A fanatic general is plotting to conquer the galaxy, and only Jules Rammis can stop him.
It’s not that Jules looks for trouble. As an astrobiologist, he’d rather study the intriguing alien plant/animal species, Blackroot. But his telepathic abilities attract the wrong aliens, and Terrans. This time it’s General Ki Rowdinth, crazed leader of the Vermakt people. The psychotic tyrant intends to extort the combined gold depositories of Earth and all the colony planets to finance an army that will rule the worlds. If the Worlds Government doesn’t agree to Rowdinth’s demands, he vows to engage a dark-energy weapon that will destroy Earth.
It looks as though only Jules, with his powerful telepathic abilities, stands between the rat-like general and the total annihilation of our homeworld.
The third book in Jean Kilczer’s Star Sojourner Series, Spears of the Sun is a stand-alone novel and can be enjoyed even if you haven’t read other books in the series.
I was shivering badly as I approached the beach past the jetty. It was getting harder to lift my arms. I side-stroked instead, trying to relax with my head above water. High in the sky, the Shayl followed. “Come down, you slimy bastard,” I muttered and spit out water. “And I’ll drown you.” But he knew better. I tried to rub the taste of salt off my tongue.
Wait a minute. Which way was the beach? Oh yeah. The lights from houses on cliffs behind me. Behind me? I was swimming seaward! Focus on the lights, dammit! I knew I was becoming disoriented as my temperature continued to drop. In a mildly disinterested way, I wondered if I’d be able to walk when I reached land. I swam on, without thinking, gritting my teeth against the pain of freezing to death.
What’s that scraping sound? Sand beneath my shoulder! I scraped bottom as a wave receded. The next wave lifted me and plunked me down half out of water.
I got to my knees and crawled through soggy sand and pebbles like some sea creature testing the land for the first time. Why did I weigh so much? Oh, yeah. The weight of being back on land and the muscle failure of hypothermia. I staggered to my feet and tried to close my numb hands. They were shaking, and stiff as lobster claws.
I moaned as I looked up. The lights. Move toward the high, warm lights.
What was that in the sand? A stingray? I’d better go around it. No. What was I thinking? Just an angular rock.
I found the steps that led up to the cliff, to the lights, and tried to climb. My hands wouldn’t close on the rail. But I could still crawl. One frozen hand after another. One iced knee after another.
The light of a moon guided me. How many moons on this miserable, outback planet? It was a mind exercise to help me focus. Four? No, that was Halcyon’s quota of moons. Or was it? One? No, that was Earth. Syl’ Terria? Oh, fuck it.
The sandy wooden steps pressed into my knees through ripped pants as I crawled, but I reached the weedy plain at the top of the cliff. There, before me, was a community of round houses, geodesic domes made of brown native rock, spread out like termite mounds, with wide lit windows to view the sea.
I rubbed my arms and shivered as I stayed to shadows and lurched toward the closest house with its warm yellow lights. The Shayl circled in the sky, too high to see me in the shadows of this scattered, residential community, even with his night-hunter’s vision.
But when I reached the house I held back and peered through a window. A man, a woman, and two teenagers sat around a blazing fireplace. One of the kids, a boy, was talking. The rest were listening. The girl laughed and slapped the boy’s shoulder.
I leaned against the wall. Ice water puddled at my feet. If my pursuers found me here, would they murder this family so the police wouldn’t be alerted? Zorga and the Shayl were capable of that. They thought no more of killing for creds than we thought of swatting a fly. Could I take a chance with innocent lives to save my own? In the distance, waves sloshed against the shore, indifferent to the frenetic pursuits of short-lived creatures.