by Kris Katzen
Published by Bluetrix Books, Smashwords edition
© 2010 by the author
Copyrighted material. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without the express prior written consent of the author.
All characters and events in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental.
At that moment, William Riley longed to be back on the Atalanta. The Atalanta was not strewn with dismembered corpses.
The mission had been so straightforward and easy—not the usual assignment for the Earth Military Force vessel. It didn't even take them far off their patrol route: drop off an advance survey team on Tir Five, the fifth planet and only Earthlike world around Tir. That part had gone well enough. Riley had provided transportation, and he and his crew had helped them set up. The ship was barely a day away when the distress call had come from the colonial scouts.