The Oceanstone Initiative #2
by Haley Cavanagh
Genre: SciFi Romance
Publisher: Covey Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: December 27, 2019
One doctor, one alien lover, one botanist, and one engineer on a desperate mission to save earth from human destruction.
Sakota saved Astraeus and her friends from certain death, but in doing so, she gained the attention of the Oreck, who will stop at nothing to destroy everything in their path.
With their ship severely damaged, Sakota and her crew land on a nearby planet and seek sanctuary while they make repairs to return home. But nothing on this perfect planet is as it appears, and Sakota soon learns they've traded one danger for another.
Hunted and targeted, will Sakota be able to carry out her mission, or will everyone she cares about be destroyed?
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“ No .”
Sakota bolted up in bed in the middle of the night.
Her dreams of blood and fear were monopolized with pointed teeth, cartilaginous faces, long, double-jointed arms and legs, and cruel, black alien eyes. The Oreck. They haunted her, perpetual alien God-ghosts with their eerie, electromagnetic glow beneath papery, gray skin.
Beside her, Astraeus slept, his arm flopped over the groove in the bed where she’d lain as he held her. He stirred, frowning. Was he having a nightmare too? She reached her hand out and searched with her emotions, as she’d learned to do.
He tossed, fitful, in the clutches of a nightmare to do with Upsilon’s destruction. She couldn’t remember what her nightmare had been about, but it had ended violently. Peace, she sent silently. Tranquility . Calm . Rest .
Astraeus sighed in his sleep, relaxed, and rolled over. She feathered hair out of his face. His existence had blown her away, and it still did. Astraeus’s genetic code far outstripped her own. He had defense mechanisms in place to protect him from climate extremities that she could never even dream of having. But more so, for the first time in her life, she’d fallen in love. It went against her pragmatic nature, but his comforting presence anchored her amid the wreckage.
She scrubbed her face with her hand in the darkness and swung her legs over the side of the levitating bed, careful of the bed’s height when she stood.
Humans were either a lot shorter than most of the visiting interplanetary delegates, or for some strange reason, they liked their beds high.
Her limbs ached, fatigue from the action of the last several days. She suspected healing from microgravity had something to do with it too, but she’d been through the wringer. The way she walked, the weight of her lips when she spoke, her arm and leg muscles seemed heavier and more visceral, like someone had injected them with a heavy drug. Ridiculous, of course. She was in the best shape of her life.
In the center of the room, she stretched and did some yoga until the tightness lessened. She rotated her neck. In a day or two, the slight dizziness and disoriented inertia would subside. As a physician, she knew the symptoms. She’d be fine. But telling a patient about them versus experiencing them were two different things.
She padded barefoot out onto the balcony, drew a silver cup from the shelves, and dipped it into the fountain. Distant light illuminated the Chuleron buildings along the skyline in the distance. She brought the brim of the cup to her lips and drank. Cool and refreshing, much cleaner than the sterilized water she’d had back on Earth. Tastier too. Earth water had to be purified at least five times before it could be considered healthy enough for consumption. Bacterial pathogens ran rampant in food and the polluted streams and springs back home, so sterilizing was essential. The delightful coolness soothed her throat.
She twisted her hair and pulled it over her right shoulder, taking in the strange, tantalizing city. Did her suspicions about this place come from her subconscious, because of the death and violence she’d experienced? Or was Hisoka right and something seemed off?
The Oceanstone Initiative #1
Publisher: Covey Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: October 12, 2018
One pre-apocalyptic Earth. One desperate space mission to find a solution. One unexpected alien.
When Dr. Sakota Thorell signed onto the mission to scout out a new, habitable planet, she knew discovering extraterrestrial life was always a possibility. But she never expected to find an alien adrift in space, nor for that alien to be so intriguing. Sakota feels an instant and undeniable attraction to Astraeus, but he represents a million possibilities, and just as many threats.
There are others hunting Astraeus, and his rescue may cost Earth its last hope.
