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Center Moon - The Stone Of Cordova
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-371-9
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/SF
eBook Length: 146 Pages
Published: July 2006



From inside the flap

The Sapiens needed to flee Venus? dwindling atmosphere. Their form of government was known as the Parliamentary Council. The Council created the Enforcement with one goal in mind. Take over, control the Earth, and colonize it for the Sapien population. With the Sapienís continued expansion, we open our story. Captain Troupe was always a mystery to his son, Jonas. The young man was lucky if he spent more than a year with his father in total. The night of his fatherís return would be the last time Jonas ever saw his father again. Jonas set off on an adventure, which unraveled his fatherís hidden past.




Center Moon - The Stone Of Cordova (Excerpt)


Prologue

Once upon a time, before our time, Earth knew a different breed of human.

Venus lost its gift of supporting its human population, the Sapiens. Earth, the sister planet, was deemed a suitable home for those looking for a retreat from their dying planet. The Parliamentary Federation sent scouting missions ahead to research prospects of migration.

The scouts discovered people already inhabiting Earth. The people of Earth were different. The scouting team called the Earth Crows, which meant "slow-witted".

The Crows lived in simple dwellings of mud and sticks. They had a basic language of their own. The scouts noticed their ability to create beautiful baskets and paintings. The Crows also had a gift for the sculpting of metals. They had lived under one Emperorís Dynasty for centuries. The Crows called their government "The Republic". They seemed simple to the scouts of the Parliamentary Federation but they were quick learners.

The Crows did not know that within the next one hundred revolutions, their world would be almost extinct.

The Parliamentary Federation would send forth a new kind of officer, an officer who only knew how to eat, sleep--and kill for the Parliamentary Council. That officer had one goal: Rid the planet of all Crows. That officer was known as an Enforcer.

Earth would soon host its biggest war: a battle for planetary domination between two races. Not only would there be blood shed on the planetís surface, but also the three moons orbiting Earth would soon be refuge and headquarters to many looking for a last chance of survival.


One

"Come on, Jonas. You never let anyone else shoot the stegolizard," Carlen moaned as he just lost another friendly game of Puk. Carlen, the older of the two, pulled his fingers through his deep black hair, which strayed past his ears. He begged Jonas with his hazel eyes for a turn at the stegolizard.

Jonas gave Carlen a crooked smile. His grin did not intentionally look sarcastic, it seemed to be just the way his thin lips curved when he smiled. "Well, well. Big cousin can?t take the challenge." Jonas handed Carlen his air gun. "I?ll let another one out. This time, hit ?em before he gets away."

"Easy for you to say." Carlen stared down the sight of the air gun waiting for Jonas to release another reptile from the cage.

"There are only two more left. If you miss this time, you?re going to hunt them yourself." Jonas flipped his sandy brown hair back away from his eyes as he warned his cousin about missing the shots. They both looked so different, considering that they were first cousins on their mothers? side. The only real similarity they had was in their olive complexions. Jonas lifted the front of the cage, recalling the time his father made him search the woods for two hours looking for stegolizards that had gotten away.

The stegolizard danced frantically until it found its bearings. "When he settles--blast him on the back plates. You should be able to get three good hits before he takes off."

Carlen aimed for the huge bony scales along the reptileís back. He squeezed his gunís trigger, sending a capsule of dye straight toward the animal. The rock behind the lizard splattered with light blue liquid. The startled animal scurried off into the woods. "Just great!" Carlen threw the gun down into the sand.

"You better not join any foot patrols after the Academy. You have the worst hand-eye coordination I?ve ever seen," Jonas mocked Carlenís ability to handle the air gun as he flashed his tremendously bright green eyes at him.

"Yeah... well, I bet you can?t get four shots on that last one." Carlen shook his head, mimicking Jonas.

