Descent Into Darkness
by Zanne Raby
GENRE: Science-Fiction / Space-Opera
Descent into Darkness: Mayhem follows the Mayflower in the second book of The Chronicles of Deneb series. Journey along with the crew of the Space Ark Mayflower as they adapt to their new home on the planet Deneb. But along with their struggle to integrate into an alien culture, a new battle sweeps across the planet with the arrival of the human-transmitted Chimera bactovirus, bringing war and fanning the flames of racial intolerance. With a bloody conflict raging across the planet, the crew of the Mayflower is split between the two factions and embroiled in the chaos and destruction. Descend with the crew into darkness, where the only survivors of a global war will be on the right side of the border.
“But sabotage? Pallav, we’ve only arrived on Deneb, and there’s a wealth of knowledge that you and I are missing. Sometimes I wonder if Gomalan gave you this assignment because we’re both dispensable – humans, undesirables.” Pulling away from her husband, Tara glanced out the crystallite windows to stare vacantly at the alien landscape. The morning rays of the star Deneb dazzled and danced in bursts of brilliance on the glass-walled buildings while off in the distance, the sluggish waters of the River Panni snaked slowly through the capital city. And far below their aerie perch, she could see Wessels zip along the perfectly straight autowalks on their way to work. It seemed like any other morning, but today a new danger had wormed its way into the lives of the Kóbor family.
“Now why would you think that?” Pallav’s brows furrowed in confusion. “This is a golden opportunity. Gomalan trusts me, and I get results. It’s as simple as that. And Tara? It’s like I told you – the only people who despise us humans are the Geiten. Just think of that bastard Redlan and how he treated the others.” Tara lowered her head in shame, remembering how her crew mates were eking out an existence in Geitenia while she and her family were housed in luxury in Styria. How the Geiten of Aessen had abused her and Fynn’s wife Erica, and how the young pilot had been brutally attacked – it filled her with revulsion. “The whole thing’s still so raw,” she started. “My time in Urkyn…you know, it was horrific.” Tara shivered as she thought of Daniel and the love she had left behind before looking once more at the bustling capital city that sprawled as far as the eye could see. “Thank God Wesselan’s a world apart.”
Pallav shook his head. “But it’s not. The Geiten have been living here for centuries – intermarrying, working, studying. But always maintaining their distinct identity and trying to impose their ways here. If my hunch is right, then the attacks on Wesselan are being coordinated by an underground Geiten faction that somehow managed to infiltrate our military installations. Maybe even the government. I don’t know how deep this goes. We all need to be cautious Tara.”
Glancing at the archaic wrist watch that Pallav still insisted on wearing, he clasped a hand on Tara’s shoulder. “I’ve got to get going. But everything you need to know’s on the list inside the medicine cabinet.” On tiptoes, Tara stretched up to throw her arms around Pallav’s neck, and as their lips touched, worry thread its way into her thoughts, unable as she was to close her mind to the dangerous storm through which her husband must travel.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Since the days of the Napoleonic War, there has always been a member of Zanne’s family in uniform. Choosing to follow in the footsteps of her ancestors, Zanne joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1980, and was selected to attend the Royal Military College of Canada – the first year that women were accepted into that prestigious academy of learning. After graduation, she studied to become a Transportation and Movements Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
During a career spanning 38 years, some of the most memorable experiences involved command of 8 Mission Support Squadron as part of Joint Task Force Afghanistan, leading a study on support to the Canadian Arctic involving several trips to Northern Canada, including Canadian Forces Station Alert (the most northern settlement in the world), a three–year tour with NATO at Joint Force Command Brunssum, a deployment as the NATO Liaison Officer to United States Central Command, and finally a nomination as the Deputy Commander for the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group.
After hanging up the uniform and putting away the combat boots, Zanne bought a small acreage in Central Ontario and designed her own house. With an office overlooking the picturesque shores of Georgian Bay, surrounded by maps and images of alien worlds, she is pursuing her life-long ambition to become an author. Enough of the reports and returns that littered her desk over her career, now she could turn her attention to unleashing the creativity that had taken a back seat to the analytical world of logistics. The time had come to shake the dust off and begin a new career. The winds of change had called.
Zanne is currently crafting The Chronicles of Deneb, a sci-fi series that will take the reader from a dystopian earth on a voyage across the galaxy in search of a safe haven. But the planets the team discover provide anything but the sanctuary they sought. In her spare time, Zanne enjoys travel, photography, hiking, and gardening. And always, a good story to pass the time.
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