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Silver Azuli

Book V, Chorillan Series

Silver Azuli by Michelle Levigne
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Two years after the Council is overthrown on Chorillan, enemies still attack from hiding. They even try to kidnap Lucas and Kay’li’s adopted daughter.

Kay’li discovers she’s pregnant, and what should be a happy time for her and Lucas is shadowed with the need to hide the news from their enemies. Their yearly family exploration trip is the perfect ploy. They’ll stay out in the wilderness until just before the baby is born.

But the shuttle malfunctions and vital equipment is sabotaged. Lucas abandons the shuttle and leads his family into the wilderness, to the safest place he knows on Chorillan – the canyon where the Azuli are born. Reunited with Kay’li’s Wildling uncle, Daral, they wait until it’s safe to go home. But there are troubles in Port, with the fugitive Council members attacking innocents again, and Lucas’ message never reaches their friends.

The Azuli reveal new depths to their wisdom and control over Chorillan’s destiny. Kay’li and her children are part of the biggest secret of them all. When Kay’li comes face-to-face with the elusive silver Azuli, a mystery is solved and a new day begins for the children of Chorillan.

Awe-Struck Publishing; March 2006
173 pages; ISBN 9781587495489
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: Silver Azuli
Author: Michelle Levigne
Launching was smoother than he expected, after spending so much time on his back, reweaving the guts of the shuttle's systems. Lucas took the shuttle above the level of the treetops and turned all his attention to the instrument panel. The first few test maneuvers were slow and gentle. Wide turns, ascents and descents, easing into the thrusters, stabilizers and attitude jets. So far, so good. He winced when beads of sweat trickled into his eyes. More nervous than I thought, I guess. He doubled the altitude, pointing the nose into an eighty-degree angle. The stabilizers shuddered, then smoothed. The engines rumbled smoothly. Every light on the instrument panel stayed green without a flicker. Down again, banking steeply to the left to circle the campsite. Not a complaint from either engines or controls. Lucas listened to the whistling of wind past the shuttle ports. That's odd. Was it too loud? Should there be that much resistance, that many cracks and protrusions in the shell to catch the wind? His head snapped forward. Lucas nearly bit his tongue, then realized the shuttle had dropped. He estimated two meters. The shriek of the wind changed tone, ending with a bang that shook the shuttle. Air moved up from the rear compartment, cold, with suction like a vacuum had opened. Half the lights on the panel blinked off, then back on. The other half turned orange and stayed steady. The shuttle tipped left when the stabilizers died without warning. The indicator lights on the panel stayed green. Can't trust anything, Lucas decided. He focused on the viewport and gripped the attitude stick in one hand, his other hand splayed over the buttons that controlled the engine and thrusters. More sweat beaded into his eyes during the elongated time between the shuttle dropping and touchdown. He did it all by feel, listening to what his body told him, and ignored the lying messages of the control panel and indicator lights. He watched the trees and then the ground grow closer in the viewport and concentrated on the feel of gravity to know what was straight and tell up from down. When he cut the thrusters, the shuttle dropped again, maybe half a meter. Lucas turned off the power and sat staring out the viewport, listening to his heart slow to a normal pace, sweat filling his eyes like tears. His hand wouldn't loosen from the stick. His other hand lay limp on the now-dead control panel. If he tried to lift it, he knew it would shake. I hate machines. Kay'li pounded on the hatch controls, opening it from the outside. Lucas forced himself to move, turning to meet her as she scrambled inside. Her fear smelled sharply sweet and she clung to him, soaking up his fear stink and sweat.
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