The peaceful worlds of the Algol binary system with its erratic stellar flares have long ago fallen to the rapacious Drahkian Empire. Under the harsh rule of reptilian overlords, cities are left to rot and the deep-feeling Algolian shapeshifters are brutally controlled, forced into servitude as assassins, or sold off-world as highly-prized commodities.
In the crumbling capital of Tessin, master goldsmith Ryder Dundalk has gone to great lengths to guard his privacy and the secret he hides from the vicious Lord Tiro, master of the Assassins Guild, and the elite Algolian truthsayers. His inborn gift of psychic touch has become a hazardous liability: the grip of a reptile makes him ill, the hand of a truthsayer could bring his demise, and the slightest touch of any other Algolian lies far beyond the bounds of what he can allow.
For the soft-spoken jeweler, isolation means survival. The status of his craft gives him privilege and a modicum of protection from the reptilian gentry and he has learned how to elude their terrifying saur beasts. But Ryder’s carefully controlled world and his tenuous security are thrown into jeopardy when he discovers he is being stalked from the shadows.
–“Just tell me how to find you,” he said in a low voice, “and watch for me after the flare.”
The third of three prequels, this stand-alone science fantasy novella tells the backstory of a character who appears in the forthcoming series beginning with Blood of the Prime, T’nari Renegades–Pleiadian Cycle, Book I. EXCERPT INCLUDED: “Nightscape”