Chapter 1: The Gate ~ Conduit

Chapter 1

She thought she’d be safe there in the alley. It was secluded and supposed to be quiet that night back by the dumpsters. But even though it was away from the hustle of daily life, it was still not quiet enough. The cacophony of Terran life in the high rises around her was still impossibly deafening. And even at that late hour, the constant traffic on the street where the alley ended was jarring. She sorely longed for the forest, where life seemed to take a more subdued and peaceful character.

However, it wasn’t the ubiquitous and clamorous Terran life that so rudely impressed itself on her delicate senses that she was most concerned about.

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Chapter 2: The Gate ~ Conduit

Chapter 2

“You’re going back in too soon! The Conduit is getting feedback.”

Karan’za ignored the warning and lay down on the mat. She looked up at the living ceiling and took in a deep breath. As she mentally prepared to enter the mind of an unwitting Terran, she traced the tight weave of the branches overhead with her eyes.

“You’re suffering, too. You need more rest.”

She took another deep, meditative breath, paying close attention to how it felt. She allowed the little sounds of the forest to filter in, and embraced the reality around her. For the time that she was under, she wouldn’t be herself.

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Chapter 3: The Gate ~ Conduit

Chapter 3

Bill looked at his security monitors one last time before laying back in bed. Not a blip. But then, there never has been a blip. Sighing, he looked with envy at his wife who was snoring gently next to him. She was a master infiltrator heading up a large team for the Order. And yet she had no problem getting a full night’s sleep. Sometimes he felt she was the better and should be his commander instead.

It was quiet that evening. His mysterious visitor had not arrived yet. Thoughts of the nightly torment started fading as he started relaxing towards the inevitable oblivion of slumber.

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