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New Release: Chance – C.J. Dragon

Chance - C.J. Dragon

QSFer C.J. Dragon has a new queer sci-fi book out (ace), Mindset Duet book 2: Chance.

It’s an arduous task to start over on a new, unexplored planet, but that’s what Chance Bradford signed up for.

As a Mindset Two, his empathy and training helps his fellow colonists, allaying their fears and bolstering their confidence. At least, until the dragons were seen flying high above the colony dome.

Discovering that only he can communicate with the telepathic ‘dragons’ comes at a price, their first meeting full of terror and pain. Trying to understand a completely alien race strains Chance’s abilities and puts him in the sights of the humans that want the planet for themselves alone.

Will Chance be able to forge a peace between the colony and the dragon’s Flight? Is friendship even possible between the two species? Will humans become the dragon’s prey, or perhaps something else altogether?

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Several months passed, measured at thirty days each for ease and continuity. The colony settled. The weather stayed clear, with rain falling most afternoons, but no storms. Crops planted outside the dome thrived, as did the ones in the temporary greenhouses. Meals improved with fresh produce, and the market started again, with bartering the only means of exchange.

Everyone worked full days, and Chance was no exception. He saw his clients in the mornings and early afternoons, then joined the farming crew to help water and plant. He didn’t mind, knowing that his youth and strength were needed for chores such as these. After all, they were literally all in this together, hoping to make New Eire a paradise.

There were vague reports of colonists seeing something large flying over the colony. All they could tell was it was large, had wings, and moved quickly. There was some grumbling about the survey being done poorly, but there was no help for that now. Vida, in one of their town halls, suggested a ‘live and let live’ attitude, reminding everyone that no harm had been done by whatever it was. She also discouraged anyone from trying to track down whatever these creatures were, stating it was a big planet with plenty of room for all of them. Her eyes lit on Chance briefly, mutely questioning if this was what the other Mindset had sensed, until Chance minutely shook his head. Maybe it was, but there was no way to know for sure.

Chance stretched his empathetic senses to try to feel what his mentor, Dare, had, to no avail. He could not feel this other life and was disappointed. He knew he wasn’t as strong as Dare, but nevertheless, had hoped, or maybe wished.

He forgot that it’s good to be careful about what you wish for.

There had been no sighting of the flying whatever they were for several weeks. The colony rested for several hours in the middle of each day due to how physical the work was, and the afternoon heat. The sun didn’t set until ten each night, giving them plenty of time to complete tasks. Many took naps or worked on personal projects. Chance liked to wander around the colony, stretching his legs as he spent so much time sitting each day. He was at the front of the dome when Dan’s sons, Robin and Paul, blasted in from the outside, breathless with excitement and fear.

They latched onto Chance, the only adult available, talking on top of each other. The Mindset managed to calm them, then asked Paul, the oldest of the two, to tell him what was going on.

Paul took a deep breath, his eyes shining. “It’s what we saw flying. We found one over by the big rocks, past the river. It looks sort of like a dragon. It got a foot stuck in between two boulders. It was pulling, trying to get loose, making funny noises. When we stepped closer, it shrieked at us, so we stopped and ran back here. We need to help it, Mindset Chance.” Robin nodded emphatically in agreement.

Chance felt something press on his mind, deciding for him. “Robin, go get Dr. Evelyn and bring her to where you found it. Paul, take me there. You’ve got some water with you? Good. Maybe I can help until the doctor gets there. I don’t want it to hurt itself more than it has.”

Robin took off at a run, and Paul led the way out the door. It was rough going, climbing over rocks in the heat of the day. When they arrived, the ‘dragon’ was sitting dejectedly on a rock, its foot still wedged in a crack. The creature was approximately the size of a small horse. It had arms and legs, feet with three large claws, hands with four smaller ones. Large wings fanned the air, causing a breeze, but the face was utterly alien. This ‘dragon’ had two eyes, facing forward, no horns, but had ear tufts and a muzzle full of impressive teeth.

The first glance reminded Chance of the pix he’d seen of harpy eagles, but this was even more. It was as though an eagle had mated with a dragon, and this was the result. Lowering his mental shields, he reached out, hoping to comfort. A blast of fear overwhelmed him, making him gasp. Pulling Paul back, he stepped back himself just as he heard wing beats behind him. Turning, he saw a much larger version of a ‘dragon’, and as he reached out mentally, his shields were ripped away, the only emotion filling him one of fear and anger.

Choking out a command of “Run!” to Paul, Chance felt claws grip his shoulder, piercing the skin, as the creature pulled him back, away from the other creature. Paul screamed in fear, then remembered to run. The Mindset stumbled, falling, the claws releasing as he felt blood stain his shirt. The anger abated somewhat as the larger creature released the smaller one from the rocks before turning its regard back to the human.

Alien images filled Chance’s mind, making no sense to him, hurting him with their intensity. He gasped and cried out, unable to move as he was somehow checked out by the larger of the two ‘dragons’, and found wanting. Chance, the pain in his mind intense, tried to raise his shields without success. One last touch from the large ‘dragon’, and he fell into unconsciousness, unable to bear more.

Author Bio

C.J. has always been an avid reader of anything in print, enjoying all genres but drawn to science fiction and romance. Happily introduced to the wonderful world of M/M romance, and immediately loving it. C.J. began writing M/M romances, incorporating them in her science fiction stories, and has never looked back.

She lives in North Carolina and is happily married to her wife and soulmate, who is a writer as well. C.J. is co-parent to Frankie, also known as the Prince of Darkness, who keeps a benevolent paw over all that occurs in the home. For all things Dragon, make sure you like, follow, and/or subscribe!

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