Character: Alaina Hepburn – Heroine of Lieutenant Henry Gallant
When I was a small child, the bright warm days of summer swore to me that each and every day would be lovely, forever. I believed that for quite a while – until my parent died.
I can remember waking up one night from a bad dream, reaching out for the edge of the bed, brushing away the covers and sitting up. I swung my legs over the side and onto the floor. There was enough light to see into the hallway to my parents’ bedroom. I stole quietly through the night into their room and climbed into bed next to my mother.
They tell me my mother was very beautiful. I inherited her yellow colored hair and blue eyes, but her parents had dark hair and eyes, so she always said we were misplaced on our family tree. I don’t really remember how she looked, other than what I’ve seen from a few poorly taken photos, but I remember how she made me feel. Curled up next to her, she would put her arms around me and hum a comforting lullaby; she made me feel—loved.
My father had known my mother only a short time before they were married. My father’s father was the only relative that remained. I was born shortly after we arrived here.
The house I live in was on the edge of town only a few gates down from my grandfather’s house. He worked the hardest to spoil me which I greatly enjoyed because I hadn’t reached school age, yet. He would play games and tell me stories until I was too tired or too hungry to remain any longer. Then I would go home and wait for the next morning when I could visit again.
It was my grandfather, James Hepburn, who told me my parents were dead.
He explained they had gone on an expedition to explore. It was their second voyage in a small boat with one other couple, mapping the islands and the location of resources. The first trip had been a resounding success and a great deal was learned.
On their second voyage, a horrible hurricane caught their small boat and they were lost at sea, or they were presumed lost, since their bodies were never recovered.
It would have been overwhelming loss if my grandfather had not been there to comfort and care for me. I’m ashamed to admit I struggled with grief, guilt, and depression. I had to let go of most of the painful feelings and move on. It was his kind gentle guidance that gave me a way to carry on. He taught me how to forgive myself for my mistakes and I developed my sense of purpose through his instruction. He was always there for me. I adored him, to say the least.
Of course, with only him to supervise me, I tended to run wild, finding my way into the woods and exploring on my own, trying to pick up the mantle of exploration that my parents had left. The result was a tom-boy existence, getting into lots of scrapes and fights with all the boys and girls my age.
One time, I was waiting motionless in a tree and almost dozed off while playing a game of hide and seek with several others. Before long, one of the boys spotted me, it was Liam, but he didn’t call out to expose me. Instead he came up and sat next to me. We remained hidden for hours while the others looked for us.
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As a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of computer scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of seven books.
His latest book is the science fiction space opera, Lieutenant Henry Gallant.
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• Visit H. Peter Alesso’s website.
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In an era of genetic engineering, Lieutenant Henry Gallant is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced) officer left in the fleet. Many of his superiors, including rival Anton Neumann, have expressed concern he is not up to the challenge. However, his unique mental abilities have proven essential to the defense of the United Planets in its fight against the Titan invaders.
Serving on the first FTL prototype, the Intrepid, on its maiden voyage to Tau Ceti, Gallant finds a lost colony on the planet Elysium. Cyrus Wolfe and his son, manipulate planet politics against the democratic opposition led by James Hepburn and his granddaughter Alaina. Wolfe has allied himself with an ancient Artificial Intelligence which had lain dormant on the planet for millennia, but is now willing to protect the colonists against the Titans.
With Alaina’s help, Gallant discovers the ancient AI has a sinister ulterior motive and he matches his unique and exceptional mind against the complexity of machine intelligence to escape the ultimate trap and prevent the extermination of humanity.
In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, one man pits the naked human mind against the perspicacity of machine intelligence.
For More Information
• Lieutenant Henry Gallant is available at Amazon.
• Watch the trailer at YouTube.
• Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.