Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chapter 1 of my Sci-fi romance: SHE

A funny question came to me one day while I was watching the science channel.  Some astrophysicist was talking about a theory that everything we know is actually layers of dimensions. He listed a bunch of other theories and how each was thought to be crazy until it debunked the previous theory.

And a thought came to me...what if we knew nothing about what the universe actually is?  What if we are merely byproducts of living organisms overlapping?

 And what would happen if one of those layers (electromagnetism) woke up and fell in love with a human?

That's how my book, SHE, was born.  It's 3/4 complete as of today and shelved until I finish book 3 of my billionaire's series.  Still, I thought you might like to see a sample of a different type of writing from me.  Of course, it's a bit over the top -- but would you expect anything different from me?

And without further is chapter one of SHE:

This  document has been sent to your planet because the humans in your solar system were deemed to have evolved enough to receive the answers to the questions that plague most evolving species.
            To understand where you came from and why you are here, you must first let go of the misconceptions of your scientists. 
            The “Big Bang” did, indeed, consist of four forces of nature:  electromagnetism, a weak force, a strong force and gravity.  However, unlike what you may have learned in your universities, they were living beings. 
These large membranes -- or dimensions, as some of your scientists call them, floated on an ocean of Dark Energy - conscious, but without the ability to communicate with each other.  All matter existed where they overlapped, a place called “the area of interaction.”  
This document is your only warning.
The universe sleeps no more and your survival depends on theirs.
Prophesy 23 of the banished Guardian

On the heels of a sun storm,
One of four will awaken to her mate.
The end will begin with spreading night
And beget a war of dark and light.

