Galactic Mandate: The Scream
by M.R. Richardson
Genre: SciFi, Space Opera
A young clone starts a journey that will take him to the far reaches of the galaxy. He must choose between what is best for his oppressed clone brethren and the greater good while he meets dangerous villains and reluctant heroes along the way.
And who are the elusive Scream? What do they want and how far will they go to get it?
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Mato was a strapping young man. He didn’t remember much more than the reservation he and his brothers had grown up on. He sat in a wooden boat watching the ocean around them. Nothing stood out, not much to see besides more water. He hated it, he hated it for its beauty and boredom. It didn’t forgive, it didn’t do anything but move in endless waves of nothingness.
Handling his spear, he stood up now with the other young men his age. They looked around at each other in their makeshift goggles and snorkels, wearing random scraps of leather and any waterproof material they could find. The sun shone in his eyes, interfering with his ability to see over the side of the boat. The other men, the clones, for they all looked exactly like him, started to dive. This was the task created for his model. This was the way they contributed to the community waiting for them on the shore. Mato listened for the signal, a long whistle, and yelp that would tell them when to dive with their spears in hand. They would capture a whale that day, enough food to last for weeks, which would be nice. There wasn’t always enough food to go around. The reservation was sparsely populated and located on an artificial island. Not much grew on the shore, it was just sand and rocky caves that they took to hiding in when the rains came.
It was time. Eyota blew the whistle, and they were off. Eyota stood out like a sore thumb. He looked nothing like the ragged boys he called brothers. Eyota tried to dress down and wear tattered clothes that came in natural tones, but everyone could tell the difference. The materials were not the same. They were too new for any clone to afford, the wear patterns were fake and stylized, Mato didn’t think Eyota knew any better. The clothes made him believe that this is what he would look like if he were rich and tried to look poor. I would look silly, that's what I would I look like.
I shouldn’t think such ill will towards Eyota. He is one of the only reasons the reservation existed. His money personally flowed through the reservation like a river giving it life. Eyota stayed on the boat steering and driving it as the young men jumped off.
The light shinned reflecting off the water blinding Mato for a split second just enough to offset his dive. He stumbled and knocked his head on the side of the boat, sending a quick stream of blood down his face. The other boys who were after him were concerned, and they started to sound a simple alarm. His brothers leaped to his aide.
The others dove down looking deep into the sea. The ones who had makeshift scuba gear dove down deeper than the rest. They reported back with their hands, making signals up as they went, moving their hands in basic patterns while they swam. The whale they thought they were fishing for started to swim towards them in a strange, illogical way. Panic spread like a shock wave and grabbed them harder than the cold ocean. The unprepared young men speared underneath the waves and in between the fear. They stabbed at the darkness. The large harsh eyes that stared back at them was no whale. It was something new, a monster that they had never encountered before.
The panicked clones tried to swim for the surface, tried anything to get themselves above the water and away from this beast of the sea. It seemed to laugh at their flailing and inept attempts to swim away. The young had taken the wrong bait today. What looked like one known giant monster of the sea not that at all. Soon the singular set of eyes that they saw became many. What they were looking at was a school of great chameleon sharks. They swarmed the spear fishermen and ate at their bodies. Blood filled the water around them. The ocean turned from deep blue to a maroon of blood, and severed clone body parts floated without their owners.
Mato had been unconscious as his rescuers swum with him away from the massacre. His rescuers looked back in horror as their friends jumped in, not knowing the full scale of the danger that lurked below. More and more clones abandoned the boat to try and save their friends. This only fed the sharks more. Mato started to wake, he stirred his hands and feet suddenly, and his rescuers let him take more control of his own swimming. He awoke to a sight he had trouble comprehending. Blood in the water, and some kind of danger below that he couldn’t see. The rescuers panicked, and Eyota, the sole benefactor of one of the last clone reservations was left the sole occupant of their boat. No longer a fishing expedition. Mato swam towards the danger.
“Don't go that way you fool!” his clone brothers shouted.
Mato pointed at the terrified man. “If Eyota dies, we all starve.”
Galactic Mandate: A Radical Cause
by M.R. Richardson
Genre: SciFi, Space Opera
The galaxy is in turmoil. The two main powers, the Acolyte Empire and the Clone Defense Force, vie for supremacy.
Caught in between are the weaker Galactic Planetary League and independent planets, pawns to be used and discarded in the greater game. The peace of the galaxy rests on a powder keg…and the fuse is about to be lit.
As the son of the Acolyte Emperor God-Reign, Devante lives a life of power and luxury that few can fathom.
Since childhood, he has devoted his life to one thing: freeing the clone slaves of the CDF and banning the practice of cloning throughout the galaxy. But he is about to uncover a secret that goes to the heart of the empire he loves and serves, one that will set him on a course of vengeance and destruction that will shake the galaxy to its core.
Against this backdrop of war, treachery, and intrigue, Galactic Mandate tells an epic saga of god-emperors and assassins, spies and queens, princesses and slaves.
The lives of all will be irrevocably changed as Devante embraces his destiny—for when empires collide, no one is safe, and there is no place in the galaxy to hide.
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A clear, simulated sky covered the dome, its fake sun feeling just as warm as any real one.
Insects buzzed around, birds chirped, and the tropical bio-dome was full of life. Devante, a timid
boy, sat near his father, Reign, waiting for the hover car to arrive. It wasn’t long before an
immense tank-like vehicle pulled up, loaded with all the hunting gear they required.
“Take this shotgun,” Reign ordered. Looking down, he saw Devante’s eyes raised with concern.
“It will get the job done quickly. Trust me. You don’t want this to linger on.”
Devante stopped inspecting the gun and jumped aboard the hovering SUV. Then they were off
on their journey to complete the hunt.
About forty-five minutes passed while they tracked broken branches, searching for their prey.
Frustrated at not finding anything, the driver called out, “We can always call it a day. There’ll be
plenty of hunting to do tomorrow.”
“Hell no,” yelled Reign. “I paid good money for this. We get this done or we stay out here.”
Devante felt his sense of relief fade away at his father’s words. Suddenly, a bush shook, and the
driver fired at it. Laser fire scorched the air as he took two quick shots.
The entire party set out on foot, rushing after their quarry. Devante quickly outpaced his father,
following close behind the driver, who was an expert tracker. Soon, they heard a human voice
up ahead shouting, “Ahh!” This was followed by a thud. Suddenly, a rock struck the driver’s
face, and he smacked against the ground with another thud.
Devante looked down, his eyes focused on the sight before him. His mouth curled down in a
frown, and his eyes watered. The emotions flooding through him made his skin crawl with
horror. An exact copy of himself stared back, equally shocked.
The firm hands of his father came to rest on his shoulders. “Take the shot, son.”
M.R. Richardson, with a clear mastery of world-building, creates compelling wild, cutthroat novels. Balancing vivid action, with personal reflection, existential dilemmas, and richly detailed worlds, his space operas are far more complex than first meets the eye. Combining war, politics, and intrigue, his first novel Galactic Mandate: A Radical Cause is an epic debut.
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