Why teach a dog to speak if no one will listen to him?
XK9 Rex was bio-engineered and cyber-enhanced to be the most capable police dog money could buy. He even has a collar-mounted vocalizer. But then a catastrophic explosion on a space dock sidelines his human partner.
Now his new masters on Rana Station assume Rex has nothing to say. But Rex's keen nose picked up a vital clue about the explosion. He must get the investigators to listen, even though the handling protocols say that without his human, this forensic tool must go on the shelf.
Giving them "puppy-eyes" doesn't work. Rex must dare to disobey orders and make them listen. But neither he nor the Police Chief know that the handling protocol hides an ugly truth. When Rex takes an independent hike to HQ, the truth is laid bare.
Rex has revealed an international conspiracy that could destabilize the entire Chayko System. Who will listen to him now?
Jan S. Gephardt (pronouns: she/her) is a science fiction novelist, fantasy artist, and publisher from Kansas City. Her "XK9" books feature a pack of uplifted police dogs who live far in the future inside a habitat space station in a different star's planetary system. Jan's books include a novella, "The Other Side of Fear," and two novels so far in the XK9 "Bones" Trilogy: "What's Bred in the Bone" and "The Other Side of Fear." She's near completion on Book 3, "Bone of Contention." She and sister G. S. Norwood co-founded Weird Sisters Publishing LLC in 2019. Jan is the Chief Cat-Herder and Art Director for Weird Sisters, which means she is in charge of book production, illustration commissions, and all marketing.