When the E’mani—those pale alien freaks—destroy Earth with a plague of madness and scoop up the remains, Beta is one of the ‘lucky’ ones. For years, she endures their tortures, experiments and games. Then one day, she manages to escape their ship with her life, and no memory of her time with them.
Stranded on their world, Beta wanders the mountains, looking for a way home. She stumbles onto the Fost—the E’mani’s ancient enemy. Their war with the E’mani is old and rooted in magic that the Fost once had and the E’mani crave. Magic Beta soon discovers she’s developing along with strange tattoos and disturbing glimpses of her past. The Fost take her in and train her in their ways. As she spends more time with them, she falls in love with their culture and with Marin—he of the hot hands and slit eyes.
But the E’mani took her for a reason and they want her back—dead or alive. If Beta doesn’t remember that reason soon, they’re all going to die.
Oy. No more weekday frat parties for me, no matter how
noble the cause, especially when I have a test the next day. What was
I thinking? And last minute cramming with a headache was not a
good idea either. Forget it. My eyes drifted to the clock.
And now I was late. Damn it. With a sigh, I threw down my
pencil and scrambled up, my head throbbing. I traded my Eeyore
jammies for skinny jeans and a fitted white t-shirt. Shoes, where
were my shoes? Gah. I ducked and rooted around in the deep, dark
spaces under my bed. Hmm, the green dress I borrowed from Sarah.
Mental note: I need to return that. English book, various dust
bunnies of uncertain lineage…there.
Sketchers on, I grabbed my backpack, turned up my iPod,
and ran out the door. No time to primp.
Good thing the campus I lived on was small. There was a big
central courtyard—the quad—filled with towering oak trees and
wide-open spaces surrounded by squat school buildings and
classrooms. If I hurried, I’d make it…
I raced into the quad out of breath and slowed, turning in a
No one around. Unease skittered through me on soft paws.
The courtyard was always busy. I pulled my headphones out of my
ears. Was there some sort of event I didn’t know about going on?
The unnatural silence pressed in on me for a second as the
echoes of my steps faded.
Then screams—men’s and women’s—poured from Main
Street. I broke into a run and shot between the buildings toward the
Cars littered the intersection. Some guy rear-ended someone
else, causing a chain reaction down the road. A horn blared nearby
and a faint breeze blew the smell of gasoline, smoke, and copper my
way. Clusters of people stood among the wreckage.