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Quantity Available: > 20
Title: Tenebrea Rising Tenebrea Trilogy
Publisher: Gallery Books
Book Condition: New
Book Type: Paperback
About this title
On the planet Klamdara, several members of the elite fighting force of the Alliance known as the Tenebrea -- including their leader, Hal K'Rin -- are imprisoned, dying, and hoping for rescue. On the planet Cor, that hope resides in Andrea Flores, one of the Tenebrea's best operatives, and her ragtag group of wilderness clones. But Andrea has never lost sight of her true reason for joining the Tenebrea: to take revenge upon the murderers of her husband and daughter.
However, the rescue of K'Rin leads Andrea to an awful truth that he is hiding about Andrea's past, one that will throw her quest for revenge into chaos!
Andrea Flores's long, difficult road to avenge the deaths of her loved ones comes to a head in the shocking conclusion to the Tenebrea trilogy!
Hal K'Rin -- headman of the Rin Clan, leader of the Tenebrea -- stepped from his dusty concrete shed into the prison yard. His bones and joints ached, having absorbed the cold from the concrete floor where he'd slept. He squinted at the Klamdara sun that would soon heat this desolate repository of traitors. The yellow orb peered over the stone walls, casting long shadows. K'Rin shielded his sore eyes, pressing his thick hand to his forehead.
At the base of the wall, Feld Jo'Orom's ossified body lay on a pallet, his eye sockets staring up, the once bright rings beneath his eyes turned slate gray. A thin shroud of red dust covered the black and gray uniform of the Tenebrea. Jo'Orom's jaw was agape, his dried lips peeled back, showing yellow teeth. The prison commandant, D'Cru, had ordered the body prominently displayed to intimidate the prisoners.
K'Rin closed his eyes and remembered Jo'Orom alive, training the young Tenebrea to serve the Rin Clan, to fight and survive. He missed Jo'Orom's good counsel as much as his companionship. In his mind, K'Rin addressed the image of Jo'Orom: How did I get us into this awful situation?
K'Rin's memories stirred Jo'Orom's voice that answered predictably, with the same admonition: Hal K'Rin, you may look into your past, but don't stare.
I can't help but stare, K'Rin thought. I started us down this path. My father warned the council about clone manufacturing in the Cor Ordinate system, and the council ruined him. I formed the Tenebrea with your help to monitor the Ordinate -- and to vindicate my father. I infected you, old friend, with the Quazel Protein that killed you. I infected all of us, and I can't undo what I've done. Instead of vindicating my father and saving Jod, I have managed only to lead us all to this prison.
K'Rin gazed upon Jo'Orom's body. K'Rin had infected himself and his Tenebrea with the protein to ensure discipline, assuming that he'd always have the Quazel enzyme to administer or withhold -- the ultimate guarantor of loyalty. Now, he was ashamed of his cynicism. The Tenebrea were as loyal as ever -- perhaps more so, since their brotherhood was now nailed to mutual suffering, a suffering he'd caused. He regretted his arrogance, his vain assumption that he'd always have the enzyme -- that he needed it at all.
And K'Rin was embarrassed for misreading his enemies on the Jod Council. I believed Pl'Don and the council would look at the physical evidence and see the dangers inherent in the Cor Ordinate's cloning program.
K'Rin glanced down to observe a sightless notsig beetle trying to climb over his frayed boot: stymied yet stubborn. It clawed at the dust with its hind feet, reaching the sole of his boot with forelegs. Feathery antennae tried to make sense of the obstacle, too close to the problem to have perspective. My boot might as well be a mountain. The council and the Fleet are as blind as this notsig beetle. K'Rin lifted his boot and let the beetle shuffle ahead in the dust, resuming its straight path apparently to nowhere. He raised the heel of his boot to crush the beetle, but a thought prevented him: This beetle's blindness is natural; the council's blindness is culpable.
I tried to make them see. I sent the Tenebrea throughout the galaxy to track the Cor Ordinate's ability to use clones as a weapon. I set into motion the events that drew Andrea Flores into this conflict...
K'Rin turned his thoughts to Andrea Flores, the Terran woman he had brought into his Tenebrea. He had sent her to Cor to spy, to find hard evidence of the Ordinate's intentions. Not only did she get the evidence, she exceeded her goal by triggering a clone insurrection, indeed, leading an assault into the Cor capital city, Sarhn. Andrea's improvisation, although fateful, amused him. And you, Andrea, you certainly stirred the stinging Z'la creeper's nest. At least you're safe. K'Rin whispered hoarsely, hoping his thought might reach out into the stars, "Find your way home, Andrea. Go back to Earth and live."
Pairs of languorous Jod marines stood in patches of shade, their weapons draped over their thick shoulders. Instead of helmets, they wore loose caps to cover their pale, hairless heads. The guards engaged in conversation, trying to fight the tedium of Klamdara isolation. They kept one wary eye watching their own officers. More than the prisoners, they feared opprobrium. A season earlier, they feared the Tenebrea, K'Rin's own guard.
