QSFer Peggy Biedermann has a new lesbian sci fi book out: “Earth’s Karma.”
Katarina Daskalos is a survivor. She lived through being shunned from her family, escaped a life of homelessness, survived an IED in Afghanistan, overcame addiction, and the death of her beloved wife and child. Kat was succeeding at creating a new life teaching troubled, adolescent kids when she suddenly finds herself holding the fate of the human race in her hands after the Earth tries to rid itself of the human sickness plaguing it.
Following a cataclysmic disaster which causes mass casualties all over the planet, Kat and her group of misfit teenagers must fight their way out of the wreckage and past subhuman creatures who were not fully killed. With the help of an unknown ally, Kat is startled to discover she now has powers she never thought possible and can use them to set things right as humanity begins again.
Dubbed “The Karmanator” by her students, Kat is able to unleash a person’s karma with the touch of a button. Using her new ability, Kat makes plans to gather survivors and find a safe place to start anew. Things do not always go as planned.
The teacher returned to soldier mode and entered the room scanning all angles as she moved. She was horrified to see bodies scattered about the hospital lobby. Patients, families, nurses, doctors, children, everyone was down and as far as she could tell, everyone was dead. They all looked like their volunteer guide, eyes wide in shock and pain, blood congealing as it slowly dripped from noses, ears, mouths and occasionally eyes. It was almost too much to process, and if not for the others who were waiting for her, she might have lost it.
Kat headed to the welcome desk, stepped over a volunteer lying on the floor, and grabbed the phone on the counter. She rapidly pushed buttons but found the phone inoperable. Sighing, and swallowing the fear constricting her throat, she started to make her way toward the loading dock area where she knew the vehicles were parked. She could see from a few windows to the outdoors that the storm was still raging.
A loud crash and a screech caused her to jump and turn toward a waiting area near the front desk. She saw what looked to be another creature stumbling around, but it had not spotted her. Now she knew she had to keep watching out for a possible ambush. Passing quickly and quietly down a side hall, Kat recognized more sounds of the ‘screechers’ in some of the rooms she passed as well as offices whose occupants were now dead.
Fortune was with her, because she came to the loading bay door unmolested. Opening it, she quickly stepped outside into the pouring rain. She was briefly distracted by the cold water soaking through her bandaged arm, feeling the pain crawling over her adrenaline rush. In just two steps, she found herself face to face with a crazed construction worker. He had on a hard hat, a rain slicker, and an orange vest. It looked like he had been blocking a flooded sidewalk nearby, as Kat’s peripheral vision caught orange cones and yellow tape.
The broad shouldered, bearded man growled and glared at her with black and red eyes. Before he could charge, Kat shoved him back with as much strength as she could muster, then watched him tumble down the short flight of concrete stairs, landing with a splash and a scream of fury. Noticing her Jeep parked just beyond the creature, Kat glanced around for more possible attackers. She spied two dead bodies, dressed like the current beast and a third that looked like a nurse, but nothing was moving except the construction guy getting back to his feet, minus his hard hat which had been knocked loose during his fall. “Lucky for me,” thought Kat as she prepared to swing her cane.
She let him stagger up three stairs before letting loose with a mighty whack. Catching him hard on the forehead, the man reeled but kept coming forward. He managed to catch Kat off balance from her swing and they both toppled back down the stairs. Kat frantically rolled away from the angry thing who screeched the same shrill cry as the others. Coming to her knees, the determined woman whacked him again and then one last time before her attacker dropped face first into a puddle.
Kat was hurt. Her knee felt wrong and she was battered from the hard fall. She shakily got to her feet and saw blood soaking through the bandages on her arm. The weakened woman thought it was strange she did not feel more pain.
“Shock.” She heard it clearly in her head, not her own thought, but another voice. “Crap, I am losing it,” Kat worried and pulled herself up. Staggering to her car, she pulled the keys from her pocket and with a trembling hand, she wiped her face, noticing her hair was down, wet and loose in her eyes. From somewhere behind her list of things to think about, she realized that she had lost her hat and glasses along the way.
Kat stuck the key in the driver’s door at the same moment a brilliant flash of lightning split the sky. She stumbled back, startled, lost her balance and fell into the water around her vehicle. Kat found herself on her hands and knees, rain dripping from her nose, plinking into the pool around her. Her energy was waning, and she began doubting her ability to go any further. Now soaking wet, she became angry and painfully sat back on her knees. Looking up at the sky, she raised her arms and shook her fists in frustration.
“Come on,” she screamed. “Is that the best you can do? Bring it on, I am ready for it.” There was another intense flash and the injured woman disappeared. The only evidence that she had been there was a silver tipped cane laying in the water next to a Jeep with car keys swinging in the door lock.
Peggy is a retired teacher living with her wife, Paula, and their five rescue pups. She taught elementary school for thirty years in Albuquerque, where she grew up. Peg and Paula are very involved in rescue work and animal adoption. A Trekkie and a Xena fan, Peg enjoys reading a variety of apocalyptic novels, throwing in a good zombie read now and then. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, art, and volunteering in the community with her therapy dogs.