Dylan Groscup knows things, but not how to dogfight with a jetpack or turn alien weeds into weapons. He didn't set out to lead a science team through an undeclared holy-war. He just wants a quiet life and a home in which to keep his family and his secrets. A mission to colonize a frontier planet is just the chance he needs.
Contact with Earth has been lost. The paradise world may be more dangerous than it looks. Someone is trying to kill him.
Now Dylan must keep his people alive long enough to learn the fate of the lost aliens before humanity repeats their mistakes. It will take science and savvy and the courage to risk those he cares for most. He may get them all killed, but he holds the key to saving mankind. He just doesn't know it yet.
First 150 Words:
The straight and narrow had shifted again, and Dylan was hurrying to catch up. If they were recalled now, he'd lose his captain's slot and the land grant. He'd be out of second chances.
He stepped from the jungle and around something not unlike a coconut tree. The air over the beach already wavered with heat. The stunning panorama cried out for lounge chairs and a colorful drink—but not today.
He pulled off his wraparound sunglasses and blew away the dust, then glowered briefly at his reflection, at a face still jowly from eight month's idle space duty. He still had some good years in him, but the implant exemption had ended with the war. He was a dinosaur, and he was letting his old man down. A breaking surf and ocean breeze weren't going to change that.
The air smelled of salt and sweet flowers.
On the other hand, he thought, it don’t hurt.