Aliens are among us.
Aliens are among us.
United StatesSmall town in the mid west
Present DaySmall town in the mid west
Humanity struggles to learn how to live with aliens.
Kindra is returning to Earth in an Aquilan ship. She has succeeded in her part of Mike’s plan to build an alliance with the bird race, but she failed to protect David, the scientist Mike used as bait to attract the Aquilans to Earth. In his place, Kindra was gifted Lacey, a seven-foot lion member of the boarding party from a Pantheran war ship.
On Earth, Kindra’s friends meet Mike and learn he is a host to a Koinobi, a parasitic insect that rules the Pantheran worlds with which the Aquilans are at war. It is their deep trust in Kindra that helps them accept Mike as a friend. Mike’s parasite, Tweeskzaht, has been hiding on Earth for thousands of years and longs to reveal herself to humans. Kindra’s success may mean that humanity is ready to accept aliens, but more experimentation is needed before Tweeskzaht will risk exposing herself. The next step in her plan to ease Earth into the galactic community is to allow limited contact between the aliens and humans.
One alien hates Mike and all humans. Captain Narete’s career is in shambles because of her failure to find and kill Tweeskzaht. Marooned on Earth and ill, she lives only for revenge.
Most of the aliens are eager to meet humans for a variety of reasons. The older couple came to Earth to escape discrimination and find acceptance for the first time in the eyes of humans. The businessman and the ship’s captain fear an alliance between humans and Pantherans and seek to form a relationship through trade. Lacey sees this odd mix of species as her pride and is eager to win acceptance among all humans. The first meetings produce an even split of awe and fear as each new encounter earns a new friend or enemy.
A confrontation in the woods behind Mike’s house goes awry when Lacey kills and eats the neighbor’s dog. The neighbor, shamed by his own fear, plots Lacey’s death. But more than one person in the sleepy little town is willing to see beyond Lacey’s teeth and claws. After several attempts to kill the lion, the neighbor’s mental anguish at his failure drives him to suicide.
The Aquilans make friends easier but find humans can be dangerous when they’re mobbed at a grocery store by a news crew trying to debunk a rumor of aliens.
As the news of aliens goes national, Mike tries to regain control by keeping the party hidden, but Narete has plans to use the alien hunters to rid the universe of Mike, Lacey, and the Aquilan traitors. In the process she is captured. The entire group tries to rescue Narete before she can get herself killed and them exposed.
Although, they manage to get her back, Narete decides suicide is preferable to living in a universe where Aquilans, Humans, and Pantherans live in peace. Some of the Aquilans prepare to leave taking a few of their human friends back to their world. Mike is pleased that Earth is on the threshold of contact with the Aquilans, but finds he is not ready to reveal himself to the world.
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