At the end of the novel, Star Time, there are attached two short stories which serve as bridges to more adventures. We have already seen "Hodge's Heart" which leads to the novel Kingdom of the Hill Country. However, Abe and Sharon, the main characters of Star Time, head off to a very different future. Below is the prologue for a collection of short fiction to be collected as Tales of the U'tanse. Other than the initial tale which appeared after the novel and will come next, these stories will appear here on this site first, before becoming a published anthology.
Before The Arrival
After thousands of years being nothing more than the ‘arm-pit’ of the constellation Orion in the sky of the Human Home World, Betelgeuse had the last say. It was getting old, as stars go. For all of human history and more, it had been a red giant, bloated up and just hanging on.
Then the time came. The star collapsed and exploded into a supernova. Not a tidy one. There were lobes and flares in this gigantic eruption. One of those flares just happened to be aimed at a much smaller star, Sol, the parent star of the planet called Earth.
The human technology, based on tiny structures called semiconductors, collapsed under the onslaught of powerful electromagnetic pulses. And then high velocity particles blasted that atmosphere, bathing the planet in sickening radiation. Many died, but as the Star faded, people had learned to stay out of the star light and were posed for survival and recovery.
It could have been much worse. The Cerik are predators and it was as natural as breathing to wait in hiding until prey were weakened and distressed. If it had not been for our ancestors, the first of the U’tanse. All of the Earth and all of the humans would have been prey for the chase.
Abe and Sharon fought the Cerik for all of human kind, and they won, at the cost of their own freedom.
That is the great secret we share, behind our telepathic blocks and our acts of servitude to our Cerik masters. Two U’tanse defeated a Cerik clan, and we have inherited all of their power. Someday, when the time is right, the U’tanse will move, and reclaim our freedom.