Abandoned by his mother after his father’s death, Gethyon Rees feels at odds with his world and longs to travel the stars. But discovering he has the power to do so leaves him scarred for life. Worse, it alerts the Siah-dhu—a dark entity that seeks his kind for their special abilities—to his existence, and sets a bounty hunter on his tail.
When those same alien powers lead Gethyon to commit a terrible act, they also aid his escape. Marooned on the sea-world of Ulto Marinos, Gethyon and his twin sister must work off their debt to the Seagrafter captain who rescued them while Gethyon puzzles over their transportation. How has he done this? And what more is he capable of?
Before he can learn any answers, the Wardens arrive to arrest him for his crime. Can his powers save him now? And where will he end up next?
Take me away from here.He stared deep into the image, his longing to be out there burning in his chest. Take me far away.
Something within him stirred, forcing him to focus deep inside the image. Warmth flowed from his chest, through his arms and into the crystal. Suddenly, the image opened and surrounded him; the room transformed into the dark void of open space, the stars orbiting him in slow rotation, a supernova within the grasp of his free hand.
Gethyon gasped in shock and dropped the CHI device; the illusion vanished, leaving the inactive crystal gleaming at his feet. He stared at it, expecting the images to leap from the crystal again and surround him. Tentatively, he reached down for the gem and his fingers closed around it. He lifted it to his face, gazing intently into the faceted prism, turning it this way and that as if it would suddenly reveal its secret. When nothing happened, he held it at arm’s length and activated it a second time. Again, the picture rose from the CHI device and hovered above it, nothing more than a simple hologram. Not understanding the strange sensation that seemed to spill from him into the heart of the imager, he allowed it to happen again. The view expanded and enfolded him in deepest, blackest space and sparkling stars. A cloud of infinitesimal space debris drifted across his eyes like wisps of cloud, and he pushed the fingers of his free hand into it, watching as the particles dispersed around his fingers.
Marveling at the sudden magic that had brought the galaxy’s image to life, he permitted more of the energy to surge into the CHI device, forcing it when it threatened to trickle to a halt. The image expanded farther, beyond the confines of his room and out into the landscape. Something within him seemed to unlock, and glittering threads of crystal fire shot through space, a long twisting corridor stretching out to infinity. Gethyon stood gasping on the threshold, dizzy with power and exhilaration, waiting to fall into the passageway.
Sudden alarm shot through him in an icy stream; he turned, fear stinging his nerves and fiery agony pulsing in his mind. From behind him darkness deeper than space, an antithesis of light, life and warmth, billowed into his vision, swamping and consuming all before it. He tried to scream, but the sound locked in his throat, leaving him silent and helpless. He tried to release the CHI device, to banish the image and the darkness back into the gem, but a paralysis claimed him. The blackness swelled. Amorphous fingers reached for him across the millennia, seeking to claim him. Power bled from him as the darkness drained his energy, sucked the life from him.
Pain exploded in his hand to the sound of splintering, and the vision shattered. Gethyon stood frozen. Shards of the CHI device fell from a hand dripping in crimson. He screamed as the darkness swallowed him.