Shane Lawrence has inherited a problem: when the Turncoat Armada surrendered, no one considered the future well-being of its crew. Determined to fulfill this unexpected obligation, the necromancer sets forth to find a refuge for his emotionally battered military fleet, turning his gaze to the uninhabited planet of TR-75.
But there's a catch. TR-75 has already been claimed - by the planet herself. "Janikk" whispers her name on the winds, stirring up the native wildlife to decimate all incursions with vengeful distrust.
Resolving to succeed where others have failed, Shane's team embarks with a different priority, one focused on respect for the ancient spirit said to haunt the coveted world. They soon discover winning her favor requires facing the ghosts of their own pasts.
Shane Lawrence's rise from humble janitor to the founder of the Mordena mercenaries continues with Spirits of the Relentless, a 100k word novel exclusive to my Patreon subscribers!
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!"