Pursued by Death, talented Anya seeks refuge in an unlikely place.
Anya Vaedrin is a woman of extraordinary talents. A singer by trade, she has earned the nickname Angel with her voice, her white hair, and deep blue eyes—and a secret. In a time when telepaths hold positions of power and empaths are their weak discards, Anya is an explosive mix of the two talents. Able to both read emotions and cause others to feel anything she wishes, from joy to fear and pleasure to pain, Anya is a new breed that the telepaths would give anything to possess—or destroy. Pursued to the ends of human occupied space by a telepathic assassin, Anya has one last hope of safety before she must brave alien territory. Far Reach Station is known for its liberal policies towards alien species, but would they give sanctuary to one of their own when she is wanted by the Telepath Guild? Anya's prospects seem grim when she is confronted by Jason Salvatore, the surly second in command of the station. And Captain Marta Jamison makes the station a dubious refuge when it becomes clear that she has an agenda all her own.
"What a mess," Anya sighed, as she stared at the two holographic people standing on her palm unit. Except catastrophe was a better description. An all out disaster in the making. And these two people were her last slim hope of averting it.
The problem was, they didn't seem like the helpful types. The man looked like stone, and the woman had a face cold as a glacier and eyes like diamond chips. These were military holoscans, so they were bound to look stern, but Anya didn't find their unsmiling faces and hard expressions very encouraging. Searching their rigid features for even the faintest hint of compassion, she didn't lift her head when the door to the cabin slid open and Jarden floated through, graceful as always, even in zero gravity.
"Brooding again?" the dark skinned woman asked in disapproving tones.
Still not looking up from her study of their would-be rescuers, Anya snorted and said, "Can't imagine why. I'm only a fugitive running from the Telepath Guild, hunted by their crazy-ass assassin and for what? I've done nothing to them except be born with a different talent. I also managed to drag my best friends along with me on this wonderful safari, ripping them away from home and family. Why would I brood?" She was unable to stop the bitterness that seeped into her voice.
Jarden made a disgusted noise in the back of her throat and pushed off the door jam, floating to where Anya was snuggled in her sleeping cocoon against one wall. "You'll give yourself an ulcer, fool."
Anya still didn't look up until the other woman ran disruptive fingers through the holograms, making them crinkle like ripples on a pond. Irritably, she glanced up into her friend's shrewd eyes, but another voice interrupted before she could growl at her.
"And guilt is useless, especially unfounded guilt. You flail yourself to no purpose."
Anya looked up to where Rie had attached herself to the ceiling—or what would have been the ceiling in normal gravity—and had contorted into the proper form for meditating. Even now she seemed oblivious to her human companions, the blue of her scaled skin gleaming richly in the dim light and her opalescent eyes closed.
With a wry twist of her mouth, Anya answered them in as dry a tone as she could manage, "So speak Wisdom and Conscience, my two constant, unquiet companions."