Posts tagged ‘excerpt’

A possible sequel

Okay I admit I have been a lazy writer type. Not working like I should but I haven’t been totally lazy. I have bits and pieces of notes scattered through my notebook. This little bit is something I have been playing with.

Billy Blackcrow is a crow shifter who first appeared in To Save Face or Family. He is a fun loving character who joined the Firm as a way to care for his murder of siblings and cousins. For those of you wondering that means thirteen crows. It is one of those fun terms that the english language has. Now this bit is totally rough.

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Billy banked to the left, flirting his feathers at his cousin before catching an updraft and soaring out of the forest. He was due to check in at base, something that family didn’t understand. Crows were social birds who flocked together but they were rarely serious. Billy confused them with his trips to the city and his outclan friends.The fact that he reported to an eagle baffled the much younger siblings and cousins that he had taken charge of. They understood he worked with the outclan to protect them and get them the great roost they had but they didn’t understand continuing to do so. After all didn’t he suffer injury helping those outclan fox types?

They felt he should stay closer to home. Pick out a good crow girl and add to the flock like the clan leader he was now. Wasn’t that how it was done?

Air traffic over the Firm’s headquarters was interesting. He never knew just who might be coming in for new orders. Between the newcomers and the old agents plus all the normal birds, there was cast off feathers everywhere. He spiraled down, transforming back to human as his feet hit the rooftop. He waved to Raven, who was currently on watch. A cousin in a way, the larger black feathered bird was blending well with the local natural raven population.

His ability to talk to all the natural ravens in the city made him a valuable resource but Billy found Raven to be a bit arrogant and stuffy. But then pretty much every crow thought that of every raven. The fact that Billy was a shifter and Raven was of the spiritclans should have meant they would never even talk but when Billy’s clan had been almost completely wiped out by Strife Raven had helped Crane to bring his family to a safe place. While he still didn’t know Raven’s speaking name, he trusted the man.

**********

I have more to work on to get this going but the bits I added here made me write it down. Story fragments come to me every day and some I write down and others I ignore. It is interesting having a muse who only gives you tiny bits of tales to tall. here is hoping I can do more.

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An excerpt from a new story idea

Yes folks I have been writing. As I have commented before I have had trouble working on one thing at a time and I have been bouncing between many bits and pieces over the past few weeks. Much of my notes have yet to be typed up but well these things happen. So how about I give you folks a new story idea? I have for years wanted to do a character who are born mute.

I am not saying she is deaf, because she is not. She simply has no voice with which to speak. She can see and hear but in a fantasy world how would one grow and what would you become if you could not speak? Could you do magic? Well here is the bit I have down now.

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Running on swift and silent feet through the dark streets, Rebecca darted down a side street and slowed. Those chasing her were fiercely loyal the their masters. They would do anything they could to wipe her from existence.

She was the last of her family and the last of her kind. At a full head shorter than the average woman, Rebecca looked like a girl just coming to womanhood. She kept her hair shorn close to her head. The dark curls were hidden under the same scarf that hid her dark skin. The invaders of her home were tall and pale-skinned with eyes that glowed red at all times. When they first came to the city the gate watch had thought they were just a new batch of the northerners come to trade furs for the scented wood of the Cinnabar trees. They were so very wrong.

She only needed to run a few more streets and she would finally be able to do finish. She would be able to do what they had started out to do. Whether it would work she wasn’t sure. She was alone now, all the others had fallen, but she had to try.

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This little bit is from a tale I have tentatively titled Muted Freedom. No she isn’t a princess or a warrior. She is something else. I plan on a cross between a priestess and a dancer. For that is how she speaks. She dances her devotion to her gods and to her people. No this tale is not making a comment about race. Yes the villain are pale skinned but they are not white in the traditional sense. They are the white of dead bones, not the healthy color of northerners.

Yes it is sad that I will have to make sure to clearly type that. But that is what authors do. We write. We write characters of many typs. And I will continue to write characters as I see them. No matter the current political correctness that people expect writers to do if they want to sell.

What’s this an excerpt from a later book?

Yup that is what you get here today. See over on my main blog suteko.wordpress.com (Suteko’s Blog) I put in an excerpt from the third novel of Loralil Greyfox’s life. The thing is the whole book was supposed to just be the opening chapters to A Fragile Peace broken (working title) It took off recently and became an entire novel on its own that I will hopefully finish before the end of summer. I am thinking about having it out by Labor day. We will see.

