Another time, another galaxy. The mysterious crime lord Thrull has aspirations beyond controlling the underworld in a single corner of the galaxy. Thrull wants to bring the galaxy under one rule and build a legitimate Galactic Empire. For years he has been training an army of his followers and building his own private Armada. But he knows he must also find the Staff of Rahgorra, a weapon of mythic power. To keep Thrull from finding the Staff the Galactic Security Bureau, peacekeepers of the galaxy, has pressed back into service a banished agent. Chameleon Del Rey was expelled from the GSB for avenging the death of a friend and for practicing the forbidden art of Jai Kin. Now he must train a young apprentice to use Jai Kin and find the Staff of Rahgorra before Thrull does in order to avoid a war that will stretch across the galaxy.
Thrull did not react as a side door of the observation lounge hissed open. He continued to watch the shuttle’s approach as the sound of boots striking the cool marble floor echoed through the lounge. His visitor finally came to a halt two meters behind and just to the left of him. After more than a minute, when the shuttle had almost reached the landing bay’s magnetic doors, he glanced up to see Tok’s reflection in the glass.
“You have news for me,” he said gruffly. It was not a question.
Tok seemed to stiffen his posture. “We just received word that the transport has arrived,” Tok said.
Thrull nodded. “Has the rest of the trap been set?” he asked. This he phrased as a question.
“Yes, Sire,” he said. “Linu contacted us an hour ago. She and the Talon should be here within the hour.”
Thrull turned to face Tok. “Good,” he said. “Tell her I want to see her as soon as she gets here.”
Thrull paused, looking the young man up and down. Hard to believe it was almost fifteen years ago that he had first taken them under his wing. Tok had been the youngest, only nine. He taught them everything he knew. They became his family, his thirty children. And now, after just fifteen years, he had gone from a mysterious upstart with a band of teenaged commandos to the verge of taking over the galaxy. “Would you please escort our guest up here. I’ll be in to see him shortly.”
“Yes, Sire,” Tok said, but Thrull was already halfway to a second side door.
“Ironically, I don’t read a lot of science fiction, so I couldn’t compare it to another book. I’m more of a sci-fi movie and TV buff. I guess The Staff of Rahgorra is sort of a mixture of Indiana Jones and Star wars.”
— Mark Oetjens
Mark Oetjens was born in 1971. He grew up in suburban Chicago. As a child he was diagnosed with Dystonia, a debilitating neuromuscular disorder. Though there is no cure for Dystonia, surgeries and rehabilitation allowed him to walk with only a slight limp by the time he started high school. He received a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Anthropology, both from Northern Illinois University. As an adult a brain tumor, completely unrelated to his Dystonia, threatened to disable him a second time. Thanks to radiation therapy the tumor has disappeared. Mark currently lives in Phoenix, AZ.
Mark’s latest book is the science fiction novel, The Staff of Rahgorra.
You can visit his website at www.conquerpublishing.com.