Authors: Thomas Deprima
Tags: #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Galactic Empire, #Space Opera, #Science Fiction, #Space Fleet, #Adventure, #Military, #Literature & Fiction
Return to Dakistee
Copyright ©2011 by Thomas J. DePrima
Kindle version - 11.L.o1
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This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.
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Cover art by
Martin J. Cannon
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An appendix containing technical data pertinent to this series is included at the back of this book.
Creating a series like this would be impossible without
support from many people.
I usually dedicate the book to the hard-working folks who helped put it all together, and people who supported the effort in various capacities,
but I'm dedicating this book to the fans who have made this series such a phenomenal success, and who keep asking for more. I'm delighted to add this new book to the series after a hiatus of five years.
This series of Jenetta Carver novels include:
A Galaxy Unknown
Valor at Vauzlee
The Clones of Mawcett
Against All Odds
Return to Dakistee
Other novels by this author include:
AGU: Border Patrol series:
When the Spirit... series:
When The Spirit Moves You
When The Spirit Calls
Table of Contents
~ March 10
, 2285 ~
"Open up, damn you!" Doctor Vlashsku screamed with all the force of his being, but his verbal attack proved as ineffective as the physical assaults preceding it. He had been talking, yelling, and then screaming at the enormous door for several hours in a bid to gain entry, but all efforts had been for naught. Lasers and plasma cutters hadn't even marred the surface, much less cut into it, and the harsh light from portable Chembrite Light panels reflecting off the surface seemed to be the only energy the door didn't soak up like a sponge.
"It's no use, Edward," the Nordakian scientist finally admitted as he hung his head and leaned gently forward until his forehead made contact with the door. To a casual observer he might seem to be in prayer, entreating God for divine intervention, or at least inspiration, but this posture was only the result of weariness from prolonged physical effort. Control over his chromatophoric cellular distensions began to return as his mood calmed, and his skin, until now fluctuating between a bright orange and a deep red, began to assume its normal, medium-aqua coloration.
Doctor Edward Peterson, leader of the expedition at Loudescott, sighed quietly and approached Vlashsku from behind. Although the tallest of the Terrans in the camp, Peterson was still a foot shorter than the Nordakian, owing to the natural height of the species. As he reached up and placed a gnarled hand on Vlashsku's shoulder, he said, "You've tried your best, Dakshiku. Tomorrow's another day. You'll feel better after a meal and a good night's sleep."
"I've already tried
," the Nordakian said in despair. "Amer, Nordakian— even ancient Dakistian. It's hopeless, Edward. There's nothing left to try— not tomorrow— nor any other day."
Doctors Anthony Ramilo, Barbara Huften, Bruce Priestley, and Glawth Djetch had slowly moved closer from their observation positions as the two men talked.
"If only we knew what you said all those years ago to get the door open at the other facility," Peterson said somberly. "It's a pity the recorders weren't running when you screamed at the door out of weariness and frustration, but who could have guessed the door would open to a vocal command."
"This door must be of the same manufacture as that other," Vlashsku said. "It's certainly proven to be just as impervious to our cutting tools."
"Yes. And, like that door, it must operate by vocal command since there's no external opening mechanism."
"Perhaps it's time to call Space Command, Edward," Dr. Huften offered.
Peterson took a deep breath and then released it slowly before saying, "Not yet, Barbara. It would end our chances of acquiring any useful knowledge. We would no doubt be barred from
facility just as we were from the other."
"That was only because the lab contained cloning equipment. The laws of the Galactic Alliance required Space Command to confiscate the equipment so it couldn't be used. We're lucky they didn't confiscate the clones we made."
"The cloning process was initiated accidentally," Doctor Djetch said, "and Space Command realized we never intended to manufacture clones in violation of Galactic Alliance law. I am gratified they finally recognized our brethren as citizens and accorded them the full rights of all sentient beings without reservation."
"That's how it started," Peterson said. "But once they learned of the impregnability of the material used in the lab's construction, the restriction included the whole facility as well. The cloning equipment is long gone, and yet we're still not allowed near that facility. If we can get inside this one, we can download the contents of its main computer before they learn of the discovery. Who knows what wonderful information we might discover about the ancient people of Dakistee if it isn't first filtered by Space Command censors?"
"But as with the other facility, we're locked outside without a key," Doctor Anthony Ramilo said. "We've already spent a week trying to open it."
"I have confidence that after a good night's rest Dakshiku will manage to open it."
"Then you're far more confident than I," Doctor Vlashsku said.
"If that Carver women could solve the riddles of the other facility, we can solve this one."
"Azula Carver is
," Vlashsku said. "I would not presume to compare my meager abilities with hers. If she were here, I have no doubt we would already be inside."
"Brilliant? It took her
just to figure out how to shut down the cloning equipment," Peterson countered.
"She proceeded slowly and methodically, just as any good scientist should. Of prime concern was that she not cause the death of any embryos or fetuses during the deactivation. In order to be assured of that, she had to fully understand the entire process first."
"Since we've already exhausted every means at our disposal, how do you suggest we proceed, Edward?" Ramilo asked.
"We should start over with the vocal sessions. Beginning tomorrow morning, we'll each spend two hours talking to the door."
The other scientists groaned aloud.
"Well, we can't just give up," Peterson said.
"Why not?" Huften asked. "I admit I have nothing more to say to this door. What I have said has already been repeated several times, and we're gotten nowhere. If I have to keep screaming at it, I refuse to be held responsible for what I say. And if there's no cloning equipment inside this facility, Space Command wouldn't dare lock us out again."
"Don't be so sure. I've learned never to underestimate the arbitrary nature of military types."
"If we contact Space Command, it will probably take weeks for them to get a ship here. That will give us lots of time to go hoarse from shouting at the door."
Peterson fumed for a few minutes and then said, "Oh, alright. I'll make a call— but not to Space Command. I'll call Commander Carver."
"She's an admiral now, Edward."
"An admiral? Already?"
"Edward, it's been sixteen years since she was last here. You still don't listen to the news do you?"
"Why should I? It's always depressing and rarely reported accurately. Either the newsies are so eager to file their stories that they don't take time to get the facts straight, or the editors and publishers alter the reports to favor management's points of view because they're only interested in promoting their own agendas. The only thing I trust, somewhat, is the obituaries page. There are few ways you can distort the report of a death."
Huften rolled her eyes before saying, "Okay, Edward, believe what you will— but make the call.
* * *
"Our contact on Dakistee has filed an urgent report," Councilman Ahil Fazid announced as he rose to stand in front of his chair at the Raider Lower Council table. The powerful group was in regular session and all members were present in the meeting chamber. "You'll remember that just a few days ago I spoke of our attack on Mawcett, now known as Dakistee, following the discovery of the cloning equipment there. Well, our head man on the planet reports that the same group of scientists that discovered the almost impregnable facility at that time has found a similar facility in the same region. According to the report, the new facility appears to be clad with Dakinium, so the archeologists have thus far been unable to gain entry. Most importantly for us—," Fazid paused a second for effect and looked at each of the other council members around the orotund table, "they have not yet reported their find to either Space Command
their own headquarters."