Saturday, August 9, 2014

Pippa Jay shares Tethered

Today, I've asked Pippa Jay to tell us about that which her characters fear. Take it away Pippa!

Tyree is a Su assassin, a genetically enhanced clone, one of many in the secluded city of Refuge. Perfect. Strong. Irresistible and unrelenting. Incapable of failure. No Su would ever cry in pain no matter how badly they're hurt. And Tyree would deny being in pain regardless.

But she does have a flaw. While a Su would never admit to suffering from any kind of phobia or fear, Tyree does have one. She doesn't much like space travel. Not a great fear to have when your job requires you to traverse most of the habitable planets in the galaxy, and often more than one per trip. Despite all her supposed advantages over mere human beings, the prospect of throwing herself through space by the use of gateways and fusion engines frightens her in a way no human or weapon can. There's just something about the whole process that sets her nerves on edge and has her envisaging the most terrible fate – destruction, lost in the nothingness of warp space. 

Perhaps it's the whole sense of not being in control, of handing her life over to machinery and humans that she can't handle. Whichever, it puts an already cranky on Tyree on edge, and later on even puts the man she's supposed to be protecting at risk...

Liza: Most interesting, let's find out more...

She can kill with a kiss. But can assassin Tyree also heal one man’s grief, and bring peace to a galaxy threatened by war?

For Tyree of the Su, being an assassin isn’t simply something she was trained for. It’s the sole reason for her existence. A genetically enhanced clone—one of many in Refuge—she’s about to learn her secluded lifestyle, and that of all her kind, is under threat by a race capable of neutralizing their special talents to leave them defenseless.

For Zander D’joren, being a diplomat has not only cost him his appearance, but also the love of his life. Scarred, grieving, he must nonetheless continue in his role as co-delegate to the fearsome Tier-vane or risk a conflict that could only end one way.

Now both of them need to keep each other alive and maintain a perilous deception long enough to renegotiate the treaty with the Tier-vane, or throw their people into a war that could wipe out Terrans and Inc-Su alike. But there’s more at stake than humanity, whether true or modified. Can the love growing between them save them both? Or merely hasten their destruction?

(author's note – Communion is a form of empathic sharing often used by the Su for comfort)

"I...don't want to hurt you, Zander."

"Do you think that's likely?"

"Possibly. I've never tried it. Not without it going further and with my own kind." Tyree rubbed palms, suddenly damp, on her legs. "And I meant more the emotional pain. The memories it might bring back."

He considered her for a long moment, and she thought he might retract the offer. She'd already made it clear that Communion meant something different to her, but she could probably restrain herself to his level.

He released himself from his safety harness and moved into the seat beside her. With a graceful wave of his fingers, he slowly extended his hand to her. She stared into his palm as if it was a zone too dangerous for even her to enter. "Are you sure about this?"

"Yes. I won't have you suffering on my account."

And what about on your own account?

Tyree hesitated. Neither of them had chosen to be in this situation. Why did he deliberately go out of his way to make it easy for her when it had to cost him so much?

The temptation was too much, and as the craft shivered beneath her she gripped his hand with a sudden urgency. "Tell me if it gets too overwhelming. I've never tried this with anyone but an Inc-Su."


Together they both sank back into their seats with eyes closed, hands linked. Tyree touched the shield control and tentatively opened herself to Zander.

A dull ache brushed her first, dark red. Fragments of pain in silver shards that left her gasping but were gone in an instant. Then a dark golden glow, the color of the robes he chose to wear, enveloped her. It was warm and sweet as capprey, but layered with bitterness. Like bathing in muted sunshine, or being wrapped in soft furs and held. Her breath caught as it cocooned her. The strength and focus of his aura startled her. In most humans it was a wild and ragged thing, flaring madly, easy to draw and consume. In Zander, the depth and complexity of it left her speechless. Made her ache for more. Even Inc-Su rarely had such a strong and sure aura. It spoke of his confidence and endurance. His determination. His passion.

She sank into it willingly. Liquid gold flowed into her, and she floated on it, euphoria singing in her veins.

Sudden pain slammed into her chest. The image of a woman. Her own image...and yet not hers. The way she moved, the way she spoke, was alien to Tyree, to her own perceptions of herself. This was Mirsee. Zander's memories of her, his sense of her. A twin to Tyree, her death a dagger in his heart, burning deeper than his scars. His agony at the loss of Mirsee seared into her.

She tried to twist free, to sink back into the golden glow that lay at his core. Finding a glimpse, she dove into it, and pulled the threads of it back around herself. His thoughts poured into her soul. Grief, need, passion. Desire.

Pressure built within her, a terrible aching need that possessed her. She wanted him. Needed him now!

The straps dug deep and hard into her skin as she jerked forward, and the pain of it yanked her from Communion. Zander still held her hand but gripped so tightly that her fingers had gone numb from the pressure. She looked at him. Muscles twitched in his jaw, his lips pressed hard together. His eyes were closed and his brow furrowed as if in pain, his body held rigid.

"Zander." She reached over her free hand to shake him. "Zander!"

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After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include a YA science fiction novel—Gethyon—published through BURST (Champagne Books), three self-published short stories (Terms & Conditions Apply, The Bones of the Sea, and Reboot), and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at her website, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.
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