When Shaalara of the Alteen Zirnaath, a sapient, medium-sized spider of the jumping variety came into Eichra Oren’s office to commission the Assessor of p’Na and his symbiote, canine detective Sam Otusam, to find the location of her fiancé, they were not expecting the ‘accidents’ that impeded their research, or the taking on even more unusual clients along the way.
For conducting an investigation on the Elders’ planet is not an easy task. The Elders—large squid-like Superbeings—had ‘Appropriated’ species from all across the omniverse, plucking sapient races from alternate Earths, where they had faced extinction, or simply fascinated their new omnipotent benefactors.
While the Elders’ had introduced the Appropriated Persons and their descendants to a world where there were no wars, and gifted them with lifetimes that averaged a thousand years—at least—it had long been determined that the peaceful beings should not have taken these species from their Earths; there was a sense of unease rising within the populace.
Eichra Oren’s primary role as an Assessor of p’Na was to assess the actions of his clients, and determine whether they had atone for them—at the edge of his sword, or otherwise—but what of the Elders’ actions? Those directly involved with the Appropriation had long since ended their lives, when the moral implications of their actions had been made clear to them. But what about the rest of the Elders?
Why were there whispers of new Appropriations? And who was the mysterious new race threatening Earth?
Eichra and Sam were determined to find out…. And maybe, just maybe, find a runaway groom along the way.
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Table of ContentsCHAPTER ONE: "The Daintiest Thing Under a Bonnet" 9
CHAPTER TWO: The House of Eichra Oren 12
CHAPTER THREE: Cafe Atlantis 17
CHAPTER FOUR: "Ze Beeg Squeed" 23
CHAPTER FIVE: The House of Eneri Relda 29
CHAPTER SIX: Lethal Legacy 35
CHAPTER SEVEN: Lornis Adubudu 41
CHAPTER EIGHT: Across the Forge 47
CHAPTER NINE: The Center of the Web 53
CHAPTER TEN: Road Warriors 59
CHAPTER ELEVEN: The Garden Club 66
CHAPTER TWELVE: "Aphidsss..." 74
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Unnatural History 81
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Test Tube Truth 89
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: Death in the Morning 96
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: Father of the Bridegroom 104
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: Horrors of the Deep 112
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: Taken for a Ride 120
CHAPTER NINETEEN: Lanternlight 128
CHAPTER TWENTY: Recruitment 136
CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE: Semlohcolresh 144
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO: Jakdav Hoj and Mikado 152
CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE: Wheels Within Wheels 160
CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR: Pushing the Evidence 168
CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE: The Assessor's Sword 176
CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX: Liberty 184
CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN: Nightcrawlers 192
CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT: Council of War 200
CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE: Out of the Abyss 208
CHAPTER THIRTY: A Dream of Romance 216
CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE: Treemonisha 225
CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO: The Seas of Other Earths 234
CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE: Normalcy