Lizard World - Book One
When Master Scout Terrex Stonewall returns to Epsilon he finds much has changed in fifteen years. Humans are beginning to colonize the world of the Dinosaurs, but an alien species known as The Spiders challenges the Humans for possession of the planet. Stonewall must find out why before it is too late.
Note: The story takes place 15 years after the events in 'Outpost Epsilon.'
Terrex Stonewall experienced a feeling of déjà vu as he stepped out of the shuttle. Almost everything looked the same. In many ways not much had changed. The mushrooms were still as huge and intimidating and the air as humid and hot. Standing still for a moment, he took a few shallow breaths, letting his system get used to the stifling heat.
Outpost Epsilon had been his first assignment as a Scout for the Solar Union. As he stood looking around, he could hardly believe that fifteen years had passed since then.
He swallowed hard as suppressed memories rushed into his conscious mind. It was here on Epsilon where he fell in love with a Tangari girl.
Sheera. He never really forgot her.
Shrugging, he studied his surroundings. The original dome, which protected the outpost, was still there, but he saw three more domes, one of them larger than the others. All four domes were connected by tunnels.
The area around the domes had been cleared of vegetation and a large number of the giant mushrooms, allowing a good view of the sky overhead. Even the landing pads for the shuttles had been enlarged and paved.
A Builder-ship was parked near the largest dome. Construction robots were busy cleaning up the site. As far as Stonewall knew, the habitat was finished. The ship might move on to another part of Epsilon and begin building another settlement or it might possibly travel to a different planet. He didn’t know its schedule and didn’t really care.
This time, nobody came to greet him. He wondered how many members of the original crew were still around.
They had changed the entrance to the dome. Instead of a door, he saw a small building, like a guardhouse. His assumption proved correct. When he approached the dome, a door opened and a man wearing the brown uniform of the Scouts appeared. He carried a flash rifle, but he didn’t act hostile.
Stonewall wore the same uniform, except his was adorned with a small bar on his left sleeve, proclaiming his rank as Master Scout.
“Welcome, sir,” the guard said, saluting stiffly. “You’ve been expected.”
Stonewall returned the salute and smiled. “I hope there’s a cold beer waiting for me.”
The guard gave him a strange look, his posture still rigid. “I’m not sure what you mean, sir.”
Suppressing a chuckle, Stonewall said, “I have a feeling things have changed a lot. Relax. I’m not going to shoot you for not rolling out the red carpet as soon as I stepped off the shuttle.”
“I still don’t understand, sir.”
Stonewall sighed. “Forget it, son. Just let me get out of this friggen greenhouse. I’m dying here.”
“Sorry, sir.” The guard didn’t move. “I need to see your papers, sir.”
“My papers?” It was Stonewall’s turn to stare. “Didn’t they brief you about me?”
“They did, but I still need to see your identification papers, sir.”
Stonewall glared at him, irritated. “I am Master Scout Terrex Stonewall. I didn’t come here for a vacation because I love it here so much. We used to call this place Shithole and I was happy when I finally left it after spending two friggen years evading oversized lizards and other hungry beasties. So be a good boy and step aside!”
Stonewall noticed the tightening of the young man’s jaw muscles and the flickering in the brown eyes. He had to give him credit, because the man didn’t flinch otherwise.
“I am aware of your name, sir, but it is my job to insure that you are really Master Scout Stonewall. I can do that only after looking at your papers and taking a retina scan.”
Sighing again, Stonewall reached into his breast pocket. “You are a stubborn young man, but I guess you’re only doing your job. I hope this is not an indication of the way things are run here now. I don’t need any more aggravation.” He pulled out his ID card and handed it to the guard.