Motto of the Ounta-Kadiis League

Star Lawyers

“Let justice prevail, and the divine plan forever endure.” Motto of the Ounta-Kadiis League, 18K light years from the galactic core

The Ounta-Kadiis call themselves Firstborn Children of the Universe. Until 3099 T.C.E., five years before the Star Lawyers series begins, the O-Ks thought they were the only intelligent life in the Universe. For a look at this “new” species, here is a slice from The Stellar Light Conspiracy. The Henry crew (those not already at the OK League with Tyler’s brother J.B.) has assembled at the M-double-I underground habitat north of Tucson. Noah Matthews moved Corp HQ to this secondary site after Hideki Tsuchiya attacked and destroyed most of downtown Kansas City.

First Lieutenant Oliver Brisbane-Smith, an Australian officer with the Terran Commonwealth’s Deep Space Rangers, is speaking.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is Ryde-Harkos, homeworld of an ancient spacefaring civilization, today known as the Ounta-Kadiis League. Ryde-Harkos lies Coreward along the Norma arm, eighteen thousand light years from the center of the Milky Way.

“These blokes have been knocking around awhile. The Okie-Dokes were among the eleven founding star nations of the old Galactic Empire. FTL capability on their planet goes back 400,000 years. That is twice as long as H-sapiens has existed, mates.

“Fast forward about 300-K years. The O-K culture is no longer okay. Their society begins to collapse. Maybe because of war, political intrigues, economic dysfunction. Nobody knows. Took a long time, but they crashed hard. First they lost Faster Than Light, then all spaceflight, then aerial travel. A global, agrarian culture struggled to feed itself. They went back to fossil fuels and poisoned their planet to the brink of extinction.

“The Ounta-Kadiis rebooted slowly. Rediscovered FTL about two thousand years ago. Expanded into the stars again. But no ancient star charts or records of alien civilizations survived, so the buggers thought they were alone.”

“So did humans before Aurelio Lupetti and the Victoria,” Noah added.

“Yes, sir,” the lieutenant said. “Like Polynesians paddling out to sea from an atoll in Oceania, the Okey-Dokes sailed into the Never-Never. Started new colonies on uninhabited Terra-class worlds, explored thousands of systems, had a rip-snorter of a walkabout in unclaimed space. With a hundred billion stars near the GC, they didn’t cross paths with another spacefaring society until three years ago. Fortunately, pink penguin tradies were carrying on a brisk biz in the—”

“Excuse me?” Tyler said.

Suzie translated. “Traders from the Carrooban Flock, luv. Working their business routes.”

“I’ll be stuffed!” Lt. Smith laughed. “A pommie who speaks ‘Stralian?”

“Fair dinkum, mate,” she replied.

“Oh, God.” Tyler closed his eyes.

Oliver Brisbane-Smith continued. “Anyway, when the Commonwealth heard about this unknown humanoid race, we sent First Contact teams and began negotiations for cultural, scientific, economic and political cooperation. The Ounta-Kadiis have claimed over a thousand star systems in their immediate neighborhood, within two thousand light years of the homeworld. Plenty of worlds to colonize.

“And the bloody ‘roids! The Okey-Doke fossickers have found—uh, sorry. Fossicker means prospector in Terran Standard. So, their mining ships and exploration drones have tagged at least ten-K ‘roid fields. Chockers with rare ores.”

“Lieutenant, what is the latest threat assessment for the OK League?” Noah said.

Brisbane-Smith shook his head. “No naval forces. No technology to weaponize starships. Not even forcefields. Blooming joey in the pouch.”

“Again like Lupetti,” Noah said.

Susie said, “When you’re the lone dingo prowling a sterile outback, I fancy you don’t worry about predators.”

The motto of the Ounta-Kadiis League is, “Let justice prevail, and the divine plan forever endure.” A cryptic, Orwellian meaning hides within this simple declaration.

The “Firstborn Children” have endured isolation long enough to develop a quirky caste system where everyone knows their place. And beneath all the Naturals who are born, a vast clone substructure supports the humanoid public with specialized professions, menial labor, and domestic servitude.

There is a desperate need for these clones, without whom the whole species would cease to exist in a few generation. For some reason O-K science is yet to detect, only one in ten thousand Ounta-Kadiis are born female. The condition developed thousands of years ago, driving O-K medical science into a frenzy of experimental programs to overcome the deficiency, none of which worked.

