When Clue Forester leaves Eris Space Station behind to live on a distant Earth settlement on the planet Cassini, she discovers a new reality of troublesome mononoke, beautiful ocean spirits, and vengeful demons who attempt to use her for their own purposes.
However, a powerful Okami rules the city of Scorpius and may be Clue’s only hope if she is to survive long enough to uncover the mystery of her uncle’s demise.
I didn’t know what to do about school. There were credits in Winks’ safe, but the prospect of twelve hours of travel a day between Scorpius and Hyperion would be gruesome. I went upstairs and opened the safe. I thought that I could survive off of the credits inside for at least two years. I had made up my mind to stay in the house, but I needed a job in Scorpius.
Mr. Nixon had been correct. I hadn’t seen a single Protect and Serve in the city. While kicking out of my shoes, I tripped and fell on my butt in the closet. Groaning at my clumsiness, I untangled my feet and rolled over onto my stomach and knees.
“What do we have here, Winks?”
I felt along the baseboards and noticed an almost invisible seam in the corner. Following it with my eyes, I noticed a tiny grey button that was flush with the grey cement wall. I pushed it. Silently, the door slid open revealing a set of stairs. Hurriedly, I put on my shoes and carefully made my way down the steps. The door startled me when it slid closed, but then dim lights activated. The cement steps seemed to lead me lower than where I thought the ground floor was. They ended with a door that required a palm scan.
“What have I got to lose?”
Worried that it wouldn’t open anyway, I placed my palm to the scanner. The door whooshed open, and I took halting horrified steps inside.
“Oh, shit, Winks. What have you gotten me into?”
Along the left side of the massive basement level were partitioned rooms full of what I could only assume to be stolen goods in a house that legally belonged to me. The first section contained paintings that had been carefully packed in wood frames except for the one Winks had hung on the wall. I recognized it from one of my freshman investigative classes at Hyperion College that I had just completed a couple of weeks ago. The damn painting of a stupid moon rising above a still dark ocean was worth millions of credits and had been stolen from the private home of a prominent and very powerful ambassador in the distant Laconian Sector.
Getting caught with it would land me on a mining colony for the rest of my miserable life even if I had had nothing to do with it. I had alibis aplenty on Eris Space Station, but simple possession would be enough to ruin my life.
After teaching high school English for sixteen years, Wendie Nordgren decided to follow her dream to become a writer. She lives in Texas, has a wonderful husband, two sons, three cats, and a dog.