The peaceful human colonists on the remote planet of Eden welcome alien refugees in their crippled spaceship. The alien Atrapako have spiky crests, sharp claws, and scales of four colors covering massive humanoid bodies. Their rigid class system conflicts with the party-loving human society. The intrepid Dr. Lucy Stannis, a scientist and undercover agent of Terra, is both curious and suspicious of the aliens. She befriends the captain of the alien spaceship, the impressive and devious Blue, Sa Kamizan Veedak, who led the escape from their hostile home planet through the hazards of space to the safety of Eden. Their tenuous friendship is threatened by assassination attempts, and sabotage by humans and aliens. They must learn to fight together to survive. What strange secret are the Atrapako hiding? Can they overcome their cultural instincts and co-exist peacefully with humans on Eden? Lucy struggles to discover the secret of the aliens in a race against time before the colony is lost.
She leapt over the line with a warning yell. Just as the Red hit the floor, two Atrapako raced across the line behind Sa Kamizan. Both wielded long knives. Sa Kamizan was alerted to the new threat and tackled the bulky Red close to him. He was still unaware of Lucy and the second assailant.
Lucy jumped into the center, drawing the attention of the second attacker. The Blue rushed towards her, brandishing a wide blade like a meat cleaver. Just as she had anticipated, the young Blue swept his blade down with his whole strength. The cleaver slashed toward her head. With an agile sidestep, she avoided the blow and grabbed his arm, jerking down strongly. The thin Blue slammed to the ground and slid across the floor. The knife whirled from his grasp.
Lucy straightened and looked up. Sa Kamizan was staring at her in amazement. He was wild-eyed and panting from exertion. Two Reds lay on the floor, and he held another sword. The crowd was deathly silent.
He stepped over the red bodies to Lucy. “Do you have a weapon?”
She drew out her laser. “I’ll demonstrate,” she said fiercely. She swiveled in a half circle, menacing the spectators with her weapon. Then, she raised the laser and sliced through the cord supporting a large banner mounted on one wall. The banner crashed to the ground as several nearby Atrapako jumped out of the way.
Sa Kamizan wielded a knife in each hand. “Hold the gun ready, Lucy.” He draped one large arm casually over her shoulders. “We walk out slowly.”
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Aurora Springer is a scientist morphing into a novelist. She has composed science fiction and fantasy stories for as long as she can remember. In 2014, she achieved a lifelong ambition by becoming a published novelist. She was born in the UK, and has a PhD in molecular biophysics. In her day job, she imagines how molecules work together to create life. She lives in Atlanta, USA with her husband, a dog and the requisite two cats to lie on her laptop. In her novels, she enjoys expressing humor and a wild imagination with weird new characters and worlds, while sometimes exploring serious problems.
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