Chronicles of Kassouk - The Beginning - A Prequel
by Vijaya Schartz
From Desert Breeze Publishing
Also in print, and everywhere in all eBook formats
When Trixie's starfreighter drops out of jump space in an uncharted part of the universe, she believes the M class planet on her viewer represents hope and salvation for her motley crew and the ragtag settlers of Noah's Ark. Kostas, ex Space Marine, the expert survivalist recruited for this expedition, doesn't believe in coincidences, and knows that when something looks too good to be true, it usually is.
Everyone, on this voyage, is fleeing something, and harbors dangerous secrets... including Trixie, who vowed to never let a man control her life again. As for Kostas, the settlers would lynch him on the spot if anyone suspected who he is. But on this seemingly abandoned planet, others are watching, herding them for evil purposes... and when the truth emerges and secrets unravel, Trixie and Kostas will fight for survival, for freedom, and for the right to love...
Kostas glanced at the man’s retreating back and smiled at Trixie. "Captain,
may I have a word?"
"Make it brief." She rubbed her gloved hands together.
"I took the liberty of loading two large pallets of weapons." Kostas pointed
to the place in the column where he’d positioned them.
"How typical!" Trixie’s voice erupted loud and cutting, with a hint of
exasperated sarcasm. "I specifically requested survival supplies only." She
counted on her gloved fingers. "Livestock, food, medicine, tools..."
Her attitude sluiced Kostas like an icy shower. Tempted to clam up, he
decided otherwise but struggled to keep his tone neutral and low. "You’ll need
these weapons if whoever shot us down comes looking for us."
"We were shot down by automated defenses on the small moon." Trixie shook her
head in obvious frustration. "No one manned the guns. We detected no ships in
Trusting his instincts, Kostas refused to capitulate. "Still..."
"Still what?" She took a quick breath. "You military types are all alike.
Shoot first, think later. These pallets could have carried more food rations."
Kostas ground his teeth, then struggled to keep his voice civil. "I beg to
disagree, Captain. Whoever built that moon station did it for a reason. Some
advanced civilization staked a claim on this planet, and they may return at any
"If they ever return." Trixie’s visible efforts to calm herself failed
as her voice rose again. "That battery of cannons might have been on the moon
for centuries. That race may never come back, or not in this millennium. But
without food, many of these people will die of starvation or related disease
before the end of the winter."
"Hold it, Captain." Kostas wouldn’t let her blame him for doing the right
thing. "We still might be able to get more rations tomorrow."
"Orders are orders, soldier." Her voice dropped to a quiet but threatening
level. "I expect you of all people to follow them to the letter."
Kostas refused to apologize for his actions. "May I remind you, Captain, that
we are not on your ship anymore. You have no authority on land, and I am the
survival expert on this expedition."
She just stared at him, open-mouthed.
Afraid he’d say something he might
regret, Kostas tightened his jaw and held Trixie’s glare without flinching. She
didn’t flinch either. So much fire in those cool blue eyes. Damn! She was
beautiful when angry.