In this sweeping sequel to The Tdeshi Quest, Jorma and Venna's idyllic life in Sinbara is upended by a visit from a couple from Earth in search of important documents that Tdeshi's clone daughter left in the house where they are living.
couple old maps, a receipt for some dusty cargo and a derelict Brazilian starship may be all that stands between Kassidor and destruction by a giant asteroid. Many secretly struggle for control of that ship while others, driven by jihad against the Kassikan, struggle for control of the asteroid.
The story ranges from quiet peasant farms, thru the bustle of the Yakhan, the wilds of the Highlands and into the simulated realms of the Angels. Eight characters face the same time-line, each knowing more about what's happening, each learning more about themselves and about the structure of the societies that may come after ours.
Jorma beheld a world of blue and orange-kissed white, the sweeping blue expanse of the lake and the gleaming white of the snow sticking to every branch, glowing orange in the dawn. It was week Kyebenwae and after six weeks, winter was finally starting to abate. Only a few inches of gentle snow had fallen this past Dawnsleep, leaving all the shaftwoods coated with white, looking like fingers of frost on the stained glass of the lake.
"How pretty," Venna said, pressing herself warmly to his back, "and how beautifully silent."
Just as she said that a large clump of snow fell from the noodle tree with a loud rumble on the leaves of the roof. In spite of the snow, Kortrax brought warmth and that tree was already pushing forth its leaves for the light. "So much for silent," he said.
She laughed, "Lets go in and get some breakfast. It's still too cold to be out here like this." She was still nude, something she truly loved.
"Sure," he said, "That workout we just had is enough to give a guy major hunger."
She giggled again and rubbed her chest against his back once more before going inside. He had already donned a full length worker, but there was wet snow on the deck and his feet were starting to protest aggressively. He followed her trim body and billow of orange curls thru the door only a few steps behind. She slipped into the same thick-knit wrap she had on the day they met. That was back when he and Ava went down to the Yakhan to follow Tdeshi's trail, the trail that lead him to Venna.
Venna was all the adventure Tdeshi had ever been and then some. At least as enthusiastic, at least as sexy, with an even better figure and all the social skills but a more genuine manner. She had become instantly popular around town, especially here on north island. Finding Venna on the way to the Yakhan was at least as good as finding Tdeshi in Ava would have been. He now knew that could never happen, that body would forever remain under Ava's control.
Venna had taken the lead in cooking in their partnership, leaving him with most of the garden chores. This garden was big enough that he had only been over to his own place enough to see that it wasn't vandalized and that the neighbors still knew he claimed it. He should start a cash crop that needed little care over there next week. It might net him a couple irons and make the place look occupied. There had been lean times in Sinbara before and everyone remembered when property had been abandoned as people left for the deeps. Two thousand miles to the east the former seabed was now a fertile prairie and was reclaiming many of those who had come up here during the 40's as that sea dried out.
Times were not that bad in Sinbara today if one had land. Between he and Venna they owned over four acres. Venna bought this home from Ava, the scientist from the Yakhan who had taken over Tdeshi's body after she OD'd on Shonggot.
"Can you get me a few onion shoots?" she asked, "I think I saw some up last week. They'll be frozen but fresher than these."
He went out to the garden, there were a few up above the snow that remained. They had already melted and slumped, but they were a nice bright green and didn't feel slimy yet so he brought them inside. "The plant won't be needing this anyway," he said.
"That's fine," she said, she had already matted some thesh for patter-mats.