My first novel Wake of the Nightshade. Written mostly
when I was in Asia on an incredibly cheap computer that I
sold to some Danish guy for 35 USD. Its gotten great
reviews on Amazon. Click on the book to be taken to
Amazon to purchase either an E Book or a full paperback.
You can also read excerpts there. I have completed the
2nd Book in the series and will publish the sequel in 2017.
General Tar walked down the long aisle towards the main podium. He was surrounded by over one
hundred thousand seats. Each one sat empty. The hall was dead quiet and he walked in lock step with
his head erect. His golden formal cloak with all his insignia, medals, and number of war dead draped
over his body. He held a shiny helmet in his upper arms bearing the Great Three Ring Seal. He had two
axes across his back in an X and the handles poked out from under the cloak near his neck. He stopped
at the podium.

“General Tar of the 11th Legion, Commandant of the Planet of the 2nd Mission, and Commander of the
4th Infantry Landing Fleet responds to the honored call of the Great Council and presents myself, in
your service, as requested.” He bowed low.

Tar stood in the main audience chamber of the Council of the Nine, the supreme rulers of the Thoracian
Resolution. Their individual names were forgotten when they took one of the Nine seats. They spoke as
one voice and could be from any caste. They were chosen in an elaborate system of elections and
networking that stretched across the stars. They served until they heard the call of the Nine to return to
the Temples. Then, another filled his or her place. It had been this way for over 60,000 years.

“General Tar,” one of the members of the council said. From this distance, Tar couldn’t tell who was
speaking. “The Council thanks you for your quick arrival. This is a closed door session as it involves the
security of our relations with the Alien entity known as the Planetary States. We are greatly disturbed to
hear that one of your Regulars has killed one of the Aliens.” He paused.

“In their Mission.”

Another pause.

“On their territory.” The huge structure was silent. Tar stood like an old oak tree blown by many winds
over many years.

“Do you have some explanation for the spate of violence surrounding this Mission as of late,” a female
voice echoed through the giant hall.

“We are looking into it as we speak, Honored One. The local Sheriff is also involved and we should have
definitive answers very soon.”

“Very soon,” one of the council scraped. The noise trailed off into the void.

“Do you have some preliminary findings that you might share with us, General?” Yet another voice.

“Yes, it seems that the Regular in question was suffering from battle fatigue and had become crazed.
He served in the 37th quadrant recently and had since become despondent. He was not a warrior born
and the strain may have been too great for him.”

I am sorry to disgrace you, brave comrade.

“Not a warrior born,” another distant voice.

“He married into the Warrior Caste. I have spoken many times about the need for greater screening in
Caste reassignment.” Tar tried to make out the seated shapes, but they were too far to be seen clearly.

“Yes, I see that from your records,” the distant voice chirped in low tones. “Your views are not shared
by this council.”  

The remark cut deep. Tar did not move. Many minutes passed until another voice sounded.

“I am wondering, General, how this soldier got through the doors at the Mission. Surely that must
require some skill with decoding? By treaty, the Aliens may come out if they choose, but only those with
clearance may go in. I see from his service record that he was most assuredly not in possession of such
skills. Most curious, don’t you agree?” This voice sounded distant and spoke slowly as if in a trance.

“I do,” Tar replied. “We are working closely with the local Sheriff to uncover these mysteries.”

“Mysteries,” the voice droned. The word echoed into the rafters. Tar stood as an attendant brought
some document cubes to the platform in the distance.

“Did you know this regular, General?” One of the Council shifted in his seat.

“I knew of him. He was very brave in his duty, Great One.”

“Yes, I can see it must have taken bravery to kill an unarmed Alien, who was indeed a scientist and not
even a warrior, with our sacred war ax. I shudder to think that there is more bravery like this under your
command, General.”

The reproach stung like the lash of a Thoracian razor whip. Tar remained motionless.

“This errant soldier was felled by the Alien warrior, was he not?” Another new voice and Tar now lost
track of how many he had heard.

“Yes, he was. His ways are unknown to us. But we are learning.”

