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The Portal

( 22 )

Overview

Dr. Alexis Conyers, is among the scientists sent from the near future to find a new home for mankind, but once her and her crewmembers erect the Portal, none of the colonists they're expecting arrive. When they decide to use the portal to return to earth they discover that nearly a thousand years have passed and the world they return to has changed drastically. Mankind, except for a small enclave, has fled the earth and humans are despised by those abandoned-the beast folk.

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The Portal

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Overview

Dr. Alexis Conyers, is among the scientists sent from the near future to find a new home for mankind, but once her and her crewmembers erect the Portal, none of the colonists they're expecting arrive. When they decide to use the portal to return to earth they discover that nearly a thousand years have passed and the world they return to has changed drastically. Mankind, except for a small enclave, has fled the earth and humans are despised by those abandoned-the beast folk.

It's a Liger-man, Torin, who rescues her from the Bear Clan, but although he knows she belongs with her 'own kind', he doesn't really want to let her go and Alexis finds herself torn between her love for three very different men-Lord Torin of the Lion Clan, Lord Joel of the human clan, and William Long, Joel's second in command-all Alpha males determined to claim her for themselves--when she doesn't actually want to be 'owned'.

Rating: Carnal adult situations, adult language, graphic violence, multiple sexual partners, ménage a trios.

Genre: Futuristic Romance.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452870786
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 7/11/2010
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The trip had been long and tedious, but it would've been a lot more boring, and, truth be told, probably impossible, if not for the frog DNA.

Dr. Alexis Conyers tried to push that stray thought to the back of her mind, as she had every time it had surfaced since she'd agreed to accept mutation for the sake of mankind, but it wormed its way to the forefront of her thoughts again as she struggled to focus on the activity around her.

Their mission might not be mankind's last chance, but there was no denying it was their best hope. Sacrifices were necessary if they were to have any expectation of pulling it off. She'd accepted that.

They'd all accepted that.

And it still bothered her to think about the alien DNA strands that had been webbed to her own, making her less than human anymore.

She still felt human. She still looked human, but the bald truth was that she wasn't entirely human anymore and she wasn't as comfortable with that as she would've liked to be. It made her wonder if the desperation to save the human race hadn't already gone beyond what it should've.

Harnessing the comet had seemed hair-brained and brilliant at the same time ... and so simple it almost made everyone feel stupid they hadn't thought about it before. Scientists had studied comets and meteors for decades. Other scientists had trained their gazes on the search for a truly habitable world, one that would support human life without requiring terraforming, or building biospheres, or lugging tons of life support equipment light-years just to provide the minimum to sustain life.

But, until fairly recently, no one had thought to put the two projects onthe same page.

They'd colonized the Earth's moon, Mars and its moons--moons belonging to half the planets in their solar system, but that was less than ideal. Not one 'world' they'd conquered could sustain life without a tremendous amount of work and the ever present danger that some vital piece of equipment would fail and wipe out the entire colony before help could arrive.

As bad as things had gotten on Earth--and it was pretty damned unstable--it was still better than anything they'd been able to come up with--although there was some comfort in not having all their 'eggs' in one basket, in knowing it was less likely, now, that a single cataclysm could wipe out the entire human race.

The probes they'd finally set down on comets to piggyback a ride through the universe had succeeded where all other efforts had failed, though. The comets had carried their 'eyes' further than they'd been able to reach before, faster, and given them a far better look at the universe.

With the comet borne, deep space probes, they'd found the perfect new home for humans--as close to perfect as they were likely to find in time to do them any good, at any rate. The problem was that the planet was so far away it made the ordinary methods of colonization impractical if not completely impossible.

That had resulted in 'hair-brained/brilliant' strategy number two--their mission. Instead of trying to build a fleet of deep space ships to carry colonists to the new world, they'd built the U.E. (United Earth) Plymouth, crammed it with everything needed to build the transport portal, a handful of scientists/engineers, barely enough supplies to sustain those scientists/engineers, and sent them forth in the fastest ship ever built by man.

It had still taken nearly ten years to reach the new world, and there wasn't enough room on the ship for the supplies needed to sustain human life for that long. It would've taken a far bigger ship to do that, more time, and more money.

That was when the geneticists had stepped in with 'hair-brained/brilliant' plan number three--the introduction of foreign DNA into the scientists which would allow them to be frozen for most of the trip--literally frozen.

Alexis' stomach churned and a shudder raked its way up her spine.

It wasn't altogether a new idea. Geneticists had been working for years to help the human race evolve with the same speed as their world, adapt swiftly to the changes to keep them from going extinct.

