Come see the most beautiful and bountiful planet in all known Universes.
Bring your family.
Hike our mountain trails.
Swim in our crystal clear waters
Taste the amazing array of foods that grow here.
Come to Pontus, to a planet blessed by the Goddess.
General Treyvon Rayner snorted as he read the text of the ancient travel brochure he had found when setting up his command center in an old military base on Pontus, even as his finger ran reverently over the image. It showed a vibrant planet full of such life and color that it hurt to look at it.
He moved and looked out his small window to the landscape outside. This is what Pontus was now.
The only sounds of life heard were those of his men as they worked to secure the base.
It had been this way for over five hundred years. This was where the great infection had struck first. On Pontus.
No one had understood what was happening or why back then. The sun still shone on Pontus. The rains still came. Nothing had changed.
Except nothing would grow.
Trees that had stood for hundreds of years dropped all their leaves and now stood as haunting reminders of once lush forests.
With all the planet life gone the animals soon followed and with them the people.
The Kaliszians could have survived the loss of Pontus for they had other planets that produced food but the great infection quickly spread to them as well, and within fifty years the Kaliszian empire went from being a self-supporting empire to being dependent on the Tornian Empire to feed their people.
All because of one Kaliszian.
Chancellor Aadi Rayner.
Acoose had governed Pontus, a coveted position, and one he seemed well fitted for. He'd been raised within the royal family, a cousin to the emperor. He was also a good friend of the Tornian Emperor, Lucan Berto.
To good of friend it turned out, because when Acoose discovered Lucan was raping his young daughters, he agreed not to report it, for a price. That price had the Tornians buying food stocks they didn't need, for an exorbitant price, increasing Acoose's wealth.
The Goddess' response had been swift and merciless against the Kaliszians. She removed her gift of their abundant, life supporting food sources.
Food had gone from something openly shared and enjoyed to something hoarded and eaten quickly no matter the taste or texture. Your position in Kaliszian society, what you could contribute to it, now determined the amount of food you received.
Warriors were among the best fed and it caused their ranks to swell to the point were they could be very selective. It also made them in high demand by their females for they were as equally well fed.
Now he, a Rayner, was back on Pontus, the place of his family's greatest dishonor. He'd almost refused to obey his Emperor when Liron ordered Treyvon and his men here to assist in the search for Emperor Wray's downed shuttle.
Why would the Goddess want him on Pontus?
The wrap of knuckles on his door had him turning to find his second-in-command, Gryf, standing there.
"I know why the Zaludians attacked."
It looked like Treyvon was about to find out.
About the Author:
I have always loved to read and writing is just a natural extension of this for me. Growing up I loved to extend the stories of my favorite books and TV shows just to see where the characters went. I've been happily married for nearly twenty-five years to an awesome man and have two great kids. Now that the kids are out of the house, at least most of the time, I've found I have the time to write again.