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DescriptionWith hearts and lives on the line, a kiss may be all they have time for...
Time has dumped Ashe on a dying planet and she needs to figure out why before she ceases to exist. Or gets vivisected by some Keltinarian scientists. Or worse.
Vidor Shan might help—since someone somewhere is trying to hose him, too—if she can convince him to trust her. Probably shouldn’t have told him that only someone he trusts can betray him. Also wouldn’t mind if he kissed her on the mouth.
Vid would love to kiss the girl, but his brother is lost, he’s got hostile aliens on his tail, and the stench of betrayal all around him. Can he trust the woman who told him to trust no one?
Then a time quake hurls them to a nasty somewhere and some when...
Reader Rating: (2 Ratings)
Ashe unhooked her munitions and strapped them together, while Lurch linked their timers.
We can’t afford a long count down. Lurch knew that, but she thought it anyway. It kept her focused, helped keep panic almost at bay.
Right. Using the last of the non-sentient drones, she anchored the bundle where—in theory—the main force of the time wave would strike. Lurch triggered the timer as she kicked away. First she felt the drag of the time tsunami and then the stream shuddered around her as if taking a blow from yet another source. The double hit stalled her thrust. She tried to angle sideways, tried going cross-stream, but instead of escaping, she was dragged toward one of the crevasses cutting jaggedly across time’s plain, pulled back into the path of the tsunami.
Dive into it.
For a second more she resisted the nanite’s suggestion, but there was no time to argue, no other option. It couldn’t get worse than the double hit—she relaxed, letting it suck her down, and found that it could get worse. Pressure, counter pressure and the drag from above yanked her in every direction. Only her time gear kept her semi-conscious and that wasn’t a blessing. On some level she sensed the wave gathering time into its giant fist. Counting down with the timer, she imagined the impact as wave met disrupter blast…
Tried to brace for the coming concussion.
Tried to dive deeper.
Expect the unexpected.
Ashe’s painful return to consciousness was not expected and shouldn’t have been. Why would she expect to survive a trifecta that included a time tsunami, their disrupter and a wonky time crevasse? Unless she hadn’t survived? Lurch?
A long, scary long pause ended with the sense of something unfurling inside her, not unlike how it had felt when the nanite first blended with her. Are you all right? He felt as off balance as she did.
I am alive.
He did not feel thrilled by this. She shared that not-thrilled-ness. Should open her eyes, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to see where they were. It didn’t feel great. Hard, lumpy surface under. Hot, humid air over. Achy body in between. And, adding insult to time tsunami injury, the air reeked of sulfur and was thick enough to feel like a blanket she couldn’t kick off. She shifted to ease hard and lumpy—
It? Outrage popped her eyes open, though they probably shouldn’t until she got a better sense of who thought she was an it. The circle of faces looming over her jerked back, a thicket of weapons sliding into view. Would have been kind of funny if every barrel of every weapon weren’t pointed at her. Seven of them, she noted, hoping her math was wrong as she eased her hands up by her ears into the classic surrender position. Would they recognize or honor her capitulation?
On the ground, flat on her back—if she didn’t count the lumps—gave her a unique perspective on the boys and their guns. The weapons appeared high tech—an interesting contrast with their rustic garb. The boys were all young, square and stocky in build, kind of what she’d imagined dwarfs would be like, except they were too tall and had better noses.
Dopey, Sleepy, Sneezy—
This is not the time. Though she found herself finishing the list because she couldn’t help it when there seemed to be a face for each name…Bashful, Doc, Grumpy and Happy.
“It has eyes.”
It. Again. Their manners needed work, just in case the barrels in her face weren’t enough of a clue polite wasn’t in their skill set.
One of the boys licked his lips. “Do you think it’s dangerous?” His hand tightened on his weapon, the finger on the trigger twitching in a way she couldn’t like. Sucked to be called an “it,” though getting shot while being called an “it” would be worse.
Getting shot is worse than most things.
True. She’d picked a bad time to wake up. My shields?
“I do not know.”
The voice, calm and familiar, came from the region of her head.
Is that who I think it is? Ashe did not mind the distraction from maybe getting shot by Dopey. And she’d rather hoped to run into him again.
Lurch sounded less than thrilled. Not a surprise. He had issues with Shan that trailed back into at least one alternate reality. Possibly more. What’s his problem? I know he’s seen girls before.
You are wearing the Time Service uniform.
Oh. If her shields were offline, then so was her camo, which meant she looked shiny silver from head to toe. The suit’s compression factor made her a sex-less humanoid with eyes. Crap.
On a cracker.
Reader Reviews (1)
Submitted By: carol55 on Apr 1, 2013I like the action and the twists and turns of sci-fi that dominate the plot line. I would suggest that anyone interested in the book start with the first or second in the series in order to follow the sci-fi aspects better. There are a couple of great steampunk books just before this one.
Kicking AsheBy: Pauline Baird Jones