Ashes of Wrath [Master of My Fate Volume 1]

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Categories: Science Fiction
Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing/Double Dragon eBooks | Date published: 01/08/2008


Four Earthyears before Signe drives Norman's force of invaders off Gaea, Michael, Captain of a six-man Columbian military scientific team, docks a crippled ship on an isolated Gaean space station occupied by a team of civilian researchers. The Columbians capture a female Gaean life-support engineer, but fail to force her to reveal the location of the sole escape vehicle, before her comrades lift. Cleo's feat provokes bitter anger in three of the six men now marooned on the isolated outpost, but most of all in Nigel, the dangerous and sometimes cruel second officer. Determined to retain control of his men, Michael makes Cleo part of his crew, and shares her sexually with his five crewmen. Mastering her outrage, Cleo agrees, in order to avoid worse consequences. She endures a harrowing week working under Nigel and spending a night with each man in succession. She defuses Conrad's anger, befriends Leonard, puzzles over Marvin's behavior, finds a refuge in Justin, and lives in dread of the final night she must spend with Nigel. Faced with that actuality, she musters courage enough to win the Lieutenant's grudging admiration. Products of a society that denies women entry to the professions, the Columbians grow to admire Cleo's professional capability. By nature affectionate and outgoing, saddened by tragic personal loss, Cleo grows to care deeply for Leonard, the youngest crewman, Conrad, a hard-bitten spacer, and Justin, a compassionate medic. She develops sympathy for Marvin, a social misfit. Intuitively, she senses the distance from his men Michael's position as leader requires him to maintain, and the loneliness that parallels that need. Her cognizance of his motives coupled with her respect for his obvious talent for leadership overcomes her initial resentment of his treatment of her. The labor of constructing a self-regenerative life-support system into Section Eleven becomes especially demanding. The pressures take a heavy toll on Marvin. When Michael sharply reprimands Marvin in the presence of the others, Cleo contends with the social misfit's utter despair. Having confided how she learned long ago to vanquish her own lapses into violent anger, she helps him cope. Nigel's jealousy of Michael's higher rank and ability to dominate becomes reinforced by jealousy of what he perceives as Michael's ability to secure Cleo's full regard. Cleo fears that Nigel, a notorious duelist, will challenge and kill Michael. The cumulative strains wreak serious damage on Cleo's emotional balance. When an incendiary crisis occurs, irremediable disaster gets narrowly averted in a wholly astonishing manner. This action-filled narrative forms the first volume of the ninth novel in a series of nine books portraying an ongoing saga of futuristic action, adventure and romance.