After all the work I did on A Fragile Peace: Found, I realize that I will need to rewrite a lot of this now forth book before I put it out. It is actually a lot of fun to look back at the parts of this character’s life I have written. Being that she is a Grey Elf, she has a long life expectancy. No, she is not an immortal elf, but she could easily expect to life well over a thousand years. With an age range like that I have so much space to play in. So far she is barely 50 years old. While for us humans (like me at 51) that is the beginning of the slippery slope to death, for her she is still considered barely an adult.

If you have read Endings and Revenge (Saga of Loralil Greyfox) You know i have put her through so many horrible things in those few short years. The timeless summer of the Elves is not a good time for her so far. In the third book I am dealing with consequences to the soul of a person. Not as heavy as you could with a human but I am trying to lighten up this very dark fantasy some.

Now this excerpt is set about fifteen years after the excerpt I had included in my other blog. Yes that is a jump, if we were human, but for an elf it is really just a blink of her eyes.

***

“So,” a soft voice spoke. “They came this way.” Looking up the mountainside a pair of amethyst eyes narrowed. There was a haze growing above and it could be coming only from one place. Swiftly pulling her bow, Loralil ran lightly up the mountain trail.

It had been fifteen years since the death of the last of her family, fourteen years since she had been in this place. She had taken to wandering the wilds. The healers of Tal’sin had brought her back to a semblance of normalcy. She could function within polite society, but she rarely felt comfortable there. She was a killer, she knew that deep inside and nothing the people of the Grey Elven city could tell her would change her view of herself. The long years in the human lands had shaped her.

She paused for a moment as she came close to the city. There was something on the air, a scent her forest trained senses told her was familiar. She shook her body, shaking out the tightness that settled between her shoulder blades. She knew there were intruders on her mountain, another race of beings had come up here and had most likely invaded the last refuge of a people nearly extinct. She wasn’t sure just which race it was as they were mounted, but she had an idea. The lingering scent of the hated foe of her youth filled her nostrils and the small elf woman picked up speed.

She had be to sure. One part of her mind told her she had to try and protect the people who had brought her back and the rest told her it was once more time to destroy. The battle was to be found once more.

*******

Inside the mountain city of Tal’sin there was a battle raging. Orcs had found once more their favorite prey. Though not as peaceful as the village of Loralil’s birth, the people of Tal’sin were far from warriors. They were city dwellers, though of a city small by human standards, Tal’sin held a mind healer college and like all Grey Elf dwelling places there was a large gathering of artisans. That had to be what had brought the bandits in. The creative people had made some wondrous things, rare and fine, and worth a lot of money.

*******

Loralil narrowed her eyes and concentrated. She could see the armed foes through the smoke filling the air. She still did not quite know who it was, but she didn’t care. The people of the city were all small and slender, grey elves. The attackers were broad and tall. She took aim at those figures she could see. It was with an almost animal satisfaction that she watched her intended targets fall.

It wasn’t till the sixth fell, not away, but toward her that she got her first look at the men. She carefully placed her bow down in the tree and growled low in her throat. Orc, the hated foe. A red cloud began to descend over her vision and she moved like a shadow, flowing forward to begin to kill. She held a bit of her sanity back, enough to know friend from enemy, or so she prayed.

The first of the attackers came at her, swaggering and giggling at the tiny figure with the sword in her hands. That giggle died in his throat as the shining silver blade clove it open. Death stalked the streets of Tal’sin, but no longer was it a male force. Now it had taken on the image of woman and revenge was all that mattered.

***

When the fire had taken hold, it spread through the city on the wings of the wind. The people of the city battled both the invaders and the flames. It was with surprise that they watched the invaders cry out and run off. They cheered, but then they screamed as the flames ate out from the wood to engulf them too. Burning bright and wild, little was left in its path.

***

The killing continued until a voice cried out in a language clear and loud. Loralil felt the rage drain out of her and she looked about. The ground was littered with the bodies of her foes. Mixed among the bandits were the burned bodies of the people she had come to save.