Finally, organic chemistry developed a solution, clone females. They had all the features of humanoid existence and could be programmed with skill sets and physical traits as needed by each generation. They were sexually compatible with Naturals and became mated for life with millions of males who had not attracted a rare Natural female spouse. Clone women could bear implanted embryos to term, nurse and raise them the same as Natural women. The only difference was the clone inability to conceive.

As the centuries passed, the Ounta-Kadiis social system developed into a caste system, and clones also had ascending value assigned to them, one through eight. All unmated clone women were required by law to provide sexual services to any Natural male who requested them. Some higher level clones—six thru eighth castes—were reserved for upper tier Natural males.

There were a few male clones produced to perform duties requiring more physical strength and stamina, and although those models were not eunuchs they were strictly forbidden from engaging sexually with Natural or clone females.

Clones were “born” full-grown with an expiration date the equivalent of forty Terran years. At that time, their neck tattoos changed color from dark blue to red, and they were expected to report to the Recycling Plants where they were executed. Their bodies were processed as food supplements to enrich the protein diet of Naturals.

The only exception to this scheme were the members of the College of Jaleema Virgins, clones presided over by an almost immortal High Priestess. The current High Priestess Kalei Kyte-Dezion is eight centuries old and looks like a woman in her early thirties.

And then there is the Stellar Light trade… But let’s save something for the novel.

Watch for Star Lawyers Book 5 – The Stellar Light Conspiracy this summer.

And don’t forget the Star Lawyers series is now available on Audiobooks. Star Lawyers 1 – Jump Gate Omega is already on the market. Star Lawyers 2 – Forbidden Sanctuary is scheduled for release in the next few weeks.

Tom Shepherd

Tucson, AZ

STRENGTH – RECIPROCITY – RETALIATION : Motto of the Parvian Republic

STRENGTH - RECIPROCITY - RETALIATION

STRENGTH, RECIPROCITY, RETALIATION : Motto of the Parvian Republic

The Parvian Republic – Origins 

The Parvian Republic was a predatory star nation until eight centuries ago, when they entered a consolidation phase after conquering and annexing all their neighbors. The Republic commands a large colonial and commercial domain from their homeworld in the Luyaden system of the Orion Ring, sixteen thousand light years Spinward of the Terran Commonwealth. Parvians have colonial worlds scattered throughout the galaxy, to include a lengthy frontier with the Quirt-Thyme Empire.

First and foremost a race of explorers, the Parvians began their forays into uncharted space thousands of years before humans walked on the moon.

At first, Parvians approached newly discovered sentient beings like Cortez blundering into the unknown Aztec civilization. Parvia was a military society, ruled by a coalition of religious potentates and warlords, so they viewed new races through the haughty lens of Conquerors.

“Dominate or Be Dominated” was the Parvian rubric for expansion. And there was a darker side to their explorations. 

The Parvian Republic – Expansion and Genocide

When a First Contact species was sufficiently different from humanoid physiology—an insectoid, reptoid, or totally unexpected expression of intelligent life—Parvians destroyed the locals in sweeping extermination of inferior life forms.

The process of Parvian expansion and genocide continued unabated for three millennia. Several other star nations have done the same, notably the Lutzak Horde. Predictably, such brutal policies did not endear them to wholly alien species. Terran deep space explorer, Aurelio Lupetti, discovered this longstanding distaste for humanoids when the first alien ship he encountered opened fire without fanfare or warning. 

The Parvian Republic – Pragmatic Voice of the First Jool-Gheri

Eight hundred years before the events of the Star Lawyers series, a great reformer arose on Parvia Prime, daughter of the Presiding officer in the Chamber of Lords. Her name was Jool-Gheri, a golden-haired beauty who blazed like a comet among the religio-political stars of her day. She challenged the old, unquestioned “Dominate or Be Dominated” mantra with a new vision of life in a multi-species Cosmos. Her message centered around the ancient Parvian tribal virtue of reciprocity, which she interpreted as respect for the diverse forms of intelligent life created by the Universe.

But the first Jool-Gheri was still Parvian, daughter of a thousand generations of warrior people. So her formula included a pragmatic twist: Strength, Reciprocity, Retaliation. Sail the stars in strength. Greet others with friendliness and peace, expecting they will treat you the same. Utterly destroy anyone who does not.

