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by William Shatner

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When anybody can be an assassin, a detective with many enemies can only trust one person: himself
Jake Cardigan has just returned from Mexico, where he fell in love, nearly died, and broke up the infamous Hokori cartel. But the drug kingpins whose fortunes rest on pushing Tek are still trying to do away with this devilish private eye. During a routine trip


When anybody can be an assassin, a detective with many enemies can only trust one person: himself
Jake Cardigan has just returned from Mexico, where he fell in love, nearly died, and broke up the infamous Hokori cartel. But the drug kingpins whose fortunes rest on pushing Tek are still trying to do away with this devilish private eye. During a routine trip to the mall, a well-dressed man tries to stab Cardigan through the heart. After a quick scuffle, the would-be assassin is dead on the floor, and Cardigan is the one who winds up in handcuffs. The dead man was an executive at a hydroponics company—an ordinary worker drone with no apparent reason to kill the detective. An evil mastermind has learned how to make innocent civilians obey his commands, and he will sacrifice an army of zombie assassins if it means getting a clean shot at Cardigan. To stay alive, and out of jail, Cardigan will have to learn to steer clear of the mindless killers of Greater Los Angeles. This ebook features an illustrated biography of William Shatner including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PI Jake Cardigan pk tries to stop a deadly viral plague that has been loosed on a future San Francisco. PW called this ``A competent but predictable detective thriller played before a standard SF backdrop. . . . Lots of fast action here, but very little depth.'' (Jan.)
Library Journal
Ex-policeman Jake Cardigan continues his vendetta against the powerful distributors of the insidious drug known as Tek in this sequel to TekWar ( LJ 8/89). As an unknown virus controlled by the drug lords threatens 22nd-century Los Angeles, Cardigan battles programmed assassins and intransigent authorities to prevent a disaster of worldwide proportions. Fast-paced action, high-tech gloss, and a dash of romance combine to establish Shatner as a capable proponent of the hard-boiled school of sf action/adventure. Purchase as indicated by patron demand. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/91.

Product Details

Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Publication date:
TekWar Series , #2
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Barnes & Noble
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Read an Excerpt


Book Two Of The TekWar Series

By William Shatner


Copyright © 1991 William Shatner
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4532-8678-4


Friday, May 16, 2120, was grey and rainfilled across most of Greater Los Angeles.

It was not going to be an especially good day for Jake Cardigan.

At a little before ten in the morning he landed his aircar on the ground-level visitors' lot next to the Oceanside Educational Academy in the Santa Monica Sector of GLA. There was a sharp wind blowing across the choppy Pacific.

The academy consisted of a series of three huge linked plastiglass domes built on pilings out over the grey, foamy ocean. Several offwhite gulls came circling down through the hard rain to settle atop the nearest dome.

Jake unbuckled his safety harness, sighed, shook his head and, with hunched shoulders, stepped out into the rainswept morning. He didn't much want to be here.

He was a sandyhaired man in his late forties, of middle height, good-looking in a weatherbeaten, world-weary sort of way. He ran from his car to the entrance of the nearest dome like someone who was still in pretty good shape.

The curved plastiglass door, which was tinted a pale blue, hissed open in anticipation.

Jake entered the large oval foyer. "I have an appointment with—"

"Halt," advised the seven-foot-tall security robot who stood, widelegged, at the far end of the room. "Keep your hands at your sides."

Jake obliged. "As I was saying, I have an appointment with—"

"Please state your name, sir." The big robot's voice was highpitched, a bit squeaky.

"Jake Cardigan."

"Last name first."

"Cardigan, Jake." He walked a few paces closer. "Look, I'm supposed to see the dean about my—"

"Cardigan, Jake." The gunmetal robot had three rows of tiny lights implanted across his wide chest. Several of them began flashing in sequence as he checked out Jake's name. After less than ten seconds he made a disapproving clucking sound. "You can't be admitted, I'm afraid. Please, take your leave."

Instead Jake walked right up to the security robot. "My son, Dan, is a student here—and don't blame me for that, my exwife picked out this place for him," he explained. "The dean wanted to see her this morning to talk about some problems Dan's having. Kate, though, says she can't get time off from her new job up in San Francisco and she asked me to come instead. Clear?"

"Cardigan, Jake. Convicted felon, sentenced to fifteen years in the orbiting penal colony commonly known as the Freezer," recited the big bot. "It is the opinion of the academy that convicted felons tend to have a bad influence on the developing minds of our students and, therefore, there's a rule against—"

"I was up in the Freezer," Jake cut in to admit. "However, I was released after just four years. And, as of a few weeks ago, I was given a full pardon. All the officials and toadies in our great State of Southern California, not to mention every damn official in the Greater Los Angeles government as well, now firmly believes that I was framed and wrongly sent to prison. So, unless you want to be dismantled piece by piece and donated to the nearest scrap heap, you'll let me in."