“That is what you are here to discuss, General Tar. It is precisely this learning that disturbs this
Council.” An aide brought more materials to one of the Council and bowed away. The members passed
it to one another for what seemed like hours to Tar. He stood, but his joints ached. A dull pain in his
chest where he had been impaled with an ax years ago began to throb. He shifted just barely.

“Do you know the word initiative, General?” Now a female spoke.

“I am familiar with it.”

“Initiative can be a dangerous concept. The Forgotten Ones had initiative that was borne on paranoia
and thirst for violence. For the good of all, that initiative had to be eradicated. It appears to this Council
that there are individuals, working either alone or in concert, who are taking the initiative to look into
matters they should not. The Alien is our friend, General. We are as two great houses that reside next
to one another. By agreement, we do not look into the contents of our friend’s house and he does not
look into ours. The contents of the Aliens’ house are of no concern to this Council and therefore not the
concern of any Thoracian.”

The hall was quiet. The speaker droned on in the low dreamy chirps and scrapes of formal language.

“When we met the Alien, our new friend, we agreed that we would only speak of casual matters;
matters of society, matters of culture. By careful design, only selected portions of our history were
revealed as we should not concern the Alien with our past struggles. We agreed with our new friend that
we would not discuss matters relating to deep knowledge of our respective anatomies, the extent of our
technologies, the numbers of our race, and other matters that this Council has deemed unnecessary
topics at this time. Many have been the hours that this Council has discussed the best ways to relate to
our new friend and we have made those accepted ways common knowledge to all command staff
involved. If certain citizens were to take wrong initiative and look into our friend’s house, we would invite
the same.”

“And that is something that this Council will not allow under any circumstances.”

The air was still.

“Now, someone has broken our agreement with our friends and we must act quickly to repair the
damage. I have before me a document of apology to the government of the Planetary States.” The hall
suddenly seemed very small indeed to Tar.

“May I say that again, General Tar of the 11th Legion? This council has a document of apology signed
by all of its members. This Council has neither apologized nor drafted any such document at any time in
its long history; over 35,000 cycles, General.”

The speaker let those words trail off. Tar still stood but the ache in his chest was getting worse from
remaining at attention.

“I will share a small, but important, bit of information with you, General. This information may not leave
this Chamber. Did you know that the Alien has a very complex legal system?”

“I am not familiar with that, Honored One.”

“Yes, well. Of course you aren’t. The details are unimportant. In our meetings with the Alien, one of
them made a quite offhanded remark about their court system. There are many levels of justice in their
society but most planets have a high court. Even the leaders of each respective planet are subject to its
will. One could say that these courts are the law of the Alien civilization. The high priests of our
incredible Religious Caste could barely speak after hearing about this high court. In fact, this court is
exactly like the body you see before you now. These high courts have nine members, male and female.”

Tar stood in the great hall.

“Not seven. Not five. Not eleven. It is as if the Nine themselves have planted a seed that takes time to
grow to fruition. What are we but the harvest of these seeds of wisdom planted by the Nine in their
infinite glory? In time, the Alien could abandon his false truncated religions and our two societies could
be as powerful allies. But if this grand design comes to pass, it will be in the Nine’s time; not in yours or
even ours. The Nine paint the canvas of our lives at a speed that is beyond time. It is not to be rushed
but rather, allowed to be revealed. The priests have hidden this revelatory knowledge as it could throw
some of our more zealous citizens into a premature frenzy to unite our two cultures before it is
appropriate. Is it not amazing how subtle the Nine move and reveal their law?”

“Very much so, Honored One,” Tar said. He didn’t believe one word of it.  

“Now, General, let us find those who have upset our friend’s house with all speed. Our relations with the
Alien must not be disturbed. Those who look into matters deemed to be of no interest by the Council of
the Nine shall be found. At that time, they will be used as a distasteful but necessary example to any
and all others who might also have misplaced initiative. Please relate our wishes to all commands. That
is all.”

Tar bowed and strode out of the hall. He never looked back.   
Below is an excerpt from
the forthcoming 2nd book
in the Lanian Silver