Monday, July 26, 2021

New Release - Baswin, Book 5 of Taxyon Space


An alien spy on the run.

Two human sisters chosen as future astronavigators.

Their paths are destined to converge.

Psychic sensitives, Holly Moon and her sister Rosie, are chosen as candidates for Warrish training as hyperspace navigators. The sisters are eager to promote humanity’s advance into space. Will they succeed? They must pass a series of rigorous tests and adapt to the alien neuro-implants.

Alien merman, Baswin Kenton Tallis, Second of his Triad, lives on Earth disguised as a human. When Earth agents discover the secret identity of his older brother, Baswin must flee to the Warrish embassy in the Pacific Ocean.

Holly and Baswin are swept together on an island in the Pacific Ocean, but their destiny lies farther away and many forces threaten to drive them apart. Can they overcome the obstacles and find a haven?

Follow the adventures of the three brothers of the Flaming Comets Triad in Baswin, Book 5 in Taxyon Space. 

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Chapter 1

In the quiet village of Hampton in the Wold on the western fringes of the Indo Eurasian Union, Holly Moon placed her scrying mirror on the table next to the teddy bear. Opening the hinged copper lid, she gazed into the mirror. The reflective glass blurred into swirling ripples. The iridescent ripples widened, leaving a small transparent circle in the center. 

Tensing in anticipation, Holly bent over the mirror and focused her psychic senses on the expanding circle. The vision strengthened until she distinguished her target in a tumble of rocks at base of a sheer slope. The girl’s small body was pinned in the crack between two boulders. Judging by the position of the tangled blonde hair, she lay face down and motionless. 

Thirty minutes earlier, Detective Sergeant Powell had called Holly to ask her to scry for the missing girl. He had dropped off her picture and favorite teddy bear to guide the search. Holly’s life had become much more exciting since the detective had recognized her talent for finding lost objects and missing people. The Sergeant was prone to plead for her services on difficult or urgent cases in his jurisdiction. 

This one looked nasty. 

The girl’s faded shirt almost matched the yellowed hues of the earth-encrusted boulders and her body was partially buried in the middle of the rock pile. She would be difficult to spot from a distance. Was she dead or just unconscious? Anguish gushed into Holly’s mind. 

Tamping down her emotional response, Holly examined the girl as closely as possible with her remote senses. One pale arm stretched up, the fingers curled as if she had tried to claw to safety. Her blonde hair was damp and matted. A thin ribbon of wet blood stained the rock below her head. A bad sign. 

Spurred into action, Holly rapidly assimilated the physical details of the girl’s location and broke her trance. The crumbling walls of the pit might be the remains of a quarry or one of the bomb craters left in the wooded hills. The big cities had been rebuilt in the years after the war’s destruction, but nobody had bothered to repair the damage in small rural communities.

She grabbed her com, related what she had seen and punched the message over to Sergeant Powell. Her task was done. With luck, her description would enable him to pinpoint the site and recover the girl. Dead or alive.

Renewed anger and sadness at the girl’s dire predicament seeped into her thoughts. Leaning back in the chair, she shut her eyes and performed the mental exercises designed to sweep away the unpleasant emotions before they became overwhelming. She envisioned a favorite landscape, a beach of pristine white sand washed by sparkling waves.

As she relaxed, her thoughts drifted. In some ways, she was fortunate in her psychic talent. The requests for her services were usually more benign like seeking for an item of lost jewelry or a stray pet. In contrast, her younger sister had a talent for healing. Rosie worked at the hospital in the nearby town where she was exposed to sick people every day. After tending to a difficult patient, Rosie often had to rest at home for several hours to restore her usual cheerfulness. 

A few minutes sufficed to dispel Holly’s negative emotions. She swiveled around to gaze though the window at the verdant landscape. This room at the rear of the cottage overlooked the village allotments. Beyond the garden beds of vegetables and flowers, sheep grazed on grassy slopes at the edge of the woods. The soothing influence of the peaceful scene restored her normal serenity. She and Rosie often sat in this room for that very reason. Yet, sometimes she wondered if they had become too settled in this secluded village when the world had so many beautiful places. If only they had the credits, she yearned to travel and explore different regions of the planet. 

