Read JillAndTheGenestalk Online

Authors: Viola Grace

Tags: #Romance, Science Fiction

JillAndTheGenestalk

Table of Contents

Title Page

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Jill and the Genestalk

Jill watched the hairdresser in the mirror. Everyone in the room was delighted with the events taking place except the bride.

Author’s Note

About the Author

A runaway bride, a race of crippled giants and a woman whose genes can solve anything. Jill and the Genestalk.

Jill has been traded to a consortium that wants to use her empathy for business. She wants nothing to do with their plans and runs away on her wedding day.

A shuttle chase, a crash and a surprisingly soft landing begin a new phase of Jill’s life in which she offers her body to a race of giants for room and board.

T’los is the man who pulled her out of her wrecked shuttle, and he is with her every step of the way until his people no longer need her. The moment she is free of demands, he makes her an offer and she falls for his charm. Caught in his arms, it is quite the distance to fall.

The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Jill and the Genestalk

Copyright © 2013 Viola Grace

ISBN: 978-1-77111-602-2

Cover art by Martine Jardin

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

Jill and the Genestalk

A Sci-fi Fairy Tale

By

Viola Grace

Jill watched the hairdresser in the mirror. Everyone in the room was delighted with the events taking place except the bride.

Being traded like a used skimmer triggered a sense of outrage in Jill, but she couldn’t show it. She had to sit as she was brushed, dressed and coifed for her wedding. She fiddled with her necklace, waiting for the hour of calm that would enable her to make her move.

Until today, she had always considered the hour of calm a ridiculous custom, but as of this day, it was a blessing that she was going to embrace. Her private shuttle could make it to her in seven minutes, but what would happen after that was anyone’s guess.

“What do you think, Jill? You look lovely.” Her hairdresser smiled and fiddled with the loops of braids.

Jill stared at the reflection and nodded. “I do look lovely. Thank you, Cera. Your help has been most appreciated.”

Jill slipped her hand along the table and pressed a small pouch into the hand of the woman who had worked so hard to make this a special day for her. It was endearing how sincere she was about the art that she practiced.

“Thank you, Jill. It was an honour to work for your family in this matter.” Cera bowed and left Jill with her mother and her soon-to-be mother-in-law.

The gong shimmered in the distance, and Jill looked to the older women. “I believe I am entitled to my time of silence, my hour of calm.”

Her mother looked at her with calculating eyes. “We will remain.”

Jill got to her feet in her gauzy gown. “You will not. Today is the last day I am myself. It ends in one hour. I plan to grieve for my lost state alone.”

Her mother flipped her skirts, but her soon-to-be mother-in-law grabbed Jeela’s hand and hauled her out of the room.

Jill quickly pressed the code that would bring her shuttle into the courtyard. Now, it was a matter of time that was swiftly running out.

She paced, her gown fluttering around her legs. The man she was supposed to marry was nothing better than a thug, and it was probably a gambling debt that was being settled with her as the final payment. No one had explained the precise urgency to the matter, but all parties involved had no issue in rushing her to the altar without asking her opinion.

She stepped to the window and stared out in the direction of her shuttle pad. When she saw the small speck, a frisson of hope mingled with excitement in her belly. She was getting out of here, and no one was going to stop her.

Jill watched the approaching shuttle with hope rising in her. It was time to test her escape route. She went to the glass doors and tried the lock. They were locked. It was going to take more effort than she anticipated getting through, but there was a reason to test these things before the shuttle landed. When that shuttle came down, all the thugs would stream out of the ceremony centre. She had to move fast.

Her shuttle was coming in tight and low to the tree line. She had three minutes until her escape was as close as she could get it. It was time to make sure that she didn’t blow her honeymoon for one.

She paced nervously, and she lifted one of the ornamental vases as her ship cleared the trees and settled in for a landing.

It took three strikes to smash her way through the glass, but she was out in the morning air and running for her life a moment later.

Her shuttle opened at her approach, and she sealed the hatch as the security forces started to move. Jill stumbled to the cockpit and lifted off. She hauled at the controls in an effort to get away from the formal gardens before pursuit could be engaged.

A burning ache in her foot let her know that the glass had managed to slice her skin as she ran.

“Stupid. Why don’t we get married in shoes?” She hissed and shifted slightly as she pulled herself from the atmosphere and headed into parts unknown.

The moment she found a likely direction and throttled her shuttle to full power, she put it on automatic and hobbled to the back to wrap her foot.

“Stupid. Now, I have to mop blood up before I can do anything else in here.” Talking to herself was an attempt to sooth her jangled nerves. In her entire life, she had been unable to imagine a situation like this, but it had rushed up and wrapped around her without her authorization or the ability to plan for it as a possibility. Now, she was dealing with the fallout.

Limping back to the pilot’s seat, she stared out at the empty sea of stars. The nebula that would hide her trail would be reached within the hour, and hopefully, it would conceal her long enough for a safe haven to present itself.

“I have no idea where I am going.” It was all there in that one sentence. She had the shuttle to her name and nothing else. Anywhere she found, she would have to trade her tech for her safety.

