by Sherrie Cronin
Telepathy creates as many problems as it solves, as most of the members of the secret organization x0 would admit. When new member Lola discovers another group of telepaths with a completely different approach, those problems multiply at the speed of thought.
Soon, Lola’s family and friends are in danger. Lucky for her, she’s not your average budding psychic. Each person with whom she is close has a special gift of their own. That’s good, because it’s going to take every power they possess to keep this other group from succeeding with their plan to eradicate x0.
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“What is upsetting you mom?”
Her mother’s sigh could be heard all the way in New York.
“It’s your boss.”
“Yes, and this compound that he is building.”
“It’s ugly? He’s not paying his bills? What’s the problem?”
Violeta kept her voice nonchalant, but her instincts were moving toward red alert.
“He has people there working 'round the clock now. His construction managers are all outsiders, of course, but the workers, many of them are local, and they talk.”
“Some people like attention, mom. So what are they saying?”
“That it’s a fortress. Or a prison. I’ve heard rumors of both. Don’t get me wrong, Violeta. Everyone understands that a U.S. company is going to have a security system with cameras and all that. But who has every one of their windows made from unbreakable bullet proof glass? Who puts in escape tunnels? Who wants security checkpoints along the perimeter and elevated platforms with assault weapons mounted to turn full circles.”
“That does sound extreme. Don’t you think some of the workers are making this up?”
“These are people I trust, Violeta.”
Her mother’s voice went from defensive to secretive.
“And they’re not broadcasting these things in bars, trying to get free drinks. They’d get fired. They are sharing this with the local police. I hear about it at work.”
Violeta’s mom Alma had worked as a police dispatcher ever since her husband was killed. Most thought that the job had been offered to the widow as a form a charity, but over the last decade Alma had proved herself to be an asset to the force.
“Okay. I believe you, mom. Honestly, I haven’t been much of a fan of Reel News for a while, and I’m less of one these days. Um, I guess you should know that I’m not quitting yet because I’m trying to get information for people who have another set of concerns about Warren Moore and his enterprises. How about I see if I can learn anything about his compound while I’m at it?”
“Oh I was hoping you might,” her mother said. “The chief of police was surprised and impressed when I told him that your New York news company was the same as these people. I know that he’ll be happy for anything you can find out.”
After Violeta hung up, all she could think was, My worst fears about this building project might be true. What in heaven’s name could a man like Warren want with such a place?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Sherrie grew up in Western Kansas thinking that there was no place in the universe more fascinating than outer space. After her mother vetoed astronaut as a career ambition, she went on to study journalism and physics in hopes of becoming a science writer.
She published her first science fiction short story long ago, and then waited a lot of tables while she looked for inspiration for the next story. When it finally came, it declared to her that it had to be whole book, nothing less. One night, while digesting this disturbing piece of news, she drank way too many shots of ouzo with her boyfriend. She woke up thirty-one years later demanding to know what was going on.
The boyfriend, who she had apparently long since married, asked her to calm down and explained that in a fit of practicality she had gone back to school and gotten a degree in geophysics and had spent the last 28 years interpreting seismic data in the oil industry. The good news, according to Mr. Cronin, was that she had found it at least mildly entertaining and ridiculously well-paying The bad news was that the two of them had still managed to spend almost all of the money.
Apparently she was now Mrs. Cronin, and the further good news was that they had produced three wonderful children whom they loved dearly, even though to be honest that is where a lot of the money had gone. Even better news was that Mr. Cronin turned out to be a warm-hearted, encouraging sort who was happy to see her awake and ready to write. "It's about time," were his exact words.
Sherrie Cronin discovered that over the ensuing decades Sally Ride had already managed to become the first woman in space and apparently had done a fine job of it. No one, however, had written the book that had been in Sherrie's head for decades. The only problem was, the book informed her sternly that it had now grown into a six book collection. Sherrie decided that she better start writing it before it got any longer. She's been wide awake ever since, and writing away.
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