I guess I should probably start telling people to expect a new recording every fortnight. I’m still working out the kinks in the recording process. So far, I’m not entirely happy with it, so it’s back to the booth to re-record chapter two. Writing deadlines have also been keeping me busy, but stay tuned next week for Chapter Two!
Sorry for the delay. Chapter one is finally here. I’m still not entirely happy with the quality of the recording, but I have some ideas to fix it. Enjoy!
I honestly thought I would be posting chapter one of the audiobook today, but alas, the chapter is not ready. I hate disappointing anybody but above all, I don’t want to disappoint myself, so, once again, no audiobook chapter for this week. I plan to re-record the chapter and edit it right away, so keep checking back. So sorry to anybody hoping to listen to the first chapter, but as I say, the audio is simply not good enough for me, which means, in my eyes, it’s not good enough for you guys.
Thanks for your patience!
It’s finally here! I admit that I’m still not 100% crazy about the audio quality, but I’m a voice over person so I am picky. Much like this whole blog, this is a way to try out the audiobook and deal with all the little kinks in the project. I hope you enjoy it. If you know anybody that likes audiobooks, tell them about it. You can expect the next chapter to be up this time next week! Also, I will hopefully work on getting a better audioplayer installed. Enjoy!
The next day, Dennethom began making the necessary plans to leave Skora. He made his excuses to Nyal, claiming that they had joined the Boentu monk order to get away from warrior life, and they needed to earn forgiveness for killing the crew of the raider ships.
When Dennethom returned from his meeting with Nyal, he found Arjuna holding Nerita in her arms. As she saw her brother approach, she handed her daughter to Yasana and requested they go out and talk privately. Dennethom noticed the grave expression on his sister’s face but said nothing until they were outside in the brisk evening air. He waited for her to speak which she did after taking several deep breaths.
“I don’t know where we plan to go next, but I need to make a stop, first.”
Dennethom tilted his head in curiosity. “Where?”
“The Gaian System.”
“You want to go to Delphin Prime?” he asked.
“Yes,” she confirmed.
“Of course,” he replied. “I don’t blame you for wanting to introduce Nerita to her father.”
Arjuna rubbed at her eye furiously and snarled in frustration. “I don’t just want to introduce them.”
“I want him to raise Nerita,” she replied. Realising that what she had said was still confusing to Dennethom, she elaborated. “I want Nerita to live on Delphin Prime with her father.”
Dennethom was unsure how to respond. “Why?”
“Because this is no life for a child.”
“Because of the raiders?” he asked, incredulously. “We fought off the attack from the raiders.”
Arjuna threw up her hands in frustration and started to walk away but Dennethom stopped her.
“Explain it to me, Arjuna.”
“I want to send her away because of all of it. The raiders, Lossepharr, the living on-board ships for moons-”
“It won’t be moons. We’ll find another small outpost like this!” Dennethom interrupted.
“The running and hiding!”
Dennethom didn’t know what to say. “Arjuna, what about Arkaya? Arkaya’s going through the same things as Nerita. I would never put him in danger. And Arro’s about to have a child, too. We all understand your frustration.”
Arjuna shook her brother away. “Yes. But you don’t have a choice. I do. Nerita could be safe. Nobody knows about Markenn. Nobody’s looking for him. He could protect Nerita. I would know she was safe with him. I….” her voice faltered and for a moment Dennethom thought his sister would break down in tears. “I wouldn’t have that knowledge if she stayed with us.”
Dennethom encircled his sister in his arms, a gesture that was most unusual for him. He was always used to Arjuna being the tough one. He held her for several minutes before saying, “I’ll tell Jora to plot a course for Delphin Prime,” he promised.
I honestly hoped to have the audio for the prologue up today, but when I sat down to do the mastering this afternoon, I decided it was not up to snuff. Sorry, I’m a perfectionist folks. I’ve recorded this prologue twice now, and I’m hoping third time will be the charm. I’ve done a lot of tweaking in the booth because frankly the sound was a little muddy and there’s a lot of noticeable noises that I could hear, even when listening at a normal (non-editing) volume.
So no prologue this week. Will there be a prologue up next week? I’m not making any promises because I honestly had hoped to have something this time. But I will do my best.
In the meantime, please keep watching this space. Better yet, subscribe to the set site and I will let you know when the first part of the new audiobook is available.
So this is it folks. The first book in the Shatterer of Worlds series is done. It has been a blast. And it has been overwhelming. Quite honestly, I haven’t picked up as many readers as I had hoped. My fault. It’s hard to publicize, when you’re busy writing all the time. I’m not sure how much I got right with this story, but it has certainly been an adventure.
So what happens now? Well, I am taking a break. I won’t be returning until October. During that time, I hope to get Shatterer of Worlds ready for actual publication. I also hope to finish work on book two. What happens in book two, you ask? Is Arjuna reunited with Nerita? Will Dennethom claim the title of Boentu Leader? I’m not telling!
So does that mean there’s nothing more to see at this website? Gosh, no. For one thing, I am busy recording an audiobook for Shatterer of Worlds. The plan is to have this up weekly on this website, and also make it available at other sites. Stay tuned. I hope to have the first post up next week. In the meantime, all I ask is that you keep checking the site, tell your friends about it, and let me know what you think about the story so far.
