About the Book
The war has been won, the Jovians are free of the tyranny of Phobos, but the planet now lies in ruins. The Sinu and the Fiegan Firelords are threatening a civil war and the people of Jupiter are going hungry. First Petros has failed as their protector and General Ardor wants him replaced. To make matters worse, the Castillos face a new challenge. Ian is sick and no doctor on Earth can help him. When Ian and Callie return to Jupiter to find a cure, they discover that the secret may be found in the Book of Ganymede.
But now, the book is missing.
Left with no answers they are forced to face a painful truth.
Ian is dying.
Escape from Mars
In the year 1780, before the Martian War . . .
A skyrocket sluggishly climbed up through the Martian sky towards space. As the ship creaked, rocked, and shook, plumes of fire and smoke shot out from its sides. Pieces of its hull flew downward towards the Martian surface. Following close behind, another skyrocket fired a tractor clamp towards the fleeing ship. As the clamp tried to hold on, the metal plate it was gripping melted away from the heat of the atmosphere.
On the bridge of the fleeing skyrocket, a young mother sat at the base of the command chair and held her son as tightly as she could. The boy was dark skinned like his mother, with tightly-wound coarse hair that he brushed away from his face.
“Stay close to me, my son. Stay with me,” the young mother cried. Suddenly, a voice came on over the speaker.
“Unidentified vessssel, thisss iss Seer Phobosss of the Skyrocket Predator. You have trespassed Martian ssspace. You are ordered to ssslow down, or we will fire upon you. Thisss is your last warning.”
On board the Predator, it was clear the warning had been ignored.
“Seer Phobos, the ship has left orbit,” the Doomslayer informed his lord and commanding officer. Phobos turned his command chair to face the robot.
“Where are they going?” Phobos asked.
“It appears that they are headed towards Jupiter, seer,” the Doomslayer answered.
“Put me on ssspeakers,” Phobos ordered.
“To the captain of the unidentified vessel, thissss wonderousss ship that I command was a gift from your leaderssss as a show of peace between usss. We have enjoyed a wonderful peaccce as a result. Surely you would not risssk a war with Mars, would you?” The Doomslayer turned up the speaker. All they heard was static.
“Tell me,” Phobos said. “What isss your ship named?”
The static on the speaker began to fade away.
On board the Skyrocket Pagos, the young boy ran towards the communication console. “Pagos,” he answered. “This is the Skyrocket Pagos!”
The young mother gasped. “Nomi! Stay away from the communicator!”
“Why, Mom?” he asked.
She didn’t answer. She turned her gazed towards the window and noticed the Skyrocket Predator firing up its engines.
“Purssssue them! Desssstroy that ship!” ordered Phobos.
The Skyrocket Pagos began to twist and turn.
“What isss happening” Phobos asked. “Match their com frequency! I want to hear what their ship is saying!”
“Yes, Seer Phobos!” The Doomslayer turned a dial, releasing a plume of steam from the console. Phobos leaned forward to listen more closely. The ship’s calm voice could be heard throughout the Predator.
Pulsator engaged, said the Pagos. Charging weapon.
The Pagos turned again. A panel opened up on the outer hull of the ship, revealing a set of cogs and wheels that were spinning as if to power a large contraption. Something that might enable their escape. The energy from the pulsator built up and fired.
As the pulse of energy shot towards the Skyrocket Predator, the ship turned, causing the energy pulse to graze the side of the massive vessel. Instruments on the bridge of the Predator exploded, with sparks flying everywhere. Phobos was thrown from his command chair but quickly recovered.
“Fire!” Phobos screamed. Two rockets quickly ejected from the Skyrocket Predator and spun through space, heading towards the Pagos.
On the bridge of the Pagos, the ship’s voice rang through the command center.
The Pagos turned again. One of the rockets missed. The other did not. The ship bucked violently as the rocket collided with the hull. The young mother’s eyes welled up with tears as she gazed into her son’s eyes.
“Keep your eyes on me, my son,” she said as she fought back the tears. She quickly ran her hands over his head and held it close to her. The ship’s voice began to trail off.
The young mother pulled a lever, and more cogs began to turn. Metal parts began to bang against each other loudly. As they held each other tight, mother and son both looked out the window to see a dark moon come into view. As they flew closer towards the moon, the metal surrounding the ship extended further and further, until the hull had sprouted a set of wings.
The static voice of the ship rang once again.
The young boy pulled his head away from his mother’s grip so that he could get a better look at what lay ahead. Plumes of fire began to form around the window of the ship as they began to enter this world’s atmosphere.
“Come with me, my son.” She tried to pull him in for safety’s sake, but he would not have it. The boy walked towards the window.
“Nomi!” the mother cried out. She stood up and dashed towards him.
“Where are we going, Mom?” Nomi asked.
“The Chrysalis Chamber,” she answered. “You’re going to use it as an escape pod.”
“But Mom,” Nomi began. “Will we both fit?”
“Hurry!” she ordered. “I’ll turn the beacon on in the pod. Your father will be able to find you.”
As they made their way towards the back of the ship, an explosion slammed them both against the bulk head of the ship. Frantic now, the young mother pulled Nomi by the shoulders and ran towards the chamber. She pulled a crank and pushed a button and the door slid open.
“But Mom!” Nomi yelled. The young mother ignored her son’s plea and shoved him into the pod. She pulled the lever again and the doors began to close.
Quickly, she ran her hand over his face as if to say goodbye.
“I love you, Nomi,” she cried.
“Mom, no!” Nomi screamed. The doors closed and the chamber shot out of the back of the ship.
About the Author
Leonardo Ramirez is the author of Children’s Steampunk and Young Adult Fantasy. His website is called “Science Fiction for the Human Condition”. He is a husband, a father, a Karate instructor with a 3rd degree black belt, and a writer. His first graphic novel, Haven, is a supernatural Young Adult story centered on an ancient war between the Dante family and the nine circles of hell. His follow up is book one in a Children’s Steampunk series called The Jupiter Chronicles: The Secret of the Great Red Spot. It follows the adventure of two children as they are transported to the steam-powered cities of Jupiter, find their long-lost father, stop an attack from Mars, and witness the birth of Steampunk.
My heart and motive have always been for people who are hurting. These can be kids who have had to suffer through child abuse or neglect or an absent parent which can be equally torturous as was the case in The Jupiter Chronicles. It can also be young girls who have suffered an assault like Haven did in Haven of Dante. Young or old it doesn’t matter. Those are the kids and adults I want to speak to because I’ve been there.
It’s not just Science Fiction.
It’s Science Fiction for the Human Condition.
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Dedication within “Ice Orphan of Ganymede”
As a result of my parents’ divorce, we grew up very poor. My childhood was filled with memories of handouts, old and tattered clothes, and dreams of Christmas presents I would never get. At one time later, I was even homeless. If this is familiar to you, this book is dedicated to you. Hold on to your dreams of a better tomorrow and never let go. If you study and work hard towards your goals you will achieve them.
The cycle can stop with you.