Shuddering, she knelt and cleaned her blade on the grass at her feet. She then slid it back into the sheath that rode her shoulders. Skirting around the dead Orcs, she moved from elf to elf. Gently moving those who were beyond the need of the healers. She held no healing in her hands, only death, but she could give dignity to those who had died.

She no longer sung the dead upon their path to the west. That part of her died with the last of her family, but her physical strength had grown. Whether it was that she now spent her time in constant practice or a gift from the gods who she was no longer sure existed, she didn’t care. It helped her to protect those who would not protect themselves.

Once the bodies of those she had lived among for a time had been moved a respectable distance from the hated ones Loralil started in on the rest. The average Orc was easily over a foot taller than she and outweighed her by over a hundred pounds, but it didn’t matter. She would stoop, grab a body by the arm and leg and sling it on her shoulders, then head out of the clearing. There was a nearby gorge that was used by scavengers. She tossed them all down the cliff. In all there were thirty of the hated Orcs. More in one place than she had ever heard of.

She paused and wiped her brow after the last of them and looked up the mountain. The city was covered in smoke and ash. She knew that one pair of hands would be unable to do much to stop the progress of the fire, but she ran up the mountain any way.

The gates were wide open and people were running out, carrying what belongings they could. One of the Masters spotted her and gestured madly. Gently pushing her way through the panicked crowd she went to meet him.

“Master Talron, have the others made it out?”

The stately grey haired elf shook his head. “Mistress Pheadra and Master Forlin were in the chapel and your friend Jason Halfelf was with them.”

Cursing softly Loralil nodded and started off. “I will get them. Get these people away from the fires. The caves off the north path have plenty of wood and supplies.”

The elderly Master nodded and started shouting orders to the beings about him; the voice of authority bringing some sense of order to the chaos. Loralil passed the gates quickly and pulling a scarf from her hip pouch, wrapped it about her nose and mouth.

The smoke and soot was thick and she could hear little beyond the crackling of the flames. It was only good fortune and planning that the city had been laid out around an artificial pond. The series of pools and waterfalls had managed to keep most of the fire contained to the outer ring of the city. As she ran through the streets, she spotted people carrying younglings.

She grabbed the nearest and started herding them back the way she came. She recognized the crèche mother and her assistants. They had gotten the children out of the nursery where the parents usually kept them while they were working. “Head directly to the gates. The fire has burned through there already and while the cobbles are hot you can get them out of the gates. Find Master Talron. He is taking everyone to the caves.”

The woman nodded and led the children and her assistants toward the outer gates. Loralil watched them till she was sure they were heading the right way and then turned and ran. The flames were burning out in most places, but she could still see the roof of the chapel burning.

As she neared it she heard a chant and then a whoosh. The skies above her opened up and rain came pelting heavily down. With a laughing curse, Loralil moved into the doorway of the chapel. Eyes searching, she breathed a sigh of relief when she spotted the two elder Grey elves and the taller form of Jason. “Took you long enough.” She joked, and then coughed as the smoke filled her lungs.

Moving forward she quickly looked over the elders. Mistress Phaedra was wrapping something around Jason’s head and Master Fortin slumped against the altar. The old woman looked up crossly. “He did what he could, Greyfox. Where were you?”

Chastised, Loralil sighed. “Dealing with the invaders, My Lady.” She knelt down and looked in Master Fortin’s eyes.

They were a bit dazed and the old elf nodded. “Your old training came in handy I am sure, little one.” He coughed, a harsh sounding noise and held out a hand. Loralil stood and gently helped him to stand. Looping his arm over her shoulder, she helped him out of the chapel.

***

Yes this is a long excerpt. I will be changing a lot of this for sure. In some ways Loralil has not grown like she should in this bit. The troubles she has is that many of her people just don’t understand her reactions to things. Having spent most of her life among humans she just doesn’t have the beliefs about the other races that they expect. Also spending such a long time as a warrior, having to fight for every breath, she has a temper that they only believe the dark cousins have. She is far from a Drow but she is not a gentle artisan like the Grey Elves. Once more i will be dealing with the differences between the three races of elves, their expectations of Loralil and her growth toward the adventurer that she will be for many years. Learning to deal with deeply internalized anger is something that I think will hit a cord with many women. We are taught to sublimate our anger as women. It is even more so for a race that puts a premium on grace and beauty. Loralil has a great well of talent inside that she can not touch till she learns to control her anger, her fears and herself.

