Lion on the Water
|Title:||Lion on the Water|
|Cover Artist:||Don Semora|
|Series:||Land of the Lions|
|Publication Date:||September 2012|
|Preceded By:||Lion of the Earth|
|Followed By:||Lion and the Fire|
Lion on the Water is the third book in the Land of the Lions novel series and takes Tgegani, the Yigzan and many others back to the very roots of their existence, and to the foundation of their society. They are also taken on a powerful, exciting adventure to save both their past, and their future.
The book opens with a quick prologue focused in the distant past that blows the cover off the idea that the three races of Braisail are unique to the planet, but in reality have much deeper origins of the intergalactic variety. The story then switches back to the present where Ibara, one of Tgegani's family, is working at an archeological dig that he's overseeing when an accident happens. But this incident instead reveals a secret that's been hidden below the ancient city of Parlahbradel for many, many centuries. Surprised at what he finds, he calls Breakman and Tgegani to show them. When the two arrive, they're shocked at what they see, causing the mystery of how these items cam to be to grow deeper. However, before they can get any further they, along with Sine, Ver-mach and Ick-pok are all drawn through time to a period of history over a thousand years earlier. However, before they can determine what's happened, they're snatched up to an Ahbranai starship, along with Psial and Yazik, two Ahbranai scientists who have been secretly working on the planet studying the people of a long lost colony who had settled there nearly a millennia earlier, and given up their advanced technology and previous way of life to live a simplistic, agrarian life equivalent to the late bronze age.
Psial is angry with being pulled away from his work. But it's being done at the command of his father, Lord Bricket. Since he can't overrule his father's orders, he begrudgingly is taken back to his home while Tgegani and the other droids are taken to Dr. Daystar to be examined and later disposed of. Back on Braisail in the meantime, Negago meets Councilman Midazin the father of the Midazin nation, and one of the greatest enemies of the Yigzan people, and recruits him for a dark and nefarious plan. Back with Dr. Daystar, Tgegani and team slowly learn about the new world they've been plunged into, including who rules the galaxy, how it's ruled, the politics of the era and more, including the true origins of their people. They also learn that Daystar is a member of the rebellion (Psial is revealed to be one too later on) who seeks to stand against the evil of their own people, the Ahbranai, and bring true freedom to the galaxy. Being such, upon discovering that Meshua sent them there for a purpose, he frees the droids and helps them get up to speed on everything they will need to do their job here.
Elsewhere, Psial meets his evil father again and refuses to go along with his plans to have Psial take over a project where he's building a new planet for a group of Bacnai slaves controlled by his father Bricket. At firs the refuses to have anything to do with this project, or his father's plans. But, in time, Yazik talks him into it, pointing out the advantages to their research efforts on Braisail and elsewhere if he does agree to work for his father, as it gives him access to all of the family riches. Eventually Psial agrees and takes over the project as his father demands of him. Daystar then calls Psial and reveals that the droids that were delivered to him were sent by Meshua. After some discussion, and realizing they will need to work in two different theaters of operation, Tgegani and Psial work out a division of the droids into two teams, each going with a different person in order to begin their separate missions. Going with Psial is Breakman, Ver-mach and Ick-pok. The later two go with them due to their shape shifting abilities, and Breakman because of his new Yigzan like body that makes him look just like any other Ahbranai that he will be working with.
In turn, Tgegani, Ibara and Sine will go to Braisail with Yazik to work with their people there with the express goal to "return our people to their roots, to a focus on science and technology." However, shortly after arriving, they encounter Councilman Midazin, and begin to realize not only what time period they're in, but more of what their larger mission will be. While in the capital city of Parlahbradel, Sine makes friends with Shilik, captain of the guard, and slowly begins to acclimate himself to this new world as Tgegani and Ibara (who's currently geeking out at being able to live in and experience this time period, an era that he'd previously only been able to experience through history books) experience everything that Sine does remotely through his eyes, as it's considered to be too upsetting, and thus dangerous, for the two lions to be seen in public. At least at this time. Back in space, Bricket renews his contract with Negago, while Breakman, Ver-mach and Ick-pok learn more and more about Commonwealth culture, the division of social classes, and even some of the other Ahbranai lords, such as Lord Maisenches, and all of the inter-house politics that run rampant, even in this House Monty controlled station.
