In fact, she's one of the very first StarDogs!
Here's a scene from the story. (Edited for length and context.)
Lieutenant Commander Dekessa "Dek" Garr is dropped into the hot seat by her commanding officer when he announces he is making a mysterious departure and leaving her in command of a security team at a top secret dig site tagged as Site D.
Even more unsettling, a stranger has just arrived at the highly secure site and she has been provided with no intel about him or his purpose at Site D.
She intends to turn their first introduction into an opportunity to learn more about the man and his reason for being there.
Dek waited until the graying major finished giving his
safety and protocol rundown to the visitor, before stating crisply, “Thank you,
Major. I’ll take it from here.”
Remm looked up. “He’s all yours, Acting Commander.”
She strode to the table directly across from the stranger
but didn’t take a seat. The visitor gave her a frowning once-over and also got
to his feet before glancing back at Major Remm.
“This is Lieutenant Commander Garr,” the major said.
“Currently our acting commander in charge of security operations.”
The visitor gave her a stony nod. “Acting Commander.”
Dek took considerable time with her assessment of the
interloper. Keen black eyes, and not shy about holding eye contact. His
features were angular and a shade darker even than her bronze skin, but his
hair was black. It was also a bit on the short side for her tastes, but
completely professional, nevertheless. The light shadow on his chin told her he
hadn’t shaved for a day or so, but even so, he didn’t look scruffy.
On second thought, maybe he wasn’t Rathskian. At least not
entirely. He had that intense look about him, yes, but his face was more
refined—almost as pretty as a gigadam Tectolian—and lacked the scarring
kensmarcs the Rathskian subspecies wore as badges of honor. He had their
stature, though, maybe a mark or two taller than her…and he wore sand-camo
Didn’t anybody tell this guy that Site D is subsurface?
He had a hard set to his jaw and looked about as pleased to
be on site as she was to have him here.
“This is Telon,” Renn explained. “His partner goes by a code
“Partner?” Dek angled her head. “I wasn’t briefed about
“She’s classified,” Telon answered. “As is her presence
Dek narrowed her eyes. “And where is your partner?”
Telon exchanged glances with the major. “She’s here.”
He reached down beside his chair and lifted an object onto
the table by a handle set into the top. The rectangular box appeared to be made
of punched polymer with wire mesh on the side facing her.
“Say hello to the commander, CaSandra.”
Two little golden paws pressed against the mesh from the
inside. The creature attached to them gave a high-pitched bark, followed by
Startled, Dek backed off a step. The animal’s soft amber
eyes studied her from behind the mesh with its shiny nose molded tight to the
“What in Empora’s Hades is this?” she demanded.
“There isn’t a name for what she is,” Telon answered
quietly. “She’s a bio-construct, a first-generation prototype with canine,
feline, weasel, and mongoose DNA.”
Dek raised her gaze to the stranger. “Bio-constructed for
His eyes went dark and deep, like the ocean just before a
storm. “I’m not at liberty to discuss that, Acting Commander.”
He reached for the wire mesh screen—
“What are you—”
—and flipped it open.
Dek backed off another step and gripped the stunpulse
secreted in a pocket of her field uniform. The golden creature exited its
crate, eyeing her cautiously, and sniffed the air. Its pointed ears twitched
before it bolted up Telon’s sleeve and perched on his shoulder, chattering
quietly in his ear.
The man nodded and met Dek’s eyes. “Cassie says she’s on
your side. And she’d like you to release the weapon you have hidden in your
The little beastie squeaked again.
“Please,” he added.
Dek dropped her chin, squinting. “Is this creature
“Not exactly,” he replied.
The bio-construct leaned toward Telon, nuzzling the side of
his face…and purred. Huh. Just like the kitten she’d had as a kid. The man
reached up to stroke the animal’s head. Cassie craned her neck and closed her
eyes, emitting a happy gruff-gruff.
Dek’s heart warmed a degree or two.
Gigadam thing’s adorable.
She displayed her empty hand. “Tell her if she behaves, she
has nothing to fear from me.”
Telon grinned. “You just told her yourself, Acting
Commander. She understands you perfectly.”
Lieutenant Commander Dekessa “Dek”
Garr is second-in-command of a security force that protects a discovery buried
deep inside an ancient lava tube. The implications of the find are staggering,
and the stakes are high if their enemy—the Alliance—ever learns the truth about
Site D. When her commander suddenly departs with zero warning and a mysterious
visitor arrives, her job becomes a whole new level of complicated.
Sno Telon has an exercise to
perform, and he isn’t about to let anyone stop him--including the dedicated
acting commander known as Dek. But when his partner, CaSandra, a bioengineered
dog-cat-weasel-mongoose, takes an immediate liking to the team leader, Sno
realizes there’s much more to the woman than harsh words and hard scowls.
When Dek is attacked by an invisible
foe who infiltrates the off-limits excavation, she immediately suspects Telon
as the obvious culprit. But her interrogations of the man don’t go as planned
and an unlikely bond forms between them as they reach a startling conclusion.
Could the invisible perpetrator actually be an Alliance spy who’s about to blow
open the secrets of Site D?
Can Dek trust Telon and his StarDog partner to
help root out a possible Alliance operative, even if it means breaking every
security protocol in the process? If her instincts about Telon are wrong, Site
D’s secret could be lost forever…and her life along with it.
Juggernaut is available on Amazon as an e-book.
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