Dot has spent nearly half her life in a private home for those who have trouble with reality. Finding out that her talent for hearing the future is actually useful, she agrees to leave her residence to find a place that she has dreamed of. A world where her talent can be put to use.
Loxin has dreamed of the woman his matchmaker told him about but finding her applying to be an Oracle on his base surprises him. No one told him the woman he was destined for could sense the future, but then, no one outside his family and the destiny painter on Yacaro had known about her.
Together, they will fulfill each other’s needs and protect a world constantly under siege…with a little help from the other Guardians.
Dot McKenna looked toward the road, her senses dulled by her morning medication.
The Farrow Home was off the beaten path and they rarely had visitors. She watched the vehicles wend their way down the gravel path and up to the main house.
She blinked and returned her focus to her painting. The stars she painted weren’t above her but they had been in her mind forever.
“Well done, Dot. You are coming along well.”
She looked at Nurse Wicker with dull eyes.
The nurse flinched. “Aren’t you sleeping, Dot?”
“I hear them. I always hear them.” She turned back to her painting and carefully put white with a touch of yellow on the edge of a star. “They scream.”
“What was it this time, Dot?” Nurse Wicker had a notepad out.
“Lightning, a fire at a community centre. They are trapped behind the stage. They were having sex and got trapped when the fire hit.”
“Good girl, Dot. I will call it in and we will watch for it.”
Dot smiled vacantly and tried to ignore the screams in her mind. It hadn’t happened yet, but her sensitivity span was recorded. Seven hundred kilometres from the point that she was standing in in a wide pool. If there was a death, disaster or panic, she heard it one day before the event.
Dot had been at Farrow Home for twelve years, since her panicked screams and constant reports to local police had become an embarrassment to her family. The McKennas had dropped her off and letters and cards at the holidays were their only contact.
She finished her work on her painting and backed away to the bench, looking at it. A strange and alien sky, always the same one. She had dozens of pictures just like this one and each of them was the same sky though a few had spaceships zipping about.
Dot heard the footsteps behind her, and she turned to see Mrs. Kettle, the administrator, and a guest with fascinatingly silver skin. The guest stepped forward and admired the painting. “It is a fine rendering of the skies above Nixos. I have seen a few of your others and they are all exceptionally accurate. How long have you had this image in your mind?”
She looked him over and could not see anything hostile or peculiar, so she answered, “Forever. Since before the screams started.”
He came over and gestured to the bench. “May I sit?”
She waved her hand and he smiled. That was when she realized he was hiding something. He was hiding teeth. His smile was very careful.
He settled next to her. “Tell me about the screams.”
She cocked her head. “Who are you?”
“Pardon my manners. Representative and Recruiter Norz of the Alliance and one of the coordinators of the Terran Volunteer program.” He inclined his head.
“I am Dorothea McKenna, resident nutcase.”
He gave her a sober look. “You are not insane, but tell me about the screams.”
“I don’t hear them during the day anymore. The drugs keep my mind numb and I only get echoes.” Dot looked into his solid black eyes and continued, “When I was fourteen, I heard screams and couldn’t find the source. I closed my eyes and I could see the busload of people trapped with water coming in. I called the police and tried to tell them but nothing had been reported. The police called my father and told him I was having hysterics. My father considered that an embarrassment, but after a day, the screaming stopped.”
Norz closed his eyes. “When did they find the bodies?”