Chapter One

Magnetic waves of a solar flare propelled a small cargo ship off course and opened a connection between one dimension and the area of interaction.  Electromagnetism's consciousness burst through and easily mingled with the gamma rays being emitted by the sun.
 My mate has come!  The newly freed entity thought.
Her initial joy was quickly squashed by the realization that he was in danger. The heat was too much for his ship's shields. In a few seconds, they would fail and the metal would melt away.
            She modified her frequency and entwined her energy with that of his vehicle, easily deflecting the radiation of the flare.  His minute craft drifted for a moment, then under a power source of its own, began to move away.
No! She took hold of the ship at a nuclear level and brought it to an abrupt stop, sending her promised one flying across the interior.
“That’s gonna hurt,” the creature said just before he impacted with the metal casing of the control panels and slipped into unconsciousness.
She reached out to him, into him and immediately wished the Guardians had spoken more of organic life forms. For although she had felt his birth and known that he would come for her, she had never been able to connect with him. Like most life forms, he had been imperceptible in any detail until this moment.
Hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and nitrogen bonded together to create this mostly water-based creature.  Here was a delicate combination of molecules; each following carefully designed encoded strands.  Beautiful.
She moved on to study the network of his internal system, searching for a way to communicate with him.  Incased in a protective bone, she found an organ with synapses that produced electro-chemical bursts of energy she could understand.  Pictures.  Smells.  Languages. 
Memories from all stages of his life swirled before her like a kaleidoscope, as vivid and tangible as the day he’d experienced them.  She tasted the warm sweetness of a sugared fruit pie, shared his excitement as he battled to reel in a trillin half the size of himself, and reveled in the tingling sensations of his first kiss.  Nothing in her solitary existence had prepared her for the beauty and complexity of this creature.
An involuntary cry of pain from him halted her exploration.   His fragility was unexpected.  She’d assumed that her intended one would share her physical state. He should have been a membrane of energy spanning and affecting every corner of the cosmos.  Instead, he was a multi-cellular organism of negligible size who required a metal can to travel through space.  
She continued her search, lessening her contact with him and discovered that the beacon she had sent out since his birth, hoping he would follow it to her, had been interpreted by his mind into a much different message. His memories were replete with sexual dreams involving one fictional female, close to his height, with long, flowing brown hair.  Dark green eyes.  Soft curves. 
Me in human form.
She, who had always simply been, decided to become.  Creation was a new experience for her.  She was the maintainer, the energy that powered all matter, not the artist who shaped it. 
She concentrated on his design and gathered matter from space to create his ideal woman. Her new human shell demanded oxygen to survive.  She rematerialized herself onto his ship.
As her bare feet touched the cold metal of the craft’s floor, she lost a battle to maintain her balance, landed with a thud on her backside and laughed with joy at the unexpected sensation.
Since the initial separation, she'd been part of all that was -- pulsing through the expanding cosmos.   But, until this moment, she hadn’t realized how absolute her isolation had been.   This body she had created filtered all but the immediate stimuli.   Her organic mind simplified the input, narrowed her vision and made sense of the chaos.  For the first time, she could see and feel.
She enthusiastically inhaled the recycled, stale oxygen.  
I am alive! Free!
Can the Guardians stop me?
The second thought was sobering. They would soon return to feed on her again.  What would they do when they discovered her disappearance?  What could they do?
Unlike her, the Guardians absorbed energy, rather than producing it.  They were able to traverse the layers of dimensions, but only where they overlapped.  From conversations she had overheard while they fed, she knew that their greatest concern was survival.  
She also knew that their understanding of her was limited.  They regarded her much as her mate perceived the stars, as a source of energy, but devoid of consciousness.  The Guardians did not see the truth, that their universe was the beautiful product of living energy mingling.     
There had been a time, long ago, when she’d tried to communicate with the Guardians.  They’d confused her energy spikes with danger and hadn’t returned until her attempts had ceased.
It was upon their return that she’d learned of him, the one who lay before her. One guardian had spoken of a great storm that would rouse her and bring her mate to her, commencing a chain of events that would forever change the cosmos and end the reign of the Guardians.  They had banished the prophetic guardian to the Milky Way, but had discussed him many times over the following millennium.   Some thought his prophecies were dark and improbable.  Some vowed to insure it did not happen.
They would not be pleased.
Would they follow her?  Could they force her to go back?  She was not certain of her ability to fight them if they did. She cleansed space of all energy trails that could lead them to her and the action left her somewhat drained -- an entirely new experience for her.  The one constant in her existence to this point had been endless, regenerating power.  Perhaps choosing to become organic had changed that.  What that meant to her and to the stability of the cosmos, she didn't know and didn't care to put much speculation into. She just needed to stay in this form long enough to bond with her mate, the universe would take care of the rest. She had faith in the greater plan.
The creature before her moaned, drawing her attention.  She stood slowly and stepped toward her mate. His hair was much shorter than hers, but a similar dark color.  His form was longer, wider and hidden from view by some sort of costume.  She ran her fingertips down the brown material covering on one of his legs and shivered at the pleasure of its coarseness.
He wore two layers of material on the upper part of his body.  She explored both. The thick outer material was similar in feel to his leg coverings. The cloth he wore beneath it was smoother, softer and as she rested her hand on it, she marveled at the warmth of his body and the steady beat of an organ within. 
 She peeked beneath the cloth near his neck and noted the dark hair that covered his chest. A quick glance down confirmed that their forms were quite different. She poked first at his upper arm and then hers.  His muscles stood rock hard, resistant to pressure, unlike the soft flesh of hers.   Palm to palm, she compared their hands.  His were rougher, darker and nearly a third larger than her own. 
Wake up! She kicked him lightly in the side.  When he did not stir, she kicked again, harder. 