Back with more work..or an excerpt from my first collection

Yup I thought I would toss up a bit of one of the short stories that only a handful of people have seen. My first collection, Gates, has not sold very well. It could be the price, it could be that the publisher did NOTHING when it came to editing and promoting or it could be that I can’t market anything even if I try, but I am sad it hasn’t.

The stories in this collection all have some type of gate between here and there or one reality to the next in them. They range from pure fantasy to horror to a love story to the end of the world. I have received two reviews where they commented about the editing and in an attempt to get them back I contacted the publisher. Looks like they will be holding onto them for another two years unless I can come up with 750 Euros!

So in attempt to try and make some money I thought I would post up excerpts from the tales inside this collection. This one is titled Axe in the Stone is a more classic fantasy tale about the change from one version of the world and the next.

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Axe in the Stone

By Lisa Williamson

“Where did this come from?”

Sitting, buried in one of the stones of the forest clearing was a large war axe. The blade was embedded in the stone that Juliana usually used to sit and ponder her day. She flitted about the weapon with a concerned look on her face. It wasn’t the fact that there was a large piece of man forged steel sitting in the middle of her glade that bothered her. It was the blood that welled up from around the blade.

At first she had thought it was just left over blood on the blade but as she watched another bead welled up around it from the stone. She hissed as yet another bead came up.

“Man came into the clearing and left that thing.”

Juliana spun about and then smiled. “Hello, Oak. You saw who did this?”

The oak behind the woodland sprite nodded. “Yes. Man came in carrying that and looked about. Man then pulled back like he was going to hit Maple and then he struck rock and staggered off after the flash.”

The sprite looked puzzled for a moment. “After the flash?”

“Yes the flash as the thing entered the stone.” Oak grimaced. “Magic it was, man-magic.”

Juliana nodded, turning back to the strange thing in her grove. “It must be removed,” she said quietly but firmly. “The man must be found and made to remove the blade from the stone. I will not have iron in my grove.” Her eyes flashed with the power behind her statement.

As if called up by name another being entered the grove. He was taller than the average forest dwelling fairy. Almost man tall, he was an oddity in this wood. For he was not a fey at all but a being of another type; not human or troll or Elvin even, he was of older blood indeed. Before the fey had moved to the wood, before the human thought to enter with their weapons of iron there lived a race of beings that were a part of the wood around them. Each and every one of them had something unearthly about them. Even to those of the fey blood they seemed strange and powerful.

Erland was one such being. He liked to spend time in Juliana’s grove, speaking to the trees and the stones. The cry of the chair stone brought him into the grove when others were about. He walked past the flitting fairy woman and gently rested a hand on the stone. “I feel your pain brother stone. I will help you if I can.”

He turned to the fey and the trees. “How did you allow this to happen?”

“Allow? Allow!” shouted the fairy. “I did not allow anything. I was on my rounds when the human entered the grove.”

Erland looked at the fairy woman for a long moment and then turned to the stone once more. “You were right that the blade must be removed but the Man who did this can not do it.” He studied the iron blade with narrowed eyes. Colors swirled in his sight about the blade. “The magic was not his but part of the blade itself.”

Oak spoke up. “Is it one of the OLD blades?”

Juliana looked confused. “One of the what?”

Sighing Erland sat down on the air and pulled a pipe from his pocket. Flicking the end with his thumb he puffed for a moment before speaking. “What Oak is referring to is an ancient weapon made by a people that no longer part of this land. The Crafters they were called by my kind. They were a strange race, much like the Man you saw. But the major difference being that they made magical things as easy as you breath.”

Juliana settled on the ground and listened with huge eyes. “You mean they made such nasty things?”

The forest being nodded, “They did not make them to be nasty but just to make them. They never truly understood the uses that the things they made would be put to. They were innocents in a world filled with warriors. They would make something like this on a whim and give it to the first to pass by and ask for it.”

The little sprite woman shook her head. “How foolish. Did they think that they were safe doing that?”

“No little one. They did not think of danger. For they were totally peaceful beings. When the first of their creations were raised against them they were shocked.”

Juliana nodded, understanding coming to her soft eyes. “They paid a high price didn’t they?”

