Unreconciled by W. Michael Gear (Donovan Series, Book 4)
English | 2020 | Fantasy | ePUB | 2.6 MB
The fourth book in the thrilling Donovan sci-fi series returns to a treacherous alien planet where corporate threats and dangerous creatures imperil the lives of the colonists.
Where does one put a messianic cult of practicing cannibals? That becomes the question when Ashanti appears in Donovan’s skies. She was designed for no more than four years in space. It’s taken ten. The crew has sealed the transportees onto a single deck-and over the years, the few survivors down there have become monsters. Lead by the messiah, Batuhan, they call themselves the Unreconciled.
Supervisor Kalico Aguila settles them at remote Tyson Station. With the discovery of a wasting disease among the Unreconciled, it’s up to Kalico, Dya Simonov, and Mark Talbot to try and deal with the epidemic. Only Batuhan has plans of his own-and Kalico and her people are to be the main course.
Talina Perez has brokered an uneasy truce with the quetzal molecules that float in her blood. Now, she, young Kylee Simonov, a quetzal named Flute, and a clueless nobleman named Taglioni rush to save Kalico’s vanished party.
But as always, Donovan is playing its own deadly game. Lurking in the forest outside Tyson Base is an old and previously unknown terror that even quetzals fear. And it has already begun to hunt.
“Good morning,” Galluzzi greeted, snapping out a two-fingered salute from his brow. For today he’d worn his dress uniform. It felt good, professional, to be dressed for the part. Not that there were any illusions left when it came to his crew or the scientists. Not after a decade of living in such close quarters. But today, for the first time since inverting symmetry outside of Neptune’s orbit, he’d be face-to-face with total strangers. Powerful strangers. And they would judge him.
“You ready?” Begay asked wryly. “I’m so wound up I could almost scream. Half of me wants to get up and dance, another part of me wants to throw up.”
“Hard to believe. I know,” Galluzzi replied. “But we’re still not out of the shit. We’ve got a couple of months left before we’re in Cap III orbit. And there’s no telling what’s going to happen when we finally inform the Unreconciled that we’re closing on the planet.”
“Do we have to tell them, Cap?” Second Officer Paul Smart sat at the com console and worked the photonic data.
“Might be better,” Turner said, “if we just established orbit first. Shut most of the ship down. Then, when there was nothing left to go wrong, we could let them know.”
Begay shifted uneasily. “Just leave them in the dark? Then spring it on them? Surprise! We’re here.”
Galluzzi, who’d been wrestling with the problem for days, raised a worried brow. “We’re in uncharted depths. And remember, it’s not our sole decision. There’s Supervisor Aguila to consider. She’s the Corporate authority here.”
“Captain?” Second Officer Turner called, voice tense. “Might have been our synch that’s off, but the signal’s coming in.” He bent to his projected holo data, using his hands and implants to manipulate the photonic gear and refine the signal.
Shit on a shoe. I’m not ready for this.
Galluzzi gritted his teeth, slipped into the command chair. Fought to control his trembling hand. He stared at the communications holo, dark now for a decade. The realization that he was about to face a strange superior sent an eerie chill down his spine.
The image formed up, faces magically appearing as if out of empty air. Then, under Paul Smart’s and the Vixen com officer’s competent control, the photonics linked and the projection seemed to solidify.
Galluzzi was looking at a raven-haired woman, perhaps in her thirties—though with the benefits of Corporate med, who knew? What would have been a very attractive face was lined with fine white scars. Scars? On a Corporate Supervisor? The piercing blue of her eyes had a laser-like intensity. In her form-fitting black suit, the woman exuded a sense of command, had to be Supervisor Kalico Aguila.
A small brown man sat at her side. Looked Indian, with a round face and flat-mashed nose. His unruly shock of thick black hair—graying at the sides—rose a couple of inches above his head. Curious brown eyes and an amused smile suggested an amicable nature. The biggest incongruity was the man’s dress. Like he was some peasant in a homespun brown shirt embroidered with yellow flowers, and a sort of shimmering rainbow-colored cloak hung around his shoulders.