On Braisail, at the insistence of Negago, Midazin pushes to turn everyone into blind, obedient servants of Negago, while seeking power for himself, and doing so in the most devious ways. At one point Negago warns him that new enemies have arrived. Fearing the worst, he goes to the king in hopes of using the royal guard to flush them out. However, Brahdak, the king refuses to bite, and Midazin decides to teach the king a lesson. So he sends assassins to attack, and possibly kill the king, to make his point. But Meshua sends the lions to protect the king, of which they do brilliantly, killing most of them and protecting the king. Out in the galaxy, while seeking to upset the balance of power and get rid of Bricket, Bradish talks Breakman and his two companions into going to the headquarters of House Monty and assassinating Bricket, saying it's for the best for the universe. He then flies them there, drops them off on the planet, and they soon begin their mission. However, things don't go quite as desired as their original plans quickly fall apart. However, the team of three is able to salvage the mission, and it's Ver-mach who strikes the killing blow.
Bricket's soul soon arrives in Verok, much to the displeasure of Negago. Seeing this, he sends Segarg to try and fix the situation and put his plans back on track. Back on Braisail, Brahdak meets with Sine and the lions and both thanks them for what they did, and learns of their reasons for being there, that they were sent by Meshua for a special mission. He then decides to introduce them to the other leaders of the kingdom, one of whom is Midazin. However, to his dismay, the reception they receive is mixed, with some strongly for them, some neutral, and some, like Midazin, abjectly against the droids. Seeing the others, like himself, that are against them, Midazin forms an alliance with them, with the goal of destroying these newcomers, and returning the kingdom to the old ways. Out in space Psial learns of his father's death. Realizing that it might be a good idea to hide for a while lest Psial realize they were the ones who did it, they decide to slip away for a time to let things cool down. However, before they can, Segarg shows up and tries to kill not just them, but also Psial, in a bid to seize control of House Monty. However, through some ingenious diversion, and with a lot of luck, they succeed in escaping and taking Psial with them, after which they flee to the Bacnai homeworld.
Upon arriving at the Bacnai homeworld, their leadership is initially hesitant to receive them. However, after a little convincing they side with Psial. On Braisail Tgegani and team work with the locals to fix their growing food problem via the wonders of technology, thus beginning the process of reintroducing the Yigzan to the wonders of science and technology. Back on the Bacnai homeworld, Psial learns that his house has been seized by Lord Kackle. Not long after this, he sends one of his battleships against the Bacnai homeworld, demanding their surrender, and the turning over of Psial. However, they refuse and choose instead to fight back. But, being vastly inferior technologically to the Ahbranai, they are easily brushed aside by the Ahbranai battleship. However, that is, until Breakman discovers a weakness in Ahbranai technology and uses it against the House Monty battleship, destroying it in one shot. Not long after this surprising display of power, a war breaks out between the houses of the Ahbranai, putting the galaxy, and the Commonwealth, on its head as intrigue, deception and treason are everywhere.
Back on Braisail, having failed at his previous plans, Midazin sends one of his men to poison the city's water supply with the intention of turning the city against Tgegani and his friends, and back to himself and the polytheistic system that had once ruled the nation. However Sine, being an astute and observant warrior, picks up on this attempt and quickly limits the scope of its effectiveness. Meanwhile Tgegani and Ibara hear of a sickness plaguing the city and go to investigate, discovering that the water is poisoned shortly afterwards, and warning the king. Eventually an antidote is discovered which ends the plague, much to the dismay of Midazin. Shilik takes his men to the central cistern to investigate and isolates the source of the poison. Waiting for him there is Sine, who not only reveals how the water became poisoned, but also who poisoned the water, and framed the guards for the crime. Shilik then thanks Sine for his excellent work.
