Hegira is a leviathan ship, home to thousands of sapient alien races. The ship of legend, left behind by a nearly extinct race of beings called Starchasers, is a powerhouse barreling across galaxies. There are many who seek to take control of this rare jewel, but to rule this ship, one must control her pilot. Sesili, Hegira’s current pilot, is dying. There are two candidates to take her place, Sumida and Laila. These are their stories.
Bex Atria is many things. Violent. Human. Mercenary. She is one of two billion sapient beings living aboard Hegira, a wandering world of horror and boundless beauty. Bex has lived in the slums of Hegira all her life. She’s done it all. She’s seen it all. Nothing can surprise her.
Sumida is everything Bex isn’t. She is soft-spoken. Inhuman. Sheltered. She’s about to turn Bex’s world upside down.
Winny always said, she kept forgetting, that she saw things that Bex couldn’t, that some things needed to be explained with words. Bex was only human, and always judged wrongly. Too quickly. Now that her eyes were opened, everything Bex figured that she knew about the runaway Starchaser was being turned upside down.
“It’s interesting.” Sumida sank back down onto the seat of her craft. “Not an entirely bad way to die.”
In the falling light, she was comically mucky, scared and yet she smiled. Stars….when she smiled, everything tilted. The girl was a menace, an irresistible and unbalanced wreck, Bex thought. Were the old Starchasers insane too? Was it this strangely endearing quality that had drawn so many other races to them and allowed them to make a menagerie of their massive ship?
Laila sets out across the galaxies alone, in search of the ultimate trump card to help her to wrest control of the leviathan ship, Hegira from those who would seek to steal her ancient birthright.
Laila’s pride and passion war with love, fear and her inferiority complex caused by her luminous rival and soul twin, Sumida.
The rickety suspension bridge swayed under Laila’s feet as she ran. Way down below, frothy rapids threaded through the lush valley between the two mountains. The shrill cries of one alarm after another nipped at her heels. She kept running full tilt across the divide. She ran until she saw nothing but red.
She didn’t even realize that the alarms had stopped. She plunged into the mist, blood roaring in her head. She reached the other side, setting foot into the savage Wild.
At first, there was only a deathly silence. Then like some dark greeting, out of the thick of the brush rose a creature, the likes of which she’d never seen. The beast was six-legged, covered in bristly black fur with a triad of eyes the color of molten sulfur. The predator’s stare burned with intelligence and hostility across the distance between them. Laila’s trembling hand went for her weapon before she even knew it.
The beast snarled, double edged tongue and fangs glistening in the poor light. The muscles of its back bunched. The creature launched itself at her.
The Novel in Progress
Laila and Sumida are on the run from Koros and the Merchant Guild, two factions seeking to take control of Hegira. Laila hides on the planet Tilaat Amat, dodging assassins and a power-hungry deviant while waiting for Sumida who is accompanied by the mercenary, Bex Atria and an alien named Klang. The group’s survival will depend on three things: dumb luck, Laila’s talent for weaseling out of a sticky situation and Klang’s penchant for secretly murdering anything that threatens the well-being of his beloved Bex.
Sumida smelled the blood before she even opened the warehouse door. At first, her brain couldn’t even process what she was looking at. In the dim light, she could at first, only make out a bunch of dark shapes on the ground. Then her eyes adjusted. She gasped. She was looking at ruined bodies. Bodies torn to pieces. Blood of various hues splattered everywhere. Sumida’s gut lurched. There was brain matter. There were scattered limbs. There was spilled guts. Sumida knew only of one species capable of killing with such ferocity. This was the handiwork of a Bolen. A real, hardcore Bolen.
One mercenary was still alive. His weak, agonized moans reached Sumida. There was a flutter of movement. Sumida stood there, frozen to the spot, as her suspicion was confirmed. Klang towered over the broken bodies. Klang was four armed, quadruple jointed, and deceptively delicate but all Sumida could see now was a killing machine. A perfect killing machine.
The blood-splattered, alien beast that stood over that last survivor, brought his foot down and stomped the life out of him was a monster, not her soft-spoken friend.
Sumida drew in a sharp breath. Instinct said that if he saw her right now, he’d kill her too. If he knew she saw him, she’d be dead in an instant. She closed her eyes and backed out of the warehouse but not quickly enough. There was a rush of wind. In an instant, the overpowering scent of blood intensified. Sumida couldn’t move. Couldn’t run. Couldn’t scream.
Icy fingers gripped her shoulders so tightly she wanted to cry out from the pain, but she was too scared to make a sound.
“You saw, didn’t you?” Came the deadly whisper.