Words in the Wind<br/>

Author: Yvonne Anderson
Publisher: CreateSpace
Published: 2015-04-06
ISBN(s) 978-1511456449
Language(s): English
Category: Fiction
Audience: Adult
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Offbeat or Quirky, Inspirational Read Excerpt >


Dassa’s command shut off the voice recorder. She pulled her hands out of the flexible gloves protruding into the transparent thermoplastic box and rubbed her bleary eyes. The translation project was finally finished.

She stepped back and turned to Heegokuk, the Official Protector of Karkar Antiquities who had hovered nearby through the entire project. “That wraps it up. Any word on the magnetic storms?”

His pale, impassive face towering above her expressed no more emotion than would any other Karkar’s. But she recognized the subtle jerk of his ears as a sneer, even as he tipped his head in pseudo-respect. “I have not heard, Madam Toqeph. You will have to inquire of someone with knowledge in that field.”

 She pursed her lips. “I’ll check with Navigation. And if all’s clear, I’ll head for the surface immediately. I’m sure you’re all eager to return to your homes.”

Though his face remained unchanged, Heegokuk’s ears lifted in his people’s version of a relieved smile as he bowed. “If you are finished here, shall I put the book back in secure storage?”

“Yes, I’m through, thank you.” She nodded to the waxen-faced giant and, with one last glance at the ancient book within the hermetically sealed case, left the room.

She shook her head at the foolishness of it all. Yes, stringent measures were needed to protect the crumbling volume from further damage. It had already survived more than eight centuries, and only the utmost care would preserve it further. But why bother? The words on the pages imparted no useful information, so what good was the book?

Thanks to her doctorate in Interplanetary History as well as knowledge gleaned through more than a decade with her half-Karkar, half-Earthish husband, Dassa was all too familiar with the twisted Karkar value system. They held anything from the Kankakar Era—the time before their planet’s atmosphere became poisoned by the effects of war, requiring domes to be built over all population centers—to be of great worth, whether or not the item had any intrinsic value otherwise. If it was from the Kankakar Era, they’d reckon a petrified turd precious as a gem.

Much like the logbook she’d just translated. It had been left behind by her forefathers, the Gannahan invaders. As a favor to her people’s traditional enemies, she’d just spent days uncovering such scintillating details as the number of loads processed by the Gannahan ship’s laundry each week and the quantity of salt required to keep the dining room’s shakers filled.

She yawned as she made her way through the passageways toward her quarters aboard the aging League Starship Promontory. Such a waste. She hated being off planet. Hated living in a stale, artificial environment. And for such a piddling purpose! As toqeph of the New Gannah, she was needed at the settlement.

In her quarters, she buzzed Navigation but received an error message. Great. Was it the sunspots? She tried again and got through. “Mr. Gor. What’s the situation with the SMEs? Is it safe to travel?”

The Glenmarrian navigator clicked his tongue. “Looking like it, Madam Toqeph. Must clear with captain first, but mass ejections and solar flares are much diminished. Think we can squeak through.”

Squeak through. She knew better than to think anyone could “squeak through” a Gannahan magnetic storm. Even a little turbulence could render the shuttle’s controls somewhere between unreliable and useless. “What about the magnetic clouds? Have the storms cleared?”

“Not all. Not yet,” Gor said. “But it’s looking good for travel.”

Dassa scowled. “Where Gannah’s concerned, nothing but clear space would look good.”

“Will check with the captain, but I am confident it is safe.”

Though something in his voice made her leery, she was eager to escape this unnatural enclosure a million and a half kilometers from home. “Thank you, Mr. Gor. Let me know what he says.”

“Will do, Madam Toqeph. I know you like to leave soon.”

Did she ever. Just as he and the rest of the crew would love to get rid of her so they could get back to whatever they’d be doing if they weren’t here. Maybe even go home to their families.

Family. She ached to see hers again.

Disconnecting the call with Gor, she reached telepathically toward her children, telling them she missed them and hoped to see them soon.

Communication through the meah sense, an ability exclusive to natives of her planet, was a blessing. Though she could communicate with her children, she yearned to experience their presence through her other senses as well. How could she be a proper mother to them from such a distance?

Stretching her meah to its limits, she tried to make contact with her husband, Pik. But he didn’t possess the necessary equipment, and the effort was futile. As always.

She flopped backward onto her bunk. Deep weariness, the inevitable result of separation from her planet, made her bones ache. This was so pointless. Why had Pik insisted she come?

When the League of Planets asked if she could translate ancient documents found in a cavern outside one of Karkar’s domed cities, Pik thought she should do it as a goodwill gesture. Twenty years ago, the Karkar never would have deigned to make such a request. If their animosity had lessened so much that they would ask now, Pik said it was the least she could do to comply. She’d agreed, but regretted it every moment of the past sixteen Standard Days. And she resented Pik for sending her on this foolish errand. He never liked to assert his husbandly authority, so why do it now?

Her chiming messenger interrupted her thoughts. “Yes?”

“This is the captain. I understand you’re ready to leave.”

Smiling at the sound of her old friend’s voice, she sat up and swung her feet to the floor. “Captain Broward. Yes, I’m more than ready. But I’m not sure about the storms. Is it safe?”

“Mr. Gor assures me the SMEs have subsided sufficiently. My shuttle pilot is willing to risk it if you are.”

Dassa’s brow furrowed. If there was any doubt, it would be wise to stay put.

But she trusted the captain’s judgment. And was itching to get out of here. “Well then, count me in.”

“I thought you might say that.” His smile was audible. “Can you be at the shuttle bay in twenty minutes?”

She hopped up and grabbed her duffle from under the bunk. “I’ll be there in ten.”

Words in the Wind   by   Yvonne Anderson   |   See Bio >
Book 2 of 4 in the Gateway to Gannah Series.
Marooned in a place where reality and fairy tale are flipped, Dassa wonders if what she called home ever really existed.

Dassa is back on Gannah, but things aren’t going the way she’d planned.

A shuttle crash leaves her marooned 10,000 kilometers from the settlement just as a blizzard sets in. Injured, she takes refuge in Ruwach Gorge. Seeking food and shelter, she stumbles across the ruins of a place she’d always thought was a myth. What she finds there casts doubt on some of her fundamental beliefs.

Her husband, Pik, reluctantly takes charge of the settlement in her absence and organizes a search for her. Rebellious settlers and a wayward daughter make things difficult enough. But when the planet’s animals threaten to break the ancient treaty and resume the old Wildlife Wars, Pik’s hard-pressed to hold things together. If he can manage to find Dassa, will she have a home to come back to?

Alone in the mysterious canyon where reality and fairytale are flipped, Dassa wonders the same thing.

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