Holly withdrew her gaze from the window. Her scrying mirror lay open on the table. She picked up the mirror, intending to restore it on the shelf.

Her senses pricked. A premonition?

She glanced at the mirror.

Colors swirled over the reflective surface and a face appeared. A strange face with chiseled features and an extraordinary sweep of vibrant orange hair curling like a wave over the top of his partly shaved head. A male face, she guessed, despite his unearthly appearance. His eyelids were closed and his expression as calm as if he were asleep. As she watched, his eyes flicked open to reveal startling irises of a golden amber hue. His pupils widened and he smiled at her.

Who was he? Could he really see her or was he looking at something else? 

“Holly. Holly.”

Her sister’s strident call broke into her focused mind. She blinked and the mysterious vision faded from the mirror. 

Rosie burst into the room, waving a beige envelope. Her face glowed with excitement as she cried, “Holly, this letter just arrived. It’s from the Ministry for International Affairs.” 

Folding the mirror into its case, Holly shook her head in disbelief. “Why on earth would the Foreign Ministry send us a letter?”

“I know. Isn’t it weird? But weird is what we do.” Rosie giggled. “Anyway, the letter’s from the Regional Minister, Mr. Braithwaite.”

“It must be important,” Holly said slowly, holding out her hand for the letter.

“Here.” Rosie thrust the envelope into her fingers. “Read it.”

She unsealed the envelope and removed a sheet of cream-colored paper. The gold crown and sunburst emblem of the Indo Eurasian Union were embossed on the top of the letter. She had never seen such a posh letterhead. The sunburst glistened and the midnight blue of the territorial name created a vivid contrast on the pale colored paper.  

“Wow. It’s fancy.” She skimmed through the words and read the letter aloud,

“Dear Misses Holly and Rosyline Moon,

You are invited to an interview at our Regional Office to undergo a critical assessment of your paranormal abilities. Your employers have been informed that you will be absent for important international business.

A driver will arrive at the eighth hour on the morning of the fifteenth day of August to escort you from Hampton in the Wold to our offices at the New London Spaceport. Please bring any device you employ in your craft. The assessment is expected to last for the entire morning. Transport will be available for you to return home after the interview. You have the option of visiting New London in the afternoon.

We look forward to your attendance at this important interview.

Yours truly, Augustus Braithwaite, Senior Minister

International Affairs Division of Indo Eurasian Union

Office for International Affairs, New London.”

Wrinkling her forehead, Holly looked at her sister. “It’s a strange letter.”

Rosie cocked her head and murmured, “What do you think?”

Holly stared at the neatly printed lines of the letter. “It’s phrased as a polite invitation for some unspecified important international business. But we haven’t been offered a choice. There’s no request for a reply. No com code given for any questions.” 

“Sure. It’s a puzzle. Should we go?” Rosie’s eyes brightened in anticipation. “We’ve never had a chance to visit New London in the last few years. We haven’t traveled far from home since Dad’s death.”

“I don’t know.” Holly frowned at the letter. “How on earth did this Braithwaite find out about our psychic abilities? Only a handful of people believe in our talents. Even our neighbors in the village are skeptical. They joke about our quaint notions.”

 “Not all of them,” Rosie said. “Dr. Greene believes my healing touch helps her patients to recover. And Sergeant Powell trusts you to find missing people.”

Checking the date on her com, Holly said, “We’ll soon find out. Tomorrow’s the fifteenth.”

Rosie scrunched up her lips in disapproval. “They didn’t give us much time to prepare.”

“No time to scarper,” Holly joked.

“Well, I’m going for the interview,” Rosie said in a decisive tone. “I’d love to have a free trip to the city.”

Holly shrugged. “Okay. We might as well go. If only to learn why the guys at the Ministry for International Affairs are so keen to assess our paranormal skills.” 

“Right.” Rosie grimaced at the clock on the wall. “I’d better hurry to the transport station. My shift at the surgery begins in twenty-five minutes.”

The sisters parted for their regular jobs. Rosie worked with patients in the regional medical center in the nearby town, while Holly had a parttime job in the village post office with the mundane task of routing packages for World Parcel Services.

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