Pumping water from a spout in its base, the great shell maneuvered out of the narrow inlet towards the open ocean. They sailed past a harbor with catamarans moored on the docks. Round huts with conical roofs clustered behind the docks.
The tall sail of Calluma unfurled and caught the wind. Their strange ship gathered speed, rocking up and down with the waves. The shell boat hummed a song, “Splish, splash, waves crash round Callama.”
The wind picked up and the Callama sped over the waves. Athanor threw a windproof psi shield over their heads so they could stare into the distance without squinting through the gale.
Glancing at Violet, Athanor requested, “Ask the Callama how long we have to travel to reach the damaged area.”
She transmitted his question and the sea beast answered, “Hours, flowers, until the moon tide changes.”
“A long time if we have to wait for the next tide,” Violet said, pursing her lips in regret.
“AguaSalva is a small planet,” Amarylla rustled. “Three moons and many tides.”
Five tentacled Bollerol whistled, “High tide to low is four standard hours in this season.”
The sun sank into the green ocean and the crescent of a moon rose into the sky before they reached their goal. At length, Callama’s shell slowed to a halt, and rocked in the gentle swell of the green, foam-flecked waves.
The great shell hummed, “Weep, deep, Callama dives.”
Bollerol translated through its spout, “Callama enters the deeps. Shell sections will seal together. Ride inside or out?”
“By thunder, I’ll swim outside the shell and see where I’m going,” Athanor growled, pulling down his faceplate.
“Pull me with you,” Violet said, attaching her breather tube. The Grand Master could travel underwater as easily as in the air. Wrapping his arm around Violet’s waist, he vaulted into the water and grasped hold of a ridge on the exterior of Callama’s shell.
“Brightness will cling to the outer shell,” Amarylla agreed.
The orange Bollerol slid to the base of the boat and the two halves of the shell closed. Amarylla’s roots coiled around the shell. Tipping on end, Callama sank below the waves, dragging the two Grand Masters and Violet under the water.
Translucent green water surrounded them and lines of bubbles drifted in the wake of the great shell. Strange slow songs of the sea creatures washed against Violet’s senses. The green ocean darkened as they descended farther from the sunlit surface.
As they swam deeper, the quiet waters were threaded with thin cries of terror.
“I sense the attackers are below us,” Violet informed Athanor.
Three pairs of bright yellow eyes on the tips of dark ribbons converged on Callama. The ribbon eels wriggled around the shell boat and Violet understood their vibrations. “Our homes are cracked. Our children are eaten.”
“Death, slaughter, craze the sand city.” Callama’s slow hum was quickened by horror.
Young empath, Violet Hunter, and her crafty Grand Master, Athanor Griffin, tackle the villains threatening civilization.
Their worst enemy, the Red Queen, rampages across the galaxy evading capture, while blocked portals restrict normal commerce among planets. Compounding their problems, half the Grand Masters on the Council fear Violet is the agent of their doom as her father foretold, and vow to eliminate her. To restore peace, Violet and Athanor embark on a hazardous quest for a weapon hidden by the ancient psychic masters on one of four planets. But, the weapon proves elusive, dangers lurk in the ancient sites, and new alliances forged with bizarre entities may not be sufficient to foil their enemies and save the galaxy.
This rollercoaster adventure offers weird characters and deadly horrors balanced by lighthearted moments. Grand Master’s Mate is Book 3 of the Grand Master’s Trilogy.
Book 1, Grand Master’s Pawn:
Aurora Springer is a scientist morphing into a novelist. She has a PhD in molecular biophysics and discovers science facts in her day job. She has invented adventures in weird worlds for as long as she can remember. In 2014, Aurora achieved her life-long ambition to publish her stories. Her works are character-driven romances set in weird worlds described with a sprinkle of humor. Some of the stories were composed thirty years ago. She was born in the UK and lives in Atlanta with her husband, a dog and two cats to sit on the keyboard. Her hobbies, besides reading and writing, include outdoor activities like gardening, watching wildlife, hiking and canoeing.