Ptolemy Lane Tales 5.0

Space Opera Science Fiction Novel

More books by Cameron Cooper
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Life on Earth is not what they remember…

The dome over Georgina’s Town cracks and begins to leak, which leads Ptolemy Jovan Lane, peacekeeper of the town, and his assistant, Ninety-Nine, to the cause of the leak.  The body they find sends them on an emotion-ladened hunt for the real killer.  Destination: Earth – where things are distressingly not the way either of them remembers.

The troubling truths they uncover threaten more than just Earth, forcing Jovan to face a personal choice that could save everyone…or damn them forever.

The Return of the Peacemaker is the fifth and final story in the Ptolemy Lane space opera science fiction series by award-winning SF author Cameron Cooper.

The Ptolemy Lane Tales:
1.0: The Body in the Zero Gee Brothel
2.0: The Captain Who Broke the Rules
3.0: The Maker of Widowmakers’ Arm
4.0: The Ancient Girl in the Autopod
5.0: The Return of the Peacemaker

This series can also be bought as a Special Bundle

{Also see: Space Opera, Science Fiction, Novels, Novelettes}

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The Return of the Peacemaker
Average rating:  
 6 reviews
 by IngSav
A gripping and transporting SciFi tale with great characters.

I was thoroughly entranced by this final book in the Ptolemy Lane Tales series!

It felt like a fantastic re-immersion into the world of Jovan & Ninety-Nine. I enjoyed the time spent reacquainting with these favourite characters and meeting some new ones too with plenty of action to keep them busy and my interest.

Intriguing conceptualizations of a wild & weird universe, including various types of space travel linking the multiple worlds, provided the well developed characters an intriguing environment for the upheaval happening on Earth and in the outer worlds known as The Fringes.

Settings and situational descriptions masterfully transported me through new concepts and environments.

Speaking of new concepts, the story moved along just like the semi-ballistic transport system in the story: so don't launch until you know you can land (finish) because I found it compulsive reading, and devoured it over the course of a day!

A delightful conclusion to the series!

I highly recommend reading all the books, in order, and was very satisfied with the way the series wrapped up.

 by Kathi Soniat
Twists and Turns on an Unbelievable Future View!!

Ptolemy Jovan Lane is the peacekeeper for Georgina Town. A crack in the dome leads to disconcerting news of Earth. An epic view of space and the future. An intricate and clever description of current life on earth. Someone is getting away with murder.

Slightly disconcerting at times, fascinating all the time. Great series.

 by Merrie Weiler
Wonderful Finale

I so enjoyed reading this last installment of the Ptolemy Lane books. It's a fantastic story, with all the old, familiar characters back to draw us into the story, as well as some new ones to keep it so interesting. A quick-moving plot caught my attention immediately and kept hold of it right up to the rather surprising end. I loved it!

I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this excellent book and can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who loves a great story.

 by Kathy Z
Great Final Ptolemy Lane Story

Another Ptolemy Jovan Lane story! This was one I really enjoyed reading and thought it was a perfect ending to a wonderful series of stories. The trusty assistant 99 is back as is Georgina and the usual cast of serials. I really don’t want to say too much because you should just read this. Very interesting and I sat down and read this all in one sitting, I just could not put it down. I think this is the best Ptolemy Lane story of them all. Except now I want to reread the other four stories.

 by Marti Panikkar

10 stars out of 5!
THE RETURN OF THE PEACEMAKER is another extraordinary story by Cameron Cooper. Jovan is incredible & Ninety-Nine is delightful! All the supporting characters fit perfectly into the superb plot. Jovan takes a simple quest for justice and turns it into a galaxy-wide redesign. Bravo!

 by Karen
The Return of the Peace-Maker

Great ending to a great series

The Return of the Peacemaker, A Ptolemy Lane Tale, by Cameron Cooper, is the final installment of the series. As always, a fast-paced, edge of the seat adventure that keeps you glued to the pages. I had nostalgic reminiscences of Have Space Suit Will Travel, by Robert Heinlein, one of my favorite novels, in the sweeping climax of jurisprudence. The juxtaposition of humans and serials has reached a point of no return, and Ptolemy must navigate through the debris field to find a resolution that will satisfy more than just those intimately involved. I loved how Ninety-Nine finally has a real voice and becomes a main character of merit. And, just when I thought Cooper would leave me hanging, there’s a dénouement of Ptolemy’s own love story finally dropped into place. So wonderful. Another satisfying series from a great author.

