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BLUE ABYSS by MICHELE CALLAHAN
Timewalker Chronicles ~ Book 3
Blue Abyss by Michele Callahan
Two Years Ago…
Raiden Tzachar staggered into the tiny healer’s room on his ship and took a seat beside the only occupied healing bed. The traitor had escaped him and even now raced for the surface of Earth. Blood soaked Raiden’s back from a dagger wound in his shoulder and poison burned through every cell, devouring him from the inside out.
The long, soft bed where his first in command, his brother by choice, lay dying was no longer a healing bed, it was soon to be an open grave. Gerrick’s normally pristine uniform lay sticky and stiff with blood. The substance still flowed freely from the wound in Gerrick’s thigh. Ignoring the pain from his own mortal wound, Raiden lay his hand on Gerrick’s shoulder so the giant of a man would know that he’d returned. His entire crew had perished today, but none of his men died alone.
“Gerrick. I’m here.” Raiden squeezed Gerrick’s shoulder tightly, unable to completely reign in his rage.
“Did you kill him?” Gerrick uttered the question through lips stained by poison. Gerrick’s eyes flashed open for a blink, then the faint light of the chamber assaulted his friend’s overly-sensitized pupils. Gerrick’s eyes were stained an inhuman chalky blue by the Triscani toxin the traitor had injected into the entire crew. The sight brought an ache to Raiden’s chest that had nothing to do with the wound in his shoulder. A flood of memories hurtled to the front of Raiden’s mind, but he ruthlessly shoved every one of them aside. Now was not the time.
Raiden grimaced and did the one thing he could to bless his honorable friend with a peaceful death. He held up hands stained red with his own life’s blood…and lied. “Yes. Gutted him with my blades, brother.”
Gerrick visually inspected Raiden’s hands and actually smiled. “Good. Good.” That smile was a miracle in itself if the fire in his own veins was any indication of what Gerrick suffered. The wounded soldier attempted to roll onto his side, to move his arms, but only managed to twitch a couple of fingers. Gerrick’s arm muscles were paralyzed. Soon, his diaphragm would be as well. Then he’d stop breathing.
Death would be a blessing. Triscani poison was an excruciating end. If not for Raiden’s Immortal mother, whoever she might be, he’d be dead as well. Hell, he would’ve been dead an hour ago, just as that bastard brother of his had planned. His friend had no such luck. Gerrick was more than three-quarters human.
Gerrick closed his eyes. “The soul stone around my neck. Take it. Keep it safe.”
“What are you talking about?” Raiden rose and struggled to reach his bloody palm beneath the neck of Gerrick’s uniform. His fingers grazed a chain and he tugged, shocked to discover a swirling fire emerald dangled at its end.
“What is this?”
Gerrick opened his eyes once more, and the unholy blue made his words even more ominous. “Lose it, and we lose the war. It belongs to The Lost One. It must be returned to him. He’s here. On Earth.”
Raiden removed the stone and studied it. Gerrick wouldn’t sense what he did, but the stone most definitely did not house a piece of the Lost One’s soul. But it did hold something…. “It’s not his soul stone, Gerrick. It’s of Earth. An emerald. No Itaran would choose such a stone. Where did you get this? Who gave it to you?”
Gerrick tried to laugh, but his lungs were filling with fluid and it came out strangled. “Poor Little Prince. Didn’t know I had a secret.” He smiled and turned his head so he could see the stone dangling from Raiden’s grip. “Protect it with your life. Return it. The King.”
“How? He’s been missing for centuries.” Raiden clenched the stone tightly in his fist. The Lost King was a mystery even the Immortals had been unable to solve. At the time of the Crux, the King had been turned to ash with his Queen. And before that? In the alternative timeline no one else on Raiden’s crew seemed to remember? He’d disappeared years before the final battle. None who remembered either version of the timeline could explain what happened to him, or to their people.
“Keep it safe. Return it.”
“But…?” By the gods, how was he going to find the Lost One, the True King? Gerrick’s grin faded and his legs twitched, the muscles fibers finally dying. He had moments, no longer.
“Tell me what to do? Where to go? How do I find him?”
“I don’t know. She didn’t tell me.” Gerrick shuddered.
“The Seer.” Gerrick choked and fought to draw air into his lungs. “Don’t die. She’ll come for you.”
“What?” When had Gerrick spoken to a Seer? As far as he knew, Gerrick had never set foot in the Itaran Temples, let alone spoken to the most powerful Immortals on their world.
Raiden’s breathe froze in his lungs. Shock turned the acid in his veins to ice. There were no more Marked, no Timewalkers left alive. They’d all vanished at the Crux.
“Lucky bastard.” Gerrick grinned. The stubborn old fool must be losing his mind. And yet, there was no need to argue, no need to admit to Gerrick how quickly Raiden would followed him into the eternal night. They’d fought side by side for more than fifty years. Raiden had never trusted another living soul more. He owed the man whatever vow he could give.
“I give you my word, old friend. I’ll protect it with my life.” However pitifully short a time that may be…
Sci-Fi/Paranormal Romance Author Michele Callahan is a wife, mother, romance and science fiction addict, and founder of RomCon. She suffers from a dangerous case of sci-fi/fantasy fever and never turns down an opportunity to sit through a Star Wars, True Blood, or Matrix marathon. Her favorite things in books; hot heroes, superpowers, freakish things that can’t be explained by modern science, and true love!
Links to Michele’s website, blog, books, etc.
Book 1 Red Night:
Book 2 Silver Storm:
Alphas Unleashed: Book 1 of the Chimera