Sarah has been a master of the service industry most of her life. When she wakes on Imrahl, she is assigned to a position in a teashop with extra privileges as a courier. Six months of steady events go by, and then, her best friend and boss has a moment of evolution and lashes out.
Sarah wakes in the med centre and the minor empathy that had aided her all her life is now full-blow telepathy, and her mind is in danger.
Lekorh the Saya-Rrassic is the telepath of the colony, and he takes her under his care and, eventually, into his bed. She should have seen him coming, but she is a telepath, not a psychic.
Sarah yawned as she got out of her car and locked the door. The bakery’s roof vent was already belching steam, but that was how it should be. The baker had been at his work for two hours.
Sarah fiddled with her keys as she crossed the lot, looking for the key to the front door. She had to open up in five minutes.
She could feel someone nearby, but there was always someone in a car waiting for the bakery to open so they could get the first donut of the day. When she felt the surge of their presence, she tried to turn, but there was a hiss, and her neck felt a cool pressure. She didn’t see anyone, and then, everything went black.
She was breathing, but there wasn’t air. She could feel people near her, but it was like they were all asleep and neatly arranged. There were other folk nearby, but she couldn’t get a grip on how they thought. They were pillars of self-control moving through the ranks of sleeping people.
She closed her eyes, and when she woke up again, the feeling of a few days passing was evident. The minds of the other humans were changing. They were being taken out of their confinement, and something was being added to them. Their minds, their auras were changing while her mind watched.
Sarah had never thought about how she sensed things before, but she had plenty of time to consider it. Normally, her senses were linked to body language as well as the person’s general energy vibe. But wherever she was now, she didn’t even need her eyes to see. She was sensing from inside a fluid suspension and waiting for one of the humans she was watching to experience something unpleasant.
She listened with her mind and only found that the minds were being given something extra. To her surprise, she was listening to the others so intently that when she was grabbed, she flailed a little.
They fished her out, and mild sedation was applied. Her limbs went floppy. She was turned to one side and her lungs and stomach emptied of fluid rather violently. When she was breathing normally, she was laid back on the gurney for the next procedure.
Careful fingers opened her eyes, and the sudden influx of light blinded her. Information began to stream in through the lenses, and now, she understood what the others had received. They were getting an alien language and the rudiments of society.
She felt hands drying her, and then, they dressed her flopping and useless limbs. They obviously had practice as even her bra was smoothed into place with the ease of practice. When she was completely covered by what she could tell was her uniform, they wheeled her into the room where the other humans were being prepped, and her headset was still in place.
Information was streaming through the unit, and she kept herself open to anything it wanted to tell her. The language she was receiving was Rrassic common. It was the language given to all the species that the Rrassic abducted. She was there to help in their war effort.
Sarah didn’t know what kind of help she would be. She was content to sell muffins for a living. She sighed and kept still as the language nuances continued to fill into her thoughts.
The minds around her fell into the rhythms of sleep, and the efficient alien minds started to move through the rows of sleeping humans. Hands carefully removed the lens unit on her, and she didn’t know how to pretend she was asleep. She blinked rapidly, and a man in pale grey smiled down at her. His face was vaguely feline, and his skin was a soft dove grey.
He inclined his head and murmured, “Welcome to Imrahl, little one.”
She didn’t know why he called her little until she saw the headset in his hands. Oh. That’s why. He was larger than she was by close to two feet in height, and she had no idea how much wider at the shoulders he was.
She rolled the words in her mouth and whispered in Rrassic common. “Thank you?”
He grinned and stroked her cheek. “Get some rest, lass. You will need it.”
She closed her eyes and tried to calm her mind. Sarah breathed evenly of the air with unfamiliar scents and let herself drift off. At least she wasn’t alone.