That night the township celebrated. The siblings had never been to any town events, deeming it safer to keep to themselves. But after what happened, they could hardly say no.
Arronanto watched the towns people drink and dance and laugh. Normally, after a battle like this, he would join in. He would want to embrace life again. But not today. During a lull in the celebrations he took Drapaudi out to get some air.
She gazed up at the deep, black sky studded with millions of stars, and sighed, leaning her head against his shoulder. “I actually thought this place might be home for us,” she whispered mournfully.
Arronanto held his wife close to him. She shivered in the cool breeze. “It was home,” he replied. “For a time.”
For a while they just sat there enjoying the cool breeze and fresh air. Finally, Drapaudi spoke again. “How soon does Dennethom wish to leave?”
“As soon as Xien’s repaired the Aluen’s shields,” Arronanto replied.
Drapaudi turned to her husband. “Must it be so soon?”
Arronanto nodded his head. “It’ll only be a few weeks before word of this victory spreads around the galaxy. If we’re lucky, it will be a moon after that when Lossepharr hears about everything that happened here and decides to investigate. By that time, we need to be far away.”
“Wouldn’t it look more suspicious if we fled?”
Arronanto lifted his wife’s chin with a finger and looked into her eyes. “We can’t stay here Drapaudi.”
Drapaudi’s downcast brown eyes met his own yellow ones and she sighed. “I know.”
The remaining six raider crafts gave chase. Doggedly they pursued the giant, not quite as manoeuvrable Aluen, forgetting all about the five escort ships. This gave Arronanto the opportunity he needed. He and his escort ships swarmed the nearest raider craft, quickly knocking out shields. Arronanto managed to hit the raider craft’s tail before having to swoop away as the raiders began baring down on the annoying gnats that were the escort ships.
Arjuna tried to get a hit on the damaged raider craft to finish it off but the craft just barely got away before she was forced to turn her attention back to the other five raiders. Luckily, Dennethom, who had been watching the battle intently from the control room was able to use the grid to swiftly destroy the burning ship hurtling towards the ground.
It seemed dishonourable not taking them as prisoners, but the raiders worried him. They were not warriors. They didn’t have a code. And they wouldn’t give up without a fight. Drawing the combat to the ground would be a very bad idea. As he watched the defence grid take out a second raider in a giant fireball, he knew this was the right thing to do.
Up in the air, Arronanto whooped as his escort ships took out two more raiders. The Aluen had destroyed a second raider ship that refused to quit. Arjuna fired off more volt cannons which quickly knocked out the last raider’s shields. The ship had nowhere else to go. The rest of its group had already been destroyed. Arjuna tapped her comms. “Attention raider craft. There’s no one left to help you. Surrender immediately, land your craft and we will let you live.”
The raider craft responded by firing another volley that did little against the Aluen’s impressive shields.
Dennethom could almost feel his sister’s hesitation. There was no honour in executing the conquered. But raiders didn’t have honour. They wouldn’t surrender easily. “Do it,” he whispered into Arjuna’s headset aboard the Aluen. Arjuna agreed.
With a press of a button the raider ship exploded in a giant smoke plume that for a few seconds made it impossible for Arjuna to see anything. Finally, as the smoke subsided and the wreckage fell to the ground, thankfully, well away from the township, she gave the order to Jora to land the Aluen.
“Power up the engines, Jora. We have contact,” Arjuna said as she sat down in the co-pilot seat.
She could suddenly feel a flood of adrenaline run through her, and something different, something feral, a need to protect her child from the evil ravaging raiders that would scorch this planet if they got the chance.
On his small escort craft, Arronanto found himself having similar feelings as he lifted off. He thought of Drapaudi and his mother, sitting at home with his niece and nephew and his unborn child. No, he would make certain the raiders failed.
First contact with the raiders occurred 50 kilometres north of the township. Four escort ships greeted the raiders, their volt cannon ports open. Dennethom had wanted to save the escort ships as a second line of defence, however Arronanto suggested they wait to reveal the Aluen. Let the raiders think they were only dealing with a few colony ships and use up precious fuel and ammunition.
It was a game of tag and the raider ships were “it”. The escort ships took carefully aimed pot shots before darting away. The smaller crafts whizzed between the larger, though equally agile, raider ships. Arronanto had been a little worried about the piloting skills of the local escort pilots, but seeing them in action he knew he needn’t have worried.
“We’ve warmed them up. Now they’re all yours,” Arronanto said into his comms link.
With that he pulled away, and the other escort ships followed him. Silently, almost invisible, the Aluen appeared. With a powerful, thundering boom, the Boentu ship fired its heavy volt cannons at one of the raiders knocking out the ship’s shields in one blow.
The startled raider ships turned to swarm on the Aluen, but Arjuna wasn’t worried. The Aluen swooped up and out of reach of the raider crafts just as she fired a volt cluster, destroying an already damaged raider ship.
“One down,” she murmured and ordered Jora to pull back out of the fray.