"Don’t move. Blink twice if you hear me. Oh well, what the hell. What could the pine trees do to her? She blinked twice.e"

After failing her zoology final, Terri agrees to an extra credit assignment from her teacher, Mr. Siderai, who everyone calls “Professor.” While on the lookout for marmot droppings, Terri and Siderai stumble upon a group of mysterious ape-like creatures unlike any known animal on earth. Consumed with curiosity—and with Terri's grade held hostage—the two begin a series of investigations that lead to the discovery of the creatures’ spaceship. Learning that the ship is running out of fuel and capable of creating a fission bomb-sized detonation should it run out of power, Terri and the Professor are forced into working with the aliens to refuel their ship. As time continues to run out, Terri will learn about a second race of aliens approaching the Earth, the mysterious pendant that belonged to her late father, a link to ancient civilizations, and the survival of the human race.

The author of this story wastes no time in getting right into the action and mystery of this unique science fiction tale. While the humans and aliens can typically only communicate through the onboard voice of “Spockette” translating between the two groups, the main characters provide enough balanced dialogue. Siderai’s scientific mind and passive approach provide the story’s momentum, while Terri’s blunt sarcasm and reluctant heroism offer up a relatable humanity. Most of the conflict stems from the uneasy alliance that forms between the aliens Thinker, Manager, and Enforcer along with the humans who discover them, but before long the complex hierarchy of interplanetary life provides nonstop tension and adrenaline. Using the familiar scenario of first contact and tweaking it with imaginative alien races and an integration with indigenous culture, this story strikes out into the unknown almost immediately and pulls the reader along for chapter after chapter of nonstop intensity.

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