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The Warhorse Chronicles I: Angel and the Flying Warhorses
A part of her gift of healing is Angeni Traek's ability to communicate telepathically with animals. Until the night she fought to save the life of Alliance Officer, Garek Sahnjun, she had never heard the thoughts of a man before, and she was not prepared for the effect the mind link with another human would have upon her. Neither was Garek.
First Published: 02/2006
Word Count: 77,092
Genre: Sci-Fi/ Futuristic Romance
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc) BSG/02182014MAD050314
© Cover Art by Jenny Dixon, February 2006
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
Olandian medical ship
434 years after the colonization of Olandia
Angeni Traek looked out the Sanctuary’s porthole window into the night and waited. She’d heard a man’s shout of frustration and pain. Telepathically.
Her head still ached with the sound echoes.
“Missing the children, Prime Healer?”
Angeni jumped, startled by the voice from behind her.
She turned to see Sidra, the medical ship’s new-tech, humanoid office robot. Sidra referred to her work with genetically injured children.
“Always,” she said. Why trouble Sidra with the whole truth, that she’d heard a wounded man’s shout. That she knew he was on his way to them now.
“I’m sure the little ones are in good hands on Olandia.” Sidra took pride in knowing the details of the staff’s lives.
“Yes, they’re fine. Fine. I check in by holovid often.”
“A world without children has little hope for the future,” Angeni mused.
Sidra’s gaze followed hers outward. “Dandrovia moon was chosen for its convenient nexus in Alliance space. An efficient port for Sanctuary. Not it’s hope for the future.”
“True,” Angeni agreed. The temporary home to their hospital ship was stark, a landscape of rocks and little more.
“The duration of your volunteering on the Sanctuary nears an end. You will be free to return home.”
“You must rest now.”
Angeni shook her head slowly. “No. A rescue shuttle just flew into port.” Deep under the moon’s surface, were tracks for launching and landing hyperspeed ships. Dandrovia’s beacons lit the entries cut in the rocks just enough that she could see the shuttle.
Sidra’s eyes flashed alarm. “You are positive?”
“The markings were clear--”
“Your replacement should be here. You are much too tired for more work tonight. I will find....” Sidra rushed down the corridor, her movements quick and agitated. Angeni turned to watch her leave.
Alert sirens blared. Just as Angeni expected. And dreaded. She closed her eyes a moment. Determined, she faced the entrance squarely, her white robes floated about her legs as she turned.
The doors swooshed open. A medical robot with angular features, older technology than Sidra, stepped through the door. No attempt at human looks had been made with him. He moved with an awkward and lumbering gait. An integrated medical stretcher cantilevered behind him.
Isak, a young technician, rode a platform at the rear. Lights indicated the machine worked to stabilize an unconscious patient.
The man she’d heard.
“This one’s bad, Prime Healer Angeni, real bad,” Isak said, his expression tense and pained. “Won’t make it.” He lifted his gaze to hers, his eyes darkened by sadness. “He’s Alliance Guard.”
She glanced sharply to Isak, then back to the patient. She checked the prone man’s vitals, recalibrating the robot just to be sure. Her fingers flew over the control pad. Fatigue was forgotten as adrenaline flooded her bloodstream. The wounded man’s dark hair was matted, his handsome face abraded and cut.
“Alliance Guard? How--”
“A special operations team chasing smugglers in the swamps of Gandos tonight.”
The Sanctuary did not treat many of the Guard. More often their opposition.
“We owe the Guard a great debt,” she whispered.
“Sure do,” Isak said with great admiration. He automatically adjusted the angle of the gurney. “Guard slips in and out most anywhere unnoticed. Keep the bad guys under control.”
“He’s too still and pale,” Isak said.
“Internal bleeding. What time did this happen?” But she knew. She’d looked at her chronometer when she’d first heard this man’s shout.
Isak gave her the approximate time. Right. She calculated how much time she had to find the bleeding and stop it. She must hurry.
“Almost didn’t find him. The swamp mud would’ve sucked him down soon. Then even this pretty chunk of deplex here couldn’t have dragged him out.” The tech gave a flat-handed pat to the machine.
“Did he fall?” she asked.
“Judging from the position of his one-man floater--crashed to bits against a rock ledge above him, I’d say--yes.”
“Can we raise the tourniquet pressure?” She could well imagine the damage the newest illegal weapons the smugglers used could cause, even without a direct hit. “The damage must be reversed.”
“Quick. I’ll do the chest. You the legs.”
The tech rushed to do as she asked. She watched his actions and duplicated them. Usually best to leave the machines to the tech, but she could not afford the courtesy today.
Her patient was large size with proud bearing. She touched his arm, feeling for his pulse. Against all odds, at the pressure of her hand, his eyes flashed open. He jerked, pulling against the restraints holding him to the gurney. He twisted his hand from her grasp and grabbed her forearm. The heat of his touch flowed through her.
Who … are you?
Angeni gasped at the words, not spoken in the conventional way. The broken sentence in a rumbling masculine voice lingered in her mind. The same voice she heard earlier. She glanced over to the tech to be sure. Busy at his task, Isak showed no sign of hearing anything.
The man on the gurney looked down to where he held her arm in his tight grasp. Her hands trembled.
Pretty as an angel. Golden hair and amber eyes.
The power of his penetrating masculine gaze shocked her. Slowly, his thick-lashed, dark blue eyes closed once again. His hand dropped from her arm.
She tried for an answering telepathic message. She struggled to find a pathway to reach his thoughts again.
Hang on for me. “Hang on,” she whispered aloud.
May the Founder’s Saints help her, she’d only communicated this way with animals. His brain waves … infrasonic waves or whatever she received, were jagged, more complex and threadier than any she’d ever experienced. No doubt the axons carrying the brain impulses from neuron to neuron were stretched by the trauma of concussion, garbling the messages yet making them more intense.
You spoke in my head, Angel. His words held a measure of natural disbelief.
Never mind that now.