"Are you threatening me, sir?"

Jake gave a bleak grin. "I am, yeah."

"I'm designed to withstand assaults." He held up his metallic right hand, each finger of which was tipped with a different colored lightbead. "Built into this hand alone are several formidable weapons, any of which is capable of—"

"Maybe you ought to check with your bosses," suggested Jake. "Since I'm here, I'd like to keep the appointment with the dean."

After making a few rattling sounds, the robot shut its metal eyelids. Various sorts of whirrings came out of its skull and broad chest, the tiny lights flashed. "Wouldn't you know it?" he asked when he snapped his eyes open. "Our files weren't properly updated. You aren't, Mr. Cardigan, a felon at all. Allow me, therefore, to extend you a cordial welcome to the academy." He held out his left hand and a slip of yellow plazpaper eased out of one of the thin slots in his palm. "Take this pass and travel along Corridor A-2, following the green floor arrows to Door A-2/203."

"Thanks." Closing his hand on the pass, Jake stepped around the bulky robot and crossed the threshold to the corridor.

A loud hooting commenced pouring out of a row of small overhead speakers.

"Whoa there, hold it." The robot spun, grabbed out and caught Jake by the shoulder. "You ought to have informed me that you were carrying an illegal weapon."

"I'm not." Jake tapped the shoulder holster he wore under his jacket. "I have the proper permits for this stungun."

"I have to have a look at them." The robot ran his left forefinger up and down each of Jake's arms, around his torso and then, bending with a faint creak, he frisked his trouser legs. "I don't note any other weapons."

Jake took his ID packet out, flipping it open to his gun permits and his license as an operative of the Cosmos Detective Agency. "I'm a private investigator these days, with all my papers in order."

"That must be a fascinating line of work," remarked the big robot as he scanned the material with his plaz-eyes and his left thumb. "I bet it beats standing around in a drafty foyer all day."

"The work is usually a little more interesting than that, yeah," Jake acknowledged.

"Everything is in order, Mr. Cardigan. You can proceed."

"Much obliged." He put his IDs away and started again along the designated corridor.

The dean's office was large and its one seethrough wall offered a view of the rough grey Pacific. Strung out along the horizon were several robot scows. The dean's desk was made of licorice-colored plastiglass and seated behind it was a copperplated robot wearing a conservative business suit that was the same color as the rainy sky outside.

"We were expecting Mrs. Cardigan," the robot told Jake.

"I was expecting the dean." Jake lingered in the doorway.

"Dean Bushmill is, unavoidably, elsewhere. I'm the assistant dean of Oceanside," explained the dapper robot. "My name is Ticknor (M14)/SCES-30FAB."

Jake crossed the room slowly and sat down in the tin chair facing Ticknor. "My former wife couldn't get the time off to come down here from Frisco," he said. "Is Dan in some sort of trouble?"

"Serious trouble," replied the robot.

"Can you give me some specifics?"

The robot said, "Your son is currently being held in the Detention Wing in Dome #2. He is suspected of using the highly addictive electronic drug popularly known as Tek. Pending further investigation into the—"

"Wait." Jake was on his feet, frowning. "Dan's not using Tek or any other—"

"According to our records, Mr. Cardigan, there is a family history of addiction to the—"

"C'mon, Tek addiction can't be inherited." Jake, his anger growing, leaned and put both hands, palms down, on the desk. "I was a tekkie once, I've never denied it. But that was years ago and it has absolutely nothing to do with my son."

"You were also a Tek dealer, convicted and sent to prison. Growing up in such an environment would certainly influence a child toward—"

"Why the hell can't you guys keep your records up to date? I was cleared of all those charges—weeks ago," Jake told him, lifting one hand and turning it into a fist. "I just went through all this crap with your secbot."

"Perhaps I'm in error." The assistant dean robot reached to his right, touching a control pad built into his desk top. "If you'll turn your attention to the screen on the wall behind you."

A picture blossomed on the large wallscreen. A lean man of about forty was seated crosslegged in a field of high yellow grass, lecturing a scattered crowd of several hundred people. His hair was deadwhite and long, tied back with a twist of crimson ribbon. He wore a two-piece suit of silky crimson fabric. Up behind him on the sunny hillside was parked a glittering silvery landvan with the words CARAVAN COLLEGE lettered on its side in glowing tubes of colored light.