The Parvian Republic – Evolutionary Biology and Ziegler’s Theory

A textbook case for Wolfgang Zeigler’s Theory of Humanoid Efficiency, Parvians are almost identical to Homo sapiens, although the two races evolved on thousands of light years apart and share no common DNA markers. They have a more robust circulatory system and a liver which is immune to abuse by human standards. Parvians are physically stronger than Terrans due to slightly higher gravity on their homeworld, but their senses of smell and distance vision are not as sharp. And they live about twice as long as humans on average. Remarkably, Terrans and Parvians are sexually compatible and with a nudge from modern science the two species can interbreed.

The Parvian Republic – Religion

Parvians tolerate all religions which do not preach violence against the innocent, but thousands of root religions have merged into two basic faith groups, perhaps influenced by contact with alien ideologies over the long centuries of starflight. Exo-anthropologists, like Rosalie Matthews, classify these as Polytheistic Monism and Nontheistic Nature Worship, with dozens of faith groups under the catchall categories.

The Polytheistic Monists worship dizzying array of gods and goddesses but believe all of these are actually expressions of the One Divine Present and Power which causes the Universe to exist. Nontheistic Nature Worshippers, their opposites on the faith spectrum, hold that nothing divine or supernatural exists. They meditate and pray to the Universe itself, glorying in its infinite expressions and accepting pain and ecstasy as by-products of existence.

Most citizens of the Republic are nominally members of a faith tradition which aligns with one of the above categories, but beyond household rituals and public observances such as holidays, the populace seems content to live a secular life however it unfolds.

The Parvian Republic – Society

Parvians are omnivores and lovers of good food and drink. They laugh heartily and have no discernible inhibitions about sexuality. Over eighty percent of the population is bisexual. They are polyamorous with nothing comparable to formal marriage but often pair up for life, albeit without exclusivity or apparent issues with jealousy.

Most are blonde, blue-eyed, and fair skinned, but a sizeable minority evolved in equatorial regions and developed darker hair and complexion. Genetics favor neither, so dark Parvians mating with lighter partners pass along all the genetic markers for both geographical variations.

The Parvian Republic – Military Forces

They maintain one of the most powerful navies in space with a substantial ground forces to seize and hold anyone foolish enough to attack them. As Noah Matthews says in Book 5 – The Stellar Light Conspiracy, “Parves don’t start fights, they end them.”

The Parvian Republic – In Star Lawyers

Readers of the Star Lawyers series will encounter the Parvians firsthand starting with Book 4 – House of the Silent Moons, where a descendent of the original Jool-Gheri crashes into Tsuchiya Galactic’s plot to dominate the spacefaring humanoid races of the 32nd century and comes to the aid of Tyler Matthews during the trial Flávio Tavares at the Pirate world Libertalia.

Meanwhile, warn all your ships sailing the lanes of galactic commerce: “Don’t F— with the Parves.”

Tom Shepherd

Tucson, AZ

Notes from Dr. Tom’s Desk: Star Lawyers Series Aliens

Star Lawyers

Sampler Weekly Feature #1

Progress Report on Book 5 – The Stellar Light Conspiracy: Book 5/TSLC is the most far-ranging, exciting Star Lawyers adventure yet. Four simultaneous jury trials in the midst of a Galaxy-wide conflict. I thought a good use of this Blog space would be to provide deep background on characters, races, deities, and cultures featured in the Star Lawyers series, notably in Book 5.

So, let’s set the scene before the feast begins. We start with order of battle information, intel reports on the combatants.

Hideki Tsuchiya of the breakaway Terran colony at New Osaka has provoked a war for dominance among starfaring powers of known space. The conflict pits a coalition of the Terran Commonwealth, the fearsome Parvian Republic, the blue/purple Quirt-Thymean Empire, and the humanoid red reptoids of the Tarkian Domain; against Tsuchiya’s self-declared New Galactic Empire and its axis of predatory star nations, including: the mudball Rek Kett, plus humanoids of the Zone of Wilmoth, Nosrika Domain, Lutzak Horde, and Zamkalon Purview.