"You have completely lost your mind." Jonas walked over and picked up the gun. He leaned his tall sturdy body up against the stone wall and rested his elbows on it. Jonas prayed that he would not be embarrassed again. He brushed back his sandy hair with a jerk of his head and eyed the gun sight. He nudged his squared nose into a groove along his weapon. "Go ahead, big mouth. Let ?em go."

Carlen hurried to the cage to release the last lizard. He stumbled over a rock along the way and toppled into the wire framing. He grabbed the top handle. "Ready?"

A string of sweat trickled down Jonasís temple. If he missed this shot he knew his cousin would never let him hear the end of it. Carlen still harassed him about the time Jonas challenged him to arm wrestling. Jonas boasted for days about how he was going to cause Carlen so much pain that he would not be able to use his arm for an entire round. His older cousin beat him and brought Jonas down so quickly that the table flipped. "Let him go."

Carlen lifted the cage door up and the stegolizard wiggled around in circles. It came to a sudden stop. The confused reptile settled as it slithered its tail.

"Who is the master?" Jonas pulled back on the trigger four consecutive times. Each capsule zipped across the sand, hitting the animalís protective plates along its back. Carlen watched in disbelief as his younger cousin painted four light blue marks on the animalís scales.

Jonas stood straight up and tilted his head with a grin. He could hold his head up with some pride for once. He always beat Carlen at Puk, but it was about the challenge he was just given. He could easily throw this victory in his cousinís face if the need ever arose.

"How? When did you get so good?" Carlen headed over to his cousin.

"I?ve been practicing. I wanted to impress my father," Jonas responded as he rubbed the air gun clean against his clothing. "Since we?ll have plenty of time for Puk, I want to show Dad a thing or two."

"When did he get home?" Carlen gently pulled the gun away from his cousin.

"Last evening. I haven?t even seen him though." Jonas walked over to the cage. He lifted it with both hands and brought it towards a small craft. "He said that we would catch up on things once the party was over."

Carlen put the gun in the rear seat of the craft.

Jonas unknowingly plopped the cage down on top of it. "Nice place for the blaster, Carlen." Jonas lifted the side of the cage and slid out the gun. "You have to learn to take care of these weapons." He lifted the air gun and rubbed the nozzle with care. After all, the gun was a gift from his parents and next to his collection of moon rocks, it was his pride and joy. He carefully set the gun in a back corner of the craft.

"Itís not a blaster. Itís a stupid toy." Carlen defended his actions.

"Itís only stupid to you because you can?t master it," Jonas snapped and hopped in the driverís seat. "Get in."

Carlenís jaw dropped when he saw Jonas press the ignition switch. "What are you doing?" Carlen hurried over to the driverís side of the craft. "My mother will kill me. She?ll kill you. Get out."

"Come on. I promise I?ll be careful." Jonas leaned back, showing his cousin that he was not planning to leave the driverís seat. Carlen recognized this for what it was--another challenge.

Carlen figured he would use a diplomatic approach. "Jonas, itís not that I don?t trust you but... you know my mother." Carlen leaned into the vehicle. "She explicitly told me not to let you drive. I don?t want to upset her."

Jonas? ears perked because it was about his aunt, Cleonia. He hoisted his body out of the seat halfway. "She told you explicitly not to let me drive?" He loved annoying his aunt. She constantly boasted about how well Carlen did in school every opportunity she could. Jonas, the below average student, knew they were direct digs at his own grades.

"Thatís right. Now, cousin, you need to move over."

Jonas plopped right back into his seat. "Get in, Carlen. I promise I?ll stop before we get back to Tigris. Then you can drive us the rest of the way."

Carlen looked hopeful. "Promise?" He knew that he could easily lift Jonasís lanky body out of the craft but was it really worth the trouble? Carlen believed his cousin would not drive into Tigris. The one thing Carlen liked about Jonas was his honesty. His word was law.

