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Psyche's Caress

Written By: Viola Grace
Published by: Devine Destinies
ISBN #: 978-1-55487-606-8
Series: Sector Guard # 10
Word Count:22000
Page Count: 89
Heat Level:
Price: $3.99
Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Palm DOC/iSolo, Microsoft Reader, Hiebook, HTML, Mobipocket, Rocket, Epub, Sony PDF, Sony LRF

    This was ridiculous. She set the controls to follow the beacon at three thousand feet and went to the emergency supplies. She hooked the mask on and felt immediate relief as her preferred atmosphere blend came into her lungs.

    Her ship rocked as something struck the side and she staggered back to the helm as quickly as she could.

    "You are not authorized to enter this airspace. Please drop to fifteen hundred feet and wait for additional escort."

    She pulled the breather from her face. "I am authorized to be in this airspace, I am a representative of the Sector Guard and you have just assaulted my ship."

    A small craft was on her left side bearing the marks of impact with her ship.

    "I don't have any record of your clearance. Where are you going?"

    "Asher Prime. Please contact the ground control for the authorization specs." She snapped the mask back into place.

    He was quiet for a moment and then he said, "Land. Land now! The Asher Prime signal was highjacked and your shuttle has been coated with acid. I don't even want to know if they got something into your ship."

    She did a hull integrity check as she started to lose altitude. He was right. She had been coated with acid. A quick check of the interior of the shuttle showed more than a tolerable share of toxins. If she had been a Terran or Azon, she would have been dead. Her placement of the breather had probably saved her life.

    She dropped out of the sky as fast as she could. Alarms sounded on every instrument she had and it was a controlled crash that skidded her hundreds of yards before her ship rocked to a halt.

    The Archer was dead.

    Moving as quickly as she could, she stuffed all of her equipment into a duffel, grabbed her away bag and blew the emergency exit. She took a few steps back, then sprinted through the hole, tumbled on the ground and ran as far away from the hulk of her ship as she could.

    The small craft was landing nearby and she approached slowly, her hands out at her sides, carrying her bags.

    A man exited the ship and held an object toward her. "Kneel."

    She knelt and waited as he approached. The object he was holding was a palm scanner. "You have ingested quite a bit of toxic gasses. I am amazed you are still up and functioning. Nice landing, by the way."

    She kept her mask on and watched him as he reached for her wrist. She jerked her arm back.

    "Don't worry. This is just to flush your system. It's saline based and shouldn't have too great an effect on you, even with your physiology."

    "You're a doctor?" She kept her arm against her chest and glared at him.

    "What?"

    Oh, her mask. Right. She pulled it away from her face and his eyes widened in surprise. "You're a doctor?"

    "I have some medical training. Enough to tell that you aren't from around here." His golden eyes in his smoke grey face were smiling.

    She extended her arm and waited for the rush of his emotions and thoughts. She was surprised when his warm, strong fingers made contact. He was calm, relaxed and concerned for her. With this man, instead of drowning in the ocean of emotion, she was standing on the shore and wanted to wade further in.

    His black hair waved off his forehead and a lock slipped across his face, making him blow it upward as he tried to clear it. He was holding her wrist with one hand and administering a hypo to her skin with the other.

    "What is your name?" Her voice was husky and soft to her own ears. She cleared her throat self-consciously.

    "Ruar. Ruar Asher." His lips were curved in a charming smile as he looked into her eyes.

    "I am Sector Guardsman Psyche out of Station 13."

    "We have been expecting you."

    Roha Excelter - code named Psyche - is on assignment on Marketh. She had a simple investigation planned until someone tried to kill her. Twice. The simple problem turned out to be a conspiracy to keep volunteers imprisoned and the population in general, ignorant. Working with the Marketh council she has to uncover the seedy details of the confinement and find a way to bring the prisoners back to dignity. Once a third attempt on her life is made and she is saved by the same man for a second time...she begins to realize that Ruar might be a good candidate for the Sector Guard.

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