Daniel groaned at the sharp pain. Gods, he ached all over. 
With one hand rubbing at his pounding forehead, he used the other to push himself into a sitting position.  The solar flare must have knocked out the engines. Hopefully it was something he knew how to fix.  “We’ve been through worse, Betty.” He patted the floor of the cargo ship sympathetically. “I’ll get you back online as soon as the room stops spinning.”
Two perfectly shaped bare feet came into view as he lowered his hand. He leapt to his feet, instantly wishing he hadn’t when he almost succumbed to nausea as pain shot through his body.
His hand instinctively flew to his side and grasped at emptiness.  Oh, Gods, he didn’t remember taking his belt off.  That meant his pulser could be anywhere. He’d never expected to need it while so deep in space.
Word must have gotten out that he was after the red crystal.  Did this woman think he’d be so bowled over by her naked body that he would let her stop him?  Or worse, let her steal it out from under him once he got his hands on it?  She had quite a let down coming.
“Who in all the blue moons are you?” He enjoyed the flinch his bellow elicited, but couldn't help wondering at the same time why she looked familiar.
Her answer came within his thoughts.  Your destiny.
His fists clenched. “Destiny, my ass.  And did I mention that I hate telepaths?” He checked the short range scanner, but the screen was black. Damn. Where the hell had she beamed from? He smacked a hand on the dead controls.  There could have been a huge ship sitting right beside him and unless he went to check a portal, he wasn’t going to know.
Do not be frightened.  I am alone.
“I’m not the one who should be afraid in this situation.”  There was a time when he wouldn’t have questioned such a cosmic gift.  Even after his enslavement, there had often been women who’d been turned on by his notoriety. Didn’t seem to matter to them that he’d failed his people.  They wanted, if only for a night, to be part of something that had been recorded by the historians of every race of beings in the Cluster. 
For a while, he’d found comfort in their misplaced obsession with him. But remembering was too high a price to pay, even for sex.  Better to wait and stipulate silence as part of a purchase.
Which brought him back to the bold woman in front of him.  Who the hell beams naked onto a slave ship?
This body was unclothed in your mind. She answered within his thoughts again.
 Oh, shit, a bio-morphing telepath? Did those even exist?  Somehow this alien had taken the form of the woman he’d imagined in every lustful daydream since puberty.
Could she be Thobian?  They were the only known race of telepaths. If she was, she was no groupie.  His grandmother had initiated the Inter-galactic council’s mandate to rid the Cluster of them.  They’d been exiled since his early childhood.
No, the only reason a Thobian would come to him would be if there was something in it for her people.  Were they now silent allies with the Agadyrn Empire?  It would make sense.  Sweet revenge.
Time to stop gaping at her like a schoolboy lusting after his first female simulator program and figure out what she was really after.  Put some clothes on.  You're wasting your time.  I haven't been alone in space that long." 
She took a step closer to him and he felt an involuntary response to her nearness.  The age-old method of using a man’s bodily functions against him was obviously still effective.  He was rock hard almost instantly.  Shit.
If you are uncomfortable with my lack of covering, why is this form always exposed in your thoughts?
Using his favorite method of defense against telepaths, he filled his mind with pictures of comic simulated characters and took a step toward the back room.  
Where are you going?  she asked within his thoughts.
He took another sideways step, but kept his eyes on her.  Normally he would assume that she wasn’t armed because, Gods knew, she had nowhere on her to hide the weapon, but she looked far too confident not to have some hidden defense.
Just a few more feet and he could scan the back room.  Hopefully he’d left the pulser somewhere easy to reach.  His last one had somehow ended up in the clothing freshener. That could happen to anyone, he reassured himself, and forced his attention back on the present issue. 
He would definitely have to invest in an anti-beaming shield for his next mission.  That is, if there was a next mission. He couldn’t let her stop him. Without the crystal, he wouldn’t be able to buy his freedom from Dyrgrimr.
She was in his mind, sorting through the random images he was projecting.
 “Don’t Thobians follow some sacred code of etiquette about using their powers on the unwilling? Wasn’t that the argument your elders touted before getting banned from the galaxy?"
Thobians? I don’t know that word, she answered
