Excerpt from 'Beloved Enemy'
Beloved Enemy - Volume 3 of 'the Destiny Trilogy'
Released 11th March 2016
BARNES & NOBLE and other on-line retailers
Carefully slicing open the tunic, she checked the wound in his chest. Deep and jagged, it seemed to be only a flesh wound and probably nothing vital was damaged, although it still bled profusely. She ran the instrument over the injury, amazed to see the blood clot, and a rapid regrowth of new skin form over it. In a few seconds, it healed almost completely. His shoulder had also sustained severe lacerations in addition to the vivid purple bruises forming on the skin. She repeated the operation with the device. The bruises faded and the torn flesh knitted together barely leaving a scar.
She replaced the knife in her belt, and in a deft movement pulled her hair back and knotted the scarf around it once more. "Impressive. How d'you feel?"
"It seems I will survive," he said in the slow, precise tones that made his voice so distinctive. "Thank you," he added, almost as an afterthought. He reached for the bio-regenerator and stashed it back in his pocket. His face gained some colour, and a minute or two later, he was unrecognizable from the man she'd found wounded and bleeding a short while ago.
"What is that, anyway - what did you call it? A bio-regenerator?"
"Exactly. It does, as you see, precisely what you would expect, including destroying any toxins or bacteria present in the wound."
She inclined her head as she considered his words. "It's not Terran." She meant it as an observation rather than a question.
"The technology was given to us by a race called the Phidians."
"I've heard of them. Their advances in medicine are well known." She looked up at the heavens.
"About time we got away from here. Night isn't too far off by the look of that sky." The light faded perceptibly while they spoke and the air took on a noticeable chill after the earlier oppressive heat.
"What about our friends?" He turned his head and looked in the direction of the rocks where the assailants of a few minutes before let loose the last salvo of blaster fire.
She put the tri-dee-viewer to her eyes again and scanned the area. "There's no sign of life over there. They must all be dead or badly injured. They'd have shot at us again if they were still capable."
"Unless they are waiting for us to show ourselves, so they can pick us off more easily," Kerry said.
"Like I said before, no sudden moves. Get up - slowly."
"So you are making me a prisoner?"
"Not exactly, but I'm not stupid enough to take any risks."
He rose to his feet, his gaze not leaving her gunhand. Several inches taller than her, broad shouldered and slim, he presented a commanding figure. His expression froze as his gaze homed in on the insignia on her breast pocket, his eyes like chips of blue ice.
"You work for the Union."
"I work for myself."
"Then why are you wearing the insignia of the Global Union of Earth and Allied Planets?"
"I have a license to requisition any enemy ship trespassing in the sectors of space over which they hold dominion."
"A licensed pirate in the pay of the Global Union,"
Kerry's eyes showed outright contempt. She almost preferred the icy coolness.
"I prefer to think of myself as a freelancer, doing a service."
His expression did not change, although he did change tack. "You could have left me to die, or just shot me. Why didn't you?"
"Call it a personality flaw. I don?t like abandoning someone who's wounded even to save my own skin. And I don't kill in cold blood. If I have to shoot someone, I'd rather they were facing me with their eyes open." Even if I did swear to leave their dead body for the Union to use in their hideous experiments. Keep it casual. Don?t let him guess what?s really in your mind.
To her amazement, he smiled the most devastating smile she'd ever seen, made even more remarkable because he didn't look as if he did it very often.
"My own philosophy as it happens. It seems almost a pity we are on opposite sides."
"Opposite sides?" How much did he guess?
"I have no love for the Alliance. That puts us on opposite sides, even if you are a pirate."
She gave him her most withering look. "Fine. And just because I decided to save your neck, don't get any ideas. We don't have to like each other."