Saber and Science
A Tenebra Triangle Novella by Andy R. Bunch
In the last decades of the twenty-first century, ten wealthy men and women, seeking to escape the increasingly devastated Earth, focus all their power and wealth on developing the technology and building the spaceships that will allow a select few to leave Earth and colonize the world they call New Eden. Here, on their new home in the Paradisi star system, these founding families hope to avoid the environmental and political mistakes that were destroying Earth. But they find that the world they claim for their own is already inhabited, and the Ddaeran, the original inhabitants, although human-like in their appearance, possess abilities that the founders and their descendants will find both intriguing and frightening.
At an outpost on Tenebra, the farthest planet of the Paradisi Solar System, a cargo/passenger shuttle on a routine transport diverts into the badlands and crash-lands. Despite the likelihood that the space vessel landed intact, High Command orders that no one attempt a rescue. Constable Paladini is a New Eden citizen in good standing, and a shirt tail relative of one of the powerful Ten Families. He’s never broken a law or disobeyed orders in his life, but he’s never been ordered to stand down while people slowly suffocated in Tenebra’s thin atmosphere, or worse, get eaten by OGRs.
Paladini must break a law to attempt a rescue, so he must recruit a team of outlaws to assist him, and with time of the essence he must take what he can get. A group of quasi-criminals take up his challenge, overtly more interested in salvage than in saving lives, but Paladini can live with that. Secretly, each has their own reason to go and Paladini finds them increasingly difficult to lead as they travel farther from the outpost. If this group of wildly different individuals don’t learn to work together they’ll fail the rescue, or worse get eaten by OGRs.
Lt. Declyn, Paladini’s second in command, receives orders to pursue Paladini into the badlands and stop him by any means. It’s a task he’s especially suited for and an opportunity he relishes.
Pursued by Declyn and dodging OGRs, the group manages to find the wrong wrecked ship, then the right ship, empty. Only when one of their own is captured does the team pull together, but is it too late?