Erland looked at the small winged woman for a time before answering. “The first time one of their creations were used against them they thought it was a mistake. For they saw the other races as children and they chastised the child who had harmed them. It was a simple tool that had been used for the wrong purpose to their minds. They took the tool back and sent the creature who misunderstood its use far away.” He closed his eyes and puffed away at his pipe for a bit.

***

If you are interested in reading the rest of this tale you can pick up the book at many of the ebook retailers around the web.

Some excerpts and comentary

With the month of March sliding out from under us I thought HEY excerpts could be a good thing right? Now I have started a new character’ tales that I will be calling Maiden/Mother/Crone. This will be a set of tales with a character outside the normal. After discussions about how in urban fantasy you don’t see a female character over 35 I thought, well why not?

This character will be a bit me and a bit all the wonderful writers I have met that are older than me. Women who have lived lives, learned many things and deserve to have stories told too. So why not write a character who is a mother and even a grandmother coming into her power? Here is the very rough start to her tale. More back story than anything else but then we need back story right?

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They say that the talent for magic appears at puberty. That the strongest practitioners would show signs from birth that they will be great and powerful. They tell you that if you have not shown ability by the time you graduate high school that you might as well just become an accountant.

I showed no sign of that gift. At puberty I was too busy helping to care for my younger siblings to even take the tests. When I graduated high school it was decided that I should marry and pass on my genes to another generation. So I started having babies, one every two years till I had six children to care for, all girls. A regular stay at home wife and mother and expected to stay that way.

Life moved forward with the usual ups and downs till my children entered school. The year the youngest entered school my spouse decided that life with us was not what he wanted and he left to ‘find himself’, never to return.

As a wife and mother there was little I could do for work but that did not stop me from finding ways to support my children. When my oldest, Kimberly, came into her gift, she tearfully left our cramped home for her training. Too soon, or at least it seemed to me at the time, children developed into their magic. Each child held a different kind and I worked hard to make sure they got what they needed to develop to their potential. Like any good parent, I put my children ahead of myself and did my best to support their dreams.

When my youngest daughter Caroline graduated, my oldest was looking at having a family of her own. My children thought nothing of their mother and if I had desires to be more than their stay home grandmother and babysitter, but I did have plans. Plans that most of them would not approve of.

You see there is one very rarely seen type of magic awakening. While 99% of those who do not develop magic before adulthood would go on to be magicless for the rest of their days, there is that 1% who find themselves with power when they hit menopause.

When my fiftieth birthday rolled around I felt things changing deep inside. It was more than my biological clock running down to its final ticks. Yeah, I knew that menopause was happening. After all I had been getting the hot flashes for a while. They weren’t as bad for me as others, more like feeling warm and a bit sticky instead of cold. I was just glad it was over. No more having to deal with the mess.

It was a couple of months later that I started to notice things, sparkles around the edge of my vision. I thought it was just the spring coming on and pollen in the air, but it was something else. When I started hearing things, well then I got worried. Sparkles could just be my vision starting to go but hearing things? Well was I having a breakdown?

Thankfully a neighbor explained it to me.

You know her I am sure. We all have that one neighbor. An elderly woman, dresses odd and the normal kids call her a witch; the one that dispenses advice and cookies with the same hand. Who many take as a gossip, a busybody or a hag, who wears a blue eye to ward off evil or has too many cats? Yes, you know whom I mean. Well the one in my neighborhood was Mrs. Tailor.

A sweet woman really, one who would give you her ‘secret’ recipes, if you asked nicely. Her soup was the best I have tasted and she helped me many times when I had to work late when my girls were young. She took me aside one day when she saw me looking frantically about for who ever it was playing the prank on me. You see I was sure it was a prank.

***

Yes I have more of that and it will move into how magic can grow from experience versus being a gift that needs training like going into apprenticeships when you are a teen.

Another thing I have been working on is new tales for my Gate Cycle stories. For those of you who don’t know, the first book that came out three years ago was the collection, Gates: From one reality to the next. This book has six short stories that all deal with gates. Now hopefully I will be getting the rights back to the collection soon and I can put them into a much better edited book and people will read the fun tales I wrote.

