Sunday, August 4, 2013

Gone Home (Book 2 of the Alien Encounters Series) by Kim Welsman Excerpt

Gone Home (Book 2 of the Alien Encounters Series) by Kim Welsman

In Gone Home, the second installment in the Alien Encounters Series, Peggy goes back to her home world, Sylax.

We learn of Peggy’s life before her Earth mission. She has a loving Mother, her CK-1 creator, who loves her like a daughter, even for her PSI abilities. Mother wants Peggy to be a part of the mighty Docan forest of Sylax’s past, but also wants Peggy to move on and accept her greater destiny. Will Peggy accept her destiny as a CK-1 child and move to a life beyond the Docan?

When Peggy arrives on Sylax she is met with disappointment, and disapproval of her failed mission, but was it?

Sylaxian Council Member Sygen confronts Peggy with his concerns, and fears that Mitch Christie’s destructive nature could mean yet another dangerous member on the Council should Earth be invited to join. The Queen and her second in command, QET Jenkins, want Peggy to return to Earth. Will Peggy use her prowess to convince Sygen and the Council to welcome Earth so she can go back?


Chapter 1

Out my window, the haunting, yet familiar red and cyan rings of Sylax came into
view. They look so beautiful. How I longed for them while on Earth. It’s been so
long...too long. With one hand pass over the green and grey ethu symbol, the window
changed to a liquid electronic display of the ancient ruins of Jurel. I touched my celadon
rayon Earth jacket, and blinked back a tear. Thank the Genetic Life Giver the Colossus
arrived before Cal showed up. My CK-1 pin, a gift from the Admiral, adorned my blue,
green, and grey Syguard uniform. It stirred mixed emotions of both pride and shame;
hard feelings to let go of. Standing at the mirror I took out my ocular stimulators,
changing my eyes from deep blue to purple. Cannot get away from my CK-1 heritage
here. I placed them in the case.
Air thrummed through the narrow symobiot conduits overhead as I stepped out in
the corridor. Even though we left Earth some time ago, the air was surprisingly sweet.
Earth encounters filled my thoughts on my way to Central Command. The Supreme
Mother will know what to do about the mission. The slick gloss of timpanic resin on the
pin felt cool. She can help. Familiar blue-grey walls and the grey-green cushioned
polymer floor had been home for the last several months. Anticipation ran up my spine,
the walls pressed in. Something caught my attention to my right. Elos. Why is he here?
He grabbed my arm, and pulled me into his sparse, utilitarian cabin. “Have you
spoken to the Admiral yet?”
“No.” Speaking in Sylaxian was like putting on an old pair of wafla boots with
their warm fur insides. I’d felt a bit naked without them on Earth at first, before I learned
Earther ways, but I still couldn’t get my tongue to work contractions even after I’d left. I
glanced at my waflas and chuckled then scanned his room. No images of us, but the star
charts are still prevalent. Other than his bed the COM was the room’s most prevalent
piece of furniture. He has taken out the table too. He is wedded to this life. The COM
screen blinked in rest mode, while I glanced over at him. “Why, what has happened?”
Elos sidestepped in front of the screen. “We are approaching Sylax.”
“Yes.” I gave him a sidelong glance.
“No need to be cold, Pegulatha. Or should I say, Peggy.” He stopped himself
My visage grew stern, my shoulders tensed. “You knew I had to take that name to
become less visible, less obvious.” Why won’t he let any of my past on Earth go? We’ve
been away for fifteen cycles now, and this is the subject of our first conversation.
“Can we leave that aside for now?”
My shoulders loosened, lightened. “I have been down the hall from you all this
time. Why have you not—” I watched as his blue skin went from powdery blue to a deep
shade of cerulean.
“I have been busy organizing the star charts and getting other items ready for the
circle review. The Admiral wants things organized and ready.” He noticed my eyes
flicker away from his to the bathing area and the ionic shower. Our naked bodies used to
twist and curl around each other as the soothing ionization breezes fluttered over our
bodies. I couldn’t help but look back at him. His body twisted sideways, half covering the
COM. He reached for then swiped over an object; it disappeared into the desk. Elos
caught himself staring at me, his face flushed. “I am not trying to distance you from the
mission, I want to help,” he said with a sigh. He caught himself staring at me and looked
beyond me to the door. “I know not what to say.” His body went lax. “A communiqué
came from Sylax as we passed the outer rings. Sygen will be meeting with the Admiral
when he arrives. He will want a full report.” Elos blinked.
I scanned the sparse military room. His medal and accommodation-lined walls
screamed valour for a cause different from mine. Elos is not one for luxuries. The bed
where we laid together took me back to those moments. His arms felt like warm blankets.
They kept me safe in the quiet, fear-filled moments before I landed on Earth. Those
moments are now distant memories; I realized coming back to my cold existence. “And
what of my experiences?”
Elos’ lips tightened. “He knows about your encounters with the men. All of us in
the first circle do. You are no longer his favourite.”
My brow wrinkled. “Favourite?” I paused. “He should be aware that it was part of
the mission.”
“Pegulatha, I do not want to know the details about your dealings with the Earther
dalanaw.” His face grew sullen. “There would not be any intimate details if your job was
done well.”
I could hear the disdain in his voice as is went up an octave. The COM screen
flickered to life.
“This is Admiral Gerentor. Sub Commander Elos Jathoon, report.”
Elos turned to face the screen. “Yes, Admiral.”
I slipped into the shadows. Why would Sygen think the mission went wrong? I
