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The Galaxii Series Omnibus 1 By Christina Engela Characters: 5908

Updated: 2018-06-30 19:02

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Bernardus was the mother of five worlds, three stillborn – lifeless and uninhabitable, and two bright, young and thriving Terran colonies, Tremaine and Andronicus. Tremaine was one of Earth's oldest extrasolar colonies, well-established colonial worlds, and typical of the older colonies of the Terran Empire. Andronicus was somewhat less developed than Tremaine – and more industrial, while Tremaine was by now almost on a social par with the mother world itself.

Clear blue skies framed pristine natural landscapes. Tremaine was most often described in the Interstellar Tourist Guide using the word 'lovely'. Indigenous wildlife lived alongside imported Terran species in a carefully planned biosphere. Its cities, although slightly smaller and further apart than Earths', and its population only about a quarter that of Earth itself, left much open, unspoiled space, and gave the impression of very careful planning and fastidious regulation.

People over-regulated things here – living on Tremaine was like living in a big, gated complex – the size and number of pets one could keep, the number and type of private vehicles one could own – you couldn't even paint your mailbox in a color of your choice unless it was one of the approved colors specified in the regulations! People in the streets walked about with vacant, meaningless smiles displayed on their faces as they went about their business in a city that looked like something from one of those awful 1950's color brochures for 'the modern kitchen' brought to grotesque, nightmarish life!

It was all very 'lovely', and Joe Lofflin couldn't take it for much longer.

The faint light of the early dawn began to shine through the window of his hotel room. The curtains were drawn, but they we

through circumstance to take on the role of acting-Captain. In the meantime, Blaine had been murdered by their erstwhile Chief Entech – Lt. Commander Ralph Billingham, who was something of a disgruntled employee, who blamed Blaine for the situation they were in.

As luck would have it, their paths crossed with a derelict alien vessel which they were able to cannibalize for spare parts to get their own engines working again. They were saved! Of course, it hadn't been quite that simple, but here they were, a week or so later, in civilized space again – at Tremaine, safe! Lofflin groaned at the thought. That had been almost two months ago!

They'd expected something of a hero's welcome on returning to Tremaine, after what they'd been through, and their arrival shortly after the Corsair attack on Starbase 91 hardly went unnoticed. Tension among the locals was high at the time because the Space Fleet had only just sent a small squadron of ships to patrol the area, and the colony remained exposed to Corsair attack. Even though the badly damaged Mordrake had made it back this far, it had taken the better part of two months to fix the mess at the local space dock.

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