This tale is part sequel and part new tale, it has a character from Descents, which was a part of this collection. My first horror type tale to be published. This comes much later in her travels.

***

“Sunshine on my shoulders. Probably one of the better songs of the time.”

I listened to the snort from behind me and did my best to stifle my chuckle. My companion was not a big fan of the songs from the seventies. I loved to egg him on. Walking from world to world like I did I had not expected to run across someone who actually knew of the music from my childhood.

“And what about Tie a Yellow Ribbon? Or Bridge Over Troubled Water? I can sing them all you know.”

“Don’t.” His voice was gravelly and deep. More something you would expect from a big hulking thing than the slender, reed-like being who was walking with me. He fit into this place with his black skin and ink-dark hair. Since I had found him two worlds back, he had been against my singing.

“Bobby McGee here just doesn’t like this American Woman singing the darkness away, does he, Fifel?” The mouse in my pocket chittered and shook his little whiskered face. While he might only have the shape of a mouse, Fifel had more intelligence than many a man I had met on my home world.

The growl from my other companion sounded like rocks grinding against each other. “My name is not Bobby McGee.”

I stifled my chuckle again and kept going toward the yellow glow that was cresting the horizon. The two days we had been traveling through this world had been a study in black and white. The black of the sky was pierced through with white-hot stars. Something that made me long for home even more. The constellations were nothing like those I had grown up with. Where I expected to see the big dipper or Orion the Hunter there was a river of bright white. It was good to see the sun finally slipping over the horizon. “I know, my strange friend, but till you tell me your name I will keep calling you what ever I wish.”

“Fine.” He sighed and moved up to walk beside me. “Tell me again why we are going this way?”

Shaking my head I explained yet again to the man who had attached himself to me. “When yellow breaks through the darkness, look for the gates between the worlds. Find the right one and the end will become the beginning.”

“But what does it mean? End? Beginning?”

I gave my little Fifel one of the seeds I picked up when we first stepped into Bobby’s home world and smiled as he gave my fingertip a lick. “It means that one of these gates will lead me back to my world.”

***

So there is some excerpts for you. Time for me to go back to working on new and old stories.

Yet another COLD month!

Winter has really been hard this year. I went through to look at a comparison to last year and yes! It is colder. I have been wrapped up in blankets and not being a good writer the past few weeks. I have been reading instead. Reading, that thing I hope everyone does.

Now I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put up an excerpt here. I don’t have a new cover of course. While I have covers for the upcoming collections I have posted them all ready. I don’t even have a new drabble for you this time and I am still working on the new Loralil book. So just what should I post this week? I missed last week and I really owe you wonderful readers something. But what to put up? I was going to post up some of the reviews I have received but my computer is being difficult and not letting me do that. So I will give you a part of chapter two from A Fragile Peace: Found. This book will have two parts…found and broken…let me know what you think!

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Chapter Two

While the Elf woman did not return to the coma-like state of the past few weeks, she refused to speak. She slowly joined in with the day-to-day chores of living. From cleaning up after meals to taking care of the horses that the others had brought back. She would occasionally play the harp that the Priestess had left her but never were anyone could watch. The music would drift out on the air from the stable, wordless tunes of heart breaking clarity, but as soon as anyone went near, she would stop and walk away.

It seemed that animals were all she desired. Levy watched her from across the paddock as she worked. This woman was tragedy walking. From the massacre in her early life, to the death of her uncle, she was the center of too much pain. For years after losing his wife, Katlin, he had silently blamed the girl. He knew it was wrong; after all she had been put through so much. By the time Mika had finally found her, she had been through so much that he had been surprised she had survived.

Age and experience had taught him much. The headstrong young mage who had set out on the quest with the others was gone now. When he had gone back to Mer’Beryl to tell Katlin’s family of her death, they had turned him out of the city, blaming him. They refused to accept their son and it was the years of raising Jason alone that taught him that blame was a poison that he did not need. He had let go blaming the girl and turned it toward the being that it belonged to. When Jason had slipped off to hunt down Elvenbane he had been angry, but swiftly realized that his son was just following in his own footsteps.

He smiled as he thought of his son. The boy was amazing blend of himself and Katlin and raising him brought home just how important family was to the elves. While the High Elves of Mer’Beryl refused to see half breeds as Elven, the people of Karleen’s village did. The women had cooed over the small boy who had lost his mother. They circled close and the boy had grown up much like himself. Magic was strong in them both, as was attraction to elf maidens it seemed.

