Angar has circled the Mother-Star four hundred times since Tonka Loah, a scholar and philosopher and a noble of the Hotmo Empire, led a band of followers away from the slavery, serfdom, and rigid theocracy of the Empire and founded a new country. With four small ships, he sailed north, across the seas of the world of Angar, to the unexplored continent of Batalaka. His band found their way into the inland sea known as the Mouth and their founded the first settlement in what became the Republic of Siva-Tonka.
Tonka Loah taught his people his moral precepts and his philosophy while they raised crops and built homes. They prospered and had many children. They converted the natives to their way of life and became one with them. After several years, their ships would steal back to the South and return with loads of slaves and serfs to join them in freedom.
It was seventy-five years before the peoples of Hotmo learned of the new land. Tonka Loah, old and revered, died on the fiftieth anniversary of the state, which by that time was a flourishing republic in the form that it is now: its representative assembly, its land laws to prevent the growth of great estates, our unique executive system, free schools for all children, the elected censors to enforce the teachings of Tonka Loah as the community saw them, our freedom from all gods, and equal rights for all levels and both sexes of people. Since that time a state of war has existed between Siva-Tonka and the Empire, as the Empire has sought to destroy those they see as rebels and heretics and Siva-Tonka has served as a refuge for those seeking freedom.
One of the founding principles of Siva-Tonka was the rejection of Kala, the God of the Hotmo empire, Who, it is said, created all peoples for His amusement at their sufferings and in Whose name the Emperor and Nobles rule over the people – and see that there are, indeed, sufferings to amuse Kala. Now, word has come that actual Messengers of Kala have come to the Hotmo Empire, proclaiming the glory of Kala and performing miracles. Are these Messengers proof of the existence of Kala? The Messengers look nothing like Angarans, but could they beings from another World? And what knowledge might they have?
Now a team of agents from Military Intelligence must cross the Seas of Angar, into an empire sworn to exterminate their homeland, and find the Messengers of Kala, whoever or whatever they may be and neutralize them, by any means necessary. The team is led by Hila Moga, an experienced agent, who bears an uncanny resemblance to a provincial high priest. Beta, his second in command is another experienced agent, with her own special reasons to hate the Hotmo. Waka, another female, brings her unique skills and a seductress and an assassin. Braha is the technician, who loves balloons. Little Dati Ranti is an expert at knife throwing and use of the bow and the crossbow and Kaka Yata, the oldest agent in the Intelligence Service, is still one its deadliest fighters. The Slahas, a married couple who prefer joint assignments, both skilled in disguise and deception, round out the team. The journey will test them all. The journey will test them all as they discover the truth about the Messengers and about worlds beyond their own.
About the Author
Warren X. Ison was a true Renaissance man, a scholar, teacher, B-24 mechanic, rail-fan, hitch-hiker, husband, and my father. He was the son of a teacher from South Dakota and a Bavarian-born steam engineer and Union man. An Ohio boy, he grew up during the Great Depression, went to college, and then to war. After the War, he continued his education, finishing a Masters in History at Bowling Green of Ohio. His calling was as an educator – he taught in small rural schools across Michigan, including the newly formed Maple Valley district in Nashville and Vermontville, Michigan where he was the first librarian. He married my mother, Mary Allen, a good Mormon girl from Utah (and that is a story in itself). He remarried after Mary’s death, to Ferceyna Easterlin – who he picked up in the Graduate Library of the University of Michigan. They were in a Reference class together and they both wanted a smart person in their lives. She was the sort of woman who could understand someone deciding to hitch-hike to Alaska and ride trains for fun. And she didn’t mind an instant daughter. This book, and several others, are products of my father’s imagination. He wrote this book in the 1960’s – while I was in high school, so in some ways I grew up with Hila and Beta and the others. He wrote – and re-wrote – and edited – this book on a typewriter – which meant multiple copies, lots of paper, and a good deal of frustration, but ending in a manuscript that he sent out to publishers. My father never did find a publisher, but here we are, 50 years later, and this is my chance to share the world my father’s imagination created. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Janet Rice Round Rock, Texas 2015