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The Ojunta Stone
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ISBN-10: 1-77115-426-8
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Fantasy/SF/Dark Fantasy
eBook Length: 162 Pages
Published: September 2018



From inside the flap

Dragon Eyes began this bold science fiction adventure. Then Sibylsí Orb dragged you inexorably into the beating heart of this mystical walk on the wild side of science fiction. But now, this twisted tale of mystical intrigue weaves your mind forever into The Ojunta Stone.

On a distant anoza world, a meeting was held of Council of the Crescent Moon in the ancient Temple of Shem Kazat. Seven times they circled the sacred fire. Within the Sibylís Orb, only a brief vision would give Toron a clue to hunt down this ancient evil. But the vision was of a time and place forty years in the past. How could that help him now?

Toron had survived the Anoza Rebellionís best attempt to kill him, but this time he found himself wound full-up into the same intrigues with a new face. This time, he faced an even more cunning opponent determined to hide amongst his people.

This time, only his Dragon Warrior could save him, but first, he must find a butterfly and a dragonfly.

The Ojunta Stone (Excerpt)


Prologue

A science team from the Anoza Rebel Battleship Kip'nari'aptu walked out of a quantum portal onto the surface of a planet that the humans called 'Galatea.' They had been told that they were to run a preliminary survey. Galatea was a planet of incredible beauty. It had been very lovingly developed for human habitation by Cain, the CEO of the evil human Syndicate, for his own personal use. So, the buildings were all made of the most beautiful blocks of Galatea's finest granite. All of the human buildings and structures flowed along the natural curves of the landscape. As beautiful as they were, though, they were still not as beautiful as the magnificent Anoza stone buildings the science team was used to. They had not been lovingly constructed and decorated by skilled Anoza artisan craftsmen. Even so, they were still very nice.

The science team approached a magnificently appointed stone archway that opened into a magnificent garden beyond, but when they passed through it, they came upon a scene they never expected. There were dead humans left laying where they had been shot, in now dried pools of their own blood. The stench of death hit them like a cold, hard slap in the face. The science officers were horrified.

"Shades of Hades!" Kiiori, one of science technicians, exclaimed.

"How could this be?" Shemet asked Piatu Tahrek, the Chief Science Officer.

Piatu was at once infuriated and disgusted. "This is not what we were told," he agreed.

"They told us that they had relocated all of these evil humans!" Ninla reminded the group. "That was an outright lie, and this is the indisputable evidence of it!"

"This is nothing short of a crime," Shemet gave voice to the opinion of all. This was wrong by everything that every Anoza had been taught from birth.

Just as wrong, ten minutes later, a tough squad of Anoza elite troopers arrived unannounced through another quantum portal. No one had said anything to Chief Science Officer Piatu Tahrek about any troops. He approached their squad leader and took him aside.

"What is the meaning of this? We were told that all of the humans here were relocated!" Piatu said privately but firmly to him.

"Each of them chose their own fate," the stone-faced squad leader growled back at him. "They could have either gone quietly or die. These humans did not choose wisely."

"None of them were armed! And some of them were shot in the back!" Piatu responded.

"They were nothing but evil human scum," the squad leader answered him dismissively.

"But we are Anoza!" Piatu insisted. "We are better than this! What happened here is a crime by any Anoza standard!"

"High Commander Kim Dakara thought that you would react this way. Today, you have not chosen wisely." Without so much as another word, the squad leader pulled out his pulse pistol and shot Piatu!

***

"He shot Piatu in cold blood!" Dorian told his daughter some forty years later with the same look of shock and horror on his face as the day that it had happened. "He killed Piatu without a moment's hesitation or a second thought."

Ixianne was aghast at what her father had just told her. It took her a few seconds to recover enough for her to ask him, "So, what did you do?"

"Do? Do? I was just young science officer. What could I possibly do against battle-hardened elite troops?" It took Dorian several seconds to compose himself enough to continue.

***

The commando squad leader turned to face the rest of the science team. He could see the look of shock and horror on their faces. They were frozen with fear.

"This day, you have all chosen your fates," he growled at them. "By order of High Commander Kim Dakara, you will be left here to live out your days." And, with that said, a quantum portal formed behind the troops. They all streamed back through it while two of them leveled their weapons at the science team to ensure that none of them dared to move. The last two men backed through the portal after all the others. It dissolved moments later.

Dorian was the first member of the science team to recover enough to run over to Piatu. But despite all of their best efforts to save him, Piatu died. The whole time, Lalu tried desperately to contact their ship for help. No one answered her. Then, as she watched in dismay, the quantum-com network disconnected from them altogether. They were being deliberately abandoned here and cut off from all communications.

"Now what will we do?" Kiiori asked.

Dorian had been second in command. Now the burden of command was his.

"Our first order of business here is to survive," Dorian told her. "Everyone, scan the local area. See what we can find to help us."

"There are human androids all self-stored in a building over there," Massimo reported as he pointed to it. Shemet found a number of fully orbital transports all docked to the main building's entry wing. Lalu found stores of human food and water while Ninla scanned and mapped the habitable buildings before them. They had come prepared for nothing more than a simple science mission. Instead, this became a mission of survival.

While the rest of them went into a beautifully appointed building to make it their impromptu headquarters, Dorian and Massimo organized the androids to remove all of the dead humans and Piatu. The bodies were all taken to a flat, barren spot outside of the compound and laid out in proper Anoza fashion. The bodies were all wrapped in white cotton sheets and set upon a stack of natural wood. No formal words were spoken as the funeral pyre was set ablaze. They all just stood there respectfully in stunned silence and watched until the fire was only a few burning embers. Day one was the worst. It was the pit of despair.

Kiiori did the best she could to cook proper Anoza meals with the human ingredients at hand and spices that she could only smell and do her best with. She loved cooking and so found this to be a pleasing challenge for her culinary skills. The next morning found her teaching the android cook to make typical Anoza flatbreads. The spices were not exactly correct but very close, to everyone else's great relief.

On the second day, Massimo found the human quantum-com units that had all been left behind when the anoza troops had forced the humans to move in such a big hurry.

"What can we do with this?" Massimo asked Dorian.