know I left the telescope with Cal, but that can’t be the reason. What else is the Admiral
keeping from me?
“I need you to come to Command Central at once. Your orders are—”
“I can come to see you about that.” Elos shifted from one leg to the other,
preventing me from viewing anything but the screen’s glow.
“Yes, that would be wise. Admiral out.” The screen went dark.
Elos spun toward me. “Pegulatha, you need to brace yourself. The Admiral and
Sygen both agree the mission was a disappointment. They wanted positive results. The
Etherian quarter grows restless and demand their Galactic Charter entrants be
I put my hands on my hips, as hot anger shot through my body. Spikes perforated
the flesh on my hands but remained under the skin on my spine. “I have given them more
“Yes, but Sygen goes to the Council soon, and he wanted to have something to
convince them.”
“I did what they asked of me. I sacrificed so much.” Emotions ran hot under my
skin now awash in phtalo blue. “The Galactic Charter has one purpose, to include all
races for all systems. Is that not why we were sent there to begin with?”
“The Admiral and Sygen do not see it that way.” He faced me with growing
tension. “They see only your inability to remain true to the cause, true to us.” His skin
turned phtalo blue.
“You mean to say my commitment to you. Is that not right, Elos?” I sighed and
thought back. The mission. Cal, Lyrissa. Everything was so strange. Sygen used an earth
world that he took from Stevenson’s mind—alien. Yes, it felt alien.
“Pegulatha, are you listening to me?” Elos stared me down, his face turning an
alarming ultramarine. I knew he didn’t want to mate, so he had to be very angry. The
moment had slipped away. It was it was time to consider other options. He wasn’t going
to help me much now.
“Yes, Sub Commander.” Should I move into his mind? His block is rather flimsy.
I smiled. Elos never did have a proclivity for that sort of thing. If I can just find out what
awaits me on Sylax. He might...I need to know.
His eyes became icy with irritation. “I know Mother created you and your
brothers and sisters to have heightened PSI abilities. I defended you when others called
you an abomination.” His skin turned darker shades of ultramarine that matched the
Claminous Sea where we’d frolicked in the waves. He flicked a finger at my nose. “But
do not even try it with me. My walls may seem flimsy, but my defenses are not. Do poke
around in my head, and toy with my feelings, Pegulatha.” He spun on his heels and
marched toward the door.
“But wait...” I reached for him.
He moved his palm in front of the blue-grey ethu glyph, and the door opened. He
gestured toward the corridor. “I think you have worn out your invitation.”
The weight of the mission tugged at me. What was it all for? They won’t even be
admitted if the Charter isn’t upheld. We need to keep our oath sacred and unite the
Galaxy with peace and justice for all. Good races with good deeds shouldn’t be
overlooked because of those token few who are untrustworthy. Dragging myself to the
door, I lingered in the threshold, glancing at him without knowing why. Is this
appeasement? I remained uncertain, but it didn’t work. He shook his head and pointed.
We walked out, the door closing behind us. As I turned to go I felt something on my arm.
Maybe he does still care? He reached for me and held me close. I swooned lost in his
magenta eyes, his skin an alluring cerulean blue. There is something burning there. A
mind probe may prove useful.
His face darkened, then he pulled away from me. “Do not try to get into my head
again.” He scanned the deserted corridor. “And if you try that with Sygen, you know the
My gaze flickered toward the distant portal and to Sylax beyond. If I do and he
finds out, I could be killed. “I got your message.” I felt spikes push to the surface, itching
then burning the backs of my hands. With considerable relief they retracted. He’ll know
I’m angry as hell. Shit, I can’t get those damn Earther contractions out of my thoughts. I
did my best to remain composed. “We went to that world to help humans consider
equality among their sexes. We are not so far ahead. Here, you treat me like I have no
right to do as I chose and no right to a voice of my own.” I rubbed my arm. “I should
report your actions to the Supreme Mother. You know the Supreme Mother has more
power over the Council than the Admiral does and has just as much power as Sygen.”
Elos’ face tensed, his jaw set. “You were with one of those dalanaw.” He balled
his hands into fists, spikes breaking through his blue skin.
I felt my own spikes return. “I was not with a dalanaw as you like to call them.
They are Earthers, good people. You are blinded by unfounded racial hatred. I was doing
my job. If asked, you should have been prepared to do the same.” I shook my head.
Elos pointed at an accusing finger. “I would not have done that.”
I planted my feet into the soft polymer floor. “You knew I was going on this
mission. You knew that this could happen.” I shifted my weight. He is so irritating. A
scream rose from my chest before catching in my throat. Let it go, Peggy. I choked and
stiffened. “How many times have you gone on a mission? How many times have you
Elos put up his hand. “Do not bother talking to the Supreme Mother. No one else
will know. We—” He scanned the corridor. “Perhaps we can keep this to ourselves.
“And move on.” I tried to keep my voice even then waited for a reaction, any kind
of reaction.
“Yes,” Elos said. His countenance grew sad. “Move on.” He muscles tightened.
“Can I go now? The Admiral is waiting.”
I could feel my two hearts inside ripping apart, one for Cal, the man I left behind
on Earth, and the other for Elos. All seemed lost. My stomach turned to stone. “Elos, it is
His face hardened as if he had read my thoughts. “We should keep this to ourselves. The
Admiral is waiting.” He tossed a dismissive wave and walked away.

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