The introduction of frog DNA was still radical, though.

Never before had anything other than the DNA of other mammals been utilized.

And she was still surprised she'd woken up after being deep frozen for so long.

They'd tested it as much as possible, of course, before they'd blasted off into the unknown, but there'd been no time to do the years of research that needed to be done, should have been done before it was pronounced 'safe'. The compromise had been to deep freeze them for relatively short spans of time, awaken them to do routine checks of the ship and equipment and make certain everything was still working properly, perform or check minor course corrections as needed, and then deep freeze them again.

All in all, they'd been awake only a year, total, of their ten year trip, thawed for a matter of weeks and then back into the deep freeze, but even with the work they had to perform during those waking times the trip had seemed excruciatingly long and tedious.

Alexis dragged in a deep, cleansing breath, trying to make herself relax as the engineers finally took their places and began the process of 'lighting' up the portal to full power.

She sincerely hoped it was going to be full power this time. They'd already lost two probes. They were down to one. If the signal boost they'd jerry-rigged didn't reach the counter portal on Earth this time, they were going to be down to drawing straws to see who would become the guinea pig. There wasn't much else they could scavenge off the U.E. Plymouth without the risk that they'd be permanently stranded on New Earth, and no one wanted to even think about that.

It crept into her mind anyway and Alexis glanced around at her fellow travelers.

Dr. 'Mel' Melody Carson, the lanky, almost six foot blonde navigator, was the closest person of the group that came to being a 'friend', although the two of them were hardly bosom buddies. She was currently chewing her last fingernail off at the quick while she stared at the blank screen of her console as if she could will the thing to light up. Linda, who in Alexis' opinion had far more boobs than brains, but who was supposed to be a crack mechanical engineer, was staring off into space, her lips moving as if she was either going back over her calculations ... or singing to herself ... or maybe praying?

That would be about as helpful as crossing her fingers, Alexis thought dryly, wondering if Linda had always been this 'spacey' and she just hadn't noticed, or if the freeze/thaw process had left part of her brain frozen.

Richard 'the dick' Sloan, one of the two 'grunts' they'd brought along for protection and to help move heavy but delicate equipment, was scratching his balls as he, too, gazed off into space. His side-kick, Gary Pitts, a real whiz, was crouched on the ground nearby, chewing on the stalk of a plant that hadn't even been analyzed yet for possible toxins.

Drs. Li Chung and Angus O'Neal had their heads together over the main control console and Dr. William 'Bill' Long was staring at the gauges of the power unit. The three men were brilliant and held so many degrees in so many fields it was almost sickening.

Alexis tried to block the nasty thought that they had no reason to focus on anything besides their studies since it wasn't likely they'd had women to distract them, but she was only marginally successful. It wasn't that any of the three were deformed or just plain ugly, but they were certainly no better than average in looks and, more importantly, to her way of thinking, anyway, their personalities left a lot to be desired when it came to companionableness, let alone charm. A block wall had more charisma than the three of them put together.

She was fairly certain she'd never heard anything come out of their mouths beyond scientific speculation. She'd yet to see even one of the three open their mouths to say anything remotely conversational. They might as well be eunuchs. She was pretty sure not one of the three had even looked at Linda and registered that she was a female ... and recalled that they were male, which, as far as she was concerned, said it all.

Any male that could work around Linda and focus on their work instead of her wasn't a red-blooded male.

She hadn't considered when she had set out on the mission that she might be stuck with the crew of the U.E. Plymouth for the rest of her natural life--and no one else--She'd been honored to be chosen. She'd been focused on the mission.

One 'waking' year of travel and three months of roughing it on the new world later, she was finding it harder and harder to ignore the possibility that she might never see anyone but this group again.

And, with the exception of Mel, she didn't even like them.

Not that she disliked them, but the degrees that separated 'like' from 'dislike', she'd come to realize, were like a vast ocean when one viewed it with the perspective that this group might be 'it', the only people she was going to be around for the rest of her life.

Not that there was a lot of reason to worry about it. After three months on New Earth, as careful as they'd been with their supplies, they were still running dangerously low on everything and they'd been too focused on completing their mission to spare the time to explore their new world and search for local resources to replenish their dwindling supplies.

If they didn't get the portal open soon, they probably wouldn't be around long enough to have to worry about what they were going to do with the rest of their lives.

It worried her that they hadn't been able to hail Earth.

It worried everybody, although they had carefully avoided the subject.

