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The Guardian of Paradise Excerpt

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The Guardian of Paradise Excerpt

Sitting on the bunk in her ship, The Atlantis, Shana stared at the picture of Kai Morgan. There was something about this unknown man that did something deep inside of her, but she couldn’t understand what those feelings were. With a sound of a soft growl, Shana tossed the picture back in the folder and closed it. She pounded her fist on the folder and tossed it to the metal floor. She flicked her braid over her shoulder and let out a pent up breath.

She eased herself onto her back and closed her eyes for a moment’s rest. Instead, Shana fell into a deep sleep.

Several hours later, the ship’s warning bells jerked her awake. Her eyes were unfocused as she brushed her bangs out of her eyes with an unsteady hand, then let her gaze scan her sleeping chamber.

“Computer, what are these bells for?” Shana shouted over the clarion bells. Her brain was still not functioning at this point after being jerked awake.

“I have detected a virus within my system,” a computerized voice answered through the intercom.

“What?” Shana slipped on a pair of olive green shorts that followed with a thin-strapped shirt that matched the shorts. “Cease with the bells,” Shana demanded at the computer, when she couldn’t hear the computer’s answer over the loud warning bells that vibrated in her ears. Seconds later the bells stopped, but the red lights were still flashing on the console.

“Repeat the answer, computer,” Shana demanded once more. She placed her hands on her hips as she waited for the answer, giving the computer’s console a hard glare.

“I have detected a virus within my system,” the computer repeated.

Shana dashed out of her sleeping chamber and sat in the pilot’s chair. She quickly typed in several commands on the computer. “How far away are we from these coordinates three-four-five-six-eight-seven-dash-seven-eight-six?” Shana asked as she looked out the porthole that was six feet wide and six feet in height in front of the console. Panic began to seep into her and Shana’s heart began to race inside her chest as she swiped her hair from her face and she began to sweat.

“Shit,” Shana muttered under her breath.

“I do not understand the command?” The computer answered as static started through the computer’s audio system.

Sparks flew out of the wall close to where Shana sat. She ducked as hot cinder landed on her arm. She rubbed the sore spot as an angry welt appeared, becoming painful and red.

“Shit,” Shana muttered the word once more. Sweat began to bead on her forehead and arms at an alarming rate. For some unknown reason, the heat was turned up suddenly inside the ship.

“Computer, can you please turn the heat down a few degrees?” Shana asked.

“Affirmative.” The computer answered through static while Shana looked out the port window once more as a blue and green slow spinning planet that resembled Earth appeared in her view.

The room grew suddenly cold and Shana shivered. “Computer...” she began, then stopped when the room grew warm once more.

“Computer, what is the virus that is in your system?” Shana asked as she typed in commands on the console at a fast pace. The screen before her read ‘Negative’ over and over again as she ran scan after scan on the computer system.

It was a moment later that she realized the computer had not answered her earlier question.

“Computer,” Shana began once more when the ship dipped suddenly. Shana grew lightheaded as she was thrown out of her seat. She looked to her side at the gauges and saw that the oxygen level was heading for the zero mark at a fast pace.

“No!” Shana cried out loudly. More sparks flew from the metal walls that surrounded her. Shana jumped and spun to avoid the rain of hot cinders falling on her.

“What the hell kind of virus is this?” She screamed out, but the computer didn’t respond.

A small fire sparked to life on the far wall, but the emergency sprinkler did not come to life.

“Shit,” Shana muttered once more as she grabbed the small gray fire extinguisher from under the console and aimed it at the growing fire on the wall.

Nothing came out of the nozzle. She pressed the lever once more. No foam came out, nothing. Her heart was pounding at a much faster rate as she looked down at the dial on the extinguisher. It read zero.

“Damn!” she cried out and tossed the empty metal can to the side. Smoke filled the air; Shana began to cough as she sat in the pilot’s seat and leaned her head on the console. She quietly sobbed when the word Defeated! Repeated itself over and over in her mind. Tears began to fall from her eyes and down her checks, then from her chin onto her crossed arms.

She could hear the fire spreading inside of The Atlantis. Shana grew weaker with every breath she took. She began coughing often as her lungs filled with smoke. Sparks showered more and more as the fire spread at faster rate. Shana lifted her head weakly and looked through the portal hole as she dipped into the gravitational pull of the planet where she was supposed to meet her target, Kai Morgan.