She reaches her hands out like she wants to strangle me, and she looks so real I almost duck—but her holographic fingers go right through my neck.
The Elementalists, Book 2 Choices
Our teachers are always reminding us that holograms can be manipulated and forged, and those who have fallen victim to identity fraud have lost fortunes, even lives. The holograms disappear as I stuff the Wave up my glove, grab my instrument case, and pull on my helmet. The crystal is pitch-black, so no one can see inside yet. I look up at the sky; our three other moons are lined in a row, bright as beacons.
I shake it off and make for the dome. The crowd around me is a sea of shapes and colors, an array of space suit fashion on full display. There are designer suits that sparkle with precious stones, gimmicky suits that do things like project holograms into the air, functional suits that light up in the dark, and more.
The farther I get from the compound, the thicker the night grows, its blackness interrupted only by the glimmer of glow-in-the-dark fabric or a holographic helmet. I steel my gaze on the crystal dome ahead, dazzling like a half-buried diamond. I take off my helmet and shake my blonde curls loose.
Deke whistles appreciatively from the other end of the dome. Nishi laughs. I stare at Deke, my mouth half-open with indignation, but he ignores my glare and turns to Nishi, holding something out to her. I recognize the Abyssthe immediately. Centering requires an extreme amount of concentration and consumes a ton of mental energy because it requires a person to reach down into her innermost self and listen to the thing that connects her to the stars—her soul. Abyssthe helps lengthen the feeling so that a Zodai can read the Ephemeris for a longer stretch of time.
Abyssthe is produced in House Sagittarius.
Nishi told me that if taken outside an Ephemeris setting, the tonic has a mood-altering effect, making a person feel light-hearted and less inhibited. Deke hands Kai and me the other two bottles. They only sell it to people seventeen and older on Cancer.
I smell a hint of licorice. Nishi rolls her eyes at him. Sagittarians are truth-seekers who will follow a trail of knowledge to whatever end—having fun the whole way. He only joined the band two months ago. To take the attention off him and ease his fear, I wink and drink mine. With a worried smile, Kai nods and takes his, too.
The four of us stare at each other. Nothing happens for so long that we start laughing.
- The Forbidden (The Courtship of Nellie Fisher Book #2)?
- Mas allá del olvido (Bianca) (Spanish Edition).
- Christians with Pervasive Issues;
- Fiscal Impacts of the Foreign-Born Population.
- Zodiac (Zodiac Series #1)?
- Bravelands book 5 release date.
- An International Learning Community in Japan.
Abyssthe begins with a body buzz I can feel down to my bones, and it makes me wonder whether the crystal dome has detached itself from the moon and is now floating into Space. My head feels so sensitive that it tickles when I think. We all jump, and I unpack my drum kit, the Abyssthe making it hard to focus on anything in the physical realm.
21 Female Dating Experts Reveal How to Attract Women
It takes me way too many attempts to fit four spindly metal pegs into their holes on the drum mat, a bouncy bed beneath my feet that has a plush burgundy chair at its center and a crescent of holes arranged around it. They look like lily pads blossoming on tall stems. If metal is starting to remind me of organic life, I must miss home more than I realize. Nishi and I pull apart and stare at him. Even Deke stops hopping. We all explode in howling laughter, and Deke takes Kai under his arm and scruffs up his hair.
He talks! I plop onto the plush chair and fit my feet into a pair of metal boots with pedals built in. Two stacked plates— lily pads —bloom from the tip of my left foot, my hi-hat, and the largest plate of all, the bass drum, emerges from my right boot, along with a pedal-operated beater. He runs his lucky pick—a crab-shark tooth—through the color-changing strings, and an angry riff wails out. I roll my sticks across each pad, and then I press hard on the pedals in my boots.
The bass drum reverberates menacingly throughout the dome. Nishi joins the percussion next, her voice throaty and soulful. You have been excluded from the big celebration, but you still deserve a good time! On that note, and performing now for your plebian pleasures, I present to you the incredible Drowning Diamonds! Outside, hundreds of Acolytes are soundlessly rising and falling in the air, trying to jump as high as they can. Some are flashing holographic messages in the sky, all directed at the same person. What we Cancrians all have in common is our curly hair—which spans every shade but is often bleached from so much sun exposure—and the color of our eyes, which reflect the Cancer Sea.
Cancrian irises range from the softest of sea greens, kind of like mine, to the deepest of indigo blues. Nishi flashes her adorers a winning smile and does a slow turn to show off her sexy red suit, the levlan twisting with every curve of her body. I hate the spotlight—I only agreed to be in the band because as a drummer I can hang farthest back, hidden by my instrument.
In the distance beyond the crowd, a freighter lands to refuel at our spaceport. This could be our last show here.
Nishi turns and winks at me. I count four beats with my sticks, and then I come down hard on the snare and cymbal, simultaneously slamming on the bass pedal, and—. I blast backward as an invisible surge of energy smacks into me, hurling me off my chair. I hear my friends also taking tumbles. My body trembles uncontrollably on the floor from the fiery pulse of electric energy. Once I stop seizing, I pull myself up. As my vision begins to clear, I only have time to register the sight of our three moons, glistening like pearls strung on a string, when I see it: a fireball bursting through our Crab constellation, burning a path through Space.
All I remember is a fireball. I reach out and feel pieces of my drum set scattered across the floor. The sight is terrifying. The crowd of Acolytes that was jumping and cheering moments ago is now floating unconsciously a few feet off the ground. Chunks of metal, plaster, and other materials clutter the air, swimming along with the limp bodies.
Death Be Not Proud
The debris looks familiar. The window is fogging up fast. A high-pitched noise grows louder, and I catch a crack creeping down the side of the crystal. I reach for my helmet and toss Nishi hers. Deke grabs his, and I cast my gaze around the room, realizing I never heard Kai answer. I shove his helmet on his head and pull him up. Hooking a shoulder under his arm, I take him with me through the door Deke is holding open. Nishi screams, and Deke shoves the door, slamming it shut just in time. Shards of crystal stab the other side.
Related The Vampire Relationship Guide, Volume 2: Secrets and Trust
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved