Monday, July 29, 2013
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
The two men turned to her. Daagiis said, “No camouflage for this exercise. We’ll go hand-to-hand and test your abilities.”
Raven looked from one to the other. She was used to being the smallest kid on the block, but she was still up against two muscled men who had unknown fighting abilities. She scowled.
“So, no weapons. Me against the two of you. And this is fair because—?”
Daagiis grinned at her grumpy tone. “Because I am going to load a program into your interface. It contains all the information you need to defend yourself against two larger, stronger assailants. Hold still. You’ll go offline for a few moments.”
Before Raven could ask him what he meant by going offline, the face-changer grasped the underside of her jaw, holding her still while he plugged something into small port at the base of her skull. Daagiis had pointed it out to her as he’d braided her hair. The idea she had an actual computer port in her head plus a computer had been surreal, to say the least.
She was definitely not in Kansas anymore.
The instant Daagiis plugged his device in, Raven couldn’t move. A strange buzzing, felt more than heard, filled her skull. Her mouth fell open and in a voice not quite hers, Raven said in a monotone, “Download successful.”
Daagiis unplugged what looked like a slender rod from her port. Raven could think and move again, and she staggered a little. Vendeen grabbed her shoulder to steady her.
Raven shook her head. “Holy shit. That was not pleasant.”
Vendeen thumped the back of his hand against her abdomen, letting her feel a slight thud from his knuckles. “Your bodysuit is flexibly armored. It will record any kill blows we land, but other than extreme pain—” he grinned evilly “—you will not truly be harmed.”
Daagiis added, “Head shots to you are off limits, but you are free to attack us in any way you wish.”
Raven gave him the meanest look she could summon. “You don’t think I can do any harm?”
Daagiis rolled his eyes. “Of course you can. If we are foolish enough to allow it, we don’t deserve to live.”
Raven stared at him in shock. The two men were serious about this. The grim looks they gave each other told her they meant business.
Vendeen narrowed his black eyes at her. “Let’s see what you know, my protector.”
Releasing in August
Monday, July 22, 2013
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Daagiis provided Raven with a sleek, one-piece garment like his and Vendeen’s. He referred to it as a ‘camosuit’. She wasn’t sure why it was called that since it had none of the olive and green or desert splashes of color she’d come to associate with camouflage clothing. The iridescent black that shimmered beautifully in the light. It had attached feet, the soles of which were made for serious traction like hiking boots. It also had a hood to cover her head with, along with the attached gloves.
When she pulled it on, she discovered the thick padding over her torso and back. At her questioning look, Daagiis nodded. “Body armor, similar to the Kevlar vest you weren’t wearing the day you got shot.”
Raven scowled at that dig, but Daagiis was absolutely right. Arizona desert heat or not, she should have been better protected. Not wearing her vest had been a stupid mistake, one she’d very nearly paid the ultimate price for.
As soon as she had the bodysuit on, Daagiis said, “Say, ‘activate camouflage’.
Raven did so and gasped to see her body disappear. Well, not quite disappear. It simply showed everything behind her. Her long, black hair seemed to float in thin air.
“If you put your hood on, your head will be camouflaged as well,” Vendeen said. He demonstrated with the suit he wore. Other than a slight distortion in the air when he moved, he had become invisible.
“It even works for the face though there’s nothing over it,” Raven noted with awe.
“It emits a field that takes care of that part of you.”
“Cool,” she breathed.
Vendeen said, “Deactivate camoflage,” and reappeared. Raven followed suit.
“Anyone wearing thermal goggles will still pick up your body heat, but you’ll escape most detection by the naked eye,” Daagiis said. He pulled out one of the dining chairs. “Sit down.”
Releasing in August.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Gegra looked at him with visible pride. “My son, Dramok Rajhir. Here you are, a young man on the threshold of his life. Schooling and internships completed, ready to begin your journey into a life of service to your people. I have offered my congratulations?”
Rajhir bowed his head in respect. “Yes, my father. Even if you had not spoken them, the new shuttle you gave me would have sufficed.”
“Enjoying it, I presume?”
