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The Raphael Experience

The Raphael Experience by McGregor Alan
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Sci fi romance ebook of humans, reptoids, and half breeds. Sci-fi at its best! Human at its heart, yet alien enough to make us wonder!
Awe-Struck Publishing; January 2001
152 pages; ISBN 9781587490170
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Title: The Raphael Experience
Author: McGregor Alan
Trill had considered not going to the factory with Jordan this night. She was emotionally exhausted and needed rest. But she couldn't let Jordan go to his factory alone, either.

They were still entering the factory separately. Their affair behind closed doors would hardly seem secret if they openly walked in together each night. Jordan would still drop her off at the entry point behind the factory, and Trill would still make her way down long forgotten corridors until she would finally exit in a remote hallway in a remote part of the factory. From the exit point Trill would carefully make her way into the inhabited part of the factory. This, in itself, was risky. An employee in the wrong place at the wrong time could see her emerge from places he or she wouldn't know existed.

Each night Trill came in, she panicked inwardly. Jordan had assured her that the tunnels and hallways were long forgotten, but it frightened her anyway. The tunnels were especially disconcerting. The lighting was by primitive gas tubes, the mercury glare making her look even more goulash in its light than her reptilian makeup already made her, the sound of her boot steps echoing down the tunnel like the steps of a man walking up the steps to the gallows, each step taking him closer to his death. Jordan had told her that when he was growing up, his father would let he and his sisters run in the tunnels. When his parents died, Jordan closed the tunnels off.

But once again Trill had made it into the factory with no incident. She was walking towards Jordan's office and the feeling of connecting with him after she had entered the factory was always the same. She couldn't wait to put her arms around him and hug him to her. The only thing that was keeping her sane was her love for him.

Now she was at Jordan's door. She looked up and down the hall, making sure that an unseen observer might think she was up to no good with Jordan. Then she went inside.

As she entered, Jordan was standing inside the door, his face distraught. "What's wrong?" Trill whispered.

"There's an accident on one of the lines," Jordan said.

"Well, go, then. You're needed there."

"I know. I was waiting for you to arrive. I'm not going without you." He opened the door and ushered her ahead of him.

Trill turned back to him as she walked ahead of him. "Maybe I should stay out of this, Jordan. It may look odd that I'm with you."

Jordan clutched Trill's elbow. "I'm not going without you, Trill."

"Why are you so upset?"

"Because this is unusual. It's unusual to have accidents on the line. The lines are monitored and the equipment is in good shape. Accidents just don't happen." He hustled her down the hallway and put his hand up when he saw a worker on a scooter. "Hey, stop," he called.

The man on the scooter drove over to them. "Take us to the catwalks," Jordan ordered. "West side."

Without further comment, the driver drove them down the corridors at break-neck speed. Jordan turned to Trill sitting next to him. His face looked grave. "It's Tulena who's had the accident."

Trill clutched his sleeve. "Dear God," she breathed. "No wonder you were upset when I arrived. You should have gone ahead without me."

"Never," Jordan said. He put his hand on hers. "Never without you."

They had arrived at the catwalks, now, and if Tulena had had the accident on her milling machine, they were already close to where she knew Tulena would be. Jordan leaped off the scooter, and grasping Trill's hand, he pushed through the crowd of people in front of him. "Let us through," he said, screaming in desperation. "Let us through."

They had passed stairway number 34 and were making their way down the aisle towards Tulena's machine. The workers progressively stepped aside as they made their way to the place where Trill knew Tulena was. "There she is!" Trill said.

Jordan suddenly let go of Trill's hand and bolted forward.

"Come with me, come with me!" a voice behind her said urgently.

"What?" Trill tried to turn around to see the voice, but a brutally strong arm had her in a grip she couldn't escape!

"This way," the voice said roughly.

She tried to scream, but a hand roughly clamped over her mouth. The crush of people was so wild that Trill knew they didn't even see the person who now had Trill in a death grip. She felt herself being shoved towards stairway number 34. A voice screamed into her ear, "Up those stairs. Now!"

The assailant had her right arm in a hammerlock and the hand on her mouth was so suffocating she could barely breathe, let alone cry out for help. She lurched forward. A mouth came close to her ear. "Up those steps, you stinking half-breed," he snarled. She could hear the being was a human male, now, and the voice sounded so evil, she quaked at the sound of it. To fight was futile. He had skillfully taken advantage of the confusion, and before she could defend herself, he had her in his grip.

So great was the pain in her arm, she pushed herself up the stairs in an attempt to pull her arm from his grasp. "Move, move, move," the voice urged. She tried once again to look back at her assailant, but he had the crook of his arm wrapped around her head in a death grip. They ran across the catwalk at a pace Trill could barely manage. If she fell, he would probably kill her. As long as she was alive, there was at least some hope of survival.

A door appeared. He shoved her through it. There was a hallway on the other side of the door and he pushed her along it. "Stop," the man growled. He opened a side door and roughly shoved her inside. He followed and slammed the door behind them.

They were in a small storage room. If he killed her here, she knew she would never be found. Not unless... She remembered, now, that Jordan had a way of knowing where she was, but he hadn't explained how he knew. Now she wanted him to find her. He was probably looking for her already!

The man turned her around to face him, but before she could focus on his face, she felt his fist slam into the side of her head. She went down, the image before her, now a hazy blur. Fingers gripped her by her hair and pulled her head off the floor. The voice once again came down to her ear. "You stinking slut. You stinking no good half-breed slut. You had better tell your boy friend that he will lose you if he doesn't sell his factory for an extremely reasonable price to my boss. Do you understand what I'm telling you?"

Trill, groggy from the blow she had just received, couldn't find her voice.

"I'm talking to you, half-breed," the man snarled. "You will die if Jordan doesn't sell his factory to someone who wants it very badly. And if he doesn't cooperate this time around, Tulena will be next. Jordan has lots of friends and my boss tells me to just work my way down the list until Jordan cracks. So he might as well sell now rather than end up with no friends at all."

Trill tried to gasp a response, but couldn't even moan.

The man jerked Trill's head up until she thought her neck would snap. "You stinking half-breed slut," he said again, this time quietly. Then he let go of her hair. Before she could see his face, the door closed behind him.

She tried to stand up, but before she could even hoist herself to her knees, she vomited on the floor. "Jordan, where are you?" she gagged.

The door burst open with a ferocity that nearly took the door from its hinges. She felt strong, warm arms pick her up and cradle her protectively. "Jordan," she said weakly. "Jordan..."

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