“Oh, for Gods sake, if you're actually some slimy, scaly creature, I’ll boot your ass, if you have an ass, out the cargo hatch so fast your tentacles will spin.”
She moved to block his advance toward his weapon, which he could now see sitting in clear view on a pile of dirty clothing just a few feet inside the back room.   Bad habits die hard. This whole farce would end quickly if he could get his hands on his weapon. All he had to do was reach out and push her aside.  Gods only knew what she would feel like. Despite years of interacting with creatures from around the Virgo Super Cluster, alien skin still made him squeamish.
Even as he contemplated her possible texture, his body responded to the image she’d crafted for him. Blood rushed to heat the back of his neck and other, much lower, areas.
Real or not, she was gorgeous. Lush, brown hair ended just above the two full breasts of his dreams. He inhaled and forgot to continue the breathing process as his eyes slid down the curve of her waist, across her softly rounded stomach, to the dark curls between her pale thighs. 
He could’ve resisted one of the emaciated women that passed for beautiful on so many planets, but the mixture of healthy muscles and full curves muddled his thoughts. 
Exactly as she’d planned, he reminded himself harshly and lifted a jacket off the back of a supply container and threw it at her.  “For moon’s sake, cover up.”
Her arms closed around the clothing he’d thrown at her.  She studied the material for a moment before slipping an arm into each sleeve.
Wide-eyed, she stood before him and he began to curse.   The unfastened front of the jacket hinted at the curves he could still see far too clearly in his mind. 
With the layer of cloth between them, he gave her a push out of the way. “Button yourself up.”  He’d hoped to sound indifferent, but his voice came out as almost a croak.  Turning away from her lent him some mental clarity.  The pulser. Focus. 
He closed the distance to the pile of clothing in a few strides.  “You may regret stowing away on this ship.  I’m not entirely sure I can get her running again.  That last storm knocked out her engines.”
Their eyes met and held as he reattached his weapon belt. She studied him with open curiosity of a child debating the safety of touching a small, fluffy leporidae. 
He settled his pulser against his thigh and watched her slowly fasten the front of the long jacket.  Her delicate fingers took their time with each button; her eyes never wavering from his.   He gulped in a breath of air. If only she were human...
What would you do if I were? she asked.
Damn, he'd been schooled on how to close his mind to telepaths, but she waltzed through his defenses with ease.  Luckily his grandmother wasn't there to witness how little all those hours of tutelage on mental strengthening was proving worth.   That simple thought brought renewed anger at his invader.  He hadn’t thought about his grandmother in years.  This woman was good.  By opening old wounds, she could keep him off balance and unable to close his mind to her. 
As he battled for control, a pain began to throb behind his temples.   “You are the worst telepath I’ve ever met,” he bit out in frustration. “You’re about as gentle as an Eldrin bull.”
            She pulled back, lessening the pressure, but still answering within his mind.  I’m sorry. I have never focused on anything so small before. 
A sarcastic, bio-morphing telepath.  The universe sure did love to twist the knife. “What’s your name?”
She tilted her head to one side as if the question puzzled her. Name?
“So, now you’ve lost your memory?” He let out a disgusted grunt.  This woman was as transparent as they came.  He’d bet his cargo ship and what little his life was presently worth that her helpless act would drop the instant he had the red crystal in his hands.
My memories are intact.  It is my vocabulary that is limited.
“You're full of shit.” 
Her focus switched from communication to exploration.  Words and phrases came to his mind as if he were recalling them.  His hand tightened instinctively on the pulser, but he didn’t draw it. Let her look. Better to know your enemy. Her search would reveal her intention.
Everyone has a name?  Then I will have a name.  I am here.  I am Ibi.  
“While you’re searching my mind in a language I no longer speak, maybe you should look up the Besarn translation for I-don’t-really-care-what-your-name-is-as-long-as-you-get-hell-off-my-ship.”
She went deeper. As she explored, he stood powerless, reliving each memory with her in the vividness of reality.  Scenes from his childhood on Trilodon came flooding back to him.   He inhaled deeply.  Oh, yes.  If he closed his eyes, he could easily have been back in his grandmother’s kitchen begging the cook for just one before mealtime.  The smell of freshly baked grillo cookies filed the room.
Who is Sarras? Ibi asked as she studied a memory of his grandmother performing a ceremonial blessing of a young child.
