Story Excerpt: Facility 3.02B

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TEASER

     Obi-Wan woke when he felt something tighten around his arms. As he shook himself awake he noticed that those things were what seemed to be straps of white linen, bound around both his wrists and ankles and attached to the wall behind him. After a few thugs, though, he decided that it was not linen but something much stronger.

“Good morning.”

The voice came from a speaker close to the door, which was barely noticeable in the dim room.

“Where am I?” Obi-Wan demanded to know.

“At Facility 3.02B”, the voice answered. “You were brought in yesterday and passed the tests we ran on you, which put you in this room.”

“What sort of tests?” Obi-Wan asked, as he could not remember any such thing.

“Diagnosing your blood. We found a good amount of midi-chlorians in you and an even bigger amount in your companion.”

Anakin! Obi-Wan realized he had been so disoriented that he had not even considered where his friend might be.

“Where is he?” he asked and rose. “What have you done with him?”

He held out his hand towards the door in an effort to pull it open with the Force, but instead felt a jolt of pain run through his arm. He gasped and sank back down onto the ground, unable to stand. The ropes on his wrists were glowing.


 

Story Excerpt: Life Upside-Down

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TEASER

     A stick that broke beneath a foot was what made Ebañy Salamonderiel tran-Devaberiel look up from the rabbit that he was roasting above the fire. Even though he had the dragons close by, the sound made him uneasy; who could it possibly be up here except for some Horsekin renegade?

Therefore he was surprised when a woman carefully stepped out through the bushes close to the old watchtower. She was wearing a long-sleeved, grey shirt embroidered with horses and dark trousers much more tight-fitting than any brigga ever sown. Ebañy slowly rose from his place and the girl took a step back, her eyes wide with fear and her lower lip trembling a bit. From the looks of her she had been out in the wilderness for a while; her light-brown hair was full of leaves and branches and her clothes were torn. A fresh wound could be seen on her left cheek; he noticed a drop of blood falling from it.

“I’m not dangerous”, Ebañy said and smiled. “You are welcome to share my meal with me, you look exhausted.”

The girl just looked at him and he realized that she did not understand what he was saying. That she did not know the Deverrian tongue. This confused him, but as he felt that he needed to help the girl he pointed at himself.

“Salamander”, he said. To this she frowned, before he saw her mouth forming the word as well, but without letting any sound out.

“Amanda”, she said after a while and pointed at herself.


 

Story Excerpt: The Lion, the Witch & the Daemons

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TEASER

     “Edmund, please, let’s get away from here.”

The dark-haired boy sighed and looked at Lissandia. His dæmon was fluttering around him as a small bird, her grey eyes piercing him with fear. He looked away, determent to not show the Germans any fear.

“Come on, Lis”, he said. “They won’t hit us, we’re too far away from where they will aim their attacks.”

“How do you know that?” Lissandia muttered and changed into a lemur. Edmund had never liked that shape much; she looked like a ghost, and even though he loved his dæmon very much and would never ever blame her for taking whatever shape she wanted in the end, he truly hoped that it wouldn’t be a lemur. He shivered slightly.

“They will probably be aiming at the Magisterium and those places”, he said as an answer to her question. “We are extremely far from anything that they would wish to destroy.”

As a proof to that he was right, a bolt of anbaric light shot down from the sky and hit right next to the Magisterium.

“Look!” he exclaimed, excited. He didn’t really feel any compassion to the humans down in the centre, from his point of view this was an amazing show.


 

Story Excerpt: Untitled DW/Deverry fic

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TEASER

Spring had finally arrived and some the students were singing on their way to the cafeteria, which lay about some way away from the school campus itself. After the longest and most dreadful winter most of them had ever experienced, it was good to feel the rays of the sun touch your face.

“What have we got left of this term?” Sophie asked. Amanda pulled out her calendar and looked through the remaining weeks.

“No tests, I think, but a couple of projects to hand in and presentations to give.”

Leila sighed.

“Can’t they just let us have fun?” she muttered. Sophie nodded in agreement.

“Look, I’m sure that we will do fine, all of us”, Amanda assured them.

“Did you see that?”

The three girls turned towards their fourth group-member. Jess was looking towards the school in front of them, leaning slightly to her left as if to see something on the small patio located on the back.

“What?” Sophie asked, trying to see what Jess was talking about.

“There’s nothing blue on the patio, is there?” Jess asked them, frowning.


 

Story Excerpt: Look Alike

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TEASER

She had just poured water into the sink and started to wash up when she noticed the strange sound coming from the washing-machine in the next room. Frowning, she turned off the water, wiped her hands and opened the door to the small bathroom.

The washing-machine seemed to work as usual; the water was on and it was spinning at the right frequency. Still, the strange sound continued.

“How odd”, she muttered to herself, rising from her kneeling position and brushing off her trousers. Perhaps it came from the neighbor’s house; she tended to hear what they were up to and sometimes believe that it happened inside her own apartment.

Shaking her head at herself, she walked out to the sink again and dipped her hands into the hot water. While she scrubbed the plates, the sound behind her increased in intensity.

“What the hell are they doing?” she muttered once she was done and had wiped her hands on a towel. She turned to head out to the door and go bang the others’ door to find out what was making that sound, but she only managed to turn partly when she saw the fire rushing towards her, along with the loud bang that seemed to tear her apart from inside-out.

Her scream was quenched in the flames of the explosion.


 

Story Excerpt: The Last Voyage

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TEASER

It was supposed to be a regular exercise, just to see that everyone would be able to get out in case of fire. The students were moving down the stairs at a calm pace, talking and laughing as if they were just heading out for lunch.

But then they smelt it. The smoke. There was a fire somewhere in the school and it seemed to be spreading. Panic erupted as people tried to get out as quickly as possible.

When they had all gathered on the front porch; teachers, students and visitors, they could see where the fire came from. It was the classroom on the top floor located in the farthest end of the building.

“Brad!”

Kelly Welsh rose from her wheelchair, about to rush into the school, despite her injured foot. Another woman grabbed her and held her back.

“He should have gotten out”, she said silently. Kelly turned slightly and saw the face belonging to a former student and nowadays guest lecturer at the school. Cate Jacobs looked stern and worried as she gazed at the flames leaping out through the windows. Still she had been calm when she spoke those words.

And Kelly knew she was lying.


 

Story Excerpt: Lose It

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TEASER

”Wow, sorry ’bout that.”

He bent down to help her pick up the folders and books that he had caused her to drop when he bumped into her.

“No, no, it was my fault”, she protested and pushed a brown strand of hair behind her ear. “I didn’t look out.”

“Kind of hard to look out with this stack of files in your arms”, he said and rose, carrying half of the bunch himself. “Here, I’ll help you with that.”

“Thanks, but…”

“Hey, I bumped you”, he said with a soft smile. “Kind of an annoying way to start your first day here, huh?”

“Well, I’ve been bumped before”, she said with a shrug as they started to walk down the corridor. “When you’ve got your nose stuck in a book the whole time you cannot avoid hitting things.”

“Well, I’m still sorry. You know where your locker is?”

“I doubt that I have one”, she said with a smile. “Or do teachers have lockers?”

The surprise almost made him drop the files he was carrying for her.

“You’re a teacher?”