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Orphilion Dreams
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-241-0
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Science Fiction/Romance
eBook Length: 248 Pages
Published: April 2005



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Total Readers: 3

From inside the flap

(Previously released under the title: THE MOST DARING DREAMS)

Thor, pilot of a space transport ship, and Helena, a medical scientist, are brought together by fate during a perilous rescue mission to one of Jupiter’s moons. They become dangerously drawn to one another, even though government law prohibits their Orphilion romance?under penalty of death.

For the chance to follow their hearts, they must lead in a dangerous revolt.


What others are saying about ORPHILION DREAMS:

"...an audacious first book by Jeanne Allen. Rarely do writers take on such a sweeping story in their debut novels. Ms. Allen’s futuristic tale of social injustice and rebellion is an intriguing look into what may lie beyond the next bend in society’s road. It’s also a passionate love story of Helena and Thor. She didn?t go wrong with those names--these protagonists are up to facing any number of obstacles. Bravo, Jeanne!"--Shannah Biondine, Author of historical & paranormal romances.

"Jeanne Allen has crafted a complex, technology-ridden world.... It is at times fascinating, at times confusing, but Allen has created it as a living, breathing entity, and it shows....a remarkable feat of world-building and engineering, and should be enjoyed by lovers of hard science fiction and space opera."--Affaire de Coeur

"This story is amazing....Set in a daunting, Orwellian future for Earth, heroic protagonists must learn to trust each other, and to ultimately change their world....The unfolding love story is satisfying and enjoyable, and the ending has such a surprise twist, I was taken totally off guard but very pleased. Very Highly Recommended!"--Marilyn Grall, Author of sensual historical romance.

"The two, and their freedom-fighting colleagues, face many dangers in their struggle to free the worlds? oppressed citizens. With action swooping from Earth to Mars, to Io and a few other deadly locales, this story will appeal to many readers."--Simply E-Books



Orphilion Dreams (Excerpt)


"The earth is the cradle of humanity,
but one cannot live in the cradle forever."

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, 1899

Chapter 1

2097, Omaha

Pacing the tarmac near his ship, Thor checked his watch, then swung his gaze toward the hangar. His passenger’s luggage and crates had been loaded into the craft shortly after his arrival, yet there was still no sign of her. He eyed his watch again and hoped she hadn?t met up with any trouble. He was anxious to get going to Jupiter’s moon, Europa. The fate of too many rested on the success of this mission.

He flipped open his holoviewer to report to Ganymede when the man door to the hangar burst open. A woman appeared, accompanied by a spaceport official.

Thor stood at attention as the two approached. The breeze lifted her hair from her face. Her cheeks were flushed. When she stopped before him, his eyes were drawn to the way her soft, layered waves of brunette hair, just reaching chin length, settled around her face.

The man with her nodded. "Captain, this is Doctor Helena OM781e7, your shipmate for the next two months."

"Sorry I?m late." She held out her hand. "I had things to finish up at the lab."

"That’s understandable," Thor said. "Ganymede didn?t give us much notice." He extended his hand. Her grip was firm, but it was her eyes that held his attention?blue as a summer lake. He caught himself lingering on them and cleared his throat. "We can make up for lost time during flight." He gave a nod to the spaceport official, who turned to head back to the hangar. "I wasn?t told you were a doctor."

"Doctor of pharmacology, specializing in plant medicines. Did the cattleya orchids arrive?"

"They?re on the bridge." He gestured his hand toward the ship. "Ready for the official tour?"

Her face tilted up. She scanned the height and length of the shiny gray spacecraft, UMO, their company’s logo, painted in red.

"You?re not nervous," he said.

"Does it show that much? This will be my first space flight."

"I promise to be gentle."

She gave him a sidelong glance, but her lips turned up in an amused smirk. "I?m sure you will."

Directing her to the first step of the ship’s escalator, Thor had a feeling the flight to Europa might go more quickly than he?d first thought.


***

A sense of wonder filled Helena as she stepped onto the escalator that carried her from the Nebraska ground to the craft’s airlock chamber and, she thought, into a fascinating new dimension of space-time. At thirty-two, not only would she be carrying out an assignment vital to Universal Mining’s workforce on Europa?bringing rare Cattleya hyperlimbia medicine to the technetium ore miners afflicted with deadly Attila Disease?but it would be her first venture away from the Earth-Moon system.

With Captain Thor as her guide, she absorbed every detail he brought to her attention during the required safety tour designed for civilian passengers who?d be traveling beyond Earth’s atmosphere aboard government transport. Aboard the interplanetary ship that was to become her home for the next two months!

She?d only read about space science in the popular holojournals and was eager to experience some of their reported facts firsthand. While acquainting her with the external features of the craft, the captain spoke with the fluency of an expert in space flight, yet in terms a layman could understand.

Normally, Helena scorned Delegation government soldiers. She had witnessed their callous disregard for fellow orphilions. But this one seemed different. He had the manners of a gentleman, acquiescing his physical strength and military ranking in deference to her civilian status.

She sensed from him the promise of a memorable adventure.

