My next book called Deflection (for now), is a sequel to Similar But Not the Same.
A piece of metal, found by a small boy in Arizona, guides him into adulthood as Tucson's finest detective on the trail of murder and political twists in the twenty-fourth century. Three murders occurring during the same night, becomes suspicious when Detective Blackhawk meets a distraught rich girl. After placing her in a safe house with friends, he follows his suspect to the Moon and Mars where he meets one of the aliens for the first time.
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"Hi, Mike, what's going on?" She mumbled slowly with great difficulty as she struggled against the anesthesia effects.
Mike and the corporal both stood up and approached her hospital bed.
"You are doing just great, Alice," Mike quietly answered, "but this man would like you to answer a few questions if you can."
Before she could muster up a nod, the soldier began,
"I am Corporal Benington to take your statement. Did you see anyone or any ahman with Meeia before the tunnel breach?" He asked without showing emotion.
Her head, clearing some, tried to remember that moment.
"Why? What has 'he' done?"
Mike leaned into her still bruised face, "Nothing, just try to answer the question as best you can," he repeated.
She seemed reassured, but not entirely, she thought back to that time, two or was it three sol days ago. With care she chose her words, as she began her tale.
"We had just quit work in the lab and I had said 'good-bye' to the remaining lab personnel. Meeia was one of them, and only those that belonged in the lab were there. We all walked out of the lab about the same time.
Trying hard to think, she continued. “I then turned to go to the restroom to change out of my lab clothes. I heard a noise I think I ran out… Sorry, but after that I am a total blank, until I woke up in the safe room.
Alice returned to her cabin, tired from the day’s lab work. One soil sample was encouraging with small microbes, long since died as fossils. She let Frederick out of his cage and stripped down in the cold room quickly to take her shower of a small amount of moisture and drying off with ultraV light shining around her slim form. The dust in the tunnels seemed to be everywhere and in every pore of her once smooth skin. Watching, the cat wondered why humans can’t just lick themselves clean. Getting bored he jumped down to the twenty-four inch air vent screen to bat his toy about. The toy still would not release from the screw from which it hung. Every time Frederick pawed at the small object, the screen screw of the vent loosened, and then suddenly it popped off onto the floor.
Frederick bent down to smell the small screw, and finding it not edible, he turned his attention toward the air vent. As he began to pull the aluminum screen toward him, it easily bent, leaving a small opening where he could hear voices. ‘Maybe there is food down there,’ he thought. Luckily his mistress had removed his body weight, leaving the small ankle weights on. His bulky size almost didn’t fit, but cats with their limber spine are able to rotate until… he vanished down the ventilation shaft!
“Ah that feels so much better,” Alice said aloud not realizing no one including Frederick had heard her. She dressed in her padded black slacks and wrap around green tunic that she wanted to wear to dinner. Getting out some canned cat food, she popped the lid and started to spoon it out into Frederick’s food bowl.
“OK, Freddy, here you go,” she announced as she began to place the bowl on the floor by the bed. “Frederick? Freddy, where are you?” She exclaimed looking everywhere a cat could possibly hide in this small room. Looking under the nightstand, she saw the vent with its screen pulled out.
“Oh, no!” She cried.
Dropping the cat’s food dish recklessly onto the floor, she ran out into the hallway, still trying to get her second boot on. Just in time she saw Mike Carone walking by in the hallway.
The ahmans knew it would be a long time before the humans allowed their ships to move any closer to Mars. From the scout research findings, the humans had the capability to laser fire at asteroids that may come too close to Earth. So it would seem possible the ahman’s ships could become targets if they dare to show aggression. In theory the ahmans could destroy many humans on Earth, but what accomplishment would that be? Resources are limited to a point and the ahmans believed peace would gain much more than destruction. So the ahmans sat and waited.
In their cabin prior to sleep time, Poppi and Dobi calmly read human stories on their reading tablets. Poppi liked the mysteries as the other was reading about the human’s entrance into space.
“Poppi,” Dobi said, not meaning to interrupt.
“Yes, Dobi, what is it?”
“How long do you think we will have to wait?”
“Hopefully, a few months, but the last time our people waited for protocols to be met, it took almost two years.”
“Aaahhhhgggg,” Dobi exclaimed almost in a whisper. “I don’t think I can wait that long!”
“You will, patience my friend,” Poppi reminded.
“It’s getting late, I’m going to bed, good sleep, Poppi,” the ahman said lying down on a bed of fake furs.
“Good sleep, to you Dobi. Oh, I almost forgot, Nommi is coming over tomorrow with a little one for lunch.”
“Oh, good, thanks, Poppi.” With that Dobi laid down to sleep, wondering if the ‘little one’ was related.