The guards utterly ignored the once formidable K'Rin, once an admiral in the Jod Fleet, now condemned for treason by the Council of Elders and the council's leader Hal Pl'Don.
Treason? K'Rin chaffed. Hal Pl'Don and the council are traitors -- or worse, they are fools. K'Rin had long believed that the Ordinate, a human species transported to the Cor system, would eventually challenge the Jod with clone armies. The council admonished him to respect Cor neutrality, but he was, after all, the Chief of Offworld Intelligence. Andrea's raid into Sarhn forced the conflict into the open. Then I most certainly blundered. I assumed that Pl'Don would put Jod's security ahead of his enmity toward the Rin Clan. I was so wrong, but what could I have done differently?
K'Rin felt a trickle of blood spill from his nose. A drop of the dark red fell at his feet, leaving a black pock in the dust. He raised a bloodstained cloth to wipe his upper lip.
K'Rin turned his thoughts to the present. The Quazel Protein is slowly turning us to stone: killing us. How ironic. The odds for escape are terrible. The odds of surviving another sixty days are worse.
K'Rin hoped he might still lead them off Klamdara and to a cache of enzyme aboard the freighter Kam-Gi. His Tenebrea believed he would succeed -- somehow. He must. If the battle turned against them, they would fight to the death. K'Rin promised that he would not order a retreat. If they did not succeed in freeing themselves from Klamdara by the strength of their arms, then death would free them from the torment of the Quazel Protein.
K'Rin was acutely aware of his own symptoms. His joints ached. He was reduced to hoarse whispers as his larynx stiffened, making all speech painful. So far, his vision remained unimpaired, but he knew that myopia was beginning to affect some of his warriors.
K'Rin walked among the small huts. Small groups of Tenebrea stood at attention at the rickety doors as K'Rin passed. He read the twinge of pain in their faces as they forced themselves erect out of respect for his rank. He looked each of his afflicted warriors in the eye, saying nothing.
Words were painful; therefore, every word spoken had purpose. The Tenebrea longed to hear one word: Attack!
Their uniforms were frayed about the collars. Their sleeves were stained with their own blood wiped from their upper lips.
Their prison diet had reduced them to sleek animals. Their uniforms hung loose on their large bones. Their eyes were sunken into their hairless faces. The rings beneath their eyes -- each ring denoting a decade of life -- appeared darker. Even the bright yellow ring of childhood had turned a dark amber. The Quazel poisoning...
Despite their wan appearance, the Tenebrea were still physically strong. K'Rin saw the sinewy strength in their arms and legs, less supple for sure, but eager to strike. His warriors paced the prison yard like hungry carnivores, disciplined yet impatient. They held their heads up, watching the inattentive guards, occasionally glancing back at K'Rin -- always waiting for the word. Every warrior knew that with the arrival of the next supply ship they would escape Klamdara or die trying. With a look, K'Rin told them: Soon. We'll take them soon.
A younger Jod walked stiffly to catch K'Rin. He croaked, "Sir, staff meeting."
K'Rin nodded and followed Kip into a concrete building. The room was bare of furniture. The four officers sat on their haunches in a semicircle waiting for K'Rin. The walls were streaked with rust leaching from the iron-rich sands used in the mortar. Bal'Don and a handful of younger officers started to rise, when K'Rin preempted them. "Sit."
K'Rin hunkered down, eye level with his staff. He turned to the oldest in the group, Bal'Don, and hoarsely asked, "Supply ship?"
Bal'Don shook his head and croaked, "Delayed."
Kip, Bal'Don, and the rest of the staff knew the explanation that they pieced together from snatches of information gleaned from the guards. The Jod Fleet was standing down for a diplomatic show of goodwill for the Cor Ordinate government. Consequently, Fleet logistics churned in disarray, and Klamdara was a low priority in the present scheme of things. Cor's ministers would soon visit Jod, inspect the Jod Fleet, and begin diplomatic relations. Recently, the Klamdara commandant, D'Cru, had taunted K'Rin, claiming that Jod was about to open a new epoch of peace -- a peace that K'Rin had tried to sabotage.
K'Rin envisioned the Jod Fleet in synchronous orbit above the capital city of Heptar waiting like sitting ducks for the Cor Ordinate. Another bitter irony, although not my fault. K'Rin believed in the iron Law of Unexpected Result. His own humiliation and incarceration on Klamdara was a case in point. He believed the Cor Ordinate would not come for the expected peace; rather, they'd come to destroy the Fleet and thereby decapitate Jod: galactic war. And he, having prepared his whole life to defend Jod, would miss the battle -- another unintended result.
K'Rin asked, "Weapons?"
Bal'Don nodded solemnly. "All." He reached into his black tunic and withdrew a metal phalange, a blunt rusted rod scraped to a ragged point on the concrete floors, tapered to a serviceable point. He handed the weapon to K'Rin. "Yours."
"Thank you." K'Rin peeled open the breast flap on his tunic and hid the weapon. "Soon," he reiterated his promise.
