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The third in the story of the Golden Ships of Earth. Bequeathed advanced technology by a marooned artificial inteligence and barely out of the horse and cart age a soldier and land owner of the ancient empire of Pritan John d'Arque realises that here is the means to save the millions who are hungry and destitute by building advanced interstellar starships to move them to earthlike worlds. The problem soon becomes one for every person on earth as the sun spewes out a discharge cauterising much of the east and damaging the atmosphere; in fifty years earth will be uninhabitable. John d'Arque sets in motion the manufacture of a great base 'Star City' in the Oort Cloud and the manufature of ships using 'Template' and 'Cornucopia' technology. Following a great war between nations on earth there are hundreds and thousands of ex-service people looking for jobs in difficult times; there is treachery in the government so d'Arque goes it alone with trusted friends. People are recruited and in a facility called 'Blennings' are equipped with nano-tech and psychological conditioning provided by the AI and training to take control of the vast ships; some to act as transport to other worlds and others to be explorers finding suitable habitats. There are a very few warships - just in case. Working with the knowledge given to them what is known as the programme gets under way. It isn't long before the earth people not only run into trouble amongst the stars they also find a very few friends. Habitable planets are found, thousands begin the long journeys. The ships are crewed by navy persoannel with highly trained marines to deal with planetside problems and they run into these from the almost metallic killers of the 'Radio Planet' to the deadly 'trees' and other unexpected foe. The biggest problem of all comes from a place beyond comprehension; something wants to come through from another universe. The genius of a young woman Ginney Pemberley finds solutions even the ancient race where the technology came from hadn't found. Will it be enough? What the people of the Golden Ships also find is that out in the great dark is a hideous, evil power, a power that destroyed the galaxy of the ancient race, which also sent the artificial intelligence fleeing for its existence and that of the intelligences carried within its golden sphere 'body'. The Marine Special Retrieval Team gets lost in time after going through a blue door on a planet in an attempt to find and rescue a colleague only to discover the doors only work to send people further and further back for thousands of years. It will take some ingenuity to get this highly valued team back... if it is possible. Awareness grows from some evidence that the ancient evil may still be alive and operating; maybe, not so very far away as distance is measure by the golden ships as they travel in a 'plip'. It is known that five complete stellar systems were distroyed before the old galaxy fell and there may be another horror on the loose as well. In Volume-3 of the story the men and women piting their wits and courage against escalating threats continues. Their few alien friends, a race like birds, another like a bunch of celery and an asset that resembles a single trillion year old intelligent tree, all these may be of use as the crews of the Golden Ships voyage fare beyond known time and space seeking solutions knowing that the threat grows closer. To cap it all they discover that the AI they took for a friend and counsellor has been working against them. With it placed in stasis out of harms way the earh people are thrown back on their native intelligence. Will it be enough?

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  • We started tracking this book on March 17, 2020.
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