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It started with a deafness-inducing klaxon.

With hindsight, I could tell you it really started with the crack in the dome. But the first I, or anyone in Georgina’s Town, knew about that was when the dome-wide alarm kicked in at three in the morning.

The alarm is loud because we don’t want anyone to fail to hear it. It is a warning about a life-threatening situation. In the early hours of the morning, not only does it wake you, it also gives a mule kick to your heart.

I landed in a crouch on the floor beside my bed, scanning the dark for the threat, while adrenaline surged. All my senses were racked up, wide open, and receiving.

Only then did I process what had woken me. The town-wide environmental alert.

In the apartments beside mine I could hear, beneath the klaxon, the sounds of panic and questioning. Outside in the corridor, the beat of running feet and shouting.

As usual, no one in Georgina’s Town was responding as they should, despite quarterly reminders of what to do should this alarm ever happen. As it had never happened before, one could argue that I should cut them some slack. But this was survival, people!

Already annoyed, I climbed into my EV suit, and immediately sneezed. The suit was dusty both inside and out. Per town regulations, and just because no one else was doing it, I activated the helmet to test it. That further annoyed me. I don’t like the helmets that build themselves out of folded components in the neck of the suit. What if the command to extend failed? The suit didn’t have a manual override.

I preferred a hard helmet that you must carry, that bangs into your knees and generally gets in the way. At least it would never fail to extend.

I folded down the helmet once more, then called the environmental office. The line was busy, probably from hundreds of people calling to ask what the alarm was for.

I repressed my irritation, which was building a sharp edge. My patience was thin because I was already short on sleep. I hadn’t got to bed until well after midnight, because I had been attending the wedding and reception for Vilma McFarlane and her new wife.

If I overlooked the preposterousness of serials marrying in the first place, or that, ship’s captain style, Georgina Ashby had officiated, which gave the whole marriage concept a less than legally binding base, it had been a hell of an excuse for a party. I’d thrown off my objections to the whole wedding thing, and just enjoyed the evening for what it was.

Enjoyed it a little too much, I could now tell.

I headed out into the warrens. Everyone was clumped around the drop shafts and the freight elevator, and some of my irritation faded when I saw that some of them were wearing their suits.

I didn’t try to pull rank and get into the elevator first. It would be faster to walk. I hurried in the opposite direction of the flow of people, heading for the nearest vehicle ramp, which was tucked away in a dark corner of the warrens.

Only vehicles with wheels, or loads that wouldn’t fit into the freight elevator, used the ramps. People weren’t specifically banned from using them, but they were a pain in the rear to use, because each sloping tunnel was a long airlock. It was a redundant safety feature for potential emergencies when the dome above ground lost its breathable air.

The inner hatch opened without protest. I didn’t need to pump air, which was a good sign. I locked the inner hatch and headed up the slope toward the outer hatch. I used the wrist pad on the suit to tap into the communications network, and looked for the first person I knew who wasn’t talking to someone else.

That ended up being Ninety-Nine.

“What do you know?” I asked.

“They’re saying the dome is cracked! It’s leaking!” He was speaking calmly but panic was only a micron away.

“Where’s the leak?”


“I’m going to check it out. Where is the leak?”


“Report!” I put a snap into my voice.

“Right. Hang on.” He sounded alert now.

I counted twenty-seven long strides before he said, “They’re having trouble describing where it is.”

“Give me the ground coordinates. I’ll look up from there.”

“Okay…umm…five o’clock, and 40% the way in from the edge of the dome.”

I was familiar enough with the town to lay that out in my mind. “Over the Mistral building?”

“I guess, sure.”

“Okay, got it. Now, I want you to kick the lady out. Tell her to go find her suit. Then get into your own. And stay in the warrens. There are too many people trying to get up to the surface to see what’s going on. And if the dome gives, the safest place will be in the warrens. You know why?”

Ninety-Nine didn’t hesitate. “Because all the exit points to the surface will seal the moment air integrity degrades.”

“You might mention that to your lady, too.” It was a stab in the dark. Ninety-Nine had looked way too smug lately and last night I’d spotted him lingering in the company of a lovely looking young woman with fine, petite features, smooth caramel skin, and large black eyes.

