “Takes you back in time doesn’t it?” Elaine mused about how hard she tried to get them to grow in the soil she had access to before asking, “Is it safe to touch this stuff?” Henry shrugged, “Ought to be safe enough to drink after it sits a few days.” Elaine touched the surface with her finger and sniffed at it before dabbing it on her wrists and behind her ears. Henry was amused at this and offered, “I have a few clean bottles if you want to try to keep some.” Elaine almost screeched approvingly as Henry produced two old soda bottles.
In stasis Lilly was completely at peace, but the demon had already stepped out and was now drifting through the halls looking for a suitable host. She’d tried Stephan, the compulsion to vent the atmosphere was promising. She now considered Elaine, but recoiled at the thought of hearing her endlessly asking questions. She turned her attention to Henry. Lilly had grown quite fond of Henry and in her own way the demon felt that this was more than enough reason to try to take him over. The disadvantage was that Henry had very few compulsions, and almost nothing could be used to influence him. George was an easy target, but so was Miles. Yet neither held the same fascination for the demon as Dr Cinder. An Olar would be difficult to take control of, but if it could be done it would be interesting. The alternative was to infest the environment and perhaps fill it with hostility just to see what might develop.
The demon knew a better way to get what it wanted.
Stephan paced the halls outside of the quarters he had chosen for himself. He couldn’t quite determine why his thoughts were racing between anger and remorse. On one hand he was feeling overwhelmed at the impromptu decision to leave the safety of Murdarie. In spite of himself he wondered if Lilly would even survive, and if she didn’t, would Henry blame them?
George and Victoria were now introducing Burl to more of the: “Ancient Earth movies,” they had told him about. Burl was entranced by musical scores for the science fiction movies, and in particular he seemed eager to watch the Alien movie franchise. The content of the film seemed to interest him, but the horror elements were nearly wasted. Burl’s visual acuity didn’t really permit him to see the Xenomorph against the backgrounds on a two dimensional monitor. Later that evening they watched Jaws 3D and Burl laughed boisterously as the shark emerged from the water.
Oh I have more written – but you need this next week or two to go read the first 2 awesome books. Those are available here.
Look for S7 The Condition Of Subject 7 & Aftershock Today – and expect “The Lucas Solution” as soon as I decide what to do with all these awesome ideas!
Update: Kindle link here
Paperback link in a few days!