Excerpt: The Alien Mind by V.L. Jennings
Title: The Alien Mind
Author: V.L. Jennings
About the book:
When a group of aliens called the Aruk abduct Young Rivinaig and several other children, they are thrown into the adventure of a lifetime.
The Aunantet, a benevolent race of aliens, rescue the children and adopt them into their culture and raised them as if they belong.
The children's new families teach them how to harness the full capacity of their minds,enabling them to defy the laws of physics and develop special mental abilities.
The past returns to haunt them as the Aruk plot revenge and regain control of their former captives. The fate of the entire galaxy depends on whether the children can maintain their freedom.
Dan and Rivi's cube fell through the Aun sky and tumbled down onto one of Aun's main city roads. Dan pressed his head to the back of the seat, and reached out with his mind to hold Rivi still against her bench. He held his breath as they flipped over and over before coming to a sudden stop as, outside, groups of the city’s Aunantet citizens gathered around the cube and halted it without touching it. Dan got out of his chair and unbuckled the straps holding Rivi. He levitated her off the bench and through the cube wall. Paying no attention to the crowd, he lowered her to the ground and shrank the cube, sending it back into the sphere on her necklace.
Dan sat down beside Rivi, trying to wake her up, concern building on his face. A few Aunantet approached and circled Dan and Rivi chattering anxiously towards Dan while they checked Rivi over.
“I don’t know what you are saying!” Dan exclaimed. “Please, she needs help!”
One of the Aunantet ran forward from the farthest street corner.
“What happened?” the Aunantet asked Dan.
Finally, someone he could understand.
“It was the Aruk!” Dan explained, flustered. “They held us captive. I think they gave her a computer virus before we escaped.”
The Aunantet's face faded from its normal purple to a light pink.
“She's a comp amalgamator, then. That's not good. What is her name?”
“Rivi … Rivinaig,” Dan replied, quavering, looking worriedly at Rivi and sensing this Aunantet was concerned.
“Her guardian father is Ankh, then?”
“Yes, she's told me a bit about him,” Dan replied.
“Does anyone know where I can find Ankh?” the Aunantet asked the crowd of other concerned Aunantet that had started to gather in the street around them.
Another Aunantet pushed his way through the crowd toward Dan and Rivi.
“I'm heading to him now. I can take them.”
Dan levitated Rivi once more and headed over to the Aunantet who spoke.
“Here, let me take her,” the Aunantet said as Daniel approached. “You look like you've been through a lot today.”
Dan looked at the Aunantet a bit warily.
“It’s all right. Rivi knows me. You may have even seen me around. I was one of the technicians at the Human Complex. I worked in the communications section. My name's Orlon.”
“My name's Daniel,” Dan said, as he lowered Rivi into Orlon's three arms. “I'm not one of the 150 children. This is my first time here on Aun. It’s my first time being out of Earth's solar system, as a matter of fact.”
Orlon said nothing as he led Dan and carried Rivi down the road, away from the dwindling crowd.
“I heard what you said about the Aruk. You and Rivinaig were captured by them?” Orlon finally asked as they rounded a corner.
“Yes,” Dan replied quietly.
“For how long?”
“I don't know, what's today's date?” Dan asked.
“Earth time?” Orlon asked.
Daniel nodded, and Orlon closed his eyes and consulted his personal computer.
“Saturday, February 15, earth time,” Orlon answered, looking at Dan.
“We've been with the Aruk for four weeks then,” Dan said quietly. “It seemed like much, much longer than that.”
“We've been looking for the children’s ships for about that long,” Orlon answered as he turned down another road and led Dan over to a pink, sand-coated building with curved walls and no doors. There were windows, however, leading Dan to believe that the building was only one story tall.
“What happened?” Dan asked, as he walked through the wall and waited as Orlon stepped through, carrying Rivi.
“One of the children's ships was destroyed. The children were supposed to stay together, but the Aruk were following them too closely. They decided to split up to make it harder for the Aruk to catch them,” Orlon answered. “It is too dangerous for them to be wandering out there alone. We are trying to find them so we can get them to a safer area.”
He motioned off to the side again where they walked through another wall. Pictures and maps lined the walls of the room. Another Aunantet sat in a beanbag chair in the middle of the room, looking at a computer screen that sat in his lap.