He didn't answer.  Couldn't answer.  A new, rapid-fire burst of memories held him immobile.
She dragged him briskly through random scenes from a lifetime he had worked hard to forget until she stumbled onto the one day he denied even to himself.
As real as the day it had happened, Daniel was back inside the turbo fighter on his way to Lunas.  His best friend, Kaz, was flanking him in an experimental, military issued tryonic boost fighter; he claimed he'd borrowed with permission.  Trilodon’s Minister of Cultural Affairs trailed behind in a larger, much less useful cargo ship that had been outfitted with all the luxuries the minister had deemed necessary for a deep space, three day trip.
“Kaz, I shouldn’t be flying this thing.  I don’t even know what half the buttons do.”  Daniel’s words echoed in the small cockpit of the turbo fighter. 
Kaz’s booming laughter was the giant’s first response. “If you see anything dangerous, just press the orange button.  Other than that, the autopilot will get you there.”
“I didn’t need a fighter craft, Kaz.  We’re cloaked."  Sarras would not be happy when she heard his method of transportation.  As future leader of Trilodon, he was held to a higher standard of morality. 
“That’s the problem with Besarns.  You believe your prophecies more than you trust the reports.   As a member of the Council, Trilodon was already an Agadyrn target.  But now that your grandmother has announced that you are going to stop the Empire with a red crystal, none of your people are safe.   Not one.  You think your grandmother's vision means you’re untouchable? You should have brought a fleet of fighters for protection today.  If there is the slightest chance that your grandmother could be right, the Agadyrs aren’t going to let you complete your mission.”
“I’m surprised your father didn’t send an escort.”
“He won’t move against Sarras and this is a peaceful mission, remember.  Father says there is too much dissent already in the Council without showing a weakening of our alliance.  When the Empire does come, we need to be on the same side.”
“How does he feel about you stealing two fighters for the trip?”
“It doesn’t matter how he feels.  If we succeed, forgiveness will come easy.  If we fail and the war begins…”
“It won’t come to that, Kaz.”
An aged throat cleared, reminding Daniel that their conversation was not a private one.  The Minister added, "You must have faith, young ones.  Sarras has never been wrong. So she says, so we believe."
Kaz spoke over the minister's final sentence. “What exactly is the purpose of that guy?”
Daniel groaned. “He is here to record the fulfillment of the prophecy.”
The giant’s laughter boomed again. “I love that your people have such faith in you.  Do they know that I used to have to bait your trillin hook?”
“Shut up, Kaz.  We can’t all be twelve feet of death and demolition.” His grandmother had never understood his friendship with Kaz.  The two had met as young children during a Council session.  It hadn’t mattered to either of them that Kaz’s father commanded the Intergalactic Fleet and advocated peace through domination while Sarras mediated treaties and kept her position on the council by speaking for the Cluster’s gods.
No, that day he and Kaz had simply been two boys, both tired of being kept quiet in a dusty library room by guards who didn’t understand the lure of the sunlit garden just outside the door.  Their escape had taken Tannian strength and Besarn cunning and had been worth every moment of the punishment that had followed their garden adventure.
Sarras would not be happy that Daniel had included Kaz on this mission.
            The giant’s voice interrupted his thoughts. “I have a softer side.”
            Daniel said, “It’s called Ceri and what she sees in you, no one is really sure of.”  He checked the sensors.  All clear.  Kaz was worried about nothing.
 “What she sees is something bigger than you’ll ever have.”  He moved his much larger fighter ahead of Daniel’s to accentuate his point.
“You do realize that the Minister is recording all of this?  Is that really how you want history to remember you -- as a man obsessed with size?”
“Do you think he would?  Imagine the sketches he’d need. Should I flash him, you know, for accuracy’s sake?”
The minister coughed, reminding them that he was not only recording, but also listening.
            “Sarras is going to kill me, even if we do save everyone,” Daniel said with a groan.
            “Relax, you haven’t broken any moral code. Yet,” Kaz replied.
Daniel saw the moon come up on the fighter’s short-range sensors. 
Ibi had gone too far this time. Rage filled him.  He would not relive the rest of that mission, no matter how powerful she was.  Once had been bad enough. 