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“What are you called? What’s your name?” He opened his mouth, and she moved closer, eager for his first words. Instead, he focused on her lips with obvious fascination. His intriguing eyes caught the light. Despite her disappointment that he couldn’t speak, a rush went through her. Alien or not, he was the most handsome man she’d ever laid eyes on, with the kind of ethereal elegance some upper-class, privileged men on Earth spent fortunes on plastic surgery trying to achieve. “It’s okay if you don’t want to talk, or if you can’t. We’ll get there. Now, I’m going to check you.” She kept her voice gentle, as she might use with a child. She pressed the button to disengage the protective bubble over the med bed and shone the retinal scanner in her own eye to demonstrate. “I just need to look at your eyes with this.” She motioned with the scope to him. “It won’t hurt. I promise.” Warm puffs of his breath blew on her neck as she leaned in. She paused, noting the remarkable eight-pointed star-shape of his pupils. The mutation was his one physical difference, and only if one looked closely. The pupils dilated when hit by the scope’s light. She’d never seen eyes as remarkable. “You’re doing great,” she soothed. Her head burst with countless questions.Where are you from? How did you get here? What do you want? He appeared to like the cadence of her voice. His posture relaxed, and his breath against her was steady. How long had she been staring into his eyes? Should she push her luck and try to examine his mouth? Before she could try, his finger stroked her inner arm. He was still restrained at the wrists, but he could reach her. She allowed it. He stroked a featherlight finger along her forearm. As he did so, his gaze never left hers. She offered a kind smile. “That’s right. Friend. Sakota. Sa-ko-ta.” He opened his mouth and let out a chicken-like squawk. “-Ota,” he said in a throaty, deep voice. She raised her eyebrows. “Good. Very good.” He tilted his head, watching her lips. “Gooood.” Excited, she lowered the retinal light. “Can you understand me?” He looked confused. “Me…” “Okay. That’s a no. Then let me take this opportunity to say, in no uncertain terms, you, my friend, are the stuff of dreams and legends. I’ve waited my whole life for this. Are you getting this, Alistair?” she called out. He came in over the speakers. “I am. Amazing. I’ll get to work on a linguistics program. Our friend seems to want to communicate.” She moved to pull away, but the man’s fingers closed over her wrist. “Let me go.” She jerked her arm, but he wouldn’t release his grip. She gave him a cautionary look, and he loosened his fingers, though he still held her. Warning bells went off.What if he’s not here in peace?But his eyes sparkled impishly. He seemed to enjoy her skin pressed against his. Maybe he hadn’t been touched in a while. Or maybe he had a crush. Who knew. Before she could extricate herself, the intercom chimed. “Sakota, are you okay?” “Yeah, I’m fine. He’s just being friendly—” The man’s forefinger trailed along her arm again. She sucked in a breath and shut her eyes as a series of images flashed through her mind.A high wall made of stacked stones. A hand spread out to touch the tips of tall, golden wheat of a field. Multihued buildings in the distance under a purple sky. Children’s laughter and then screams. She jerked when the images changed.Strange rain, like metal. Black ships attacking from the sky, horrible screams which rent the air, death.A gentle brush against her hand again. She inhaled and opened her eyes. The man searched her, calm and patient. She
struggled to see straight, but her mind spun. “W-was that your—” The isolation walls shot up. Rutledge burst into the room and advanced like an angry bear, brutish, immaculate, and combat ready in his black Oceanstone fatigues. “Let her go,” he snarled. Rutledge yanked the man’s hand off her and pushed her aside. She fell to the floor on her back in a dizzy haze, reeling from the vision. She turned her head. The man bellowed and tore loose from his restraints. His and Rutledge’s images faded into one as they collided and fought. Rutledge’s weapon whirred as he strained to activate it. The rifle propelled over her head and hit the wall. “Stop.” Her pleas fell on deaf ears. She closed her eyes. The men barged into the room with heavy footfalls and angry shouts. She opened her eyes, but her vision swirled. The blurred image of the alien lifted Rutledge’s lieutenant like a kitchen chair and catapulted him in the same direction as the weapon. “Stop,” she hollered to the men. “Don’t shoot him. He wasn’t attacking me.” Another soldier fell to the floor with a sick thud, holding his stomach. “Yeah? Well, he’s attackingme.” The alien pounced over her, crouching low. He caged her with his body and made a guttural rumble in his throat, a warning to the men. She turned her head to the marines, who zeroed their weapons in on them.
Haley Cavanagh is a military veteran, wife, and mother. She is an alumna of Columbia College, a musical theater nut, and she loves to dive into any book that crosses her path. Haley resides with her family in the United States and enjoys spending time with her husband and children when she’s not writing. She loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.
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