Today I am so pleased to welcome E. Robert Dunn to Joyfully Jay. E. Robert has come to talk to us about his latest release, Last Generation. Please join me in giving him a big welcome!
“Commander,” came the urging whisper of the escorting yeoman. The male stood expectantly in the opened hatchway into Mission Operations.
Perezsire had been taking a momentary flight-of-fancy on a virtual tour of the majestic conglomerate in his mind. The tactful reminder from the patient yeoman was enough to snap him out of his reverie and quicken his gait into the active situation conference room, leaving the yeoman to his other duties. It was a familiar scene to Perezsire.
There was a command console, supporting desks round the perimeter in a horseshoe. Beyond the conference spread there was another larger central command area, seen through a panoramic window where several technicians were moving about on routine chores.
The Mission Ops chamber was alive with electronic equipment and monitoring devices reaching toward the curved ceiling. As everywhere, Spacecorps personnel filled the room. It was full of controllers, troopers, maintenance personnel – along with syntheform androids of varying models and sizes, all of whom were diligently involved in preparing for the launch of the AST Saarien.
The officers Perezsire had to see busily engaged around a great circular console centered in the horseshoe desk configuration, their attentions riveted to a hologram flashing brilliantly colored readouts. A holographic representation of the federated worlds that comprised The System was up for review.
Centered in the light display were the Core Worlds, inner planets of The System. These planets where the first to form the United Allied Democracy of Planetary Governments, their populations had reached out into the void to neighboring outer worlds to form the collection of sentient species that founded The System.
The planets Carthagia, Thessaly, Demetria, Osprey, Thebes, Thrace, Asenath, Potiphar, Heliopolis, Trano, Yama, Ettarre, Aidennia, Sheey, Calliope, Doria, Mantilles III, Januria, and Venita comprised the Core Worlds. This cluster of planetary suns consisted of stars set less than a light-cycle a part. Held so close together by their gravitational affinity, that the area of Space they occupied constantly bathed in a lovely yellow light.
Ondon Yisire, wearing the uniform of a Spacecorps general, straightened his tall frame as he noticed Perezsire’s entrance.
“Officers,” he called out, getting the room’s top officials to quiet down and focus in his direction. “We’re at Tee-minus zero two nodes and six. This briefing is the finality to a mission that has taken cycles in the making.”
Touching an icon on the main console caused its projector to change its image. A new planetary representation coalesced into the making as Ondon commented, “By now all of you are familiar with the object of this mission: planet Mira Four.” A few more touches and the hologram of the rotating orb zoomed in to show its topography close-up. “And, Site One.”
Perezsire edged closer to the ring of admirals, generals, and fellow mission commanders. This was all rote for him by now, but he understood the significance. It would be some time before he acknowledged orders from Headquarters.
The general was going on, saying, “…each Portable Off/On-world Domicile or POD will disembark from Aidennia-System Transport Saarien out-solar group half a light-cycle and make their way in-solar group at sublight speed for touchdown at Site One approximately five nodes post-reanimation.”
The hologram conjured up three-dimensional miniatures of four saucer-shaped crafts playing out General Ondon’s narrative. It was an old story for the assembled.
“All the alternatives for the establishment of Site One have been studied, all the resources evaluated, all the hazards taken into account; moreover, the settlement plan itself has been carefully mapped out so that the site along with link-up with AST Saarien fit into the final pattern, whose purpose is to outline the landing path to Site One.”
A few more touches from Ondon and the holographic presentation converged into a sea-level view of Mira IV. The general went on, “Site One will then serve as a landing beacon for future settlements. As you know once Site One is successfully established, it is hoped to have at least ten thousand new colonists transported each cycle. Architectural plans for urban expansion and celestial map as well as astronomical alignments of the secondary sites are all pre-programmed into both Saarien and Pods.”
The topographical image shimmered and then became that of the crested javelin-shaped probeship parked amongst a myriad of celestial gems. The Miran solar group took up a position in the distance, providing a realistic backdrop.
“AST Saarien will stay stationed out-group for the duration of the terra-forming mission along with future transporter carrier convoys, acting as in-group support and HQ relay to the colonist,” Ondon said. He then turned to the line of mission commanders. “The thoughts and wishes of all Systemites go with you and yours. Oversoul speed to Mira.”
There was a brief moment where each officer clasped forearms with another, and then the ever-present Orbiter 1controller announced tirelessly, “Tee-minus two nodes and six, and counting. All teams to Prepping Facilities.”
The year is 6752, A.T. and Earth is but a memory to its space faring descendents. The urbane beings of The System embark on a test-colonization mission to a far off solar group called Mira. The AST [Aidennia-System Transport] Saarien’s flight path is ended abruptly and the colonizing supership explodes under a hail from Tauron Starhounds; a century of peace with the Tauron Empire is fractured. Six Aidennian survivors jettison in a terra-forming conestoga Pioneer Pod.
Now, a young male echelon couple and their fellow crewmembers must deal with a reality in which their peaceful existence is shattered by war and prejudice. The only solace appears in the form of an unknown, arid planet in a ternary star group.
Upon the Pioneer Pod Four’s descent into the planet’s atmosphere, a defense planetary shield is activated and causes the Pod 4 to crash land in an ancient, dried-up seabed. This sets the Aidennians on a jarring adventure where survival is a game of chance with the life forces of the Universe.
Warnings: There are adult (sexual) references and interaction in several of the books.
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Born in the Midwest, raised in the Northeast, E. Robert Dunn began writing at the age of 14 and continued through his higher education in the Southeast where he currently resides. In addition to penning the science fiction series “Echelon’s End”, E. Robert has also written two off-Broadway plays, “LipSync” and “A Dragged Out Haunting”, and solo-penned the short-play entitled “VOiCES”. Additional works include, “The World We Live In”, The Life Of Another”, and “Are You Happy?”.
Robert was a contributing writer to the online STAR TREK: Odyssey’s Season One Finale webisode [featured in STARLOG Magazine, January 2008, “Beyond Hidden Frontiers”, p.89]. E. Robert has become a regular at SuperCon events on panels and participating in book signings/readings.
Besides being a produced playwright and published author, E. Robert has had articles printed in local newspapers as well as medical newsletters. He has also graced many a stage by his given name: Eston Dunn. He is the founder of the nonprofit organization artsUnited, Inc. A recent project is founding another non-profit online webcasting charity to educate while entertain through programs that unite those that are separated by the walls of stereotyping, prejudice, and bigotry (www.watchoutweb.org).
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