Now, if you’re a normal reader, you probably zipped over that list with a combination of thoughts beginning with WTF and ending with WHO’ZAT? Rather than spread a thin layer of info about all combatants in one blog, we’ll look at one or two per installment. This information is scattered through the Star Lawyers books, including un-named volumes still on the drawing board in my head.

So, all you Blog-buddies get a special preview into the author’s works-in-progress. We begin with a member of Tsuchiya’s NGE Axis:

The Nosrika Domain

The Nosrika Domain consists of fifteen member worlds along the Orion Arm of the galaxy. Originally settled by explorers from the planet Nosrika, the Rimward edge of Domain Space now borders a group of worlds claimed by the far-flung Meklavite Union, a formidable foe the Nosrikans have avoided antagonizing.

Nosrikans are warm-blooded humanoids with tan facial skin and reddish fuzz on their arms, neck, back, and legs. They are sexually compatible with humans but not reproductively so. That suits them fine, since Nosrikans don’t intermarry with other species.

Their society centers around hunting wild prey, which has been the center of religious practice since prehistory. To maintain this link, Nosrikan metropolitan areas provide large tracts of forest and streams, and citizens sign up to hunt the required game animals once a Nosrikan year, about 620.5 days by the Terran calendar. They hunt in packs on foot with primitive weapons.

Tyler Matthews once noted that the Nosrikan game-killing spree reminded him of the Suryadivan Hunt which took the marsupial-amphibians to Adao-2 for a similar religious blood-ritual of carnivore behavior.

Nosrikan social order is based on an expanded tribal culture, similar to ancient Rome. At the lowest level are slaves, followed by freedmen (former slaves, manumitted), Pack Members (lower classes), Betas and Alphas (lower and higher forms of the aristocracy), and the First Citizens (ruling elite). All positions in the government are democratically elected, including the First Citizens, from the pool of eligible candidates due to birth, wealth, and legal status. Everyone but slaves can vote.

All citizens are eligible for election to the Grand Assembly and Regional Assemblies. At the very top of the Nosrikan pyramid is the High Leader, who appoints his ministers and staff from the classes above Pack Members. A First Citizen convicted of criminal activity would not be eligible for High Leader or participation in the Assemblies.

Religion in the Domain is considered a personal choice—as Terrans say, “Atheism to Zen”—and all forms of worship or non-participation are tolerated. The choice of most Nosrikans continues to be a modernized form of polytheism with an array of gods and goddesses related to all aspects of life. Like most modern polytheists, Nosrikans consider all these deities as expressions of One Divine Presence and Power undergirding all reality.

The Nosrikan attitude to outsiders and inferiors is far less enlightened. They buy and sell slaves at ongoing auctions in the city squares and consider this to be normative. They also consider any new planet up for grabs, even when inhabited by sentient beings. They have a medium-sized navy consisting of frigates, light and heavy cruisers plus mining and transport vessels.

Terrans call them an “opportunity expansionist power,” a star nation with expansionist goals that doesn’t tackle opponents with significant forces of their own. This bias was reinforced three centuries ago when the Domain attempted to seize lightly defended Quirt-Thymean colony worlds along their Spinward border and received a bad whipping from the Blue Navy. Malice toward the evil Quirt-Thymeans lingers to this day in Nosrikan lore.

In Book 5 – The Stellar Light Conspiracy the Nosrikans have an opportunity to pay back the Blue people for that humiliating defeat centuries ago. (Sorry. You’ll have to wait to see what happens.)

Next edition, the Blog will look a the “fearsome Parvian Republic” which is fortunately an ally of the Terran Commonwealth. In fact, one task assigned to Noah Matthews it to keep his Parvian friends from acting like they usually do, i.e., smash and destroy every adversary until their homeworlds are lifeless cinders. As Noah warns World Chief Executive Roland Rooney, “A tiger in your camp is a tiger nonetheless.”

Keep your datacoms open for incoming transmissions.

Tom Shepherd

Tucson, AZ

The Stellar Light Conspiracy – Sneak Peek

Star Lawyers

Notes from Dr. Tom’s Desk:

Blog Readers Special

Sneak Peek at Star Lawyers Book 5

The Stellar Light Conspiracy – Star Lawyers Book 5

(Work-in-Progress)

When the lift reached Jaco’s floor, Rosalie and Inspector Platte drew their weapons. Flames licked the wall and the unmistakable spray of burned blood caked the flameless sections. Two Ounta-Kadiis men and a woman, badly burned and motionless, lay in red smears on the floor. They had the typical OK ruddy complexions with dark blue locks. The woman clutched a scorched handbag to her breast.

