Blurb and Excerpt from "A Guardian From Earth"

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The stons were dead, but that left Grace alone to try to learn to control her new abilities. When a solution presents itself, she begins learning just how far there is to go on the new journey she started. A new family, a new home, and learning to adapt to a completely different environment.

But for greater challenges, she also discovers there are greater rewards - and the universe always has a greater challenge in store.


I was just coming out of the bedroom when there was a chime. It seemed like a doorbell so I went to the front door, and I was right. There was a man standing there, maybe a couple inches taller than I was. He looked gray and faded somehow, with the unworldly air of a college professor. On Earth, I would have said he was between twenty-five and thirty, but his frizzy hair was gray, his clothes were a different gray and even his shoes were a nondescript brown pair that looked for all the world like an ordinary pair of loafers. He was carrying two small objects. "Graciela Juarez di Scimtar?" When I answered yes, "I'm Ferugio Torgonos, the training master. I understand you're newly operant? I have here your datalink and interim infertility implant. Would you like to have them implanted out here or in the bedroom?"

What the...? "I don't know about that. If you're messing with my brain, shouldn't you have some sort of sterile field and an operating room? And I'm not sure I want or need an infertility implant. My plans don't include any of that kind of activity for the foreseeable future."

"Come, now, you can hardly expect a Nonus-in-fact to neglect his basic responsibilities, can you? My instructions are that you are to have both immediately." Ferugio had a prissy, didactic way of speaking. He reminded me of a professor that lives in their own ivory tower.

I remembered my conversations with ScOsh: "Childhood pregnancy is rare because our children are routinely given birth control when they reach sexual maturity" and "We don't permit children to have or raise children." I was legally a child for now; not yet competent to manage my own affairs as far as the Empire was concerned. Clearly, my new foster family realized that unplanned pregnancies happen because unplanned sex happens, and they could lock me away in a monk's cell or they could do this. The monk's cell wouldn't work; this would, at least until I knew enough to reprogram my own body, and I for one had zero intention of reprogramming for children until I was well established with a husband of my own. At least this seemed an indication they weren't planning to enforce abstinence upon me. This was the way the Empire did things, I could leave the Empire or I could adjust. "I didn't see a bed in the bedroom, perhaps the couch would work."

"No bed? I'm sure this apartment had one when DelMartos was here. Well, a chair should be enough for either. The datalink requires the right side of your head near the base of the skull; the implant can go anywhere. Most people use their upper arm or shoulder."

It really was almost that simple. Yes, the datalink wired itself into the brain, but it turned out Ferugio was one of those born operants with no ambition to become a Guardian or advance in the government or military. Still, he was competent enough as a healer, I never felt a thing with either the datalink or the implant. The datalink started some sort of initialization cycle about two seconds after Ferugio let go of it. It was a small addition to the right side of my neck for now, smaller than a flash drive; perhaps operants had a way to cause it to internalize. "The datalink will take a couple minutes to initialize, when it tells you 'ready' you can start giving it commands. The first you should know is 'help' - it should give you a list of available commands and accesses in a given area; the list is quite extensive. You can delimit that with additional terms - for instance, 'help sleep' or 'sleep help' should direct you to your sleep field unless someone has removed it. Follow me, please," and without waiting for an invitation he strode into the bedroom. "You have a sleep field right there," he said, pointing at the low platform I'd noticed earlier, "Your datalink is set to control everything in this apartment, so if you want temperature changed, or air circulation, do it. And now, I understand that you'd probably like some rest as ScAnara informs me that you've been awake for over fourteen hours. If you want to set a timer, think 'help timer'. The family dinner is at fortyone thirty; it's thirtyfive fortytwo now, I would suggest setting the timer no later than fortyone zero zero. We'll start setting your course of study tomorrow morning at fortyeight thirty." With that, he walked out, closing the door as he went.

Copyright 2014 Dan Melson. All Rights Reserved.

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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on July 19, 2021 11:38 AM.

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