“I already did and she’s already gone for her suit.” His tone was prim.

Serves me right.

“Keep researching,” I told him. “Be a conduit and pass on any news people haven’t heard yet, when you connect with them. The network is overwhelmed.”

“Should I call Georgina?”

“You can try,” I told him. “But half the town will be hammering on her door. She has probably pulled up the drawbridge just so she can think.”

I disconnected. The pad immediately dinged, announcing another call. It wasn’t anyone who could give me information. Which meant they wanted answers. I rerouted the call to Ninety-Nine, then swiped fast to set up a redirect on all calls except from a handful of people.


I reached the top hatch and prodded the open command. The big door rumbled up into the overhead recess. Air was outside, or the door wouldn’t have opened.

The klaxon was still blaring, echoing from a hundred different p.a. speakers across the dome.

I stepped out and conscientiously closed the hatch again.

On the surface streets, people were jog-walking in every direction, all of them looking panicky. And too few of them were in suits. It wasn’t quite dark, because Abbatangelo’s little moon had risen, and every buildings was shedding light through their windows.

I jog-walked through them, heading for the Mistral building.

It didn’t surprise me to see Tory Terry, the head of the environmental team, standing over an anti-grav freight platform sitting on the path in front of the Mistral building. She was setting up the controls.

Standing on the platform were two of her team, and a big crate of equipment and supplies for emergency repairs to the dome. I spotted silicon sealants, liquid metal, fusers, along with diagnostic cases, probes, and more.

“Coming up with us, Jovan?” Tory asked, straightening up. Her voice was muffled by the klaxon. “Can we turn that damn thing off? It’s hard to concentrate.”

“You just drank too much last night,” I chided her.

“I saw you bending the elbow way too often. The alarm?”

I shook my head. “I want everyone edgy and alert. If the air goes, they’ll respond faster and that will save lives. Speaking of which, hang on….” I turned and held out my arm as a man, a stranger, rushed past. He was one of the few wearing a suit, which meant he had a somewhat decent sense of self-preservation.

The man looked startled. Then he registered my face, realized who I was, and stopped trying to move around me. “What?”

“Your name?”


“Belmont, I’m deputizing you for the next twelve hours. You, in turn, tap as many people on the shoulder as you can. Deputize them yourself, if you want. Whatever it takes.”

“To do what?”

“Get everyone into the warrens. Empty all the buildings. When I get back down from the dome, I don’t want to see anyone walking around up here.”

Belmont opened his mouth. I could see he was about to protest.

“We have no idea if the crack in the dome will run,” I added. “The whole dome could split open without warning.”

He was smart enough to get it. “Right.” His gaze flicked upward.

I took his comms id and added it to the list of people who could reach me right now, then sent him on his way.

I watched him grab the arms of the nearest people and start talking. Satisfied, I stepped up onto the platform where Tory and her crew were waiting. The platform lifted up smoothly and quickly.

“There it is,” one of the engineers said, pointing. “Damn, it’s hard to spot.”

“That might be a good thing,” I pointed out.

Tory adjusted the platform’s angle of ascent, aiming it toward the spot the engineer was pointing to.

As we got closer, I could see the spiderweb of cracks, radiating out from a central point. “That’s an impact point,” I said. “Was there a meteor shower tonight?”

“No,” Tory said flatly, for her team monitored meteors and asteroids, and the path of incoming ships—anything that might bump into the dome.

We were a dozen meters away from the gentle slope of the underside of the dome—at least, I think that’s how far away we were, for it was hard to get a sense of scale and distance from the smooth, featureless translucent iron—when my helmet folded up around my head and sealed.

So did everyone else’s.

“What the fuck?” Tory muttered in my ear.

“The breathable air is diminishing just here,” I said. “The air currents, the cold, triggered our suits into sealing.”

“Well, my suit works, at least,” one of the other two said, his tone dry.

Tory held up her gloved hand, her fingers splayed, and slowed the ascent of the platform. I watched her fingertips spread as she made contact with the dome. Steam immediately curled around her fingers. The temperature of the dome was well below freezing, and her gloves were much warmer, which heated the air against the dome and turned it into super-fine fog.

The crack was directly above us. I admired her piloting skill with the platform.

“Listen,” she said to all of us.

I heard a small hissing sound.

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