Here are the first six paragraphs from the fourth Aleyne novel, as yet unpublished.
A Big Mess
The squad of Federation Guard soldiers marched down the shuttle ramp and surrounded the unfortunate Major Reynolds, who waited on the blackened surface of the spaceport landing field.
Colonel Robert Walker gazed across the port. The sands just beyond the black-paved surface of the field glittered with reds and blues, and the mountains, five miles distant, loomed purple. A fresh breeze blew the cinnamon scent of the flowers that clustered around the buildings. But the beauty of the landscape contrasted with his sour mood. He was ordered to arrest the commander of the Federation base and take control of it, here on an alien planet where the native Aleyni would just as soon see the entire base drop into a hole and disappear. “Major Reynolds, you are accused of high treason and are remanded to the planet of New Oregon for trial.”
A worried frown creased Reynolds’ forehead. Rob was empath enough to realize Reynolds was uneasy. But Rob’s message requested Reynolds meet him when the shuttle landed, nothing more. His unease, growing since he’d accepted the assignment, increased again. Was the major guilty of treason or not?
Rob nodded, and a guard manacled Reynolds’ wrists and chained his ankles together. One of the guards patted the major down and confiscated his wrist chronometer and his pocket computer.
Rob squinted against the glare of the desert sun. It must be easily 20 degrees Celsius, even now, an hour past first meal.
“Get moving.” A corporal shoved Reynolds in the direction of the shuttle. The chain forced Reynolds to shuffle like an old man.
Meanwhile, check out the third, Broken Bonds