My heroine, Claire Rand, is a fiery young woman, and the book opens with her reluctantly listening to a message about the planned colonization mission to Prometer. As Claire must chip red coral to chisel out an existence, off-world designs are moot, even if her morally bankrupt family – the Ghans – happen to be the architect of them. More significant and disturbing to her is that the matriarchal plutocracy employs clones of her dearly departed sister to expand their power.
But wait, Mariot is alive and trying to emerge from a coma! Now Claire and her husband and the rest of the Men’s Equality Movement must not only expose the cloning program and garner more rights for men and the oppressed but save Mariot.
As a prequel to Terraform Charlie – which deals with the mission to Prometer – Legacy of Seconds looks at a post-apocalyptic world that, despite having women in control, is fraught with violence, inequality, and resource depletion.
Claire reluctantly reached into her jacket pocket and extracted an oyster-shell vessel crudely inscribed with “Bend over and take it in the eye”. She pulled out her Cyclops and secured the monocle in position with a most unofficial rubber band. She plopped down, popped in earbuds, and affected a middle-finger-maestro-twirl in the air to signify her enthusiasm. A loving yet firm female voice began to speak:
“To address the collective lack of resources on Earth, and to guarantee the permanence and vitality of Goddess-created humanity, a twelve-year mission to the planet of Prometer will be undertaken. Prometer is a wonder; an incredibly Earth-like world that offers vast resources, both in and of itself and its moons, by all expert analysis. It promises an opportunity for humankind to prosecute a prosperous future for billions of lives and billions of years…”
As the preamble droned on, she did another middle-finger-funnel-cloud, though with less enthusiasm than before. Finally, the duplex-dame came to the new information:
“On the eleventh anniversary of Prometer’s discovery, all Goddess-blessed crew will be finalised and announced. Amongst these will be the geniuses referred to as ‘Wakees’; incredible children responsible for monitoring the ship’s systems and reviving key personnel as…”
The ninety-second minimum had passed, so she removed the earbud and Cyclops and clamped them in the clamshell.
To her way of thinking, people had not evidenced the ethics and values necessary to substantiate visiting, let alone inhabiting, another world. Still, as Cooper continued to remind her, perhaps this endeavour would raise humankind to another level. Maybe special people operating under demanding conditions and in a unique environment could realise something, err… special. She shrugged her shoulders and resumed chipping the red coral.