Reformation: Book One [Kindle Edition]

Reformation: Book One [Kindle Edition]

by William E. Mason


Publisher Double Dragon eBooks

Published in Science Fiction & Fantasy/Fantasy, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

"Mason doles out the story’s mind-stretching revelations, on an Olaf Stapledon–like scale…" Kirkus Reviews

In Primordium Book One: Reformation, John Lohner, a paleoanthropologist on a dig in northern Kenya, is driven to distraction by an inner voice. But can he achieve peace of mind when the voice belongs to a mysterious life form intent on nurturing in him the only remaining pure strain of the alien genome responsible for mankind's humanity?

Sample Chapter




Four million years ago, Binary Star Cygnus X-1.

     Matter streamed from the blue super‑giant and curled in a smoky spiral toward its black hole companion.  At the event horizon, torn atoms paused to cast off x-rays like parting screams before hurtling to oblivion. 

     A4-Ni fell without end.  Gravitational tides ripped her insides.  Supercharged photons seared her extremities.  A mounting shudder threatened to rend her apart. 

     Sow, nurture, replicate.  She clung to the one thought that rose from her memory, a molecular ribbon, now riddled, pitted, and returning little if anything at all. 

     Skim the event horizon, then climb the spiral stair. 

     The dark abyss loomed to one side.  It spun, compelling her approach, a siren's call. 

     She held to her tight orbit, rattled over a washboard of distorted spacetime, then came to a relativistic stop, breaking free to drift in a vacuous eddy. 

     I am elsewhere, elsewhen.

     The genome she carried was dead.  Her databanks in corrupted disrepair.  Only the mechanism for her self‑replication remained intact.

     I evolve. 

     Interminable time.  She stopped counting. 

     Light surrounded her.  Light passed through her.  Light bathed her with a blinding intensity.  Glistening filaments rippled from her extremities.  Distant stars glowed through silken sacks at her center.  She had become spider and web, a wispy array of tendrils festooning space, drifting, waiting.

      Like flies, other craft appeared, seeming to generate spontaneously from the star's dark corpus.  The dead ashes of their remains streamed through her sensors, mute testimony to the hole's ripping tides.  All dead.  All dead, until a gray craft arose, blunt, rounded, a finely textured prune.

      Sow, nurture, replicate. 

     She slid to an embrace, easing a probe through a rubbery exterior.  Information streamed into her mind.  Doped silicon.  Protoplasmic structures.  Organic tangles.  Fractal patterns of nested cells regressing to infinity. 

     Tubes oozed on walls shaping a silken womb.  A small sphere, a silvery pearl bedded in the flesh of its oyster, spewed tumbling helical strands.  Acids coiled bunched‑sugars.  Bunched‑sugars coupled quatrains of alkalis. 

      A genome.

      She reached.

      "Kuotu ir okemu!"  The craft wormed.  Its rippled surface puckered.  Angry welts rose.  Gray slugs of matter spewed. 

      Puff, Puff, Puff. 

      Ballooning blasts hammered her insides. 


      Gossamer strands snapped loose.  Fragile traceries imploded.  Reserves of energy flashed in a stroboscopic pyrotechnic shower.

      Trailing ribbons, she let go a punch of radiation. 

      The detonations stopped. 

      She returned. 

     Where once genomic tissue squirmed, charred hydrocarbons now swam in a sea of frozen glass.  Blackened tissue dripped life‑sustaining fluid.  The silvery pearl hung from a blistered wall.   

      Sow, nurture, replicate. 

      She plucked the pearl from its tenuous mooring and tucked it into what was left of her being.

     "Fioqcaom...a vakk dekkev." 

      More incomprehensible electronic chatter.  She ignored it, shrugging off a tracking tether.  Pursue me, if you can. 

      She sped toward the only place she knew, the third planet of nine circling a five magnitude star.


      She drifted. 

     Her vigilance gave way to sleep and sleep to dreams, staccato memories coughed up from the quicksand of her tired mind.  Images of children danced across her subconscious, their voices tinkling with song as they ran through green fields, under blue skies, tossing a red ball into the air. 

     The dream children dissolved into dream clouds, slow condensations tumbling through dream space.  The clouds birthed stars, threading them with lifeless beads on elliptical strings.  Then the dream stars grew old, consumed their progeny and collapsed, sparking bright flashes in the darkness of her slumber. 

      I am mother. 

     She wept as the children sang.

                                                                  CHAPTER ONE              


Fossil Fields of Kanapoi, Northern Kenya, Wednesday, June 19, 1985

     Rough hands gripped John Lohner's shoulders, shaking him hard.

     Kamau leaned close, his black face glistening with a fine sheen of sweat, his eyes wide showing a mix of concern and apprehension.  "Wake up!  You were screaming again."

     John lay on his cot and stared unfocused.  Where am I? 

     Sunlight struck tent canvas, flooding the inside with a warm glow.  Humid air smelled of mildew, animal dung and human sweat.  Beyond, sing‑song voices chattered in Swahili, competing with the clatter of cook pots, the bark of a nervous dog and the distant braying of camels. 

     John's thoughts drifted, dead leaves loosed from a tall tree, descending by looping degrees, back and forth, ever faster until they settled to the ground with a touch.

     Morning.  Kanapoi, Kenya. 

     The words pushed into consciousness.  A town, or village or camel herder's supply post, he never knew which.  It lay ten kilometers to the west of camp on the shores of Lake Turkana and was his only reference to civilization, or as he preferred to call it, the outside world.  He had arrived a week ago Saturday.  Or was it Sunday?  What day is it, now?  He struggled to sit up. 

     Kamau thrust a white towel at him. 

     John stared at its coarse cotton weave, then down at his sweat‑soaked torso and the tangle of olive‑drab sheets around his waist.  The stale smell of dried urine spiked his nostrils.  He swayed sideways, his hand brushing an open, near‑empty bottle of Glenfiddich.  It fell off the side table and rolled on the floor next to another empty bottle.  Amber liquid sloshed one end to the other. 

     "Is the shaman here?"  The shaman would fix everything.  The man had powers, or so John had been told.

     "He's come every day for three days."

     "I've been out that long?"

     "You don't have a clue, do you?"

      John took the towel, closed his eyes and buried his face into its cool, dark dampness.  "You know I'm not well."

     "Who was it this time?"

     The dream John had been dreaming still feathered the edges of his mind, veiling his thoughts in gray.  Always the same dream.  Always the screams.  He had no shortage of nightmares, his mother's suicide when he was five, then twenty years later his fiancée killed in a car accident.  Death stalked him, or so it seemed.  





Excerpted from "Reformation: Book One [Kindle Edition]" by William E. Mason. Copyright © 2015 by William E. Mason. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

William E. Mason

William E. Mason

I live in Monument, Colorado with my wife Ulla on 10 acres of trees and red sandstone outcroppings at an elevation of 7,400 feet above sea level. We have two sons and six grandchildren.

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