Date Published: August 8, 2019
On her world, they call her star struck, but why do the stars beckon her so …
On a mining outpost in the Inner Worlds, a young woman dreams of the stars. When she falls in with a motley crew of bounty hunters seeking to avenge an injustice, Novi believes her dreams have come true. But her journey has just begun.
Led by the only man to bring the mightiest army in the sector to its knees, the crew is engaged in a wily cat and mouse game with the powerful Guild Coalition. With her new shipmates, Novi dodges space outlaws and greedy corporations, mingles with Synths and settlers, jumps the Star Portal Labyrinth and discovers a mysterious legacy bequeathed by the Gods. But each exhilarating adventure raises terrifying questions about her. Can Novi find the answers she seeks before time runs out for her?
Author's Note: This fantasy adventure in the style of a swashbuckling space western is set on far away exotic worlds. Adventure, intrigue and action abound in this tale of a feisty young heroine embarking on the quest of a lifetime.
The murmur of voices heralded her approach. Forewarned, Novi was careful to crouch silently behind the hatch cover.
“We’ve searched Ventini’s cargo” the leader announced, down in the chamber. “Where’s the box?”
Novi’s heart gave a lurch. Could they be searching for Zufon Ventini’s intricately carved box, she wondered. The one with the energy waves that affected her so powerfully. Back in the duct, she was subject to its pernicious effects again. A night’s rest away from it had not dimmed the potency of whatever lay hidden in the strongbox.
In the Rec Chamber, Kidani looked confused by the leader’s question. But Novi sensed the pilot come to the same realization as her.
The leader addressed Kali, his demeanor subtly menacing. “No more games” he warned. “Where’s the strongbox?”
The pilot said nothing and Kidani rushed into speech. “We don’t know anything about a strongbox. Cap’n didn’t tell us about it.”
“I’m the chef and he’s the pilot” she reiterated, pointing at the RimWorlder. “We do our jobs, but we don’t know much about Cap’n’s affairs.”
“With you, I believe it” the leader agreed suavely. “But I know who your Captain is — the hero of the Five Year War. That tells me this RimWorlder here was one of his Renegades. He knows more than he’s telling us.”
The leader seems to know a lot about this Cruiser and the Captain. Who is he?
Kidani opened her mouth to respond but the leader ignored her to signal the man with the flasher. The henchman stepped forward to hold the weapon flush against Kali’s head.
Kidani made a small movement before checking herself.
Novi watched anxiously from behind the panel as the leader asked Kali. “One last time, RimWorlder. Where’s Ventini’s strongbox?”
Kali said nothing, the dark eyes glowering at the leader.
The slinger with the flasher raised it to hit the pilot but the leader stopped him with a raised hand, to direct him to Kidani instead.
Novi watched with her heart in her mouth as the man strode to the flame-haired girl to point his flasher at her, while the leader unstrapped his to hold it on Kali.
“The box or she dies” he said calmly to the RimWorlder.
In the eery blue glow of the emergency lights, Novi could see the terror on Kidani’s face, though the girl stayed still and mute.
“I don’t know where the box is, but occasionally, Cap’n hides certain valuables in the duct” Kali responded, subtly raising his voice. He hoped the stowaway would get the message. The duct was no longer safe for her to hide in.
“The maintenance duct?” the leader inquired.
The pilot nodded once, sharply.
Shyte. I must get out — they’ll be in the duct soon.
The leader reached for his Hailer. “Seto, check out the maintenance duct. There should be an access from the Bay.”
An alarmed Novi scrambled hastily, making for her old hiding place in the passage by the unoccupied chamber. Not a moment too soon, for she could hear voices cursing in the access passage from the Space Bay as the thugs poured into the duct.
About the Author
An avid reader all her life, only recently has Petra allowed her own imagination to run riot. She loves to travel and reads everything she can get her hands on. Her idea of a good read is one where the story and characters linger, long after the book has been set aside. She strives to write fantasy with vivid characters and elements of adventure, mystery and romance juxtaposed together, since those are the tales she has enjoyed the most over the years. To share the stories swirling in her imagination is a labor of love and a lifelong dream come true for Petra.
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