A mysterious box containing a blue crystal is the only warning to the alien invasion. Can Ceily and her group of fellow telepaths protect Earth from the otherworldly slavers?
…Recovering, she delved again. The stone was undeniably natural, yet her mind fitted into a linkage with its structure that could be more powerful than that with Derrel’s prototype psi-amplifier. Who would send this? Why? I’d love to see the expression on Derrel’s face when he tests it!
Despite her excitement, the other levels of her mind were not inattentive. Fear closed like a vise about her throat, and she fought the reflex to slam up her mental shields as she searched for the cause. She sensed no danger on the psychic level, yet she knew something was amiss.
But what? The crystal? She glanced up at Ginger and saw that the girl had already fallen victim to the hypnotic side-effect. At least it makes her oblivious to whatever I may have to do.
She scowled. The crystal was sent here for a reason. Why? She scanned the crystal again, probing deeper than before, but still sensed no mind waiting in linkage within its depths. Was I supposed to react to it the way Ginger has? What am I missing?
Out of the corner of her eye, Ceily suddenly caught movement in the supposedly empty box. She probed lightly, but her mind could sense nothing. Yet the material had moved!
She rose to her knees, peering directly into the box, but could still see nothing. Only when she turned away, watching the fibers with her peripheral vision, did she see it stir, as if something was crawling up from the bottom of the box. Something invisible to both physical and psychic senses…
Kathryn Sullivan has been writing science fiction and fantasy since she was 14 years old. The world set up in The Crystal Throne has been developing since then, although some of the short stories have escaped into fan zines, print zines and ezines. The Crystal Throne won the EPPIE Award in 2002 for Best Fantasy Book!
Kathryn’s stories have appeared in Short Trips: Repercussions, Flights of Mind, Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Dead Men Diaries, Twilight Times, Anotherealm, Shadow Keep Zine, Fury, and Minnesota Fantasy Review. Some of the short stories in Agents and Adepts are those from the world set up in The Crystal Throne that had escaped into print zines and ezines. Agents and Adepts won the 2003 Dream Realm Award for Best Anthology!
Kathryn lives in Winona, MN, where the river bluffs along the Mississippi River double as cliffsides on alien planets or the deep mysterious forests in a magical world. She is well used to dealing with alien lifeforms, as she’s owned by a cockatoo who graciously allows her to write about other animals as well as birdlike aliens. She’s a member of Broad Universe and EPIC.