Friday, July 20, 2012

Quest for Nobility by Debra L Martin & David W Small: Excerpt

The parents of royal Otharian twins Darius and Dyla have been murdered; their cousin is stealing their throne, and they are falsely accused of murder. Their only choice is to flee to the forbidden and quarantined planet Earth, but it could turn out to be a one-way trip.

To return home, they must find an ancient crystal, that once belonged to Merlin, to power the return portal. When the twins stumble upon the location of the crystal, the local crime boss sends out his assassin to retrieve it. Can Darius and Dyla use their PSI powers to open the portal home and reclaim their throne before the assassin catches up to them?

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Chapter 4 – Visions

The fire danced and crackled with life, seeking to devour everything in its path.  Three separate spurs raced around the warehouse, burning all they touched.  Boxes of all shapes and sizes became ash as the flames joined to become one intense, hungry blaze.
She watched the scorching scene, riveted to the floor.  She turned her head, seeking an escape, but saw only shadows.  The flames were almost upon her when the walls disappeared.  She felt the heat closing in and tried desperately to free herself.  When she turned back, the flames surrounded her, engulfing her in an inferno of pain and torment.  Screaming, she felt the flesh melt from her limbs.
Dyla bolted upright in bed, awakened by an ear-splitting scream.  Drenched in sweat and trembling uncontrollably, it took her a moment to realize that it was her own scream she had heard, and she shuddered in fear.
She clambered off of the bed and fell to her knees. “Oh no, oh no,” she whispered while rocking back and forth.
Within moments, Darius came rushing into the room and found his sister sobbing on the floor.  Enfolding her in his arms, he made a telepathic connection and was immediately assailed by images of pain and suffering.  He had never felt such intensity through his link before, and he nearly staggered back at the blow. “It’s OK, you’re safe,” he said softly, clutching her tighter.
It took Dyla several minutes before she came back to herself.  “Darius, I had a terrible vision.  There was a fire, it destroyed everything.”
Darius lifted her chin and met his sister’s eyes. “I felt it when I touched you.  You’re safe now.  It was only a bad dream.”
“No, it wasn’t a bad dream, it was more than that.  I was there, inside it, feeling the heat of the fire.  It burned me.  I’ve never felt anything so horrible before.”
“Do you want me to summon the healer for you?”
“No, I want to talk to Mother.  She’s never mentioned having visions before, but she may understand what’s happening to me.”
Darius helped Dyla to her feet and slipped a robe over her shoulders.  A number of concerned servants were standing in the doorway to the bedchamber watching the scene unfold.
Darius reassured them.  “It’s all right.  Go back to bed.  Everything here is fine.”
The servants nodded one by one and slipped away.
The twins left Dyla’s room and walked down the corridor to their parents' bedchamber.  Dyla knocked lightly on the door. 
Silence greeted them.
“That’s strange.  They’re not answering.  I’m surprised they didn’t come when you screamed,” Darius said.
Dyla reached out, turned the door handle, and walked into the room.  It was empty.  “Where are they?”
The room was pristine.  The bed had not been slept in and there was no sign of their parents.
Dyla looked around the room, worry written on her face. “I have a bad feeling about this.”
“It’s awfully late for them not to be in their chamber.  Where could they be?” Darius asked.
“Did you see them after the banquet?”
“No, I was with Ty.  What about you?”
“I think you’re right.  Something’s not right.  Come on, let's get dressed," Darius said.
"I'll only be a minute.  I'll meet you by your bedchamber."
"Sounds good."
Both Dyla and Darius ran to their bedchambers and emerged within minutes fully dressed.
"Where do we start?" Dyla asked.
"Let's start with Father's study.  If they're not there, let's check in with Ronal.  Maybe he knows what’s going on."
"I hope so," Dyla said.

Debra L Martin writes SF/fantasy with her co-author and brother, David W Small. They have been writing together since 2006. They make their partnership work through the use of email, Instant Messaging and Skype. Their newest release is an epic fantasy, Assassin's Curse. They have written two novels, Quest For Nobility and The Crystal Facade in the Rule Of Otharia series and three novellas in the Dark Future series to-date.

Debra lives on the East Coast with her husband and 2 cats. She works as a Programs Manager at a research university. David lives on the West Coast with his wife. He retired from the Marines after 21 years and currently works as a Network Specialist.

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