All attempts to hide her jewellery in the shuttle had been thwarted by her mother and the bridal party. With the wedding going from theory to fact in four days, she had had precious little time to even think, let alone sneak around.

Her foot throbbed, and she winced. She was going to need stitches.

Jill was dozing at the helm, just minutes from the nebula cloud, when her ship was rocked to one side.

“Damn it.” She opened her scanner and wrinkled her nose at the larger ships piloted by her husband-to-be’s family.

She took it off automatic and proved why she was the best pilot on Noshon IV. Diving, rolling and engaging in sudden stops, she managed to confuse her pursuers. Jill locked out her audio systems, as she had no interest in their demands.

The nebula cloud was a welcome embrace. Her scanners showed her pursuers scattering in confusion, but the display also showed that she had taken a few hits. She had an atmospheric bleed in one of the outer tanks that was restricting her to the air she was breathing in the shuttle. One day until she was dead. She had one day to find a place to hide.

* * * *

Yono looked up from her monitor. “T’los there is a ship coming in. The trajectory is too sharp, and it isn’t responding to hails.”

T’los munched on his apple and looked over his cousin’s shoulder at the screens. “It’s dead?”

“If it isn’t now, it will be. Wait. There is a life sign on board. Really weak. Damn. No wonder.” Yono blinked and ran her hands over her keys.

T’los looked down at her. “You are deploying the catch?”

“I am. If the pilot couldn’t hear the interdict warning, then they need medical attention. That means they need to survive the landing.”

He sighed. “I will run the pickup. We will bring a med team. When will it be down?”

“Ten minutes. The outer posts have been relaying its progress. Get going. Nader field.”

“Yes, Yono.”

He smiled as he left his cousin’s station. Since her degradation, she had lived through her monitors. He winced as he thought that it might one day be his fate as well. Their species may be long lived, but with their weaknesses embedded in their very genes, it was hard for any of them to see a future for their people.

Ah well, there was an alien who needed his help now. Hopefully, they could breathe the atmosphere of Stok.

* * * *

Jill ached. The ship had cushioned her as well as it could from the impact, but the ground it had landed on had taken up the rest of the shock. They were on something springy.

She unbuckled her harness, powered down her ship and headed to the rear hatch. She blew the door and stumbled out, landing on a green webbing of thick vines that cushioned her as she caught her breath.

Dimly, she heard shouts that approached rapidly. Dark shadows inserted themselves between her and the sun, and hands lifted her onto a gurney.

She winced. “I don’t have money to pay for medical care.”

A low voice from high above her said, “Then it is a good thing we do not charge for it.”

“Where am I?” The figure was walking next to her, and she made out masculine features and not much more.

“You have had the good taste to crash on Stok. We are interdicted, so you are going to be here for quite a while.”

“I didn’t hear the warning…ohhh.” She tried to reach up to touch her forehead as she remembered that she had disconnected her audible systems.

“Are you injured somewhere else?” The low-toned man was concerned.

“No, I just remembered that I tampered with my com unit. I wasn’t able to hear anything, not that I was in any shape to pass to the next planet.”

“Well, you are conscious. That is a good sign. We were able to get a net under you just in time to ease your landing.” The man chuckled. “You can thank the Monitor for that.”

They loaded her onto a vehicle, and it took to the air.

“Monitor?”

“Yes. We monitor our skies and hope that no one falls in.” He chuckled and brushed at her forehead, pulling strands of hair away from her vision.

“Excellent practice.”

The crew she was with flew for five minutes before they unloaded the gurney with her on it and carried her inside a building that had a decidedly green tone to the walls.

They moved her from the gurney to a springy exam bed and physicians moved in on her.

Jill noted something peculiar about the folk around her, male and female. They were all tall. Extremely tall. She looked pre-pubescent next to them.

The doctors asked her about all the symptoms of her pain while they scanned her.

One of the doctors unwrapped her foot and hissed at the mess she had made of her sole. "What did this?”

“Shattered glass. I had to make a run for it through a windowpane.”

He swabbed her skin and carefully cleaned her wound.

There was something peculiar that Jill was watching. Every time someone removed tissue or blood from her, it was whisked out of the room. It was either cultural or there was something going on behind the scenes.

By the time they had treated her bumps and bruises, the room was as pristine as it had been before they started working on her.

The man who had stayed at her side since the crash site got to his feet. “I was going to walk you to the ambassadorial area, but since you have that foot injury, I will carry you.”

The head physician scowled. “She should remain here overnight. We need to run more tests.”

Jill frowned and sat up. “Why do you need to run more tests? I am fine aside from the injury to my foot.”

The doctor looked from the other man and back to Jill. “Just routine for newcomers.”

She swung her legs over the edge of the bed. “I thought you were interdicted.”

The doc smiled, “We are, which is why we have these protocols in place. You are a slight thing, aren’t you?”

“Enough, K’lin. I will take her somewhere she can rest. I will bring her back tomorrow for a check on that foot.” He smiled and lifted Jill without another word.

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