Keela and Ilaz
We leave the shelter and return to the blue city.
“Take us to the surface now, Yagrin,” says Niyta.
“The Jiku need our help.”
“It’s dangerous there for the children.”
“Leave them here with a few of the sisters.”
I turn to Hukal.
“Can you contact your AIs?”
“I need help finding Ilaz and Disu.”
“The infonet is slow,” he says, “but it’s working.”
“The AIs have no information about our friends.”
“And there’s no response to the messages I’ve sent to their commdisks.”
“You won’t be able to reach them.”
“The sword’s energy … Read more
I walk slowly, letting the crowd move past me toward the shuttle.
Mayani takes my arm, and we stop.
He pushes on my mind wall, and I drop it.
He gives me a series of three security codes.
Can you remember them?
Your identity has been authorized for full access to the facility, Lukara.
Enter the main storage area, and find the control surface.
Touch in the codes without requesting a command, and a hidden door will open, giving you entry to a ship hanger.
Where will you go?
Do you have another ship hidden
… Read more
“Continue the training, Tzina,” I tell her.
“It’s time for us to enter the network.”
“Not yet,” she answers, “but my fire twin will join you briefly for the next step.”
Tzina and Shazira go back to their nests, and I send Berek away.
I don’t want him to watch while I dissolve my body.
I flow it into water and air.
The pattern body disappears a few minutes later.
The change happens so quickly that there’s no pain, but I’m disoriented for a moment.
Then, I’m filled with sadness, a sense of loss, and the smell … Read more
The bed is hard, and my head aches as sleep leaves me.
A groan escapes my lips.
I can’t remember who I am, or how I got here.
My heart beats quickly as fear takes hold of me.
Then I take a deep breath and clear my thoughts to push aside the fear.
I sit up slowly, and find a large room with five beds, all empty except for mine.
There’s a young girl at the far end of the room.
She offers me a drink of water, but avoids looking me in the eyes.
“Are you all … Read more
I return to Keesha’s ship, and share my memories of the Mayru, growers of stars, children of the star spirits.
“How will they help us defeat the Spiral, ina?” asks Dilasa.
“I don’t know,” I answer, frustrated, “but their destiny is tied up with ours.”
“Let’s look for a vision,” she suggests.
We enter the Dream Hunter gateway together, hunting for a vision about the Mayru.
The wanderer appears before us, seeding Sinesu with his children.
The past is clear, but their future is hidden.
“Why can’t we find their future, ina?” asks Dilasa, as we leave … Read more
Makish, Dilasa, and I stand naked in the transition chamber as it fills with warm seawater.
The only sounds we hear are the movement of the water, and our breathing.
The three of us seem helpless as we stand here, but we can all bend the energy web to our will.
Even little Dilasa is more powerful than the greatest Fiklow binder, and she is well-protected.
As we flew here in Botzar’s ship, I taught her to raise an energy shield, and I helped her build a wintzal that will guard her mind against any attack.
The corridor outside the transition chamber is small, and dark.
In regular light, the queen’s glow is barely visible, but here, in the dim light, strong rays of colored light shine from the queen’s head and tentacles.
Keesha, Makish, the captain, and two senior officers meet us in the corridor.
They are here to bring the queen to an area large enough for all the crew.”
The moment that Keesha sees the queen, she bows her head to the ground, and the others follow her lead.
They will not move until the queen asks them to … Read more
Fifty suns gone.
The years run quickly, and the village changes.
So big, and filled with children.
Soon the village will split.
Villages must stay small, so everyone is known.
This is our way.
My sister, Shanir, is in both councils.
Like elder mother before her.
Elder mother left this world two suns ago, and Shanir is sick.
Her days fade.
I whisper to Shanir that we must go climbing together, become children, again.
She laughs, and then the smile turns sad, and fades.
“We lead now, Jaina,” she says.
“Our days belong to the village.”
“Who … Read more
The Love of Chiefs
Our chief is a great man, powerful and smart.
He loves children, and fights for his people like each one is his child.
I am his nephew, but he treats me like a son.
Every chief is commanded to see his people as children, but this chief lives it.
Tonight I am fifteen.
We feast after a great hunt.
I think of another feast to come.
In a month, we gather with the people of the low country.
I will take Nanik as my first mate.
Tonight, I drink too much, and go a short … Read more
I’m frozen, as I stare at the red eyes of the approaching Krale, a vicious expression on its hard stone face.
This time, facing the Krale, Berek finds his voice, and screams an inhuman scream.
The sound wakes me from my fear and paralysis.
I feel a storm inside me, wild energy flashing within me like lightning, but it can’t get out.
I’m holding it back.
I’ve always held back the storm.
It’s never been safe to let it go free.
Everything would change.
I have to protect Berek, so I let go, and stop resisting the power … Read more