What if the universe is infinite? Our lump of space-time a domain? One among an infinite number of domains?
What if our domain is cyclic? Big Bang to Big Crunch – and over again?
What if halting collapse was possible?
What if God didn’t want that to happen?
Something is steering mankind toward destruction. Answers elude us until deep in the Peruvian rainforest, an ancient protagonist awakens -- an ally in a struggle that began before the solar system existed.
Four men and a woman attempt to derail a plot to hurl humankind back to the Stone Age. The Chao-Vithri alliance saved Earth from destruction sixty-five million years ago. This time we must face the Oo’ahan – an antagonist whose form and purpose remains a mystery.
"A little bit James Bond, a touch of Tom Clancy, a hint of Robert Heinlein, a smattering of Ken Follett. Fun and fast-paced - edgy and thought provoking." - Jack Byrne, literary agent.
"One of the most compelling books I have read in recent years. Excellent tension, believable characters, and technology that persuades the reader that it could work. If Tom Clancy wrote SF, this is the sort he would write." - Ardath Mayhar, award-winning Novelist.
Sample the following excerpt from A Nepenthean Solution:
Linneow heaved free of the virtual helmet and staggered out of the command chair. Her legs would not sustain her and she collapsed to the deck, where she sought to clear away rivulets of sweat stinging her eyes. Acrid smoke and the smell of burning insulation filled the command deck. Alarms sounded throughout the cruiser. In the tank, the last enemy ship lay dead – three sections drifting apart.
Linneow touched the comm for the cruiser’s AI. “Damage report!”
A mellifluous voice responded, “Moderate and severe damage to after shielding. Primary and secondary energy weapons sustained minimal damage. Aft missile launchers inoperative. Spinal laser severely overheated. You should heed my admonition about rate of fire, Linneow.”
“Had I, we’d still be sustaining damage. What of Pride of Siturn?”
“The Vithri vessel is gravely injured. Drive inoperable. Deflectors inoperable. Main armament destroyed. Secondary armament, inoperable. Limited life-support. Eighty percent of the ship is open to space.”
“Can you contact them?”
“On channel four.”
A screen sprang to life on the forward bulkhead depicting only a shadowy haze sporadically lit by flashes. No sign of the great saurian masters.
“Counselor Rhian, this is Ammonte,” she called. “Can you hear me?”
“We see you, Linneow of the Chao. Pride-kin Rhian is deceased. Peace follows his path. We shall not survive far beyond his time.”
“Transfer to Ammonte, honored kin. We have room to spare.”
“Linneow is alone and yet the enemy has fallen. Perhaps Linneow has too well learned the art of war.”
Castigation or complement? The web, of course. Universal among Vithri-built vessels, of which Ammonte was one. They would have seen it all as if through her eyes. What now of vaunted civility? And worst of all, it was the counselors of Siturn who witnessed her fall from grace. The warrior caste of Chalin might have understood. Linneow inclined her head and softly replied, “My decision, honored kin, faulty though it may seem was to give instinct full reign. Perhaps this is sufficient.”
“We have seen, and so, believe. Pride-kin will not transport to Ammonte. Time is insufficient to save both the nest-world and ourselves. We choose the nest-world and you must assist.”
Linneow recalled her mate and his squadron, still engaged against the last Oo’ahan sphere. “The enemy still threatens, honored kin.”
“The enemy is distant, Linneow of the Chao. The danger is here, as are we. To the task we must attend.”
Linneow resisted the compelling Vithri undertones. “Should I delay, my mate will perish. You cannot ask me to ignore his peril.”
“Decision comes now upon the Chao. Consider well before you act, for our time here ends and yours begins. Should you avoid your destiny, there will be only endings and the Oo’ahan shall prevail. We know they have taken your children. We know calamity befalls our nestlings. Our colony is lost and we are lost, but you may begin again. For this reason, the Prides of Siturn bequeath the cradle to you, Linneow of the Chao. Raise again your young. Defend this world as your own.”
Agony banked its infernal fire. Her lord was right. She might save more than they lost. But what of Sassineue? Cradle or mate? Could she – should she choose life for one over the other? What of a future without her mate? And what of a future where sacrifice had been futile. This decision might wound her spirit. To choose wrong would destroy it.
“Speak to me of the task, honored kin.”