Demarcus checked for a pulse while Rosalie guarded the crime scene. “Dead, all three. Thermal blaster.”

“No clean shots,” Rosalie said. “Fire holes in the wall. Repeatedly missed at close range. The killer is an amateur.”

“This just happened,” Demarcus said. “The perp’s nearby.”

“Which flat belongs to Jaco?” Her eyes darted both ways.

“I can’t read the characters.” He held up his datacom and Rosalie nodded.

“This way.” She sidestepped the bodies and flew down the corridor to the right.

The door was ajar, which saved Demarcus the trouble of kicking it down. Rosalie broke left, weapon in each hand, while Platte went opposite. She saw the assassin first. Tall and slim with dark red hair, about thirty years old, he stood over Jaco’s burned, bloody body.

Multiple thermal rounds had torn through the young Flight Controller’s chest and impacted the wall. Small fires still burned, but Jaco was not breathing. The thermal blaster in the killer’s hand was Terran made. Even across the room, Rosalie could see it indicated live charge at kill setting, recently fired.

“Police—drop the weapon!” Demarcus ordered through his datacom translator.

When the armed man turned to them without lowering his blaster, Rosalie did not issue a second warning. She put four kinetic rounds through his chest and a fifth between the eyes. Red mist sprayed the furniture and work station behind him and the assassin fell, the back of his head gone, replaced by destroyed skull pieces and bloody gray matter.

“You had the right to remain silent, mother-fucker,” Demarcus said to the corpse.

Rosalie pocketed her weapons and knelt beside Jaco. She had known the young man only a few hours, but they shared breathless kisses, a spontaneous experiment in First Contact between Terran exo-anthropologist and Ounta-Kadiis Flight Controller.

She wanted this nightmare to end, to hit undo, delete, restart.

Rosalie put a hand on his chest, bent to kiss dead lips. Like Juliet beside her poisoned Romeo, they were still warm.

“Jaco… I should have gone home with you.” She started to cry.

 “Miss Matthews, this wasn’t your fault.”

“I broke the JPT Code,” she sobbed. “Killed that asshole with a vengeful heart.”

“Which he richly deserved,” Platte said. “It was a good shoot.”

The door filled with females in body armor, all carrying heavy blasters. Watcher-women, Law Enforcement clones with life-and-death authority at crime scenes. Demarcus raised empty hands.

“Miss Matthews, I need your language skills in Jekka-D.”

Rosalie showed her hands and stepped beside him.

“Do not move again,” the leader said. “I am Watcher-woman 3-C.16 Tofera-Leigyu.”

She was tall, with dark red hair streaked in gold, and had a wide, mature face. Rosalie estimated late-forties by human standards. Her neck showed the same vertical train of dominoes tattoo that designated all clone women.

Tofera-Leigyu ordered her officers to extinguish the tiny fires. With flames quenched, the Watcher-woman demanded identification.

“We are officers of the Terran Commonwealth,” Rosalie said in Jekka-Duoonka.

“State your rank and caste level.”

“Terrans have no formal caste system. I am Rosalie Matthews, Commonwealth First Contact Delegate. This is Inspector Demarcus Platte, Star Lawyers Chief of Security.”

“What happened here, Delegate Rosalie-Matthews?”

“The victim is a friend. His Ounta-Kadiis name is Eighty-seven-zero-six, to the fourth power,but he asked me to call him… Jaco.” She took a breath, fighting tears.

Tofera-Leigyu glanced at Rosalie’s bare neck. “Are you his Natural?”

“No, Honored Watcher-woman. We were not intimates.”

“Your name is Matthews?”

“Yes.”

One of her deputies muttered a phrase in a language Rosalie had never heard. It was bound to happen. Every spacefaring star nation spoke an assortment of local languages. Watcher-Woman Tofera-Leigyu returned to Jekka-Duoonka.

“Are you the offspring of Charles Francis Matthews?”

Rosalie and Demarcus exchanged stunned looks. Uncle Charlie?

“No, Honored Watcher-woman. He is my father’s brother.”

