Sci-Fi Saturday is here again and One Thousand Worlds has the pleasure of introducing Wodke Hawkinson's Tangerine in One Thousand Words. Tangerine is scheduled to be free on Amazon Kindle on Sept. 30, 2013.
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Ava Majestic is a young scientist who takes a job analyzing planets for possible habitation. Pisk, her small feline-like companion, accompanies her in her space travels. She is mysteriously drawn to the beautiful orange world of Tangerine, which is on her list of assigned planets.
Ava soon finds herself pitted against an egotistical Earth billionaire, Augustus Agnotico, who believes she is in possession of an artifact with special powers. When she denies owning any such item, he hires a rogue named Needle Flourentine to follow her through space and spy on her as she performs her work duties. In Tangerine’s moon city, Needle meets Ava face to face and contrives to accompany her to the surface of Tangerine.
Once there, they encounter life forms never before seen, confront danger, and discover a treasure of immense power, a device that allows travel into the past. Ava and Needle learn they are the heirs to this fantastic tool. In the course of their time together, Needle falls for Ava and quits working for her enemy. But Agnotico will not give up. He has already gone to criminal lengths to obtain the object he desires.
Agnotico’s pursuit is relentless and his greed knows no bounds. They must find a way to prevent him from gaining possession of their legacy, even if it means his death.
From the wild reaches of space and back home again, Tangerine takes the reader into a future where long-distance space travel is commonplace, aliens are a natural part of everyday life, and human fallibility and drama still carry on.
About this author-
Wodke Hawkinson is the name under which Karen Wodke and PJ Hawkinson produce their co-authored works. In addition to Tangerine, they have published four novels: Betrayed, Betrayed, Including Alternate Ending, Zeke, and Sue. They have also released several short story singles and three short story collections: Catch Her in the
, Blue, and Alone. Rye
The visitors arrived on Earth with the objective of mingling the genes of their own advanced species with those of the inhabitants of the primitive planet. The visitors had identified three distinct hominid species on Earth that met their needs. Hearty samples of each group were obtained and secured in separate enclosures.
The subject in Vector E fought his captivity at first. He cried out and flailed against his restraints. His sloped forehead wrinkled in anguish, and incontinence darkened his hairy legs. The specimen was necessarily sedated at times, since the harvesting of semen confused and frightened him.
All specimens endured the same or similar treatment. All demonstrated the same panicked response. Females were tranquilized before the more intrusive or uncomfortable procedures. The researchers did not intend to be cruel and tried to inflict as little discomfort as possible. The scientists on the team all held a deep respect for their test subjects and were protective toward them.
Mingling their advanced alien genes with those of the pre-humans was a bold and controversial component of the aliens’ experimental outreach program. The scientific community was divided on the moral implications of this interference. Manipulation of any species, even for its own benefit, was not without its ethical concerns. However, the bright promise of success overcame principled reticence.
All of the alien researchers were driven by a pure passion for the scientific process, but some also had altruistic motives, especially Zovnia, daughter of Rheyu and Avyuyl, from the family Myhesthyc.
The subject in Vector E was awake when Zovnia arrived at his room. He followed her with eyes, wary but calm. She spoke to him gently, and he cocked his head, listening. She had extracted semen from this specimen the day before, and had found the process disturbingly erotic. A flush of shame warmed her as she recalled her response to this creature. Yet, shameful or not, here she was in the middle of the night, surreptitiously visiting her favorite subject, her attachment to him a mystery.
Zovnia pressed the button that would shorten his restraints, pulling him tight to the pallet, which she then lowered into a horizontal position. Removing her clothing, she opened the enclosure and stepped inside. Tenderly, she cleaned the animal with a wet cloth and was pleased when he did not struggle. His gaze wandered from her face to the shiny medallion dangling between her breasts.
As she ran the cloth over him, her senses were assailed by his strong animalistic scent, a scent she found arousing. Cupping his heavy genitals, she stimulated him while looking into his eyes, watching him for signs of understanding. Before she mounted him, she stroked his face tenderly. She wanted this to be an act of love, or as close to it as possible. She straddled him and took him with an abandon she had rarely experienced. He lay still at first, and then began to thrust upward within the confines of his captivity. She finished with a soft moan moments before his own release.
Zovnia held herself against the creature afterward, her arms draped across his wide shoulders and her head on his chest. At last, she crawled off him, left and secured the cubicle, and hurriedly dressed. His dark eyes followed her as she raised the pallet to standing and lengthened his restraints. With a surprising show of confidence, he strode to the wall of the enclosure and pressed his palm to the clear surface, imploring her without words. She placed her hand against his from outside the barrier, searching his eyes for a long moment before she turned and left the room.
Zovnia visited the subject in Vector E as often as feasible. She affectionately called him Vee.
Time passed. The researchers tagged and released all their specimens, the harvested males and the pregnant females, back to their original locations. They erased evidence of their visit and prepared the ship to return home.
Zovnia, with head hung, refused to leave with them. They could easily guess her shame as Vee loitered within sight of the ship, not fleeing, as had the other test subjects. Rumors had flown through the ranks, as they are wont to do. Taking the few items that were hers, Zovnia left the ship for the last time. Not one of her colleagues wished her well or even said goodbye. As the great ship speared the sky, Vee and Zovnia craned their necks upward and watched it disappear into the blue.
Zovnia’s possessions lay in a pile on the ground. She stood beside her belongings with one hand lightly clutching her necklace, and the other resting on her abdomen. She was sick with apprehension, but her feelings for Vee were stronger than her fear.
She was also pregnant.
The researchers were to track the results of their work every century, but for reasons unknown, the program was stopped and Earth forgotten for a great period of time.
As irresistible forces of nature doggedly drove the planet into the future, the original bloodlines of hominids were eventually ground out of existence, leaving behind a new species: humankind in all its various forms. Over the passing years, the alien hybrids were absorbed into Earth’s increasingly homogenized societies, their ancestry not readily apparent after a few generations.
When descendents of the original visitors returned to the planet thousands of years hence for the purposes of ambassadorship and commerce, they agreed their ancestors would have been astonished at the remarkable outcome of the ancient experiment.
The alien interference on Earth resulted in evolutionary surges in human development and a widely diverse population. From these beginnings arose a unique line of humans, possessing certain alien characteristics including superior learning abilities, ancestral memory, and in a few cases, an exceptional legacy. One of these individuals was Ava Majestic.
The lengthening shadows warned Ava of night’s quick approach as she steered her skimmer over the lazy river. She checked the sky against her timepiece, and began looking for a
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