I just received a great email from Jeff Sass from .CLUB. He just finished reading my first science fiction book, “Battleframe” and I thought that I’d wet everyone’s appetite with the first chapter from book two.
Just as a warning…..this may end up not being chapter one or it may not even make the cut. It’s unedited so it may be a little rough but it should provide some insight into the exciting world of Battleframe.
For those of you that were wondering, you can buy either the physical copy of book one on Amazon, either as an ebook or physical copy. Here is the link.
I hope you enjoy it!
Book Two of The Mindwars
Esther cried out in alarm as her body spun out of control through the air. The roaring wind assaulted her ears as she plummeted through the air. With a sudden snap of glowing blue wings, everything righted itself and her descent slowed. She tried to look around but it was if someone else was controlling her body. Flashes of purple hued lightning leapt with a crack of thunder and revealed a solid bank of clouds far below.
“Where was she?”
Her head turned on its own accord and she looked back at five other pilots forming up on her left and right. Each of them wore a unique battleframe that she recognized from her recent study of Concord technology. A trim lightly armoured recon Raven looked tiny against the massive Rex next to it and the Bio was completely different again.
“Why were their five? Who are these people?”
Something in the back of her mind suggested that she should know each person but an impenetrable fog clouded her mind. Like in a dream, she could not quite focus on what was happening around her. The previously distant clouds suddenly rushed towards her just as she lost sight of the others in a purple pyrotechnic crackle of electricity. She seemed to know what to do and with a press of a button, a display appeared before her vision that penetrated the clouds surrounding her.
A sudden wind shift buffeted her from the left side and a quick adjustment of her weight kept her gliding on the path forward. She instinctively knew what to do and how to fly through the twisting air currents.
“Was she doing this? Who was she?”
As quickly, as they had entered the cloud top Esther and the five pilots punched their way through the bottom, revealing a spectacular mountain landscape far below. Giant snow-capped peaks raised their sharp jagged edges towards her. Looking down she could make out a river cascading off a cliff face and plummeting thousands of feet to the valley floor below.
Her arm passed across her vision as she pulled a Charge rifle out of its back harness. She was wearing a Raven battleframe like the pilot next to her. “Why was this important?” Esther knew that she should know what she was looking at but she still could not puzzle it out.
Looking forward, the Charge riflescope appeared before her eyes and she peered through the augmented lens into the distance. The scope revealed a huge fortress nestled against a cliff face
“What is this place?”
Her fingered squeezed the guns trigger and a beam of blue energy lanced out and dropped her target. Silently as death, she glided over the fortress’s outer wall and landed with a few quick steps. Her head turned to the left and for the first time she saw her own reflection in a window. For a second, Russell’s kind eyes stared back at her and then moved on.
Esther’s dream world suddenly swirled around her and everything collapsed into place. She knew that somehow this was really happening and that her loved ones were attacking a massive Scourge base. Somehow, she was seeing through Russell’s eyes and she knew that he was in mortal danger. Even as her view of the dream world clouded, she tried to reach out to her husband to offer her support. Anything to help him see the enemies surrounding them. He was her love, her life.
Her head turned towards one of the other men and she recognized James incased in his enormous Rex battleframe. Her mother’s heart cried out towards her son that was thrust into a war at such a young age. He smiled back at her and deep within she felt Russell’s pride for their son.
The dream faded and in desperation, Esther cried out, “Russell, Russell, Russell!”
And then it was gone.
Esther sat bolt upright in bed, panting heavily with the impact of what she had witnessed in the dream. Now that she was upright, the sweat that beaded her brow ran down into her eyes, stinging them with its saltiness. She wiped her face on a corner of the sheet and was just about to step out of bed when there was a knock at the door just before it flew open.
Marie stood in the doorway dressed in her pajamas and her red hair in a complete riot. She took one look at Esther and said, “You had it too.”
Esther nodded in reply.
Closing the door behind her Marie walked over and sat on the edge of the bed. Her eyes looked haunted, almost gaunt from the experience. “I was inside Mihaley’s head and saw everything through his eyes. And you?”
Esther whispered back, “I was with Russell.”
“How is this possible?”
“I don’t know.”
“How could we both dream the same dream?”
“Marie, it’s impossible and we both know that it wasn’t a dream. We were really there.”
“Have you read anything about this sort of thing with Concord technology? Maybe we’ve been exposed to something.”
Esther shook her head. “No, I’ve read a lot since our husbands left and this isn’t something that the Concord has done.”
“So what do we do now?”
Before Esther could reply, a knock sounded at the door. Esther cocked a questioning eyebrow at Marie who responded with a shrug.
Her voice was firmer by now and Esther called out, “Who’s there?”
A female voice replied, “Sergeant Eltivia. I was doing my rounds and saw your light on. Is there anything that I can get for you?”
“No, I’m fine thank you Sergeant.”
Despite her reply to the negative, the door opened to reveal the Sergeant dressed in a standard issue Concord grey uniform. Her blond hair was perched in a bun atop her head but what struck Esther and Marie was the Sergeant’s radiant blue eyes.
Esther was a little annoyed at the intrusion as she said, “Sergeant, I said that I did not require your help.”
Sergeant Eltivia smiled warmly to both women opposite her. “Of course you both need my help. You’ve just experienced your first synaptic co-joining. It goes far beyond mental rapport and it can’t really be controlled. We were concerned this would happen.”
Her previous annoyance gone, Esther felt strangely at peace and relaxed in the presence of this stranger in her private quarters. She thought that she should be alarmed but it really did not seem appropriate. Stumbling across her words she said, “Synaptic what?”
“What’s that? Who are you?”
The Sergeant pulled a couple of clips out of her hair and let it cascade perfectly down her back. As if smiling sweetly to a child she said, “I can’t stand putting my hair up. I don’t know what woman on this planet see in it.”
In the deep recesses of her mind, Esther felt an alarm going off. There was something wrong here. She should be concerned about the sergeant not relaxed and at ease. Like building blocks that form the foundation of a house Esther unknowingly began to construct a mental barrier between her and the Sergeant. The woman’s blue eyes looked deeply into her own and became all encompassing.
“Don’t do that dear. I’m not here to hurt you. Quite to the contrary. I needed to make sure the link didn’t expand and start broadcasting your presence to the entire galaxy.”
Like a child dismantling a house built from a plastic toy, Esther felt her mental wall disintegrate under the other woman’s scrutiny.
“Who are you?”
The Sergeant looked at Esther and then Marie. A look of concern reflected in her blue eyes, “It doesn’t matter who I am. What does matter is that you must return to Australia. There are things happening right now that are going to change the balance in the galaxy and it all hinges on you being home.”
“And why not?”
“Our husbands asked us to work with the Concord team here.”
“Don’t worry about that I’ve already dealt with them.” The Sergeant strode forward and before the two women could react she placed one hand on each of their foreheads and half mumbled to herself, “I just need to erase a few things from your memory and enhance a little bit of desire. That seems to have it.”
Dropping her hands, she took one look at Esther and Marie as they stared blankly into space. Just one last thing to do. Taking out a clear vial from her pocket Creativity, masquerading as the Sergeant, dropped it into a pocket in Esther’s suitcase before she vanished from the room to report back to Wisdom.
Esther yawned as if she’d just woken from a deep sleep and blearily looked across at Marie. “What was I saying again? That’s right, I suddenly feel like we need to get the girls and head home.”
“I couldn’t agree with you more. We need to get going straight away.”