According to Thor, the spacecraft issued for his sole use while carrying out official duties for Universal Mining Operations was a smaller, more streamlined model compared to the bulky cargo and commuter transport ships he?d often been asked to fly. At thirty-five meters long, Helena thought it was enormous!

As Thor guided her through the ship, a flush of warmth filled her, prompted by her anticipation to embark?or was it because of the tall man’s nearness? She glanced at him from the corner of her eye and acknowledged it was probably due to a mixture of both.

While Thor detailed the ship’s interior, Helena detected a sense of pride in his voice. There was kindness beneath its authoritativeness. But she also sensed something else: a weariness?or a trace of sadness. It matched the subtle darkening in his turquoise-colored eyes. Eyes that seemed to have seen too much in this old solar system. They had a cast most wouldn?t have noticed, and she had the feeling Thor didn?t mean for her or anyone else to become aware of it, for it would serve no worthwhile purpose to dwell on past woes while there were official obligations to fulfill.

Helena wondered what had hurt him so.

Accustomed to laying aside his personal problems, Thor continued his survey of the spacecraft, feeling appreciative of the beauty and efficiency of its form and function. His passenger showed evidence of becoming more at ease when she asked him to further explain certain technical aspects. He took her to the power plant, which he was fueled by a deuterium/helium fusion reactor. She asked, "And how is the fusion process activated?"

"The ship’s been upgraded with the latest in plasma lasers, ma?am." Thor remarked to himself that beside him was a woman with extraordinary concerns, and conversations with her on the ensuing journey might actually hold his interest. He further explained, "The stream of hot ionized gas expelled from the reactor is capable of producing thousands of kilonewtons of impulse force?"

"Which is more than enough to escape a planet’s gravity field and acquire the speeds needed for practical interplanetary travel," Helena volunteered with a hint of a smile, as though proud of herself for her addition to his technical explanation.

The lilt in her voice?Midwestern, yes, but he detected a hint of something exotic. And he noticed a playful glimmer in her eyes.

"Er?why yes, exactly, Doctor."

Already, she was infinitely more interesting than some whom he’s had to transport in the past. But he needed to remind himself of the task at hand. He shook his head to clear it and further elaborated about the nuclear plant.

He caught Helena’s uneasy glance at the OFF LIMITS and DANGER signs on the walls surrounding the reactor. Her somber expression indicated that their stern warning, along with his description of the gruesome death caused by intense radiation exposure’suffered by a flight mechanic he had known?was becoming firmly impressed upon her mind.

It took a few moments before her eyes brightened again as her curiosity moved on to another topic. She asked about the ship’s method of producing a physiologically sound gravity field. He pointed out the graviton emitter that lined the fuselage. It was set to one Earth gravitational force.

She moved some of her hair behind her ear, a mannerism of hers he?d already noticed, when she concentrated hard about something. Or this time, was it possible she was making a flirtatious gesture? She asked, "How are the gravitons are produced?"

His pulse quickened as he explained the particle physics involved in the process. Something from deep within his consciousness, catching him completely off-guard, attracted him to her vitality, her intellect. They had a common interest in scientific matters. He found it hard to turn his gaze from her sable hair and expressive blue eyes. He couldn?t deny the excitement her presence kindled within him.

Extinguish it. Now, he warned himself. This wasn?t the time nor the place. The nature of this assignment demanded his full attention. To be preoccupied by a woman now wasn?t advisable. The UMO employees on Europa were depending on them?for their lives. Fortunately, he was able to control his more basic urges and even ignore them if he had to, attributing this talent to his soldier training.

Helena contemplated his subatomic explanation of the gravity simulator as they moved toward the bow of the vessel. His voice, mellifluous and articulate, with a soft southern accent, was pleasing to her ear. His rugged handsomeness and long, copper-colored hair intrigued her as well.

But a warning sprang from the back of her mind: He represents tyranny. Don?t be fooled by his charm.

Helena regarded her government as oppressive as a searing desert heat. The rescue mission to Europa had given her a symbolic leave from the usual constraints of her life at Universal Mining Operations’symbolic only, because the spacecraft they?d be traveling in belonged to UMO and was managed under the jurisdiction of the Delegation Assembly.

She eyed the man beside her and sighed. She felt he was luring her toward an unknown fulfillment almost too tempting to leave unexplored. Conflicting emotions aside, her undivided energy was needed to ensure the success of the mission.

Thor led her up a spiral stairway, then motioned his arm in a broad sweep across the bridge to introduce her to the nucleus of the astroship’s activities. Helena noted stations for three additional crew members. It pleased her to see the stacks of crates in her care had been delivered safely into the bridge chamber.

Taking his seat at the command station, Thor demonstrated some of the ship’s functions. "I?ll instruct you in emergency piloting also," he said, "once we?re on our way." Helena glanced at the complex array of screens and switches on the control panel and felt the task would be a bit daunting, but she didn?t mention it.

Thor’s voice took on a more serious tone. "This spacecraft is equipped with warning detection devices, protective force shields, and gamma ray weaponry. There’s a self-destruct feature and an escape pod should we need to suddenly terminate the mission."

Helena tried not to furrow her brow at the thought of why they might need to use the defense system. She was well informed of the potential dangers inherent in this assignment.