The Legend That Was Earthby James P. Hogan
"They've eased our problems. They've raised our standards of living. Their science has shown us that everything we thought we knew about the universe was wrong. And now the alien Hyadeans' high-tech gifts and their flair for social order promise to make a paradise of planet Earth." "To us, the Hyadeans seem a model of efficiency and clear thinking. But in Hyadean eyes… See more details below
"They've eased our problems. They've raised our standards of living. Their science has shown us that everything we thought we knew about the universe was wrong. And now the alien Hyadeans' high-tech gifts and their flair for social order promise to make a paradise of planet Earth." "To us, the Hyadeans seem a model of efficiency and clear thinking. But in Hyadean eyes, Earth's culture wallows in imagination and dreams, artforms and concepts which would never have occurred to a citizen of their world. To some of the aliens, this demonstrates Earth's backwardness: others are increasingly fascinated by us." "But when a political assassination plunges his life into chaos, wealthy socialite and "fixer" Roland Cade discovers the dark underbelly of the alien presence. Our government obeys them. Our economy serves their wealthy masters. And the CounterAction "terrorists" on the news are truly fighting for freedom for Terrans and Hyadeans alike - and one of them is his ex-wife." "Soon Cade is caught up in a terrifying adventure that will take him around the globe, and a conflict that will threaten to destroy the world as it turns American against American - and Hyadean against Hyadean."--BOOK JACKET.
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Roland Cade stood on the boat dock at the rear of his waterfront villa on an inlet at Newport Beach, taking a moment off from the preparations inside the house to enjoy the cool air and admire the embers of a flaming California sunset. Lights were beginning to show from the other homes across the narrow waterway and among the moored boats, reflecting off the barely rippling surface. A mild breeze brought the aroma of steaks being barbecued somewhere. On the inland side, clouds of starlings were rising and wheeling in their last sortie of the day. For some people, life was good.
Warren Edmonds, the skipper of Cade's ninety-foot motor yacht Sassy Lady, appeared on the foredeck and came down to join Cade on the dock. He was wirily muscular, with lean features that a shock of black hair receding at the temples seemed to throw into hard-lined relief. Edmonds had managed boats large and small, corporate and private, from Seattle to San Diego. He ran a number of enterprises of his ownsome of which were quasi-legal at bestwhich Cade didn't ask about, hence working for Cade suited him. And Cade's numerous legal contacts and acquaintances who owed him favors could be useful at times.
"Everything set and standing by, if we decide to go," he told Cade. Given the balmy condition of the evening, Cade was considering moving the party out onto the water later if the general mood so inclined.
"Did Henry bring out the extra case of Chardonnay?"
"Yes, it's in the cooler."
"No sudden changes expected in theweather?"
"I checked about fifteen minutes ago. It's gonna be calm like this all night, somewhere in the low sixties. Maybe a little cloud tomorrow. Nothing that'll change your day."
Cade showed his palms. "The gods are smiling, Warren."
"I guess we must have done something right lately." Edmonds sighed in a way that said he couldn't think what, but to make the best of it. "Did their flight get out on timewith all the trouble in Washington earlier?"
"The Web said it did when Luke checked, just before he left to go meet them. I don't think Andrews was affected. Vrel would have let us know by now if there were any changes...." Cade looked back as Henry's voice called from the house to see if he was out there. "Uh-uh. You can't hide anywhere. It sounds as if all's in order out here. Carry on, Chief."
Cade walked back along the short path past shrubbery and flowers losing their colors in the fading light. The white-haired figure of Henry, the house steward, wearing a maroon jacket and tie, was peering from the doorway of the glass-shuttered patio. "Norman Schnyder and his associate are hereAnita Lloyd. Julia and Neville are talking to them now. Also, the catering people have started setting up." That was in case Cade wanted to check anything personally before it got too late to change. Henry had been with Cade long enough to know his ways.
They crossed the patio and passed through a sun lounge with cane furniture and potted plants to the central area of the house, where staff from the catering company handling the buffet were arranging tablecloths and unpacking dishes. While Henry bustled off to attend to something else, Cade ran an eye over the linen, satisfying himself that it was properly pleated and pressed, examined the china and silverware for quality, and looked inside the ice chest containing the marinated crab claws and Oysters Rockefeller to verify that the serving shells were real and not ceramic. Finding nothing amiss, he contented himself with straightening the slightly crooked bow tie of one of the servers, winked at him with a mild "Tch, tch," and went through to the sitting area of paneling and leather upholstery surrounding the bar. Neville Baxter, a businessman from New Zealand, who had arrived early, stopping by at the party to say his farewells before going back in the next few days, was sprawled in one of the easy chairs, a foot crossed over the other knee. He was florid-faced, beefy, and jovial, tonight sporting a lightweight cream jacket and scarlet crimson shirt, open-necked with a riotous silk cravat at the neck. Norman Schnyder and Anita sat nursing drinks on the couch opposite him. Julia must have gone off somewhere to attend to some detailever the conscientious hostess.
