So I obviously skipped my Monday post! Sorry about that, but I fell asleep while reading last night and never made it lol. Anyhow, here is my Tuesday Teaser, taken from Ohre, Book Two in the Heaven's Edge series. :) Hope everyone's having a fantabulous week!
While Qeya slept I returned to the gaping hole that had been the deck’s hull. I dragged my thumb over my gauntlet and watched as a soft light emitted from between my webbed fingers and illuminated the wreckage inside. Qeya had avoided coming on deck since she came to us. When I looked at it I tried only seeing parts and plates hiding the gears inside. The projected images of home world no longer flickered against the walls. Adi had tasked me with draining as much excess power as I could transfer to the Pioneer.
I knew if I didn’t busy myself, after what Qeya had told me, I would start to lose it again. And this time there weren’t any monsters waiting to be slain out in the wet forest. I approached the power grid that I had gripped the moment second deck split from the main ship and began to fall into Nukvar’s outer sphere. Clenching my jaw, I pushed past the memory of the children screaming and gripped the edge of a closed section. The rip of metal echoed through the hollow hull. After tossing the metal aside, I lifted my gauntlet to look at the pulse of blue energy traveling through wire coils and circuits.
I had always had affection for metal and inventing things, always known where the wires went, how they came together like a nebulous web. Never could stand to mine dust and gasses like the others. Fixing things was something I understood. And I couldn’t fix her. I couldn’t fix any of them and I doubted Adi would be able to fix our ship.
As I connected the cable to my gauntlet, she appeared.
“Don’t speak of her,” I warned Adi as she came to crouch down beside me. Her eyes gleamed like tiny twin leaves as they met mine.
“Good to see you working for a change,” she gruffly replied.
I ignored her and hoped she would leave me be. Any other sane miner knew to leave me to get rid of the darkness in my own way, or send me away. Adi had been living with Royals for too long. She might skin me for telling her so, but she was a lot softer than I remembered, before she joined the shuttle crew.
“Ohre, you know we must send her back. She don’t belong here with us out here, away from her kind. And from what I heard tonight, she sounds a stone’s throw shy from going mad…”
“Told you not to say anything,” I grunted low as I twisted the cable free and clenched my fist. More energy was in my gauntlet than there should be and the pressure gave my skin a faint buzz. If she kept talking I might plant it to her chest.
“They all do,” she said. “I noticed it when the ship crashed. Captain, Won and Bruu seemed hale enough, besides their shock. But Min, Qori and Tamn were…off, worse than water-logged.”
The lights from the console faded and I ripped another panel free, then threw it so it barely missed her leg. Adi was silent until I started to drain the last power cell. Her hand on my arm was a shock. She had never touched me before unless necessary, or to maim me. If I weren’t the mistrusting miner I claimed to be, I’d have said she was trying to be gentle with me.
“You’ll fry your gears if you don’t get rid of the last batch.” Her grip tightened for an indeterminable moment.
I nodded and stood, then braced my hands on the edge of the consol. A fine layer of dust and grime already coated the once pristine screens and buttons and levers. I stared at Adi’s reflection beside mine.
“We have to let her go, Ohre.”
“I don’t want her to go alone.”
After another pause, she motioned to an even darker corner of the tilted deck. “Come, let me how you something.” We walked over old training equipment and avoided the empty barracks, in favor of gray and white checkered panels. Here was where the projections of home world had constantly played, a leaking reminder of what they would never return to reclaim.
Adi shared a secret grin with me before she placed her fingertips over the panels, reached for the creases. “You never cared much for how Datura 3 was made. You came to us after and for so long you were nothing more than a wild sea urchin,” she laughed roughly at her own joke.
I rolled my eyes and studied her movements, waiting for her to tell me something useful.
“Royals took over our ship, Ohre, but they couldn’t take our imprint. We was the ones who made it, savvy? Don’t you be forgetting that.” A light emitted from the cracks in the paneling. I stepped back when the gray ones pushed out from the hull and watched as Adi pried a square metal sheet from an illuminated box.
“What did you do?” I asked her, frowning and gaping at the stash of gasses, chole dust reserves, data pads and weaponry waiting inside.
Adi snatched a shell shaped compressor and grinned at me. “We hid these here before the Royals came on board, back when this was our quarters.” She passed me several more reserves and I shoved them into the various pockets in my tool belt. There was enough power in one of these tiny vials to travel 80K leagues in the heavens. And then I looked up at the other storage units.
“What else have you hidden?”
Adi twirled a blaster between her fingers. “Something’s been on my mind that I kept from you, mate.”
“Besides all this?” I asked dryly and motioned to the rest of the units. Her grin made her slanted eyes even narrower and reminded me why I had stayed away from the females of my kind in the past.
“I told you to forget about the Royals, but if we want to get Pioneer off the ground, we’re going to need Remin.” Before I could question her further, she turned her back on me and began to shove more supplies into the sack she had brought in with her.
Remin was the other miner on the Pioneer and had not only designed the shuttle, but all of Datura 3. He was so brilliant the Royals took him from his clan and made him build more ships, more weapons, more technology they could steal from us. He was also the miner I watched get speared by the Var, the same day we found the shuttle crew and lost half of them.
“You’re the one who’s leaking in the brain,” I finally said.
Her voice hardened and her shoulders stiffened but she didn’t look at me. This was a bad sign. “There are things about ship crafting I have no knowledge of. No way a miner couldn’t survive a splinter wound like that.”
“He didn’t show with Tamn, Adi.”
“Tamn’s weak!” she hissed, rounding on me and snatching me by the metal collar of my suit. “He blacks out and wakes up alive, means he’s lucky. Don’t mean the others are dead. And fact is, unless you want to spend the rest of our lives trying to make a bird fly that can’t, we’re going to solve both our problems. We’ll escort her royal highness back into that valley and once we send her on her way, we’re going after Remin.”