Book 4 Is Now Avalable
The Journals Of Brandas Book 4 of the Man's Best Friend Series is now available. We are offering a free e-copy of the first book Binaltro to anyone who signs up for our blog, Grick On Sci-Fi. Simply go to the Blogs, Rants and Specials page and select blogs. Once we receive a confirmation that you've signed up, we'll send an e-book copy to you. We have also lowered all the paperback prices of Books 2 through the Trilogy. Check out the prices on our book orders page.
Events of the great catastrophe that plunged Ronala into a twelve thousand year dark age are revealed in the data journals left behind by Brandas, a renowned citizen who shunned hibernation and led the few survivors in the struggle to preserve their culture during that horrific upheaval. In present times, things are changing rapidly for the awakened citizens of Binaltro. New methods of restoring their world are coming with greater speed and effectiveness while the charismatic Red Ronel Suli embarks on her mission to lift her tribe from its barbarous life of darkness. Fresh twists arise with the discovery of a lost enclave of citizen survivors, an ancient alien race, and the unexpected return of Amos and Ryan to Binaltro.
Enjoy a brief excerpt of Book 4 below:
“Corastro is now the center of our efforts to deal with the catastrophic infection sweeping through our population. It was important that we get there as soon as possible. Like much of our critical equipment, the teleporters had become dysfunctional so Lirtus and I took field gliders to make the trip.”
From the First Journal of Brandas
West of Nostrata
12,000 years BP
The two field gliders sped silently across the landscape, floating fifteen feet above the ground as they skimmed across gentle hills and valleys. Brandas looked back over her shoulder to confirm that Lirtus remained close by. Nostrata was thirty minutes behind them as they raced at top speed toward Corastro.
The strange infection gripping the world was spiraling out of control and they both were desperately needed there. Word had come that noted bioscience expert Kerna had devised a treatment plan, but broad scale implementation required additional expertise. Brandas was an unequalled practical and theoretical engineer and her companion Lirtus was a respected medical systems technologist. Working together with the team in Corastro there was hope that the horrific plague could be controlled. In normal circumstances, a teleporter would have put them in Corastro in the blink of an eye. But these were not normal circumstances.
The virus-like contagion was spreading through the population with shocking speed, leaving little but death in its wake. Predictions were that if unchecked, the fatality rate would be close to ninety-eight percent. As more and more Citizens succumbed, fewer were available to manage the systems and to maintain and operate the devices constituting the infrastructure of their world.
Perhaps due to its densely concentrated urban area, Nostrata had been hit the hardest. It was by far the largest city of their small world and the center of industry and production. More than half of its one million Citizens already were dead and anxiety was tightening its grip on those who remained. Amid this burgeoning storm of fear and chaos, vital infrastructure was already breaking down, including the integral teleportation system. Only the day before, Brandas had witnessed the latest abortive attempt to transfer a technician from Binaltro. She shuddered at the recollection. The unfortunate traveler had been almost literally turned inside out and now, even basic equipment and supplies could no longer be transferred by teleportation.
As the technological underpinnings of their world continued unraveling at a terrifying pace, the field gliders had become the only practical means of travel. Utilizing balanced magnetic field propulsion, a glider normally carried one passenger though two could crowd aboard its saddle-like seat if required. They were operated with handgrip controls and carried excellent communication and navigation gear. A transparent wind screen and cowl shielded the rider from airflow that was considerable at its top speed of two hundred fifty miles per hour. But the gliders were few in number and never had been intended as a primary mode of transport. They were chiefly recreational vehicles and the ride under a skilled pilot like Brandas was as exhilarating as it was hazardous.
She steered more carefully as they reached a cluster of higher hills. Entering the steeper terrain, Brandas slowed and steered lower to the ground as she passed over a high ridge into a deep, narrow valley on the opposite side.
She called to Lirtus on her communication link, “Decrease your speed and drop a little lower. We need to be careful in this rougher terrain.”
“Acknowledged,” Lirtus replied, slowing her speed to a crawl. She was not as skilled a driver as Brandas and felt nervous hugging the ground too closely. “There’s a good vantage from the top of the ridge. I’m going to stop and take a look back.”
“All right, but be quick about it,” Brandas replied impatiently as she directed her glider slowly through the narrow valley between the ridges.
Lirtus hovered on the hilltop well above and turned her gaze eastward toward Nostrata. As she watched, a splotch of violet light appeared on the horizon, expanding slowly like a spreading stain into a broad and towering purple cloud. The sight was so compelling that Lirtus stared at it in slack jawed silence for a few moments.
“What are you doing up there?” Brandas called into her com link. The voice of her companion recaptured Lirtus’ attention. “Brandas,” she said. “Something’s happened at Nostrata, a huge explosion.”
“What?” Brandas replied, “An explosion?”
As she looked up to the hilltop where Lirtus hovered on her glider, the air was suddenly disturbed by a powerful pressure wave, carrying with it a blast of heat and a brief flash of violet light. Its power picked up Lirtus and her glider and sent them flying high above Brandas’ head and out of sight over the top of the next ridge. The hill deflected most of the shock wave upward but enough tumbled down into the lower ground to buffet her glider, sweeping it along rapidly, making it difficult to control. She steered toward the ground but even with her best efforts, the attempted landing was more of a collision. The glider dug a deep straight furrow across the grass before coming to a jarring stop that threw her from the machine. The last thing she remembered before passing out was a great violet cloud spreading over the sky until it obscured even the bright yellow ball of Sonam from the morning sky.