Frieda Wilkensen waited in the lobby of the recruiting centre.
“Ms. Wilkensen, please, come this way.”
She got to her feet and walked into the rear of the offices, following the man who looked nearly human. She didn’t know what instinct it was that told her he wasn’t human, but there was just something in the way he moved, like there was an extra bone in his spine.
She jolted to a halt right after he did, and she avoided a collision by inches.
He opened the door to a small conference room for her and waved her in. “The recruiter will be with you shortly.”
She smiled and entered the room, taking a seat with her hands folded on the table.
Freddy waited, motionless, until the door opened and the man who had shown her in entered with a tea tray with small cups.
A creature of obvious alien origin walked in behind him and dismissed him.
Freddy looked at the silver creature with huge black eyes, and she smiled. “Hello.”
“Good afternoon, Ms. Wilkensen.”
“Please. Call me Freddy.”
“Freddy, I am Recruiter Norz.”
She knew that was wrong, but she couldn’t say anything.
“My arms are a little short. Would you pour?”
“Oh. Of course.” She poured two cups of tea and handed the first to the recruiter.
Freddy smiled. “I hadn’t expected you to like tea.”
“Pouring hot water on leaves is a fairly universal practice. This tea is a specialty. I haven’t been able to use it on anyone, but you seem to have traits in common with a well-known but rare species.”
Freddy sipped at the tea. It tasted like mint, tannic acid and blueberries. She giggled and inhaled the fragrance again before sipping. Now, the flavour was redolent with watermelon.
Each sip was a different flavour until she got to the bottom of the cup.
Freddy smiled and sat back, looking at the alien a few feet away. Suddenly, a human face was overlaid on top of Norz’s, and she laughed.
“Something is funny?”
“You are a human.” She could feel a relaxed smile on her lips. “It is very funny.”
“Delphic. You are a Delphic. Well, one of your ancestors was. This must have been a world where a cache of them hid from those pursuing them as tools.”
“Certainly. The Oracles were accurate and highly prized.”
Freddy blinked. “Were?”
“Yes, there have not been any seen in centuries. If your DNA had not flared with recognizable traces of alien genes, we would never have known. Now, what do you see when you look at me.”
“You did a DNA test?”
“Of course. It was in your application.”
“Well, when I look at you, I see a woman with short blonde hair, dark eyes and a distracted smile as if you are in thousands of places at the same time.”
Norz inclined his physical head. “Hundreds but thank you. You have confirmed the seer portion of your species markers.”
Freddy smiled weakly, and she suddenly lunged forward, grabbing one of Norz’s hands.
“You are not long for this body. You will seek your own freedom after years of service. You will be taken by light and darkness, embracing both.”
Freddy decides to see if she is a candidate for space only to learn that not only is she a candidate but she has alien DNA running through her veins. But when she finds herself on a Guardian base, she is surprised to see carnal pleasure in her future. Is she ready to make the future her present? Rune knows his mate is coming, but once she arrives can he show her what they can have if she will let down her guard?
Query by Viola Grace is thirty-second in the Terran Times Second Wave series. I am a fan of this series and I know that it is coming to an end. Unfortunately so does Ms. Grace and it shows in this story. This story, while technically well written felt exactly that…technical. You knew that Freddy would have a mate in the stars. You knew it would be someone of the base. You knew there would be a happily ever after. Now that is the usual formula and I accept that but you want a spark between the hero and heroine. You want a bit a mystery. You want there to be a connection. And with Freddy and Rune had no chemistry at least for me. I struggled with this story because of that lack. Freddy was a strong character. She was willing to go where few woman had gone. She was willing to learn more about herself and the talents buried within her DNA. And Ms. Grace partnered her with Rune who was forgettable. There was potential that felt untapped. I love this series and like many of Ms. Grace’s fans hate to see it go. I hope that as Ms. Grace winds this world down she will find the creativity that this series has brought more often than not.
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