Though plague, locusts, and earthquakes riddle 2065 Earth, Dr. Zeke Landry focuses on the world’s vanishing water supply. When his uncle disappears, Zeke abandons his hydrology research to find Uncle John. His efforts land him in deep trouble. The Chameleons, a secret society, believe Zeke has the keystone, an object of great power. This group has already murdered in its quest to find the keystone, so if Zeke can’t produce it, his hours are numbered. Time’s running out for Zeke … and the world.
Rigel Carson is the pen name of mystery and suspense author Maggie Toussaint, and G-1 is the first book in the Guardian of Earth trilogy, to be followed soon by G-2 and G-3. This science fiction is full of suspense as water researcher Dr. Zeke Landry is pitted against a secret society that will do anything to destroy planet Earth. Rigel Carson delivers a stunning read with an unconventional plotline as the members of the diabolical secret society zooms in on Zeke thinking Zeke has the keystone. They are willing to go to any length to achieve their purpose by master-minding and machinating world-wide instability through human-engineered natural disasters. A fine read from start to finish, you will love this book if you are a science fiction buff. – the Great Reads, Amazon Top 500 Reviewer, 4 stars The world is on the brink of ecological disaster, but scientist Dr. Zeke Landry has trouble convincing anyone that a conspiracy might be the cause. As he digs deeper, he uncovers truths about himself that leave him even more mystified. When he becomes a target for deadly forces bent on his destruction, is it because of his research into the global water shortage or because of his own mysterious background? In a race against time, he must discover his legacy and activate his powers to save the world. G-1 is a page-turning ecological thriller that could become chillingly real. —Nancy Cohen, author of Bad Hair Day Mysteries, 5 stars
I’m not usually a sci-fi reader, but I’ve read other books by Ms. Carson, AKA Maggie Toussaint, and love her writing style. This is a different genre than she usually writes, and you can see her science background in the complexity of the plot. Water, or maybe the lack of clean water, will be one of the things that we will have to deal with in the future. In G-1, the water is disappearing. Zeke Landry, a specialist in the field, has to find out why and where it’s going. Full disclosure: I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of this book before it became a Kindle Scout selection, and I found it fascinating. There are quite a few interesting characters in this book, but my favorite was Forman, the brilliant robot. – Polly Iyer, author of Diana Racine series 5 stars
This book starts off deceptively simple, but quickly ramps up to a rollicking good time. I couldn’t put it down! – Connie, Amazon Reviewer, 5 stars
I was a bit surprised that my good friend Maggie Toussaint had added “Science Fiction Author” to her resume, along with “romance author” and “cozy mystery” author. With this new exciting venture, she writes under the pen name of Rigel Carson. The series is titled “The Guardian of the Earth,” and this first book is “G-1”. It should not have been a surprise, as she dedicates the book to “all those who march to their own drumbeat.” She is describing herself. This story contains a little bit of everything, even humor and light-heartedness. If you’ve read any of her other books, you’ll find the same kind of quick wit, scientific truth along with some new inventions, and enough dialogue to keep the story moving…fast. Trust me…even if you’re not a science-fiction fan, you’ll still enjoy this unique story. – Rising Star Reviews, 5 stars
This is a good old fashion mystery novel that happens to be set in the not-so-distant future. The earth is losing valuable drinking water, and not due to pollution like today. It is literally disappearing. Dr. Zeke Landry is on the case, trying to solve this mystery as well as the one regarding the increase in natural disasters. As he digs deeper, he learns that neither is because of natural planetary cycles, but something more sinister. You will love Forman, the only non-human main character that is perhaps the most human and certainly the most fun. Makes me want a robot assistant, only I think I would prefer a Carrie or a Barbara rather than a Gary or a Bob. – Travis O Wooten, 5 Stars
Footsteps stopped nearby. A shadow fell across Zeke’s body. He turned to gawk at the gigolo robot.
It grinned at him. “Sir, I believe you’re expecting me.”
Zeke blinked, aware that every person on the platform was watching him converse with an oversized sex toy. “You’ve mistaken me for someone else. Move along.”
“No mistake, unless you’re not Dr. Zeke Landry, super brain and ultra cool guy?” Zeke ignored the flattery. “I ordered a Bob. Not a Gary. Never a Gary.”
The A.I. unit cocked its head to the side like an inquisitive parrot. Genetically altered human skin and hair covered the artificial life form’s inner machine, which were maintained at a precise ninety-eight point six degrees. “Sir, my programming—”
Zeke’s hand shot up to silence the bronzed Adonis. He was not amused. Leaning in, he read the name inscribed in gold on the mandatory identification collar. “Forman. While I’m sure your programming is extensive, I’m not looking for a hookup. My request was for a laboratory unit to assist in my hydrology research. Catch the next tube back to Hollywood.”
Forman’s blue eyes widened and his head bobbed back, a perfect mimic of human disbelief. “Sir, I can explain—”
“Not interested. Excuse me.” The hovercraft would dock any minute now, and Zeke’s com link wouldn’t work in transit to Tama Island. Turning his back on the robot, Zeke hailed Supply Central on his wrist com. After being routed through six automatic menus, he reached an interactive prompt. “This is Dr. Zeke Landry.” He sucked in a breath, and fury flowed out on the exhale. “You have a big problem. You shipped me the wrong unit.”
“Sorry for the error, sir,” the androgynous voice soothed. “Do you have your authorization number?”
“No, I do not have my authorization number. I’m standing on a pier notifying you of your screw-up. I need it corrected immediately.”
“One moment while I query requisitions.” The silky voice returned. “Sir, we were unable to fill your request, and due to your Level Five priority, shipped you an alternate unit. You are dissatisfied with the Forman?”
