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Inanna Phantom By Hawk MacKinney


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Inanna Phantom

by Hawk MacKinney

GENRE: Science Fiction

 The threat of rift invasions seem long passed. Plentiful harvests abound. The Murian first-contact Terato Outpost has grown into the sprawling Terato-Murian Terminus Terato with a hub of relay portals reaching across the vast uncharted galactic expanses and connecting with its eon-extinct Lantaraan prehistory.

An exploratory Terato-Murian Jupiterr outpost is established on the gas giant seventh planet, and its quantum and gravitational energies are used to power outpost portals for an archeological survey of the fourth planet, Eorthe.

The Lantaraan database aboard Terato’s ancient Downday moon shows that one or more planets of the Solaris planets have apparently been lost. Expanded archeological records on other Lantaraan orbital bodies in the Solaris system show the fourth planet from the star—Eorthe—to be a sterile wasteland. Except it is not. Eorthe’s civilization is not to the level of the Murian Empire, but it is far advanced to those of a pastoral Terato. Terato and Eorthe form the confederated United Terran League under the nominal figurehead leader of League High Judikarr Eklam a’Qoc.

Jupiterr outpost expands into a major League stronghold, Jupiterr Base, when civil unrest erupts in the League, the unexpected return of rift intrusions threatens, and the Murian Emperor Klarvko Celo is assassinated.

As they prepare for confrontations with an unknown ancient enemy, the internal tensions on Myr and Eorthe push Murians and Teratoans to dangerous discords.

Read an Excerpt

The following morning Eklam had a Terminus skimmer shuttle standing by, as he told David. “I want you to see the mining complexes with the new designs in operation.”

As the skimmer sped away, it was the last time David saw Charlotte alive. It was a last time and a first time for more than either of them could imagine. The marauders struck swift and brutal.

Eklam and David returned late as evening daylit paled into eventide twilit. As the skimmer shuttle slowed; eased to stop and powered down to a faint-hum idle, David said, “Very impressive.”

Eklam barely heard him, as he stepped out of the skimmer and in that moment sensed something amiss. His premonition was quickly shattered by a child’s brittle scream in the deadly stillness.

Stavris burst from the tumble of boulders up the hill where he’d hidden, “Fæder!”

The fear in Stavris’ voice told Eklam something was bad wrong. Eklam’s short summer tunic whipped his thighs, the small replica of the Judikarr’s crux ansata thumping his chest, as he ran toward his terrified son. Stavris slammed into his father’s arms clutching tight as tears streamed down his face. A frantic Eklam held his son close and whispered, “What’s the matter?”

With short choked breaths and arms tight around Eklam’s neck, Stavris pointed toward the house, “Blood all over—”

Eklam flung a look beyond the outer wall, and flinched at the crumpled wreckage of the scarred servmo and the fused jagged blast scars and gouges of debris along the entryway. More blast scars on the lopsided double doors of the main entrance with one door crumpled askew. Nozzles of the bug-scrim emitters on two side windows were twisted, the curls of smoke backlit in the afternoon sunlit. Marleen hated bugs in the house. She never left the bug-scrim deactivated. He took in the blood-splashed scene so different from what he and David had left earlier that morning.

“My god,” a fearful David gasped, as he rushed toward a horror getting worse everywhere they looked.

Stavris buried his face in the crook of Eklam’s shoulder and neck, “I don’t want to go in there.” He pulled tighter into Eklam. “Aunt Charlotte’s got blood all over her. She’s not moving and she won’t answer when I call her name.”

Eklam held Stavris tight, trying to reassure him even when he wasn’t sure of anything himself. His eyes fastened toward the sprawling rooms facing the canyons, not wanting to think of what the blood spatters on the front doorways and along the foyer could mean.

Eklam met a stunned gaunt unseeing David staggering out of the house and stopping at the crumpled entrance. A gray shroud on David’s face, “They blew Charlotte apart. Pieces are everywhere.” Blood-smeared hands propped against the doorframe, steading himself against what he couldn’t make real. Vessels in his neck throbbed, his heartbeat hammered thumps in his ears. “She doesn’t have a face.” As he tried to distance himself from the unspeakable, he wheezed more words from a strangling throat, “I can’t find Jeffry.”

Stavris pointed up the hill toward Jeffry stumbling around boulders toward them. “Me’n Jeffry hid in the rocks.”

How?” Eklam grasping for any kind of meaning into the unacceptable, “Why in the name of Terato’s two suns would anyone do something like this?” His fear choked at him, “Marleen?” Afraid to ask, “The boys?” Not wanting Stavris to see more of the slaughter, Eklam said, “Stay here with Uncle David.”

Eklam ran across the slab-stone patio and around the fountain with its pink-tinged splashes. He called out, “Marleen? Ek? Korve?” A harsh crack deepened his voice as he called each name again and again and got no response. When he got to an inside doorway, he stopped. The grisly scene of bloody smeared clots splotched across the walls, ceilings and floors hit him full force. Sprawled in front of him was what was left of Charlotte Martin. Beyond Charlotte were three barely recognizable bodies of the house staff. He searched the rooms and the verandas. There was no sign of Marleen or his other two boys.

A Word From The Author:


Paper, pen, keyboard – whatever tool & notes, letters, memoirs were used, you strung the words into a manuscript. Fiction/nonfiction, plot, setting, reference & research and characters – you birthed your tale. Your masterpiece is finished. You can sit back, rocking chair, porch swing, go on vacation – all the work and rewrites are finished. NOT!

First step was the disciplined time & the doing it. Next comes the discipline of editing. Put your work on the shelf & let it collect dust. Let your brain rest. The hard work of editing begins with brutal honesty with the person in the mirror. If you don’t like to edit you’ve got a work-in-the-rough that no one will enjoy reading – friends, family, acquaintances don’t count. They’ll be sweet so not to hurt your creative feelings. This writer likes editing his own work. Sometimes as many as 12-20 edits of 700-page works, and I never fail to find some sentence, paragraph, chapter, or word that is so bad I wonder who wrote the ‘stuff’.

Fancy big technical words have their place, but they are b-o-r-i-n-g. Never forget your readers. Delete & rewrite a problem section, chapter, sentence – it’s easier & cleaner. Editing teaches one a lot about self & tools & syntax & word structure & the simplicity of good clean storytelling.

Build you a marketing team of trusted advisors. This author can’t stress that enough. There’re 24 hours in a day – you can’t do it all. Build a reputation of quality work – part of which is dealing with the unvarnished truth with those you respect. Bending the truth & making royalty & money ruins those who are not well grounded. Thank the powers that be for my upbringing among rock-hard principled people – I wouldn’t be where I am without every one of them helping. You can’t achieve that in the publishing world, or any profession, without honesty.

About the Author:

Hawk has authored several works of fiction including a historical romance Moccasin Trace which was nominated for both the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award. His Cairns of Sainctuarie Science Fiction Series and his Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series have received national and international attention.

With postgraduate degrees and faculty positions in several medical universities, Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem. His professional writing includes articles on chordate neuroembryology, and aerospace research on muscle metabolic behavior in multi-orbital environments.

Book Video:

Twitter: HawkMacKinney



Hawk MacKinney, author of Inanna Phantom, will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  Enter For A Chance To Win.

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