Jason led his own horse toward Loralil. While Levy had been ruminating on his past she had finished up with his horse and sent it into the paddock to graze. He shook his head and smiled watching as once more Jason tried to get the silent maiden to talk to him. She simply looked at him, stepping back to allow the horse come between them. Once more his son was trying to get her to speak. Using every bit of the charm that he had, yet she continued to ignore his overtures.

“It as been months, Karleen. She still refused to interact with anyone other than the horses.” Levy turned to look at the healer as she walked up behind him.

“I know,” Karleen sighed. “I have done all I can with her, my friend.”

“Then you agree?”

Karleen nodded. “I spoke to your son this morning. He plans on heading out tomorrow. The Healers at Tal’sin should be able to bring her back fully, if anyone can.” Tears filled her eyes as she watched Loralil ignore Jason. “When I try to reach her there is such a strong wall between her and the world. This is not what he would have wanted. She might be here, might be reacting, but she is still lost.”

Levy reached for his friend and gently wrapped her in his arms. “I know. You have done much, much more than I thought you would, but we are not Elves. I truly believe that only another Elf will be able to reach her and help her live with the guilt that she is carrying.”

Karleen studied his face closely then. She knew that for a time he had carried a similar pain. She had spent a long time helping him deal with his wife’s death at the same time that he was healing from the physical damage that cost him mobility for a time. She reached with her gift and found his heart truly had healed and that he held a hope for the niece of his old friend; the hope that the right type of healer would help her find a way to come back from her own deep well of emotion.

***

I have a lot of plans for this novel and I hope that it comes out even better than the previous two tales have. Loralil has the most partial stories on my hard drive right now. With nine partial tales waiting to be told, fans of Loralil will have stories to read for years to come. When I get to them of course! Well back to work!

Speeding along at Warp…what a second…am I really? a new excerpt from Escape

Yup, I am still working on Escape as of today. I have gotten the heroine out of the clutches of the pirates but we aren’t home free yet.  In fact…no wait I can’t tell you what is next…mostly because it is still working its way through my cerebellum. This story is one of the slower for writing that I have so far, mostly because I am not used to space battles.  Yes that is what is holding me up right now.

The novel is now almost 50K, which is a good thing right?  Here is an excerpt from the latest chapter i am working on.  Having fun with Babe, the AI computer that is Quirin’s ship. She at times acts like a teenager as you will see:

 

There are rumors of an elder alien race that has given advanced technology to the elite Hunters of the League. The scout ships that are used by the League have some advanced weaponry, but the rare Hunter ships are said to be a treasure trove of this alien science. The AIs that are the heart of these ships could be considered the very best of Human technology, but there are those who want to know more. No Hunter ship has ever been examined by outside agencies. When they are damaged, they are taken directly to special bases run by the Hunters themselves. There have been attempts by various illegal groups to capture and study one of these sentient ships. None have resulted in new knowledge. When the Hunter part of the Hunter/AI teams is killed, the ships self-destruct or dive into the nearest sun. The explosions are so intense that there is little more than dust left, floating through space.

An article in Human Scientific by Professor Lucian Drago

 

Babe floated through the dark of space, just outside of the range of the sensors on the pirate base. A sleek black ship filled with technology that made her unique, she scanned both the star lanes for incoming traffic and the various communication channels. Bored, as she often was when her partner was off ship, she listened to Adam as he performed, kept an eye on both Quirin and Harold and ran the thousands of small calculations that every space going vessel needed.

The one thing that the self sentient machine wished for was a body that would allow her to interact with the world more closely, but the Lords of Space and Time did not, in their great wisdom, believe that AIs should be contained in the fragile shells of mobile forms, so they were not.

Babe watched her partner as he moved through the air ducts of the pirate base, at the same time keeping up light banter with her friend, Harold. “You understand, don’t you, my friend?”

“Not really, sweet heart, but you are the expert in this, not me.” Harold’s voice was amused. “I really can’t hear those tones you keep raving about. Yeah, the kid is good, probably one of the best, but well, it is just music to me.”

