Now tasked with the safety of the Turncoat Armada and its crew, Shane Lawrence and his allies set forth to find a refuge for the emotionally battered military fleet. The uninhabited TR-75 seemingly holds all the answers – a highly habitable planet in a prime location, nice in-system asteroids with plenty of resources, a healthy star, and pretty much everything else required to set up a thriving civilization.
But there's a catch. The planet has already been claimed by herself. "Janikk" whispers her name on the winds, and the seemingly sentient planet has stirred up the native wildlife to decimate all past expeditions with vengeful distrust. Resolving to succeed where others have failed, Shane leads his team with a different priority, one focused on respect for the ancient spirit said to haunt the coveted world.
But are they prepared to face the ghosts of their own pasts?
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Pulling up the datapad, Shane set the screen to holographic projection mode. "First let's review what we do know. Jeb?"
"Sparnell sent three different expeditions to Planet TR-75, set for different seasons, different locations on the planet, and larger exploration teams with each attempt." The biologist keyed in the reports on the datapad, pulling up a sparsely mapped rendition of the planet with each of the three sites clearly marked. "The first two, no survivors. The third..." He rotated the globe to point to the expedition site. "The third attempt, they were able to rescue my former coworker on his second day. No one else."
Shane consulted his notes. "From what you shared, he claimed the planet itself killed everyone."
"He did tend to embellish." Jeb chuckled, scratching his neck. "But going off what I could gather they were hunted by several varieties of wildlife wherever they went, and the vegetation was responsible for quite a few deaths as well. The creatures in his stories do seem to match the official report," Jeb concluded. "And they're coordinated. There's definitely an intelligence at work."
"Janikk?" Jake spoke up for the first time, eyes bright. "Why did he say that's the planet's name?"
"Said he heard the wind speak." Jeb shrugged. "Said it wasn't any language he recognized, but it kept using the same word in every sentence. Janikk. Assumed it was meant as a name."
"So... Either we're traveling to a sentient planet who can coordinate with the wildlife..." Shane laughed. "Or we're chasing the frantic musings of a madman about a planet of death."
"Pretty much." Jeb flashed a smile. "Should be fun!"