Andrea watched her warm breath disappear into the bitter cold of Cor's winter. She stood at the mouth of a cave, refuge of the wilderness clones, looking into the rapid onset of night. The steep volcanic mountains cast long shadows. She felt like one looking up from a deep pit. The last tint of indigo disappeared into a pitch-black sky shimmering with stars. Cor's waxing moon cast a pale light over the snow. Tall snow-laden pines stood like slump-shouldered giants guarding the entrance of the cave.
She stood in the moonlight. Her brown eyes glistened. The dry cold bit her cheeks, adding a tinge of red to her olive skin. The cave's humid thermals blew at her neck. She shrugged and tightened her parka, tucking her straight black hair into her upturned collar. She adjusted her harness. Her heavy pack and a pair of snubbed snowshoes lay at her feet.
On the trail winding between trees and rock, a dozen wilderness clones packed three sleds. The first sled held rifles, bundled like wood and lying on heavy sacks of ammunition. The clones cinched the leather straps hard, anticipating a fast and rugged march to the Benwoi, now repaired, and ready for deep space travel.
Andrea looked at the multitude of stars. One of the distant specks of white lost in the jumble of the crisp sky was the Jod sun. Somewhere in the Jod system was the prison planet, Klamdara. There, K'Rin and her comrades, the Tenebrea, were incarcerated, waiting to die from Quazel poisoning. She knew that Brigon's small company of wilderness clones -- just thirty-five combatants -- was the only slim hope to save K'Rin. And K'Rin was the only -- and slimmer -- hope for saving the starving and persecuted clones here on planet Cor. Andrea was not optimistic. However, her pessimism was irrelevant. They had no other option except to flee the immediate conflict and merely postpone the inevitable. The NewGen clones were due to hatch in large numbers shortly. The scales of military power would soon tilt permanently in favor of the Cor Ordinate. And the Ordinate were pitiless. Time was short.
"Andrea." She heard her name echo from the cave walls.
"Here," she answered. Andrea's lips were dark, almost purple from the cold.
H'Roo Parh followed her voice and found her. He wore the gray and black uniform of the Tenebrea, and carried a bulging rucksack. He also carried a bulky parka in the crook of his arm. H'Roo was tall for a Jod and less thick than most. He said, "Brigon sends word that we leave in ten minutes. I spoke with Eric. He was at the infirmary helping Dr. Carai take care of Tara."
"He was?" The news pleased Andrea, who only yesterday had belittled Eric for not showing more concern for his wounded mate. Andrea asked, "How is Tara?"
"The bleeding from her arm has almost stopped. Dr. Carai thinks he can save her eye." H'Roo drew a line on his own face where Tara had suffered a gash. "The left side of her face may suffer some paralysis -- nerve damage. These clones have only the most primitive medical tools. Carai can't regenerate the nerve or eliminate the scar without the proper tools. He doesn't even have a surgical laser: he had to cut off her frostbitten toes with a blade." H'Roo grimaced at the thought. "If we could get Tara to Jod, we could build her a new arm. Carai will do the best he can here."
Andrea looked up in disbelief. "Carai is staying?"
H'Roo nodded. "Yes."
Andrea looked around and lowered her voice to a whisper. "H'Roo, these clones are starving to death. His chances are better with us on the Benwoi."
"He'd rather take his chances with the clones." H'Roo put on his parka and pulled the hood over his hairless scalp. His small delicate ears were bluish from the cold.
Andrea glanced back. The dim artificial light in the cave sparked her brown eyes. "Did he say why?"
"He doesn't want to go back into K'Rin's service -- especially back to Yuseat. He said, K'Rin can rebuild the Yuseat Lab and manufacture the enzyme without him." H'Roo patted his rucksack. "We have eight hundred doses of enzyme right here. Carai will reduce the raw crown gall into more enzyme while we are away."
Andrea nodded knowingly. "Just as well. Carai is no warrior. His biggest challenge is going to be keeping these clones from eating him -- thin though he is."
H'Roo pulled his hood closer over his hairless head and pink ears. "Dr. Carai is articulate. Sentient beings don't eat creatures smarter than themselves."
Andrea chuckled lowly. "Happens all the time."
H'Roo pursed his thin lips in disgust and carried his precious rucksack to a sled. The fresh snow crunched beneath his large boots. Andrea watched from a distance as he gesticulated, trying to make the sled master understand the critical importance of the enzyme. The clone nodded indifferently and strapped the medicine down with the same care shown any sack of ammunition. H'Roo found the other four Jod and they stood together, stamping their feet trying to keep warm.
A female clone, Chana, led a large group of clone warriors from the cave shadows. She bent at the waist under her heavy load: two backpacks and a pair of new carbines slung over her shoulder. She paused briefly to stand by Andrea. The shorter, thick-waisted clone looked up at Andrea with a slow smile. Raising an eyebrow, Chana said, "I'm coming, too. I guess Brigon needs me after all."
Or you need Brigon...Andrea said nothing. Rather, she looked down into Chana's upturned eyes, deep chestnut-brown eyes. Sad eyes. Chana had full lips on a large mouth set in a square jaw. Her facial bones about the eyes were exaggerated due to months of malnutrition. Her straight black hair, oily fro...
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