"... they tell you Tek will hurt you," he was saying to the seated crowd. "They manufacture stories about its being addictive, about Tek's causing epileptic seizures, about its ruining lives. Lies. All lies, my dear young friends and disciples. Tek is, if you want the truth, simply the most important discovery of our twenty-second century. Important because it has liberated the imagination, freed the mind of its fetters and, most importantly, enabled poor docile ciphers like you and like me to discover the true nature of ourselves and of our souls. Trust me when I tell you that Tek cannot at all harm you and can only liberate the ...

The robot had touched the panel again and the image of the sunlit field died. "I assume, considering your background, that you know who that is."

"Sure, it's Professor Joel Freedon, a nitwit who travels around the country advocating the legalization of Tek." Jake sat again. "What's he got to do with Dan?"

"We found the vidcaz you've just seen," explained Assistant Dean Ticknor, "in your son's sleep cubicle, hidden away in his property locker."

"You did, huh?" Jake stood again, walking around the desk to stand next to the robot's chair. "And Dan gave you permission to search?"

"Of course not. Our periodical random searches of the students' belongings for subversive materials, pornography and illegal substances wouldn't be effective if we were to warn them in advance of our intention to—"

"Under the existing laws in SoCal, Ticknor, you've violated my son's civil rights," Jake told him, keeping the anger out of his voice as best he could. "On top of which, even if your search had been legal, all you've proved is that Dan has dubious taste in what he watches on his vidcaz machine. Having a copy of a lecture by a dimwit like Prof Freedon doesn't make anybody a tekkie. I'm assuming you didn't find a Brainbox or any Tek chips when you ransacked Dan's stuff."

"Well, no. The important point, however, is that he was in possession of a vidcaz that openly—"

"I think I'd better talk to the dean. Fairly soon," mentioned Jake, the bleak grin touching his face again. "Since Kate seems to think, god knows why, that this is the school Dan ought to be attending, I guess he'd best stay here for now. So I want your dean—not a robot, not an android, but somebody with a pulse—to drop all the charges and reinstate my son." He paused, taking a slow, deep breath. "Otherwise I'm going to start a lawsuit against you folks."

"Well, now." The robot raised his hand and made a calming gesture toward Jake. Then he shut his eyes. "Allow me to check up on a few things, Mr. Cardigan." His coppery skull began to produce humming sounds. Every few seconds he nodded and after nearly two minutes he opened his eyes and said, "Dean Bushmill is unable to leave the golf tournament he's playing in up at his satellite country club. He does, however, agree with you that a grave mistake has been made in the case of your son. Daniel Cardigan will be released from detention immediately and all charges erased. Dean Bushmill wasn't aware, by the way, until just now, that you were such a highly thought of member of the staff of the Cosmos Detective Agency. A very prestigious, and influential, organization here in Greater Los Angeles."

"Which proves that even deans can learn something new every once in a while."

The robot rose up. "I assume you'd like to visit with your son while you're here."

Jake hesitated a few seconds before answering. "Yeah, sure," he said finally. "I would."


The sound of the rain was kept out of the visitors' lounge. It hit silently at the curved seethrough walls. Jake sat alone in the large, quiet room. Down near the arched doorway a small cylindrical servomech was aimlessly polishing the nearwood flooring. The silvery mechanism wasn't functioning just exactly right and it kept bumping into the wall, backing off, polishing a small circular area, bumping into the wall again.

Jake got up, stared out at the ocean. A lone gull came diving down, skimming the churning water and plucking up something in its beak.

The servomech bumped into the wall again.

Jamming his hands into his trouser pockets, Jake started pacing. He was very uneasy about meeting with his son.

The polishing mechanism bumped into the wall, but this time it tipped over on its back.

Jake strode over to it, crouched and righted the thing. "Sounds like you're on the fritz," he said.

"Always butting in on something, aren't you?"

Jake stood and faced his son in the doorway. "How are you doing, Dan?"

Dan was leaner than Jake, an inch or so taller already, and he had the same color hair. "How the hell do you think I'm doing? Everybody here knows you're a Tekhead, so they figure I must be one, too."

"Dan, I haven't used that stuff since—"

"Okay, never mind. I'm fine, I'm great. Isn't that what you want to hear?"

"Nope, what I want to hear, first off, is what's been going on," Jake told him. "Did you really have a vidcaz of that asshole Freedon in your locker?"

"You still playing cop?"

"Did you?"

"Professor Freedon is an honest, intelligent man and, while I don't exactly agree with his views of Tek, I think he has some interesting things to say about our society."