Rajhir thought of how impressed his recent Imdiko dates had been with the sleek vehicle, the newest model fresh from the factory. He thought the Matara he planned to enjoy the night with would be quite delighted to be escorted in such finery too. He couldn’t help the grin that spread over his face. “I’m enjoying it very much.”
Gegra snorted. “I thought so. Imdiko Iresh’s father contacted me two days ago to remind me his son, as infatuated as he is with you, is already promised to another Dramok. He requested you stop turning the young man’s head with expensive dinners and fine shuttles.”
“He’s not clanned yet. Iresh can enjoy his freedom while he has it. Besides, I’m not chasing him. We were only having a night out as far as I’m concerned.”
“Good, because it’s now time to get serious about your future. While we’re on the subject of Imdikos, you have been of clanning age for two years now. No valid prospects yet?”
“Nothing of note.” Rajhir was in no hurry to settle down quite yet. He greatly enjoyed the few Mataras available, both their company and their bodies. His family’s connections and high rank had allowed him the rare opportunity to bed the scant few in the territory. Rajhir knew six such women, and to judge by how they always commed him when they visited the area, he knew they enjoyed him too. One of them had contacted him just today to let him know she expected to see him tonight, and he looked forward to the diversion.
To gain a female as a permanent mate, to even court one seriously, required Rajhir first clan a male from each of the other two breeds, a Nobek and an Imdiko. He had not yet met many men he was particularly attracted to so far, certainly none he wanted to spend the rest of his 200-plus remaining years of life with. Besides, he was having fun with the various men and women he took to dinner, events, and his apartment.
Gegra had other ideas. “You need to get to work on that. Those Imdikos become almost as rare as the women in a dozen years or so.”
No release date set.
Monday, July 15, 2013
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Gegra’s smile faded as his gaze flicked over Rajhir’s shoulder. His features went hard as stone in an instant. “Good afternoon, my Matara. Is your workday over?”
Rajhir twisted in his chair to see his mother Nivere walking into the room. Her lovely face was as distant as Gegra’s as she answered. “It is. Shall I wait for you or go home on my own, my Dramok?”
Gegra busied himself with his computer. “I am nearly finished if you would be kind enough to wait for a few minutes.”
“That is not a problem.”
Nivere turned her attention to Rajhir. Her smile, the loveliest thing he knew in his life, spread over her fine-boned face, lifting his heart.
Rajhir’s mother had clanned young, and she barely looked older than the men and women he dated. Her thick black hair waved gently to her knees, but for the crown of braids that circled at the top. Her purple gown matched her almond-shaped eyes, bringing their light shining from her face. The dress was custom-sewn for her, a sleeveless light sheath that reached her slippered feet. She held out long, lithe, toned arms to Rajhir, inviting his embrace.
Rajhir stood, pausing long enough to bow respectfully before accepting the gift of her hug. As always, he experienced a tug of pain in his heart over the distance between his parents. He understood Gegra’s coldness towards Nivere. Perhaps it was disloyal to love her so much, but Rajhir couldn’t help his devotion to her. Hers was the first smile he remembered as a child, her voice offered the first encouragements. No wrong she had ever committed could remove the adoration he felt for her.
He hugged her close and dropped a kiss on her still unlined forehead. Her arms tightened around him briefly before they released each other and stood gazing with sappy looks of devotion that might make a Nobek groan.
Nivere’s throaty voice was filled with pride. “My son, I am always glad to see you. Will you join your parents for dinner tonight?”
No release date set.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
It’s that time of year again when I take a little summer break. On Monday I’m off to the glamorous locales of North Carolina and upstate New York to visit family and friends. This will be my last Saturday post until August when I return from vacation. The rest of the blogs should continue on without a hitch since they are already written and scheduled to appear automatically. No, you don't have to go without Shalia while I'm away. The diary will be updated as usual if Blogger doesn't come to a cataclysmic end while I'm gone. Isn’t technology cool when it’s not pissing us off?
Until early August, I may not respond to comments, questions, etc. in a timely fashion. That includes my email, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, so if you don't hear from me, don't think I'm ignoring you! I’ll peek in when and if I can. While I’m gone, I hope you all have a lovely time. Take care of yourselves and I’ll be back soon. Lots of love to you all...try not to behave too much, okay? ;)