If Babe had eyes, they would be rolling and Harold knew it. Over the years of his friendship with Quirin, he had come to know the spirit of the AI inhabiting the ship. Babe was one of the most intelligent of her kind, but she acted at times like a teenager. At the moment it was like she had a crush on Adam, which he knew would amuse the boy. In the long decades of their friendship, Harold had seen her go into raptures over a number of singers.

Like the human women they were supposed to be patterned after, AI ships developed quirks and interests outside of their duties. While age had crept up on him, he did not see its marks on either Babe’s gleaming hull or Quirin’s face. Something about the joining of ship to Hunter had changed his friend. Now, nearly sixty years later, Harold thought of the ship as a daughter, instead of the interloper who had changed his best friend. Teasing her was like teasing his nieces and he did not get to do it enough.

“I know you are limited by your human auditory nerve, but if you would just go in for that upgrade I told you about, you would see that I am right. There is something very different about how Adam controls the auditory fusion of the notes. Like now,” she piped the song Adam was singing through to the speakers of the skip. “He is using that empathic broadcast ability he has to make the guards relax and there is a flutter just on the outer edge of the human auditory range.”

“Sweet heart, I told you, that upgrade is not something that a human can afford. Never mind that a man my age should stay out of operating rooms.”

“Aw, Harold bear, you are not old! Quirin is months older than you are and he had the upgrade!” Babe sounded truly annoyed that he had referred to his age. The ship did not like to admit to herself that any human who was not paired with a Hunter ship would age and die long before she thought they should. At eighty years old, he was on the downward side of life. While the normal type humans could expect a lifespan exceeding one hundred and fifty years now, those of Heavy-world decent had barely past the century mark. The Hunters, on the other hand, could live on well past the common. In fact there was no known case of them dying of old age. Hunters died in the saddle, to quote an old saying.

“Shhh, my shiny sweet…” Harold started to calm her when she interrupted.

“Oh, now that is interesting. There is a Shade on the pirate base.” She was silent for a moment and then sighed. “Darn. I would have loved a sample.”

“A Shade?” Harold shuddered. He had heard things about those creatures. That one was on the Dragon’s Rest was not a good thing. “So?”

“Quirin took it out neatly.” He could hear the pride in her voice. “Would you like to see him in action, Harold bear? I can pipe the recording of the fight to your station on the skip.” Harold was not sure, but there seemed to be a minor lag to her voice, as if she was talking to him and the hunter at the same time.

“Naw, that is okay, little dear. Just let me know how the rescue is going.” Harold tensed up as he waited. He had three he had come to care for inside that hive of scum and villainy and felt useless sitting on the skip waiting for them to arrive. Being the get away driver was not something he had ever thought he would be back in his days at the academy.

“Well, Quirin has taken out the guards. Hey! He needs to damage that Delacruz. He just hit the Dancer with his blaster…oh it looks like she is okay, but she is going to need some stitches on that I think.” Babe kept up a running dialog for a few more minutes and then she let out a very unladylike string of curses. “Damn those animals. What in all that is holy are they doing warping into this part of space today! Harold, I thought you said those Masters would be coming in tomorrow?”

“What! Report!”

“Vector six two niner. Three ships, two corvettes guarding what looks like a Masters yacht, though why they call those things yachts I have no idea. I mean, come on, they are crammed full of armaments and have engines that rival the League scout ships.”

“BABE!”

“Oh, sorry.” She did not really sound sorry as she powered up her engines and maneuvered out of the asteroid she had been hiding in. “Harold, looks like we will be having a bunch of guests soon. It looks like it will be a tight squeeze. You are going to have five more guests than we expected. I will get rooms ready but you need to have the skip open and powered up. Looks like it will be a close one.”

Harold cursed fluidly in three languages as he powered up the skip. A small shuttle like ship that normally only held four would be pushed to the limit with nine, but if the Hunter was bringing others then he was sure they were necessary. He tapped the com and listened for his friend’s voice.

***

Having yet another character I can play with is at times both daunting and fun. This character has no body, so to speak, yet has a soul, more of one than the villains have. What she will evolve into who knows but she will be around in more than just this novel. I have her in at least one other book, more likely three or four, but that all depends on if people actually read my work. So folks if you want more of my work, try picking up, reading and reviewing what I have up all ready.