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The Alliance [MultiFormat]
eBook by David Andrews

eBook Category: Science Fiction
eBook Description: The First Born lead an alliance against the Federation. An ambitious sergeant-at-arms, a vengeful pontiff and a ruthless gambler are unlikely allies, but each plays their part as First Born take their place in the struggle to limit the evil of the Federation. When Rachael, and then Kayelle join in, an alliance is formed and the Federation's days of untrammeled expansion are done. Join the Alliance as they roam the universe, using guile and courage to bring freedom to all. Excerpt: Anneke stood beside him now in an outfit from the top Xanadu fashion house, a stunning creation that barely did her justice. "Keep your mind on the business in hand," she warned. "The wedding guests might be shocked." His expression had given him away. Anneke could read him like a book. It was just as well she'd never taken up gambling. There was a daunting intelligence behind that beautiful face. Peter, the father of the groom, was strolling towards them, chatting with a pair of the guests, a husband and wife from Thanatos--rulers there apparently. "Hullo, Helene," Anneke greeted them. "Kamran behaving himself?" The man answered, "Greetings, Traveler Girl, I spoke to Red earlier and expected to see you. Are you still causing trouble?" These people were friends. They'd shared dangerous times and trusted each other. "How are the children?" Anneke ignored the question. "Kayelle has taken charge of them," the woman was smiling at the interplay between Anneke and her husband. "Last I saw was Roderick riding the Southern Tetrarch around the house while Lucy encouraged him with a carpet beater." Dakar shook his head. Kayelle's great grandfather was old enough to know better. "Kamran, this is Dakar. The man I told you about," Peter made the introduction. "I'd suggest you talk to him later. Thanatos is equidistant from Viridia and Xanadu and provides a fine stopover with great scenery for tourists. You could make it part of the Grand Tour." Dakar sensed that these two had been fighting soldiers, their experiences marking them apart from other men, their gaze direct, probing until his shoulders squared unconsciously. "Stop it, you two," Anneke warned. "He's with me." "Does he know how dangerous that is?" Kamran was smiling. "She put fear into men I would have said were immune to weakness." "That was me," Peter spoke mildly. Kamran turned to study his companion. "I can believe that." He nodded thoughtfully, obviously remembering the incident. "We can fight old battles another day," Anneke put a stopper to the exchange. "This is my brother's wedding day." "Where's the groom?"

eBook Publisher: Eternal Press/Damnation Books LLC/Eternal Press, Published: 2011, 2011
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2011




Prologue

* * * *

Two hundred years made little difference to the beach camp. Dael accepted Torred building a shelter over the table and preserving its timbers with oil. Peter extended their sleeping nook to provide shelter for the children and Karrel built a second one to share with Gabrielle and their boy, Jack. A niche dug into the landward side of the sand hill and stabilized with sandstone blocks provided the final resting place for their friends. Torred, Samara, and Jesse slept there eternally, their graves tended by Dael.

She sat with them now, on the seat he had built for her, and he would join her as soon as their meal was cooked. Two centuries answered none of his questions about this reality. He still wasn't sure that it existed outside his mind, the product of desperation, and not even holding Dael could banish that fear.

He woke in this world to find it controlled by a race of immortal telepaths, minds existing within human hosts, who banished war and imposed sustainability for so many thousands of years that history no longer existed, because nothing ever changed. Intrigued, he studied it from a vantage point he'd named Limbo, using the power it gave him to read minds without detection and transport himself mentally from location to location, where he could assume physical form at will.

A much decorated veteran of WWI, WWII and Korea with the American Army, with service in the French Foreign Legion between the wars, the loss of human freedom of choice in this world appalled him too much not to attempt change. Direct action was impossible against the telepaths, for they communicated in a group mind that pooled all information, so he chose guile, implementing a plan to introduce generational change to a race that had no means, or need, to reproduce.

The first stage of his plan produced a discovery that still haunted him. A thought could change this world, bringing in its train every ramification of the original thought. He'd merely wondered how telepathic immortals in an unchanging world avoided boredom and the telepaths started going mad and dying, not in great numbers, but enough to teach him caution in his thoughts.

Still, the change gave him the opportunity to suborn the individual who became Dael, coaxing her into creating a physical body that could bear his son, the saviour of both races, and falling deeply in love with her in the process.

Born with all the powers of both parents, Karrel tricked Belen into dying in Peter's place on Earth, replacing a worn out body with one created by Dael from a single tear.

Wary of two individuals who could change things merely by thinking about them in a different way, he focused Karrel's attention on the past, setting him a puzzle from the group mind's memories that sent him back thirty-five thousand years to meet the future of Earth's people.

Having trashed their planet, they scattered to the stars, huge colony ships following smaller scouts and settling habitable planets as they found them. Locked into sub-light speed, their travels took many generations. Earth was only a distant memory when they encountered Dael's race, a scout ship commanded by Gabrielle making planetfall on their home world.

Karrel and Peter managed the confrontation, avoiding conflict and transferring Dael's race to their present home, a planet so far beyond the galactic hub that it would remain undisturbed for many millennia. In the process, they had freed humanity from the tyranny of distance by creating a means of instant travel between the stars and Karrel fell in love with Gabrielle.

This left the scattered remnants of Earth's people prey to many dangers, the worst of which was the successor of the original multi-national that trashed Earth to make the Diaspora possible. Still known as the Federation, they were the new enemy, overwhelming in numbers, but with weak points the few as he had at his disposal could exploit. He encouraged the others to call themselves the Alliance to boost their apparent numbers.

"Stop worrying, my love." Dael was sharing his thoughts and her mind encompassed him. "You will do what's right and find a way. You always do." She translocated from the graves to his side and her arms enfolded him. "Is our meal ready?" Physical speech was now possible.

"Another twenty minutes."

"The oven can look after itself," she said, drawing him to his feet. "I have just the diversion for you." She led him to their bed beneath the stars.

Dael stopped bearing children after Anneke and Jean-Paul, replacing motherhood with caring for the trickle of her own race who chose to follow her path and create physical bodies to contain their minds, but had never lost the wonder of sex with her husband.


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