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Illustration: Neben

Illustration by Taurin Fox of the planet Neben, from my novel Dangerous Thoughts

A scene from inside a crystal cavern on the planet Neben. These crystals shoot electricity at anyone nearby. They also grow and stretch and reach out. Deka is trying to obtain a sample for study while his fox tries not to get shocked. Qan (not shown) is the Archeon for this planet. She's a giant pangolin.

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A sphere opened into shimmering darkness. It held position as a solid sphere for a moment and then started to shiver. Kylac stepped out of it and stood to the side to make room for the other two. Qan stepped through next and stared ahead. A moment later, Deka stood next to her.

They were in a cavern about forty paces wide by one hundred long. Hundreds of crystals covered the floor, ceiling, and walls, each no bigger than Kylac’s hand, all arranged in perfectly straight rows with one claw’s reach between each of them. The crystals gave off faint …

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