Dark Earth

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Dark earth.jpg
Title: Dark Earth
Cover Artist: Don Semora
Genre: Military, Sci-Fi
Series: Earthfleet Extended Universe
Publication Date: January 2013
Media Types: Ebook
ISBN: 978-1301422661

Dark Earth is one of several books in the Earthfleet Extended Universe and covers the adventures of Grand Admiral Pendleton and his adventures in an alternate reality from the one we know.

Back Cover Blurb

Transported to another dimension, Pendleton and his crew are thrown headlong into a battle with an alternate Earth; one who is dark, evil, and thirsty for conquest. Faced with enemies all around and no way home, Pendleton must use his wits and cunning to undo the evil of the Sol Empire and restore this alien galaxy to peace once again. But with limited resources, few allies and far from home, can he and his tiny fleet make a difference, or will they simply be brushed aside by the fires of war?

Book Summary

The story begins with Joel Pendleton, now the Grand Admiral of Earthfleet sitting in his office complaining about the incredible workload he's being faced with every day. Deciding he's had enough, he decides to take a brief cruise around the galaxy to just get away for a few days. Mike Clayton, who's now retired, comes along aboard the newly rebuilt Generation 3 Sergenious. Pendleton joins him briefly for old time's sake, and pilots the ship for a brief while. However, as a safety precaution, Dutch follows them in the Prometheus and the Apollo, just to be safe. Upon Pendleton rejoining the Prometheus, they encounter a device that transports them to another dimension. As they try getting their bearings, Basil, their Yandian advisor, tells them that this device belongs to a race of inter-dimensional beings who visited the dimension near its beginning. Understanding this, the crews get to work trying to phone home to Earth using a trans-dimensional bridge. While this is happening, Zoahn cautiously scans the area for danger. As he does, Sarah detects him, and then transports to where he's at to confront him. It's at this point that it's revealed that Zoahn isn't actually a bad guy, but rather a deep cover operative pretending to be evil in order to protect Sarah, as strange as that sounds.

About this time the Prometheus makes contact with their Earth and informs them of the situation, which then sets the Society on a course to finding a way to bring everyone home. However, as they're doing this they're detected by the local imperial military, who sends ships to investigate. After a brief, but heated conversation, the imperial battleships open fire, but are easily brushed aside by the vastly superior firepower of the Prometheus. Pendleton then works diligently to search out and find any sign of a device in that dimension similar to what brought them there, but have no luck. So they spread out to broaden their efforts. Zoahn follows the Sergenious, as Sarah is his concern. As they make one of their sensor stops he decides to make his move, he forces Sarah to reveal who she really is. Thinking that Mike will either hate, or be fearful of her, he instead reveals that he actually loves her, and now feels comfortable saying that. Meanwhile Pendleton and the others learn of the Sol Empire and the history of this galaxy. In another area of space, Dutch follows a series of clues sent to them by a mysterious third party. When they finally make contact, they discover that it's a group of human resistance fighters battling the empire. And, while they don't start out on the best of terms, they do come to a mutual understanding.

Over at Wolf 359, Mike and the Sergenious work to gather information on the Empire as Zoahn floats over Earth in search of answers of his own. He soon discovers Ilik, a dark Benoi and realizes that he's at the center of all this, and what his ultimate plans are, both for this dimension, and the multiverse as a whole. Zoahn then reports this information to Mike and the others, helping them to formulate a plan of attack to stop Ilik and his plans of domination. Back on the ASW homeworld, Phyland and his friends work together to unravel a dark plan to throw the galaxy into chaos. Back in the Imperial Earth dimension, Pendleton begins working with the local races, and helps formulate a plan that will bring an end to Imperial Earth, and its empire, and free the galaxy to return to normal. Over on the Yandian's new homeworld in the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy, the Sergenious lands and is greeted by a group of Yandian security who initially greet them with great suspicion. But when Sarah introduces herself, using the name Inamou, one of many that she has received over the centuries, the Yandians immediately recognize her and then realize that Mike and is team are not enemies, making them relax. He asks for their help, but they refuse.

Back in the Milky Way, Pendleton puts together a battle force to go up against the Imperial navy. The battle is pitched at first and, despite the control network being down, Ilik is able to control his forces. However, eventually Zoahn blocks that, causing the Imperial forces to fall into disarray. With them no longer under his sway, Ilik rises up to attack Pendleton's fleet. But, before he can reach them, out of nowhere the Sergenious arrives and fires on Ilik. The blasts do no harm to him, but they do distract him long enough for Pendleton's fleets to turn and flee. The Sergenious then relays a message from Lancaster to the remaining imperial ships, encouraging them to flee, which they do. Enraged by this, Ilik turns his attention towards the Sergenious to destroy it. However, before he can, Sarah intervenes on their behalf, and gives Ilik the beatdown of his life. Eventually Ilik gives up and is arrested. However, before he does, he gives the others a warning that he's only one of many, and that, in time, others like him will come, and that the multiverse will be overthrown. Afterwards Azom and the other Benoi return everyone to their home dimensions where they belong, and then return to formerly imperial Earth to put the galaxy there back together and to heal the wounds caused by Ilik's tyranny.

Back in Sol Space, Pendleton returns to his desk job again, happy to be back to his normal, boring job of paperwork shuffling. Pendleton even discusses this with Dutch. Eventually the conversation moves to Mike's pending wedding, and how that might play out, given who Sarah is. Over in the Mars Colonies, Mike and Sarah anxiously wait for word from the Benoi council, as it will be they who will decide if this wedding is to go forward. Eventually Azom and Zoahn appear and bring them the good news, that their wedding has been approved. However, there's a catch. To marry Mike, Sarah has to agree to give up her immortality, and her powers. In short, she has to give up being a Benoi and instead become human, just like Mike. She agrees without hesitation. She is then transformed into a human, which initially feels weird to her. However, she's not the only one who's changed. As Azom's wedding gift to both Sarah and Mike, he's in turn made Mike young again, returning him to how he looked when he was about twenty. The happy couple thank him for his gift, and then send them away to get married. But, as they do, Azom warns Zoahn that things aren't all roses and rainbows as they will still have many dark days ahead of them. As such, he requests that Zoahn continue his mission of watching over them, to which Zoahn happily agrees.

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