Another officer called to the leader, this time in Jekka-D, but they spoke so quickly Rosalie could not follow the conversation.

“What happened to Controller Jaco?” Tofera-Leigyu asked.

Rosalie pointed to the killer’s corpse. “That man shot him. He probably dropped three bodies in the corridor before… before Jaco.”

“This man—the one you say killed all these people—how did he die?”

“He was standing over Jaco with a thermal blaster in hand,” Rosalie said. “Inspector Platte ordered him to drop the weapon, but he turned toward us without compliance. Seeing the threat, I shot him.”

“Five times?”

“Yes, honored Watcher-woman. He had just murdered three citizens and my friend.”

Demarcus spoke through his datacom. “The perpetrator posed an imminent threat to the life of Miss Matthews. He would have killed us both.”

The Watcher-woman spoke slowly, distinctly, as though aware of the translation device in play. “For what motive?”

“Likely he wanted no witnesses, ma’am.”

Tofera addressed Rosalie. “Do you know the identity of the man you killed?”

“No, ma’am.”

“Ninety-one-four-seven, to the third power, called ‘Professor Law’ by his students. He is a retired Master Criminologist of the Leptak Regional Authority. Many Watcher-women were trained by him, including myself.”

Demarcus was incredulous. “He’s LEO?”

Rosalie said, “Forgive me, Watcher-woman, but how could this man have trained you? Do Ounta-Kadiis men stay young forever? Among Terrans he would be far too young for a retired senior citizen.”

Tofera-Leigyu squatted by the bloody corpse. Two officers joined her and they rattled in Jekka-Duoonka, again too fast for Rosalie to follow. One of them waved a datacom over the body, the other held her own device steady, as if recording the image.

Watcher-woman Tofera-Leigyu stood. “Your observation is accurate. The victim appears now as a younger male. Nevertheless, it is Professor Law. I recognize the face, and my colleague ran a DNA scan to confirm his identity.”

“Ma’am, I am not a good linguist, like Miss Matthews,” Demarcus said through the translation app. “But if this guy was a cop, he was dirty.”

Tofera-Leigyu squared her shoulders. “I must ask again, Delegate Rosalie Matthews. Did you kill him?”

“Yes,” Rosalie said. “In self-defense.”

“Did you kill Jaco?”

“No.”

“Did you kill three citizens in the corridor?”

“No.”

“You are apprehended for multiple homicides. Your accomplice is also apprehended.”

“Do I have the right to call an attorney?”

“You do not.”

Rosalie’s eyes flashed to blue steel, like her father. “How can you arrest us when—?”

“We surrender,” Demarcus raised his hands. “Miss Matthews?”

The JPT dispatcher grit her teeth and raised empty hands, too.

*   *   *   *   *   *

Stay tuned…Launch date for The Stellar Light Conspiracy tentatively set for June 2019.

Tom Shepherd

Tucson, AZ

Aliens Make Nice Bedfellows… well, some of them.

Alien Diversity

Note about Alien Diversity from Dr. Tom’s Desk*

Reviewers and informal correspondents often remark about the array of alien races, planets, cultures and religions encountered in the main Star Lawyers series and its prequel spinoff, Star Lawyers Origins. Readers often comment positively on the multi-cultural spacefaring society I envision for the 32nd century. The complexity is usually well received, but one wag lodged an exasperated complaint that there was too much diversity!

Hello? A future where vast numbers of Earth’s people originate from non-European ancestry is not only likely, it’s already here. Currently, 75% of the human race lives on two continents: Asia (60%) and Africa (15%).

But let’s tie Donald Trump’s knickers in a knot and think about the untold trillions of undocumented aliens who live somewhere, out there.

I have had fun creating an even more complex picture of humanoid and non-humanoid star nations, species, races. (Using the word species and race interchangeably, rather than the limited and basically useless designation of “race” among our one-species human culture.) Here are some of the major players in 32nd century galactic civilization.

