Kedna has been consigned to fostering on the empty world of Iskan when her power and her health become dangerous. Being mentored by a planetary Avatar is difficult, but moving the weather for an entire world is second nature.
When she is older and her skills are needed off world, she is paired with her first member of the Sector Guard. He is a pain in the butt and harbours resentments toward her for hogging his ancestral planet. She simply concentrates on the job and earns his respect in the bargain.
Fast forward to her twenty-third birthday and they cross paths again. This time, she knows his measure and he knows hers. Respect turns to fascination and progresses into a flirtation that crosses the stars.
Ked stepped off the shuttle, holding the hand of Taedra, the Citadel rep.
Ked held tight to the bag of suits she had been given while bots zipped past her with ration packs stacked on pallets. The food was for her. Iskan did not need it.
“Kedna, do you see that city?”
Ked nodded. “It is empty.” She looked around and the entire world was silent. “Why is it so quiet?”
“Iskan is renovating. He is changing his surface for a new species, and he is willing to delay the process to help you gain control over the elements.”
Kedna looked up at Taedra. “When do you think I can go home?”
“Let’s see how fast you can learn. Your talent seems to be atmospheric. You can learn and practice here without worrying about damaging anyone or yourself. Iskan’s Avatar is a healer. She can keep you up and running.” Taedra was trying hard to keep the mood light.
A figure in robes walked toward them, a staff in one hand. When it got closer, Kedna saw the reptilian skin and wide yellow eyes swirled with scarlet.
Taedra stopped and inclined her head in respect. “Avatar, thank you for your offer of assistance in this special case.”
The Avatar smiled, her flat lips curving upward. “It is an honour to assist with such a worthy matter. Hello, Kedna Kencort. My name is Halwis-Iskan, but you can call me Halwis.”
Kedna released Taedra’s hand and put her palm over her heart. She bowed low. “Thank you for your offer. I hope that it will not be for too long a duration.”
Halwis gave Taedra a chiding look before she turned kind eyes back to Kedna. “It will take as long as it takes.”
She knew in that kind look that she wasn’t going home. Tears started and she lifted her chin. With determination, she stepped toward the Avatar before turning back for a moment. “Thank you for your help, Representative Taedra. I believe that Halwis-Iskan will take over my care now.”
Taedra stepped forward and extended her hand before she slowly lowered it. “The bots have food, and we will send someone to check on you every six months. Avatar Halwis has a com unit that you can use to call home. The contact codes are in your bag.”
“Thank you, Representative. I believe that Kedna needs some time to acclimate to her new home. The instructive holograms are all ready for her and her education has been planned for the foreseeable future. There is nothing more you can do here, but you are welcome to come and inspect her lodgings.”
Taedra inclined her torso in a short bow. “I will return in six months. Kedna, if you need anything, send me a message. I can have it delivered by drone.”
Ked wanted to wail that she wanted to go home, but that wasn’t the right thing to do. Lira was in control training on Thoola after she pushed Nilko into spending his university money on a pony. Finally, their parents had to face facts, and those facts were that their two youngest were exceptionally powerful and both needed help.
They had dropped Lira off on Thoola before coming to Iskan, and now, all members of her family were where they needed to be. Kedna could start working on herself.
It was quite the burden for an eleven-year-old, but she was up to it.
Kedna’s talent happened early and control was difficult. Sadly her family understood they couldn’t give her the training necessary and with the help of the Citadel they found a planet willing to foster her. Haedock met Kedna when they were both young and his youth causes him to be less than polite. With age comes control and Kedna is able handle jobs without Haedock’s talent so they drift apart. But when a chance encounter finds both mature for their race, will Kedna allow Haedock to be a part of her future?
Thunder Struck by Viola Grace is twenty-seventh in the Tales of the Citadel series. Kedna’s family loves her but her talent presents a danger to her and others, so with heavy heart they send her away. Kedna understood why she needed to live apart and with time she learns to accept and control her talent. But living with only the company of the planet Avatar, means her interpersonal skills may not be up to snuff. But her compassion and understanding make up for the lack, until she meets an older and wiser Haedock.
I think Ms. Grace gave us a well-written story, however, it felt a bit one-sided. We understood Kedna because Ms. Grace focused the story on her but I wished we were given a feeling for Haedock. We were allowed to see Kedna grow from an inquisitive child to a formidable woman in control of her talent. But where did Haedock fit? We got peeks of how their relationship could be with the little interaction between the two she provided. In spite of that limit, it was an enjoyable short read.
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