Wind-Scarred (The Will of the Elements, Book 1),
The Will of the Elements
A Novel by Sky Luke Corbelli
Copyright © 2011 by Sky Luke Corbelli
Wind-Scarred (The Will of the Elements, Book 1)
Copyright © 2011 by Sky Luke Corbelli (www.skylukecorbelli.blogspot.com)
Cover design by Michelle Corbelli (www.mcorbelli.wordpress.com)
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be sold or given away without the author's consent. Thank you for respecting the hard work that went into the making of this story.
This is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and happenings herein are the products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales, or organizations is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the author.
To my beautiful wife, without whom this never would have left my head.
Secrets and Secretaries
Please Step Outside
Surprises and Sheep
Trouble with Tasers
Irritation, Interrogation, and the Truth
Visions of the Past
A Brief History of Everything
Good Times with the Guild
First Dates and Other Elusive Creatures
The Gang's All Here
The Apples of Arborlen
Lets Get Dangerous
Celebrate Good Times, Come On
Circles Within Circles
At Least It's Not Raining
Demons in the Dark
Whatever the Storm Blows In
Forbidden and Flowing
Dark and Stormy Night
The Calm Before
Pleading the Case
Working Hard and Hardly Working
A Daring Escape
Always Look On the Bright Side
Proof of Concept
So Sharp You'll Cut Yourself
It Burns Us, Precious
Flame On the Horizon
Welcome to Helena
Ear to the Ground
In the Beginning
You Are Not Prepared
Static On the Wind
There's No Lair Like Home
From a Clear Blue Sky
Was It Good for You Too
Imagine Meeting You Here
Heroic Last Stands
For a Job Well Done
The Big Man Himself
The Road Goes Ever On
It's so beautiful. Ezra stared out the viewport window, looking down at the Earth. Clouds swirled through the atmosphere with a stately beauty, the blue and green of the planet spread out beneath them.
He shook his head in wonder, glancing around at the other passengers aboard the Millennial Legacy. His parents sat with a few of the other science Legacy families, chatting. How anyone could ignore the view was beyond him. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity!
He turned back to the window, pressing his face up against the transparent super solid, trying to catch a glimpse of Sanctuary far below them. Flickering flames from the engines danced into view. Ezra frowned, staring. If he looked at it just right, he could almost imagine that the fire actually was dancing. There! That... that looks like a woman, a woman in the fire...
Something glimmered off in the distance. Ezra glanced up, and his jaw dropped. Highlighted against the backdrop of space, just a few klicks away from their shuttle, the space elevator cable was glowing. What might have been lightning was coiled around it, slithering up behind them like some kind of gleaming serpent. As he watched, it caught up to the ship and bunched into a writhing mass of energy.
"Mom? Dad?" Ezra took a step back, eyes fixed on the orb of power. It felt like it was watching them, somehow... waiting...
The ship shuddered. The lights in the cabin flickered. The lightning struck.
Ezra yelled, stumbling back as the beam of energy reached mindlessly for the ship. The window flashed white... and a wall of fire blocked Ezra's view.
He jumped forward, eyes searching. It looked like the flames from the engine had leapt up, catching the bolt of lightning, holding it back. But... that was impossible. It didn't make any sense. Fire... fire couldn't move like that.
He turned to see his father holding out a hand for him. He took a running step toward his family, casting one last look back at the battling elements.
And the lightning broke free.
With a bone-shaking thump, the fuel compartment went up, ripping the hull apart. Metal shrieked in agonized protest. Ezra was tossed to the floor like a toy. Everything spun as he squeezed his eyes shut.
“Mom!” he yelled, but hardly made a sound. He tried to suck in a deeper breath, to call out again... but there was no air.
Because you're in space, he realized. Probably only being kept alive by the dispersing atmosphere of the cabin. His eyes flew open. He saw the Earth below him, through the wreckage of the shuttle. His body rotated, spinning freely, and the orbital station came into view, sitting serenely atop the space elevator, only a few klicks away. The docking port was just beginning to extend toward what was left of the ship. He continued to spin past. His lungs burned, his vision tunne
And something moved.
From the guttering fires of the devastated ship, an angel spread her wings. Her skin was like velvety smoke, her hair the deep red of a burning coal. She smiled, reaching out toward Ezra.
I wonder if everyone sees something like this when they die, he wondered as slender arms wrapped around his neck and back, pulling him to her warm embrace, sheltering him beneath wings of light and heat. Her mouth moved, but no sound came out. He returned her smile, letting his eyes close, surrendering to the inevitable.
Suddenly her mouth was pressed to his, breathing life into him. His lungs expanded with air and his eyes fluttered open. He caught one last glimpse of the angel falling away, tied to the still-burning corpse of the ship, a look of divine peace on her face, her arms spread as if releasing him...
Ezra Hawkins woke with a start. Outside, the sun was just beginning to dip below the Barrier Mountains that surrounded Sanctuary. “That's what you get for falling asleep while watching the sunset,” he mumbled savagely to himself.
He leaned back in his chair, yawning as he stretched his lean frame. He ran a hand absently through his curly, dark brown hair. His eyes wandered over the virtual console in front of him, lighting as he went over the results of his most recent simulation. Every test passed, all well within his margin of error.
A fierce smile spread across Ezra's face. He uploaded his flight trajectory into the test glider, locking in the last piece of his brilliant plan. Everything was set, and no bad dream or remembered terror was going to spoil it for him.
Tonight, he was going to see the world.