Elsewhere in the galaxy, as the war of the houses rages, Breakman heads out with the newly reformed House Abradas, a recent ally of theirs, in an effort to keep things going and eventually sway the battle to their benefit. However, they are betrayed and nearly wiped out by a surprise attack from a group of imperial battleships. Only through some brilliant leadership and strategy by Breakman, and a generous amount of luck, they survive long enough to be rescued by Lord Jes and his House Abradas forces. They then go on to continue their plans as the house war is very much to their benefit presently. On Braisail, in a bid to stunt the recent and rapid moves towards modernity, Midazin deploys saboteurs into the city to wreck and destroy all of the quickly rising windmills and other new technology all throughout the city. However Sine and the lions catch on to this and quickly chase after the saboteurs in an effort to stop them and protect the windmills and other technology in the city.
Breakman, meantime, initiates a plan to rescue three Ahbranai scientists from House Monty control, but unexpected runs into Segarg and Regnig. With the help of Ver-mach and Ick-pok, they succeed at their mission, while also leaving a parting shot for the two demons, detonating a power core in their faces. While this doesn't hurt them, it still hurts, which leads Breakman to grin in delight. Back on Braisail, realizing that all of his prior plans have failed, Midazin begins the initial plans for a massive coup of the king, and seizure of the kingdom. While he's doing this, the fruits of Tgegani's hard work begins to show as the Yigzan receive a harvest that year far, far beyond their wildest dreams, leaving the royal storehouse packed to overflowing. Brahdak is pleased with the yield and thanks the lions. However, while they're still celebrating, word comes in that the Gorg are approaching the city with the intention of sacking it and taking the Yigzan's newly harvested bounty. However, Tgegani and Ibara intercept them and bargain with their leader, who only comes to them in search of food for his people. The leader agrees to the bargain and they go away pleased with what they have received.
As the war of the houses continues to evolve and change and grow darker by the day, so does Midazin's treason, as well as those who are aligned with him. In space, Breakman works with Psial and the other rebels to move the war forward and hopefully bring peace, and freedom, to the galaxy while Midazin tries to drag the entire world into slavery as he continues to plot and prepare his coup. Back on Braisail, the Gorg return, but in greater numbers, and with what appears to be the intention of once again robbing the Yigzan and stealing their grain. However, it's soon discovered that they're actually returning with the wood they promised. Happy with the trade, the Yigzan receive much needed wood and the Gorg leave with sufficient food supplies to carry them over the coming winter months. Nearly 9 months pass and life goes on. Back with Psial and the others, the war, however, isn't doing so well, and they soon determine that there must be a spy among them. So Breakman makes it his mission to find out who it is. Eventually he finds out who it is, and learns that it's actually Bradish, who is secretly working for House Carin and Lord Maisenches. He tries to escape, but one of Breakman's spiders cut him down, ending the spy problem.
Afterwards, Breakman reports to Psial that, with the spy gone they've been able to trick the houses into going after House Carin and destroying them. But, before Breakman can do anything more to help Psial, Meshua intervenes and sends him and the two shapeshifters to Braisail as he has other work for them to do there. Back on Braisail, while the king is praising Tgegani and crew for all the great improvements they've made to the city, and their people, word arrives that Councilman Midazin is organizing a rebellion that will soon descend on the city with the intention of seizing control of the nation and returning everything to the old ways. Midazin's army soon storms the walls of Parlahbradel and the battle ebbs and flows, but ultimately the city is breached and the city's defenders are driven back into a corner of the city where they make their last stand. However, just when all hope seems lost, Breakman and his friends show up with Gorg reinforcements who utterly decimate Midazin's army and in turn capture Midazin, forcing him to surrender, ending the war and the rebellion.
The next morning Midazin and his fellow conspirators are brought before the king to answer for their treason. However, they say nothing. The king then prepares to declare death on them. Instead Tgegani suggests that they simply be allowed to go into exile. The king is against it, but Tgegani explains that it's for the best. So the king eventually agrees. Two weeks later, after having gathered together everyone who believed in and sought to continue living in the old ways, Midazin and his new nation of people are sent into exile far to the north to live. While watching them leave, Psial appears and speaks briefly with Tgegani before the lion, and his five companions, are whisked away by Meshua back to the future where they're from. Upon arriving they swear each other to secrecy over what they found for fear of the ramifications. However, some time later the six droids meet together again and Breakman reveals to them that he's spoken to the General Secretary about this and revealed that, contrary to popular believe, they are not alone in the galaxy.
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