NON-HUMANOIDS (Excerpt from Jump Gate Omega):

“The majority of alien lifeforms differ wildly from the children of Earth. Insectoid Yegosians and reptilian Saurians. Sentient creatures with hard shells and multiple limbs but no head. Others looked like big luffa sponges with a few dozen garden hoses drooping off the moist membranes. There were brainy birds, intelligent vapor clouds who solidified to grasp tools or prey, and assorted races of sentient beings whose form and function defied human language to describe them without sounding nightmarish or just plain silly…

“(However) some humanoid aliens—Meklavites, Parvians, Quirt-Thymeans and others—were similar enough to Terrans to allow sexual—albeit not reproductive—compatibility… In some humanoids, the DNA double helix twisted left, instead of its “normal” right-handed form. But structural similarities abounded among bipedal humanoids. It was a maddening question.

“Then Wolfgang Ziegler offered an elegant, simple solution. In his twenty-fourth century work, Humanoid Efficiency, Ziegler theorized that, since there are a finite number of ways a creature can solve its evolutionary problems, similarities are bound to occur.”

HUMANOIDS

So, let’s run with Ziegler’s similarities. Here’s a sampler of four humanoid races whose political and social goals either align with humans or present no current threat in the 32nd century of Tyler Matthews.

Suryadivans – warm-blooded humanoid marsupial-amphibians with large, expressive head-fins. Not sexually compatible with H-sapiens. (Sorry, Captain Kirk. Neither are the green, plant-evolved, bipedal Kolovite women.) The Suryadivan Sacred Protectorate is the location for most of the action in Jump Gate Omega and Forbidden Sanctuary (Star Lawyers Books 1 & 2).

Quirt-Thymeans – Mr. Blue (A.K.A., Indigo, Prince Zenna) is a member of the humanoid race who founded the ancient Quirt-Thymean Empire. Although they are a single species, Thymeans are purple, Quirts blue. QTs are physically and sexually compatible with humans, albeit with short, doggy ears. Some scientists believe Quirts and humans might even be able to interbreed, with a little bio-tinkering. Mr. Blue frequently drives Tyler batty with his misreading of Terran metaphors and his indirect, high context way of communicating.

Meklavites –humanoid species, biologically compatible with Terrans. The Meklavite Union is a female-dominated oligarchical state in which women rule and men are subordinate. Mek women of means may form a Stable, essentially a harem, with as many husbands as they can financially support. This widespread practice of polygamy creates shortages of men, which means large numbers of middle-class women will never marry or have children. The major religion of the multi-planet, Meklavite Union is best described as witchcraft, with presiding witches and covens at ascending levels of the society.

Parvians – the Parvian Republic is home to the most compatible humanoid species yet encountered. (Until Book 5 – The Stellar Light Conspiracy, launching in May-June) Parvians have a well-earned reputation for ferocity among spacefaring civilizations. However, they are not expansionist and use their naval strength to keep the peace. As Noah Matthews says in Book 5, my work-in-progress, “Parves don’t start fights. They finish them.” They are loyal friends and merciless foes. Physically they are slightly smaller than the average Terran and well-proportioned, with multi-hued complexions, deep brown to pale beige, Afro-black to Norse blonde hair. Their species is known for its affability, zest for life, and for visiting devastation on anyone foolhardy enough to attack them. The common, cross-cultural watchword for dealing with citizens of the Republic: “Don’t fuck with the Parves.”

More alien species/races/cultures will appear in future books. If you want a hint, take a look at the gathering aboard Hakkian Granth’s flagship in Star Lawyers Origins Book 1 – Stardate.

Tom Shepherd

Tucson, AZ

*(No, I can’t write you a prescription for Medical 420. I’m a retired graduate school professor of religious studies.)

Fasten your safety harness: Star Lawyers Origins

STARDATE (Star Lawyers Origins Book 1)

Fasten your safety harness: Star Lawyers Origins

New Spin-Off Series – Three Sets of Trilogies Planned in the Star Lawyers Origins series.

Prepare for a whirlwind flight to the dawn of humanity’s awareness that we are not alone.

New characters appear in each trilogy, which will take readers along on the rise of FTL travel, from frank disbelief that anything living exists beyond the earth’s biosphere to full membership in the galactic community of star nations.

The structure for my new Star Lawyers Origins series appeared in the first Star Lawyers book. Check this excerpt from Jump Gate Omega:

[In the] outer lobby of the Matthews Trade Embassy, a double life-sized bronze image dominated the reception area, an African-Asian woman in lab coat looking upward through the glass wall at the city skyline and visible stars. She held an old-style clipboard under arm, and her hair was swept back into a ponytail.