"Here's the man!" Baxter said, waving across as Cade came in.
Cade helped himself to a Jamesons Irish from the bar and joined them. "Hi, Anita ... Norman. So how are things? I don't detect any signs of incipient poverty."
"Norman showed up in that new Lamborghini I'm told he's been talking about for a hundred years," Baxter told Cade. "It makes me feel really glad that I don't pay any of that firm's bills."
"Got to be able to catch the ambulances," Schnyder said, sipping his drink. He looked suave and opulent, with hair showing silver at the sides of his tanned face, a dark suit with narrow pinstripe, and expensively glittering tie clip and links. Anita Lloyd, in her early thirties, with auburn hair styled into chic, forward-sweeping points, wearing a sleeveless navy dress with elbow-length satin gloves, had just banked her first million the last time Cade talked to her. They were senior partner and associate respectively of an LA law firm that had been seeing some good years. Henry always got his terms precisely right.
Anita eyed Cade's five-eleven frame in white dinner jacket with black tie. He kept athletically trim at thirty-six, and had wavy brown hair combed back at the sides above an angular face with narrow nose, easy-smiling mouth, and eyes that never quite lost a puckish glint. "You seem to be bearing the burdens of life pretty well yourself, Roland," she remarked.
"Which just goes to show the wisdom of pure thoughts, clean living, and faith in the Lord."
"But be sure to keep a good lawyer in your back pocket all the same," Schnyder said.
"You mean like something to break the glass, in case of an emergency?" Cade quipped, making a toasting gesture.
"Don't joke. You never know. We had a bar in town sued the other week for serving a guy who had a liver condition and knew he couldn't take it. Would you believe that? I mean, what are they supposed to docheck everybody's medical records now?"
Julia appeared in the archway to the front part of the house, calling something back to Henry about a rose tree by the front door. She saw Cade, picked up a glass of champagne that she had left on a side table, and came over, perching herself on a couch-arm next to where he was standing and resting her free hand lightly on his shoulder. Julia was Cade's business partner and significant other in life, having moved in to share the house a little over a year before. She was tall, lithe, and red-haired, with a feline elegance of movement that exuded sexuality. Tonight she had enhanced the effect with an ankle-length dress of body-clinging moiré that altered in the light between bottle-green and sage-yellow, set off by an emerald bracelet and earrings. Her former husband ran a couple of night clubs that the right people in southern California frequented, which meant that she knew a lot of names that were worth knowing, making her a natural for Cade to get attached to. Knowing the right people was what Cade's business was all about.
She tasted her drink and ran a questioning eye over the company. "So, what problems of the world are we putting right tonight?"
"Have you seen Norman's new wheels yet?" Anita asked.
"Yes. And I feel sick. Why do you think I'm wearing green?" Julia nudged Cade pointedly. "I want one."
"Sounds like I'd better check with Simon and see what our money's in," Cade replied.
"Well, I hope you don't have too much of it in computers or electronicsor anything high-tech, by the sound of it," Baxter said. "Norman was saying just before you came in that the bottom's falling out across the board. The Hyadeans are going to be flooding the market here with better stuff at prices you can't even think about."
Schnyder was already nodding. "Their production is all run by AIstotally automatic. Matching what we use here costs them practically nothing. It's like beads. A lot of industries are in trouble."
Cade tried not to let things like that affect him. It was the way life was. Things changed; you couldn't stop them. If you were smart you adapted and let yourself go with the flow. It wasn't his place to protect those who chose to stay in places where they were going to lose out. "There's a lot of opposition out there," he said. "That has to have some moderating effect, surely. The government isn't going to just let it happen."
Schnyder shook his head. "Forget it, Roland. The bills will go through. Too much of Congress is in for a piece of the action. We're talking big bucks here. They're not going to lose out."
Cade and Julia looked at each other, and both made a face. "So what should we be buying into?" Julia asked, looking back.
"You really wanna know?" Schnyder invited.
"Sure. That's why I asked."
"Navajo blankets and sand paintings. Porcelains and sculptures. Hand-built cabinets and carvingslike from that little firm in Santa Monica that they did the show on last week. Did you see it?"
"No, I don't think so."
"Native talents," Anita said. "The Hyadeans don't have anything to compare."
"Is it really the way some people say?" Julia sounded incredulous.
"We've got someone coming here tonight who's been saying the same thing," Cade told the group. "Damien Philpsan export dealer in that kind of thing to Chryse and the other Hyadean worlds for a few years now. Says it's going to grow like crazy."
"Then you should listen to him," Schnyder urged. "It's getting to be a rage with them. You wouldn't believe the prices I've heard for some of the things that went there."
"Want to buy into some totem poles?" Cade asked Julia. He looked away as Henry appeared once more from the depths of the house. "Yes, Henry?"
"Luke just called. He's at LAX now, with Dee. The aircraft has been cleared for landing. With traffic as it is, he says they'll be here in about an hour."
"Tell the caterers to start setting out the food in thirty minutes," Cade instructed. "But let's have a few appetizers out here in the meantime."
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