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“Star Scrapper”


Star Scrapper

While this book starts out kind of slow, it has a lot of background to introduce. Some of it is pretty simple. Hank Spears is a Scrapper. This universe we’re in is the aftermath of a terrible war fought almost 200 years ago. It was a galactic war of good against evil, the good being the Consortium and the evil being called simply the Enemy AI. Hank is a junk dealer now called scrappers since he spends his days trekking through space junk over 200 years old looking for something that might be of value after being picked clean by other higher ranking Scrappers.

Yes, he’s part of a Scrappers Guild and he’s just beginning so he’s not getting to scrap some of the more lucrative junk floating in space if there is still any such thing. He barely makes a living at this job but it’s what he knows which was taught to him by his adoption Father, Lutch Spears. Lunch left Hank is starship, the *Buzzard*, which wasn’t much more than junk itself. Hand didn’t have enough money to make any major repairs so he did all the patchwork himself when he had time. He has a repair shop of sorts on his home planet of Bussel. He and all the other Scrappers always dreamed of hitting it big by finding some hidden technology, but that was mostly just a dream and could never be reality.

Hank had just finished his last effort only to be run out of his legally authorized scrapping location by the Vekrass. An alien species also known as the “Junk Rats”. He didn’t want to tangle with them over the few scraps of junk he had already found so the went back to his ship, the *Buzzard* and took off. He was planning to head back to his home on Bussel when someone spoke to him through his ships speakers! That shouldn’t be happening. That speaker identified itself as “Ned”. Hank was soon to find out he had in ship possession an AI, something very, very illegal that could get him executed by just know about it.

Artificial Intelligence had one time played an important role in the lives of most civilizations. They were making things easier on the beings that employed AI and people were pretty well off just enjoying this new technology and the various things it could do. Then someone started trying to integrate AI into the human anatomy and thereby creating a different kind of human. These humans came to feel superior to non-enhanced entities. Soon after that a war was started which was now called the “Old War” and now any knowledge of or interaction with an AI of any kind was an automatic death sentence. So, Hank Spears was in deep, deep trouble and he knew it.

There were Inquisitors whose sole job was to hunt down AIs or anyone having anything to do with an AI. Hank has seen them do their job, one in particular, when he was much younger. This Inquisitor had dragged a very distraught merchant from his place of business, burned down the business and shot the hapless individual dead in the street because he had in his possession an AI. So, Hank was very afraid of what might happen to him now.

Yet, Ned wasn’t what Hank expected. Ned had interfaced himself within Hanks starship and they began conversing about a number of things. Hank didn’t see anything evil about Ned and Ned did explain that there was an Enemy AI out there somewhere by the name of “Extinction”. Ned and his human partner had been in pursuit of this Enemy AI when his partner was killed. Ned still believed the Enemy AI was still out there and a definite threat to current civilization. He wanted Hank to help him with his quest.

This is how the story goes. Hank does find a find of sorts to help him in this adventure. While he had been an orphan for the better part of his childhood, he had a best friend at the orphanage with whom he got into all sort of trouble. He found out later that his childhood friend was now a Bounty Hunter and she was out to collect on a Bounty that the Consortium had set on Hank. Kilara Vex was good at what she did. She finally did catchup to Hank, but stop just sort of killing him when she realized who he actually was. Lara Shen, a.k.a. Kilara Vex couldn’t take Hank in. No she had to help him out and she turns out to be the biggest help he could ever have.

So, now we have to intrepid adventurers trying to stay above the law while still making enough money to hunt for the Enemy AI as Ned insist. Lara eventually convinces Hank to give up his scrapping job and try to become a Bounty Hunter like her. That way they can have jobs that actually bring in money. This new partnership has revived when they were children and now it’s going after the Enemy AI as long as the Consortium doesn’t get in the way.

A very interesting story once you get past all the background stuff. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, “Hunter’s Rise” available on Amazon right now.

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