Tanella Jennings,” Tyler whispered, loud enough for J.B. to hear.

“A thousand years later,” his brother said, “and we’re still following in her footsteps.”

“Not just Jennings—look.” Tyler gestured to a pair of bronze works farther down the glass-roofed lobby. Even from this distance, the subjects of the metallic statuary were unmistakable. One had a dog by his side. Tyler recited the names like a space-traveler’s prayer. Aurelio Lupetti and Brian Brightstar.”

“Two greatest captains in human history.” J.B.’s voice quivered with emotion. “Commander of the first faster-than-light starship, side-by-side with the foremost deep space explorer of them all.”

Rosalie smiled. “And his pit bull, Riley.”

Tyler took a deep breath. “Hero worship is adjourned. Let’s focus on tonight’s mission.”

The Timelines

The book just released October 8, STARDATE, launches the spinoff series, Star Lawyers Origins. The series will consist of three trilogies, set in the 21st, 23rd, and 24th centuries along the Star Lawyers timeline. The main action in the Star Lawyers / Tyler Matthews books takes place in the 32nd century.

You’ll find a different setting and tone in the first trilogy. Younger, sassier, PG violence language and no “adult” sexuality. The narrator is 14 years old, and I’m tired of the hard-broiled young characters who sell drugs and pimp their sisters. This is an adventure at the very leading edge of the Star Lawyers timeline, set in the 21st century. It starts at a middle school in Georgia (USA), but soon were boldly going there with Mark, Aaron, Zack, and the mystery girl Keshikka, whose golden eyes you see on the cover. Is she an alien?

Origins Book 2–Bad Moon Rising is already written and prepped to launch early in 2019. Bad Moon Rising is the story of Tanella Blake, who as Tanella Jennings is destined to discover the principles of FTL flight twenty-five years later, as told by her chattery friend, Sally Ann Palmer. It is a murder mystery set on Barrier Island, Georgia, during an approaching Category 5 hurricane. The sci-fi elements are present, but muted in favor of a close up sketch of the young prodigy in the greatest crisis of her life. Her father, Dr. Nathaniel Blake, has been accused of murder, and she decides to find the real killer while the island is cut off from the mainland due to the storm, before the murderer can escape. She also has a conversation with the main character of Book 1 – Stardate, unbeknownst to her, across thousands of light years.

Origins 3 – In Defense of Quia Leimor will bring both sets of characters together when Tanella and Sally Ann are shanghaied by Mark Bricchetti and Aaron Hooper for their second trip into the world of Princess Keshikka, aboard a ship sent to snatch them from Earth for a mission In Defense of Quia Leimor, the besieged last Empress of the old galactic empire.

Origins Books 4-6 return the narrative to adult point-of-view characters. Trilogy #2 is set two hundred years later, when rhe events of the first trilogies are still unknown to the general public. In Book 4 – The Wind Among the Stars readers fly into deep space with Aurelio Lupetti aboard the Victoria, the first fully operational FTL starship built by humanity. Science has not yet confirmed the existence of life beyond the Terran biosphere, so Lupetti has his hands full with politicians trying to cut funding for the project and sabotage it. And the real possibility of a sterile, lifeless Cosmos cannot be dismissed, even by Lupetti. This is the First Contact book of the series, when humanity learns the galactic civilization documented by Mark Bricchetti actually exists. Books 5 and 6 will continue Lupetti’s voyages, and frankly I can’t wait to see what he will discover!

Origins 7-9 Will complete the 3 trilogies with a rollicking ride with Brian Brightstar and his pit bull Riley aboard the São Gabriel as he explores Brightstar Curve.

Star Lawyers Continues

Star Lawyers books with the Matthews clan will continue, beginning with Star Lawyers Book 4 – House of the Silent Moons, to launch Nov-Dec 2018. The “main” series will be interspersed with the above.

Like I’ve said, I’ll be writing these in Arizona until they plant a cactus over my grave. (Now that you have the outline, I reserve the right to change the details!)

Let’s have fun and adventure together in the Star Lawyers universe.

Tom Shepherd

Tucson, Arizona

 

STARDATE (Star Lawyers Origins Book 1)

If you didn’t get your copy of Stardate yet, get into the origins story by downloading it from Amazon.