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All the back-story scenes I cut from Storm of Arranon. They're still good so I thought I'd share!
Just a little reminder. In this version, Erynn is already a pilot with a rank of Captain. She is on a combat-training flight with her squadron and is about to have her first encounter with the Anim Blath.
Passing out right now would not be good. The prospect could only be disastrous at this speed fifteen hundred meters above the ground. She needed to maintain her distance from cavern walls, the five other Interceptor fighters occupying this air space, and the ground.
Pinpoints of bright purple, green, and blue flashing lights swarmed at the edge of Captain Erynn Yager’s vision. A high-pitched tinkling like breaking glass accompanied the light show threatening to engulf her view beyond the helmet’s tinted visor. Her pulse jumped. The breath she tried to pull into her lungs caught in her constricted throat.
Is this what it’s like to lose consciousness? Definitely not good.
She reached down to the left side of her seat and flipped a switch increasing the oxygen mix coming through her mask.
The discordant chimes receded along with the roar of the Interceptor’s powerful twin engines. A deep silence enveloped her. The sparkling points of colored light faded. Outside the canopy of her Interceptor fighter the scene blurred. Shapes and colors melted and bled together forming an amorphous backdrop.
Panic clawed at Erynn’s mind demanding entrance. Her pounding heart slammed against her ribs. The indistinguishable view sharpened into a garish clarity. But the scene no longer showed what it had a quick heartbeat before.
The airfield below her wavered in a heat mirage as hungry orange flames leapt from burning buildings. Explosions followed. Immense gaseous spheres of brilliant orange rose through thick black smoke. Alien ships attacked, filling the sky with white-hot laser blasts.
Chaos and destruction hit Erynn like a solid punch to the gut. She clutched the fighter’s controls to steady her shaking hands.
It’s not real. It’s not real. It. Is. Not. Real.
A loud pop echoed in the cockpit. Erynn squeezed her eyes shut then opened them. The vision of devastation vanished along with the alien aircraft. The familiar roar of her fighter returned. She reminded herself to breathe and inhaled, forcing needed air through resistant muscles. A sweet spicy aroma blended with the cool sterile scent of oxygen pumping into the mask that covered her nose and mouth. Erynn frowned.
A sweet spicy scent? Olfactory visions? That never happened before.
Erynn worked to slow her respirations and calm her sprinting heart. “That was a strong one.” Chilled fingers walked up the bone latticework of her spine.
Recent images of destruction were occurring with greater frequency and increased strength. These unsettling events were difficult to dismiss let alone ignore. Unlike her premonitions, the insights that gave Erynn the edge to excel, these visions scared the daheln out of her.
Is this the future or nothing more than an overactive imagination?
Erynn shook her head to dispel the notion of premonition.
Imagination. Nothing will happen. It’s impossible.
She was in her fighter on an air combat exercise. Erynn pushed her unease aside along with the unpleasant images. This wasn’t the time to examine a . . . Prophecy?
No. Not a prophecy. But if not a forewarning—
“What the . . .!” Erynn barked. Distracted, she sensed energy rushing forward too close to evade now.
The bolt hit the right rear section of her Interceptor knocking the fighter to the left. The wing dropped. The body of the aircraft shuddered.
Her helmet bounced off the clear canopy. She winced at the sharp stab of pain that flashed across the side of her head.
Get it together.
“This is all I need,” she whispered. Her father would question her lapse in concentration. He would want to know why she allowed her guard to drop.
Erynn didn’t want to tell him about the visions, the gaps in reality. There would be . . . consequences.
R E Sheahan
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