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Wild Zone - Book I in the Dharman Series - Partial Synopsis

by John Schettler

In book I the Navy Frigate Achilles has been sent to the holding on Dharma VI, a recent colony prospect in the 3rd year of a lengthy certification process prior to occupation. The ship is carrying Lieutenant Timothy Scott Ryan, a Special Services operative, who is being sent in by the Administration for Frontier Affairs (AFA) to investigate sudden communications link failure on the planet. The colony on Dharma VI has  not communicated with the Waystation support facility outside the system for over 30 days. Though the problem was first attributed to a massive solar flux disturbance from the distant red giant star, the colony remained dark even after the disturbance subsided.

As Lieutenant Ryan enters the thick upper atmosphere in his landing shuttle, a malfunction causes him to eject. He lands on the tumbled volcanic flats of the planet, grateful that he is alive and still reasonably close to the "Safe Zone," a sterile open area branded into the face of the planet, and the site of  two human installations that comprised the colony holding, defended by a company of well armed troops.

Ryan’s mission is to make contact with the Dharma  facilities personnel and determine overall integrity of the colony. Safe Zone facilities include a scientific research station headed by the Planetary Conservator, Professor J. Arnot Dover. There is also a military holding company as garrison stationed at one end of the Safe Zone and commanded by Captain Beckerman.

Lt. Ryan’s search begins to uncover strange evidence that the Safe Zone has been overrun by an indigenous life form. He is puzzled to learn this, as the colony was nearing final certification status, when “control solutions” should have been in place for any dangerous life form on the planet. Yet there is no sign of the research team or army, except three robotic aids that remain active at the station.  His investigation soon becomes a struggle for survival and a search for the missing personnel begins to pull at a thread of mystery that threatens to unravel the weave of all life on the planet, and by extension of evolution itself.

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Wild Zone
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The Dharman Series Trilogy - By John Schettler - john@writingshop.ws

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