The leaden clouds offshore and the changing barometric pressure aggravated his headache. “You sent me a gigolo. I need a research assistant. Where’s the Bob robot I requested?”
“We show a two-month backlog on the Bobs. Rest assured we will fulfill your request when possible. Our inventory will replenish once the World Collective approves the Ginright circuitry modules. Unlike the defective Bobs, Forman has been extensively mapped and shows no killer tendencies.”
Did they think their standard reply would placate him? Zeke’s voice sharpened. “Two months? Hell, I waited a month for the boy toy you sent. I have critical deadlines to meet. Besides, this killer robot myth is a giant hoax.”
“Your request is in the system, Dr. Landry,” the voice soothed again. “In the interim, the Forman unit will assist you.” “Christ.”
He broke the com connection. Across the lush fields of cord grass, a gleaming white hovercraft approached the wharf. The ferry would dock soon. He needed time to assess the situation. He had none. His sponsors pushed hard for conclusive results. Even with his three-hour sleep pattern, he couldn’t finish the global hydrology computations before the International Water Summit.
His uncle had promised skilled help. And now this sex toy had been assigned to him. An unusual error for Uncle John. Zeke turned to study the robot. No way this pectoral wonder in a vivid pink shirt dotted with white palm trees knew a thing about science.
As Zeke watched, the unit gave two passing women the once over. An athletic male got the same treatment. He was so screwed. The publish or perish mentality ruled the research field. Once he missed his deadline, his sponsors would bail. Then what? Back to making his living as a fisherman in the dying sea?
He had a few minutes. Better make good use of them. He crossed to Forman. “Is light a particle or a wave?”
“Ah, good one, doc,” Forman said. “Start me off with an easy chicken or the egg question. As it happens, I know the answer to this. Both. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.”
“I don’t smoke. And neither should anyone. It’s bad for health and longevity. Not to mention illegal unless prescribed for medical reasons.”
“Right. Medical reasons.” Zeke ignored the flirty wink that came his way, intent on his line of questioning. “Do rapidly shifting tectonic plates cause stronger earthquakes?”
“Yes, they do, though it depends on the fault.”
Zeke felt a spark of hope. This robot’s looks weren’t his only asset. “What common contaminant in underground water poisoned Florida’s bay in the 1990s?”
“That would be phosphorus. Any more questions, Dr. Geek, or do you want us to continue working on our tans on this quaint wharf?”
“I don’t appreciate your sense of humor.” “That’s because you don’t have one.”
“So I’ve been told.” Zeke managed a wry smile. “What are you? You look like a Gary but you sound like a Bob.”
“I’m a prototype for robotic units. Every time there’s a demand for a new A.I., they muck with my programming.” Forman grinned. “Right now I’m in full nerd mode, but I can score us some action in a nanosecond. What do you think about the hottie blonde and the even hotter dark-skinned vixen with the beaded braids by the ticketing kiosk?”
Zeke’s gaze shot over to the women in native orange robes. His second cousin and her mainland friend with a shrill voice. “God, no.”
“Don’t like girls? Got it. What about those two deckhands over there? They look like a ton of fun.”
His throat tightened. “No action of any kind. I have work to do.” Forman blanched. “No wonder your sense of humor is gone. A guy needs action. Too much congestion down there rots your brain.”
“My brain is fine.” A facial muscle twitched, and he clamped his hand on top of it. “If I decide to accept your help, and that’s a big if, you have to tone it down several notches. We keep a low profile, understood?”
Forman leaned closer and spoke confidentially behind his hand. “So I’m in like Flynn?”
Zeke looked away. A stiff breeze swept across the ferry landing. The warm, salt air bathed him with a sense of the inevitable, much like the landward march of seawater. With every inch the sea took, the water came closer to human structures and drowned the salt marsh that fed the bottom of the food chain.
The island hovercraft docked, and two dozen travelers spilled onto the platform. About half of them wore the traditional orange garb of island folk. Strangely, many of the faces were unfamiliar to him. He had to make a decision about the robot. If he refused the A.I., he’d be back where he started, doing the work of three men. That wouldn’t get the job done in time. He needed help.
With a sigh, he resigned himself to the inevitable. “We’ll try this for a few days,” he said. “Nothing permanent, mind you. This is a trial basis.”
“Cool.” Forman puffed out his chest. “I’ve never been on an island before.”
“We’ll be working around the clock. This is no R&R gig.”
“Dr. Z, you said gig! There’s some fun in you after all.”
Zeke sighed. “How much time is required to recharge your system each day?”
“I’m functional around the clock, but a daily one-hour rest cycle is optimal for my operating system.” “Got it. Let’s go.”
“Wait. What about my bags?”
“Bags? You’re an A.I. unit for Pete’s sake. You have luggage?”
Forman pointed to the tower of brightly colored suitcases stacked by the loading dock. “Of course I do. Wardrobe is essential, and I knew there were no clothing outlets on the island.”
“True. But you won’t need more than a change of clothes, if that.”
Forman drew himself up to his full height, two inches taller than Zeke. “My bags go with me, or I don’t go.”
Zeke swore. Why was good help so hard to find? He flashed back to an argument he’d overheard between his parents many years ago regarding his accelerated education. After days of arguing, his father had allowed tutors for Zeke in their island home. He’d said he’d it was important to know which battles to fight.
Zeke applied that lesson to the A.I.’s luggage. “Knock yourself out.”
Forman beamed and hugged Zeke. “I knew you’d come around. We’ll be a great team.”
Zeke quickly disentangled himself, hearing the chortles from others on the platform. “No hugging.”