Thanks for having me today, Michelle! I’m here today to talk about my new release, The Cassini Mission.
This is the second book in the Galactic Conspiracies series, following The Degan Incident. Not strictly a sequel, the book builds upon the plot of the first book. Featuring a new set of characters, it dives deeper into what those nasty researchers were trying to do in the first book.
Readers of The Degan Incident may remember Dr. Aron Adler, the biologist that clinic doctor Flynn calls for his expert opinion on Devin’s little “problem.” This book is told from Aron’s perspective, just as he is ordered to take part in a rescue mission on a distant research outpost.
To celebrate the release, I am giving away a copy of The Cassini Mission to one of the commenters. Just leave a comment on this post with your email address. The contest ends on Tuesday at 11:59 midnight EST. The winner will be notified by email address.
In the meantime, please enjoy this excerpt from the first chapter of The Cassini Mission.
The adventure continues in this action-packed follow up to The Degan Incident!
Dr. Aron Adler is ordered to take part in a rescue mission to a research colony located on an uninhabited planet in the outer rim. He is to immediately report to the U.S.C. Cassini, which will take Aron, two other scientists, and a unit of Union Marines to the colony. Once there, they are to assess the situation and retrieve any data or specimens.
Formerly a scientist in the Union Navy, Aron was dishonorably discharged following a court-martial for failing to obey orders. Stepping foot on the Cassini brings up old feelings he would rather forget. Shunned by the crew of the Cassini, Aron finds comfort in the arms—and bed—of Marine corporal Kane Robertson.
Upon reaching the colony, it becomes apparent that not everything is as it seems. Once again, Aron is faced with a difficult decision: follow orders or follow his heart.
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Doctor Aron Adler; access granted.
At the computer’s pleasant announcement, the security lock disengaged and the door opened with a swoosh.
Not looking up from my comPad, I made my way to my lab’s main workstation. Once seated, I transferred control from the pad to my workstation and activated the scanner. I had just gotten the electron scanner calibrated and it was now streaming bio-chemical data to the large computer screens mounted on my lab wall.
“Yes,” I said in triumph as I skimmed over the new data. Everything looked to be in order.
With my eyes locked onto my screens, I called out to our lab’s resident research assistant. “Thomas, please start a DNA profile analysis on the specimen that’s being scanned.”
When I didn’t get a response, I lifted my head up and swiveled my stool around, annoyed that he wasn’t answering me. “Thomas—”
Thomas wasn’t sitting at his station. I scratched my head, thinking back to when I walked into the room. Was Thomas even in his seat when I arrived? He must have gone to the break room. He was never without a doughnut it seemed. I shrugged and turned back to my work. I was better off without him anyway.
A flashing icon on my screen caught my eye. I tapped the icon to bring up my comm panel. Apparently, I had missed a call from Devin Drago. Not expecting to hear from the young man, I was pleasantly surprised.
I had come across his case when an old friend contacted me with bioscans of a pregnant human male. I had heard of spontaneous womb generation in other species, but had never come across a human male with the condition, so of course I was fascinated. When Devin said the Degan male who impregnated him claimed to be his true bondmate and had gone missing, I had used my connections with a colleague who worked for the Degan Science Institute to inquire about the missing bondmate.
It was through my colleague that they tracked down the Degan’s father. Imagine my horror when I found out that Devin had been taken prisoner by a rogue group of scientists. Thankfully he was rescued by the Degans and the couple was reunited. Last I heard, he was living happily on Dega with his bondmate.
Pressing play on the message, I was greeted by a smiling Devin. He held a squirming toddler on his lap. The boy’s half-Human/half-Degan heritage was apparent in his ears and eyes, not to mention the horn nubs on the top of his head.
“Hi, Doctor Adler. It’s me, Devin Drago. I bet you didn’t expect to hear from me, but I wanted to again thank you for your help. This our son, Callan. We wouldn’t be here without you. And well…” With a grunt, Devin pushed up from his chair and stood slightly, revealing the swell of his belly. A very pregnant belly. “Surprise. Well, I’d better go before Bastian drags me back to bed. I’m supposed to be resting. Say ‘bye’ to the doc, sweetie.”
Devin and his son waved to the screen as the message ended. I returned to my work with a smile on my face.
I wasn’t sure how long I had been caught up in my work when the door opened unexpectedly.
“Doctor Adler,” Thomas panted.
I looked up from my computer screen and frowned at the research assistant for interrupting me. The portly man leaned against the door frame, his hand clutching his chest as he tried to pull in lungfuls of air.
I reached over and tapped the computer controls to begin the chemical analysis process. “Thomas. You really are in bad shape. All that crap you eat. You should come running with me sometime. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m in the middle of something.” I tapped again to queue up the DNA profile process.
He shook his head forcefully while waving his hand back and forth in front of him. He managed to sputter between breaths, “No. Navy. Here.”
Well, that certainly got my attention. The Navy was here? Was that what he was trying to tell me?
A barrage of unpleasant memories flooded my mind. Feeling sick to my stomach, I felt an overwhelming need to get the hell out of here. As I stood up from my stool, two men dressed in standard Union Navy security uniforms pushed into my lab, practically knocking Thomas down in the process.
My eyes darted around the room, looking for a quick exit.
“Doctor Aron Adler?” the officer intoned. “Your presence is required at Union Military Headquarters.” His hand not-so-subtly moved on top of the phase pistol holstered to his belt. “Immediately.”