Pulling back from the scene dominating his mind, he imagined picking Ibi up like a child, turning her over his lap and smacking her sweet ass with all of the anger building within him.  He hoped his thoughts were as real for her as they were for him.
The reverie came to an abrupt end.  Eyes wide, Ibi jumped back a step and placed a hand protectively behind herself as if she’d felt the reprimand.
You hurt me, she accused. 
“Good,” he replied without a lick of remorse. “You need to learn to stay the fuck out of people’s minds.”  
Her forehead wrinkled in frustration. I am trying to know you, Daniel.
“If only that were true and I had the time to let you.”  Even angry with her, his spanking-inspired erection would not subside. He folded his arms across his chest and shifted uncomfortably. Gods, she was beautiful.  “This whole act is pathetic.  Who sent you?”
You came to me. She moved to sit on one of the storage bins with a sigh. This body tires easily.
“This body? You have others?”  Whether it was mind control or bio-morphing didn't really matter.  Either way, none of this was real. “And use your damn voice.  My head is killing me.”
Her rebuttal was an act of sheer torture.  She ran a hand down one calf, stealing the breath out of him as he caught a glimpse of the area above.  “Is this better?” Her voice was husky and hesitant as if she were trying it on for the first time.  She crossed one leg over the other and smiled at him.
She knew exactly what she was doing to him.  Damn her.  Only, he wasn't going to let her win.  He looked away and adjusted his weapon belt. 
“Entertaining as you are, I’ve got a ship to fix.” He walked back to the control room. She’s not real. None of this is real.
His gut clenched at the sound of her bare feet hitting the metal floor as she followed him.  “I don’t suppose telepaths know much about fixing cryon engines?” he asked.
“The engine is what makes this craft move?” she asked with a serious tone.
He decided to ignore the question.  The woman was taking her role far beyond credibility. Maybe she’d drop the act if he stopped responding to it.
The lights on the console flashed as the engines reengaged. “Betty, I knew you wouldn’t let me down!”  He closed the distance to the command chair at the front of the ship. 
“Who is Betty?”
He ran a hand lovingly over the nameplate on the wall. "Betty’s the ship.”
“Does she speak?”
He sat at the control seat and smiled as the engines started without hesitation.  “I could’ve added that option, but I’m old fashioned. I like to make my own decisions.”
He reset the coordinates to Byrack and wondered if Ibi had a weapon hidden somewhere on the ship. The short-range scanners were back online and clear, but there could be a vessel trailing just beyond its scope.  Eventually, Ibi would tire of the mind games and change her tactics.  He had to be ready for her.
First things first, though. Betty was up and running.  No time to sit around and figure out why.  He'd run a full diagnostic in flight.
If the Agadyrn scouts found his contact at the Farbegn market before he could get there, he’d have lost his only buyer. Dyrgrimr wasn’t going to free him unless he came back with a bargaining chip. The crystal alone was too hot for Dyrgrimr to accept as payment.  Daniel had to ensure there was no way to link him to the theft and sale of it because even his blockage running slave owner wouldn't want to draw the attention of the Agadryn forces.
And Ibi? He turned his seat to study her resting figure. She’d curled herself into a scooped chair and lifted a blanket off the floor to snuggle beneath.  Her eyelashes lay peacefully against her cheeks as she rested.
What the hell was he going to do with her?  He couldn’t leave her on a planet and risk her warning the outpost. And afterwards, what was to stop her from telling anyone who was interested that he’d stolen the crystal?
Another man would have killed her to ensure her silence.  But another man would have killed back when it actually mattered, when millions of lives had depended on him to press that one orange button.
He turned back to the control panel and initiated the self-scan mode.  ETA, two hours to Byrack, an old Agadryn outpost. With the Agadyrn forces on the offense in so many directions, the crystal would have the least guards necessary to man the outdated station.  No one would expect someone to steal from the very regime that was bent on complete genocide of every race in the Virgo Super Cluster.  It was either a suicide mission or sheer genius. 
Either way, Daniel was done living under Dyrgrimr’s control.

(End of Chapter One)

I'd love to hear what you think.  I've considered publishing it under another pen name because it's so different than my billionaires, but it's also fast paced and Ibi and Daniel were a fun couple. Maybe my current readers would enjoy watching them grow.  Ibi's journey is to become human and to help Daniel discover the hero he was always meant to be.

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