Regardless of the distance they should have been able to reach someone, hear something from mission control in all this time. If nothing else, it seemed to her that one of the furthest colonies, closer to the edge of their solar system, should've picked up their attempts to communicate. Not that that made them close by any stretch of the imagination, but still....

Dr. Long was speculating that there was something about the planet itself that was interfering with communications.

It was as good an explanation as any, and completely unsupported by research of any kind since they hadn't brought along a lot of equipment for testing the environment. That wasn't an area of their collective expertise. She had a degree in anthropology, but that wasn't terribly useful in their current situation.

It couldn't be avoided, though, or at least she hadn't been able to avoid the knowledge that the crew of the U.E. Plymouth was pretty much useless for anything other than the focus of their mission. They had all the skills and knowledge they needed to build the portal and none of the skills or knowledge they would need to live on this new world if they found themselves completely alone.

The 'grunts' might make it. The rest of them were toast if they couldn't accomplish their mission and bring through the people it was going to take to build a colony.

"Ready, Alex?"

Alexis jerked as O'Neal barked the question at her, surging to her feet from her perch on the supply box she'd been using as a bench. "I've checked the probe out thoroughly. It's good to go."

Almost before she got the words out, the whine of the power unit reached a near ear-splitting pitch. A gust of air rushed past her as if the portal was a living thing and had just sucked in a deep breath, and static electricity danced along her body, making the fine hairs prickle.

Alexis stared at the portal, feeling a surge of adrenaline rush through her. Her heart danced a little jig of awakening of hopefulness.

"Mel?"

Melody's head jerked up when O'Neal barked at her, her eyes wide.

"Anything?"

Melody ducked her head, staring at her vid screen again. "Phantoms," she said, referring to the streams of light visible beyond the portal, which created a tunnel-like effect through space. It was actually more along the lines of a cannon, designed to break down the cells of both living and inanimate objects and shoot them across time and space where it reassembled them--theoretically. The portals on the other colonies did, of course, but then they hadn't needed the range this one did. Supposedly, the distance shouldn't make one iota of difference, but then, what did they know when it had never been used over such a vast distance?

"Wait! It's stabilizing!" she exclaimed excitedly.

Long, who'd been diverted by the conversation, returned his attention to the power unit. "Stable here, as well--minor fluctuations."

Melody looked up. "I've got a fix on mission control."

"You're sure?" Chung asked sharply.

"Confirmed," O'Neal said, a note of excitement in his voice, now, or as close to excitement as the man ever got.

"The portal on the other end isn't responding," Chung announced after a few moments.

"Knock, knock!" Richard said.

Gary snickered.

Alexis tamped her irritation. "Should I release the probe?"

"Hold," O'Neal snapped. "Let's make sure the power's going to be sustained this time."

"Why aren't they opening the other portal?" Linda demanded of no one in particular.

"Maybe they're out to lunch?"

Alexis sent Richard a narrow eyed glare that time. "I'm glad you find this so damned humorous, Dick."

His beefy face reddened.

"Can we activate it from here?" Linda asked, an edge to her voice that Alexis recognized as fear and/or hysteria, mostly because she was struggling against both herself.

Chung and O'Neal exchanged a look. "Possibly," Chung finally answered.

"Possibly? Or definitely?" Linda demanded, sounding more anxious than before.

"What would the point?" Richard ground out.

"The point," Linda snapped, "is to get home!"

Richard gave her a disgusted look. "And what would be the point of that? We ain't been able to contact anybody. Nobody's answering the call to activate the gate. Don't tell me it hasn't occurred to any of you 'brains' that nobody's fucking there or the damned portal would've been opened on the other end?"

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    good si-fi

    liked some of her other books better

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    The portal

    It's the frog DNA....lol.
    This book was entertaining! Yes, it starts a little slowly, but anyone familiar with the author's work will know that she always spends the time to set an in depth stage for the world that she's creating. And boy does she ever! As well as a very strong cast of characters - wanda-pets!
    Well worth the time to read it and the money for the book...
    Still love the frog DNA!
    (And I didn't have any trouble with the vocabulary.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    Not Worth the Price

    This book needs to be @ the most $1.98. The Author dosen't give enough detailed descriptions and don't describe it at the right time. I was lost at the beginning of the book for like 50 pages. I didn't know why they were there, and I found out why they were there in the middle of the book. The book is barely over 300 pages. The Author used to many words I didn't know which was cool in the beginning because I was learning new words but then it killed the fast pace action when I had to look up words.

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    Posted April 22, 2012

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    Posted May 4, 2010

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