"Promise." Jonas pressed the ignition switch again. He was thankful for Carlenís decision not to get physical. The craft lifted slightly above the ground. Jonas watched as Carlen strapped himself into the seat. Carlen then nodded for Jonas to secure his driverís straps. "Forget it."

The craft doubled its speed as it glided across the sands. Jonas glanced over at his older cousin as he placed his thumbs on two white buttons along the outside of the steering wheel.

"Jonas... please don?t," Carlen begged, knowing what was next.

Jonas leaned back and pushed down on the buttons. The craft zipped at six times the speed. "Hey, Carlen. Look." Jonas pointed to a bunch of large rocks sprouting from the ground.

"You didn?t tell me you were taking my momís craft through Stone Maze." Carlen buried his face in his hands.

Jonas laughed as he brought the craft into the cluster of rocks. The domestic craft was being tested fully. Jonas entered the maze, where they were greeted with two large stones directly in front of them. Carlen peeked at that moment and let out a scream. He ducked his head between his shaky knees. Jonas calmly veered the vehicle off to the right, swinging the craft through random arrangements of stones.

"Are you stupid?" Carlenís voice bellowed from under his legs.

Jonas quickly turned the vehicle, barely missing a jagged rock which diagonally shot out of the ground. In his haste, another stone swiped the side of the craft, taking off a rear piece of nicely painted steel. The high of seeing his older cousin squirm quickly vanished.

Carlenís head popped up suddenly. "Moons! My mother is going to kill you--and me." He quickly buried his face back into his lap.

Jonas could not say a word. He knew he?d messed up big. One more pass remained. The opening was straight ahead. Jonas knew the upcoming obstacle because he had taken it before--twice. Unfortunately, he?d wasted two crafts in the process. "Hold on."

The vehicle weaved and dodged in between each stone. The vehicle was exhausting its limits. Before them sat three stones. There was barely enough room for a small-sized craft to squeak past them. Jonas was driving a domestic vehicle, which was a bit larger. With one hand, he clicked on his safety strap. The other he kept firmly on the steering handle. Jonas hugged the door of the craft and went up against the slanted stone walls. The entire vehicle tilted to the side. Jonas zipped through the mazeís exit without distraction. The vehicle tipped back into the horizontal position, pouncing the dirt below.

Carlen poked his head up quickly. "Stop. Stop now!"

Jonas released his grip on the handle as the craft slowed down.

"You are a real jerk. Do you know that? A freaking jerk!" Carlen wanted to punch Jonas directly in his pretty-boy face.

The vehicle slowed to a halt. Jonas hopped out of the driverís seat just before it stopped to keep from being hit by his cousinís angry fist. He hit the ground and rolled around in the dirt, jumping gracefully to his feet. "As I promised... you can take it the rest of the way."

Carlen stared at his cousin. "You may be better with a blaster or better driving a craft, but you are not stronger. You are not as smart as me."

Jonas stepped back. He had pushed Carlen to his limit. "Calm down. I am only fooling around. I didn?t mean to--"

"Mean to what?" Carlen jumped out of the craft. He started walking closer to his younger cousin. "Mean to ever take anything seriously? You will never make it in the Academy. Never." Carlen clenched a fist.

"Come on. You don?t want to do that. Remember last time?" Jonas could not forget the last time. Carlen had knocked out two of his teeth. Jonas always tried to push Carlenís buttons, then regretted it when he pushed too far. They were both only children. They?d grown up closer than most brothers.

"I remember very well. Look what you did to my motherís craft!" Carlen briefly broke his focus on Jonas to show him the damage. "You expect me to take the fall for you? No way." Carlen opened up his fist. "I am not going to hit you, cousin. However, you will drive the vehicle home."

"I can?t... my father..."

"You will and you have to. See, if you don?t, I?ll be forced to remove one tooth from your mouth for every dent thatís in that craft."

Jonas noticed the vehicle had more dents than he had teeth. He put his hand over his mouth. "Fine."

He reluctantly hopped into the craft again. Carlen sat next to him.