How to get along in the SkyRyders. Be male and don’t fly better than your captain. Have your family send their best sweets in your monthly care package so you can give them to your captain. Accept your position as Dog for the first year of training.
If you are female, expect to be abused, tormented, and diminished, because as far as the captain is concerned, females are only good for one thing. And if you refuse to play, prepare to die.
So what’s going to happen to Alisha when she flies with skills far beyond her captain’s and knows him to be the one who murdered her friend?
By Liza O’Connor
Meet Alisha: A young woman who refuses to live the life her parents want.
In a single month, Alisha Kane has gone from a wealthy debutante to street girl to scavenger. While testing her new flying skills in the Cully Canyon, Alisha incurs a near-death crash landing. She’s “rescued” by a colonel of the SkyRyders and her life changes forever.
Meet Logan: A SkyRyder colonel in charge of a sleepy fort with little to do other than arrest the occasional scavenger.
For the first time in his life, Logan’s attracted to a young woman, only she’s probably a scavenger and he’ll have to arrest her. But first he offers her a shower and food while he checks on his crew. His videographer has captured her extraordinary flight through the Cully and her flying is astounding!
He forgoes arresting her and puts his career at risk by asking MAC to assess her skills and integrity as a potential SkyRyder. If he can get Alisha into the SkyRyders, it will be his greatest contribution to the Corps.
Meet MAC: The Artifical Intelligence that runs the SkyRyders Corps.
Upon seeing her arrival, MAC upgrades Alisha’s test. Her flying skills are not just excellent; they exceed what was previously thought possible. MAC classifies her as its top asset and soon she proves her value.
But…the SkyRyders remain a male dominated Corps where Alisha’s sense of right and wrong often clashes with her superiors. How long can a rebellious young woman survive in a regimented Corps?
After her third stall-out and dunking on the ridge, Alisha attempted to out-climb him, but Washington and Ollie were behind her, diverting a major portion of her wind. All she did was increase the distance of her fall when she stalled. Thank God the suit she wore was three sizes too large, for it helped her to slow the descent and direct her fall into an overhanging tree so the wind-catcher caught in its limbs, preventing her from smashing down onto pointy granite rocks at high speed.
When the tree limbs broke from the force of impact, she still fell and hurt her knee in the tumble, but at least she lived.
She had hoped DC would be satisfied with the results of the day. She’d been thoroughly beaten, humiliated, and humbled. While severe, her injury would not cause him censure. His punishment had been perfectly planned and executed.
To her shock, he commanded her to get up and take another run. Alisha realized something had broken in his twisted mind. It wasn’t his intent to punish her. He planned to kill her.
Thus, Alisha saw no alternative but to fly into the wind farm. Using a standard catcher, death was a probability, but if she didn’t escape DC and his obedient squad, she now realized death was a certainty. If his intent had been anything but murder, he would have stopped after the last crash.
How she managed to turn and steer her clumsy catcher into the farm, she didn’t know. Feigning left, she pulled the catcher hard right, aiming between two rows of invisible blades. The greatest danger was that the wind would blow her catcher into a blade. There would be no recovery. Within seconds of first contact, the blades would reel her in and chop her body into a thousand pieces.
Without question she’d be safer if she just collapsed her catcher and hit the ground, but if she landed too close to the border of the farm, DC could hunt her down on foot. With her leg busted up, she’d be the slowest rabbit he’d ever bagged.
Alisha held the catcher steady against the west wind until she estimated she was a mile into the farm. She released her harness at the exact same time she collapsed her catcher. She hoped it would fall safely to the ground and not wrap up in a wind generator, but if it did, she sure as hell didn’t want to follow it up.
She hit the ground favoring her strong leg, but it didn’t matter. The pain was so intense that she rolled into a ball, trying desperately not to black out.
“Get up,” she warned herself. “Hide the catcher and get away from here.”
Somehow Alisha forced herself to move farther into the farm. She didn’t worry about leaving prints in the sand. The wind blew so hard any footprints disappeared in seconds.
After walking over half a mile east into the farm, she noticed blood dripping from her knee. She unzipped her suit and pulled off her shirt, wrapping it tightly around the open wound. The pressure hurt like hell, but she had to stop the bleeding. While the sand covered the drops of blood in seconds, the tracking gear DC had could still follow it.
Realizing they had to be close behind, she altered her direction and headed south.
A sense of danger made her turn around. When she did, she saw the laser bead on her shoulder. She weaved through the windmill posts, hoping the metal would confuse the bullet as it attempted to follow the path to its target. When she heard the bullet ricochet on metal, she stopped for a moment and re-assessed the situation.
The SkyRyder’s Series, Book 1
About the Author
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.