“Hey, Ankh, I thought you might like some company,” Orlon said.
“Not right now, Orlon. I've been trying to scan through reports from other planets on the comings and goings of visitors. However, it is slow work. Ugh, Rivi could do this much faster. Perhaps I should try to contact her on Earth,” Ankh said with a sigh.
“No need, sir. She's here, but I don't think she can help right now,” Dan replied, speaking up.
Ankh turned his head and blinked his eyes a few times.
“Do I know you, son?”
“No, sir. I'm a friend of Rivi's from Earth,” Dan replied.
Ankh suddenly realized Orlon was carrying Rivi. He dropped the blue, glowing screen he was looking at, and it clattered to the floor, unnoticed, as he jumped from his chair. His form flickered from his sudden movement as he rushed to Orlon's side.
“What happened?” Ankh asked, as he led Orlon over to a cot that was across the room.
Orlon laid Rivi down onto the cot gently.
“Three words: Aruk, computer, and virus.” Orlon said.
“Seeing the Aruk again couldn't have gone over well with Rivi,” Ankh said.
“They were with them for a month in earth time. On top of that, it looks as though they've given her a computer virus that is more interested in her than her computer,” Orlon answered. “I don't even think I would have tried fighting that one, especially if it's knocked out Rivinaig.”
“Someone's got to do something!” Dan replied from across the room.
Dan was unsure as to what he was supposed to do. Part of him wanted to run for help. The other part of him believed he needed to be here. He shifted from one foot to the other, anxiously watching Rivi.
“I'm afraid we can't, Daniel, which is why I brought her here instead of straight to a healer,” Orlon replied. “Computer viruses are usually pretty harmless to a living being, except when it has been programmed to attack an amalgamator's mind. The last time I saw this type of virus, the healers who tried to help the comp amalgamator died along with the amalgamator. Unless the developer of the virus gives her the anti-virus, Rivi could end up dead or worse.”
“You see, son, a healer normally heals the body. Occasionally, they can help with healing a person's mind, if the person is willing. But in the case of a computer virus, it is impossible. A healer's abilities are incompatible with trying to defeat a computer virus, and the virus will often attack them in return, which would end up being fatal, as a healer has no way to defend himself.” Orlon explained.
“While all of this is going on, the healer would be witness to all of the amalgamator's memories. If the amalgamator doesn't trust the healer, or tries to block the healer in any way, it would, again, be fatal for both of them. A computer virus is not like a normal cold virus. In a comp amalgamator, it is much worse. It drains them of their strength and eats away at their mind and their will to live.”
“Rivi … probably won't last the night.” Ankh said sadly, choking on his words.
Dan bit his bottom lip and looked at Rivi. Rivi twitched and shivered on the cot, then suddenly, she sat bolt upright. She grimaced and held her head in her arms. She shook all over and, though she did not make a sound, it was apparent she was in pain.
“It'll only get worse,” Orlon said sadly, reaching out and putting a hand on Ankh's shoulder.
Ankh's expression deepened with sadness, and his form slowed its flickering as he came out of the future timeline. The future wasn't looking good. He didn't want to see how this would turn out.
“Not if I can help it!” Dan replied with determination, striding across the room and sitting beside Rivi.
Ankh reached out toward Dan.
“There's nothing you can do, son.”
Dan wasn't hearing it. He gently took Rivi's hands from her head and placed them in her lap. Rivi relaxed slightly, and Ankh and Orlon watched in shock as Dan placed his right hand to her temple. He went rigid and then closed his eyes.
About the author:
When V.L. Jennings isn't traveling to other worlds through her imagination, she calls Dillon, South Carolina her home. Virginia is the author of "The Alien Mind," a science fiction novel published by PDMI Publishing, LLC. Her second title, "Visionary From The Stars" is expected to be re-released through PDMI as well, in 2016. She has also illustrated a children's book for PDMI, titled "Wiggle Worm's Shape Adventures," written by Karen and Kathy Sills. Lately, Virginia spends her time writing flash fiction on her blog and working towards her Associates Degree in Electronics Engineering.
You can find out more about Virginia and catch up on reading her short stories at: virginialorijennings.com
Purchasing link: http://amzn.to/2cFEQTX