"I just wanted to make sure the damn thing wasn't planted on you."

"Oh, yeah, that's right. People have a tendency to frame the poor Cardigans. First they framed you and shipped you up to the Freezer, now they try to get your only son shipped out of this shithole."

"Don't you like the academy?"

"I love the place, it's absolutely terrific. Is that what you came to talk about?"

Jake put his hand on his fifteen-year-old son's shoulder. "I came here because they'd tossed you in detention."

Dan jerked free of his father's touch. "If Mom could've kept the appointment, you wouldn't have come at all. So don't bullshit me."

"Maybe I wouldn't have come, Dan. The few times I've seen you since we got back from Mexico, you haven't acted especially—"

"What did you expect? You came down to Mexico and fouled up everything."

"I found the people I was hired to find—Professor Kittridge and his daughter Beth. I helped break up one of the bigger Tek cartels."

"Well, you got your reward, didn't you? I hear you're shacking up with Beth Kittridge."

Jake paused and met Dan's eye. He said quietly, "I'm seeing her, yeah."

After a moment Dan looked away. "Well, is there anything else you want to chat about? Want to see a printout of my latest grades?"

"Dan, I didn't plan to get myself sent up to the Freezer. I know I went away at a time you needed me, but—"

"Jesus, don't go trying to give me the same crap the school robotherapist hands out. Loss of the father at a crucial point in the development cycle." Dan turned away, kicking out once at the wobbly servomech.

"As for what happened down in Mexico—I didn't know at the start that your mother was tied in with any of it," Jake told his son. "And I also didn't know that Bennett Sands was going to turn out to be connected with the Tek trade."

Turning, Dan faced him again. "I'll tell you something about Bennett Sands," he said. "He wasn't, I guess, the most honest guy in the world, but he was more of a father to me than you ever were."

Jake let out his breath suddenly, shaking his head. "Cmon, Dan. Don't keep trying to hurt me just because—"

"I'm not trying to hurt you. I'm just trying to tell you the goddamn truth," his son said. "You got Bennett Sands nearly killed. Then you—"

"Listen, Dan, Sands was in cahoots with a guy named Sonny Hokori. Hokori was one of the worst Teklords going."

"Well, Bennett Sands was also looking after Mom—and me. Now she has to work that stupid job with that vidad agency up in Frisco. We owe that to you, too."

"This probably isn't a good time to debate about what went on down in Mexico," Jake said. "I had a talk with the assistant dean. They're dropping all the charges against you, reinstating you in—"

"I already know. The bot who escorted me here told me that."

"If you need anything else, call me." Jake moved toward the doorway. "I'm sorry we always—"

"I don't need you for a damn thing. You've already screwed up my life just about beyond repair," his son told him. "The best thing you can do is just stay away from me. Can you, please, do that?"


Excerpted from TekLords by William Shatner. Copyright © 1991 William Shatner. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

William Shatner (b. 1931) is a Canadian actor, author, and film director, known for his irreverent charm and his star turn as Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek television series, as well as many other roles. Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Shatner was cast in Star Trek as the courageous, unpredictable Captain James T. Kirk in 1966. The show became a cult hit in syndication, leading to a number of spin-offs and movies. Shatner starred in seven Star Trek films beginning with Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. He later played leading roles on the television series T.J. Hooker (1982–86) and Boston Legal (2004–08). Shatner has also published a number of novels, most notably TekWar (1989), a science-fiction thriller that inspired eight sequels as well as video games and a television series. When he isn’t working, Shatner and his wife, Elizabeth, divide their time between Southern California and Kentucky. 

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Tek Lords 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please move camp to another res I am locked out. This is on my brother's nook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Um hi
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
May i join
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rainkit is locked out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At "humberstone" res 1-2. Comment please. Thx.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pads in not looking down for once but still not showing the left side of her face "as anyone seen thornwhisker????"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Fine then. Beware kit!" She will return tommarow........
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im hungrey!!!!!!:'(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Well I think Im done here" she said walking back to her clan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pads in, snarling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was jus saying that if i am now deaf blind and cant smell and are taking my wounds and not godmodding your cats sould too
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello!!!!! I went with foxfrost. It is not one of yours butt it swaggg
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She flinched, "thats horrible."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is ready to be an apprentice...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Nope. I'll be headed for the beach with my friends family."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to our den at "black thorn" res one. I want to talk to you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You go, you ambushed by Ethereal!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Drags draco gently to green jasper
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A cat shot out of the bushes and tackled Sky blue eyes...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peer out from the bushes and watch the cats.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We moved r camp to res 5 duh
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks to res 4.