The Valkyries of Andromeda

      Lindsay Peet / Science Fiction
The Valkyries of Andromeda

Twenty-fourth century scoundrel Jaf Daskal takes an honest look back on the adventure that started his unlikely climb to 'hero'.Stumbling on the 'lost planet' of Caliuga, he and his criminal crew try to engage in harmless fraud, but end up experimenting with a new drug and founding a new religion. Oh, and a war breaks out, with Jaf and crew trying their best to survive and profit from it all.Okay, here goes. When Jaf Daskal betrays the sinister fellow who paid him to recover a mysterious ‘treasure,’ he feels like he’s being pursued by the Valkyries of Andromeda as he and his little band are launched into a bizarre adventure of fraud, power, sex, drugs, and religion that culminates in a battle for planet-wide freedom.Valkyries of Andromeda is a science fiction adventure story that begins the saga of Jaf Daskal,an orphan brought up by a poor elderly woman on the afterthought planet Kipple. From her he learned some appreciation of universal feminine attributes; from the city he learned to adapt and fit in, to be everybody’s friend, and to bend ethics in order to survive. He goes into free-lance work, doing whatever pays, contracting to recover a mysterious treasure on the desert planet of Mobahey. There he signs on two drifters, one oh-so-sharp and one oh-so-peculiar, and the three head out on a hunt. But first, Jaf also arranges with the original discoverer of the treasure map, an eccentric old sort, to betray Jaf’s sponsor so the two can make off with the treasure themselves. Once the ‘treasure’ (two big rubbery balls) is brought back to town the sponsor figures out what’s up and comes after them like the ‘Valkyries of Andromeda’, and they make a hasty uncharted escape to equally uncharted Caliuga, a planet settled by wayward travelers over the past couple centuries. There they are mistaken for the Empire’s Inspector General, Caliuga’s first contact with the Empire ever, bringing joy that the planet of castaways will soon be re-connected to civilization, and all its blessings.The Caliugan settlements have mostly prospered peacefully, but the latest arrivals (before Jaf and crew) are trying to consolidate and gain power over the others by forming a Planetary Union and coercing other colonies into joining; it is into this vortex that Jaf and his crew are drawn. Fraud, confusion, intrigue, schemes and plots ensue as Jaf is sucked into the politics of Caliuga, and it all culminates with battles and bloodshed.Valkyries of Andromeda is the first in a series of stories told by Jaf Daskal, a man of the 24th century who has been many things in his life, often mistaken for noble or heroic. Here he takes a shameless look back at his hundred-year career that made him famous enough that people would care about his life, and candid enough that they would enjoy his account.
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