I am excited to welcome author Jodi Wallace as she celebrates the release of her second Maelstrom Chronicles novel, Traitor. She took on our Second Sight challenge and is showing us the point of view of Ship 1001, a sentient space-faring vessel, during a scene between the male and female protagonists, Niko and Sarah, from Traitor.
Captain Nikolas EstherVorn is a traitor. Or so it was decreed after Niko disobeyed protocol while trying to save Earth from other-dimensional creatures. Stuck in a prison cell, the last thing he needs is to be in close proximity to sexy-as-sin Dr. Sarah CallenJoseph. Not with him damn near ready to break out just to get to her.
Niko’s desire isn’t quite his own…and Sarah can prove it. He-along with the other soldiers on the disastrous mission-were drugged with some kind of toxin. Niko has no clue how the drug got into his body or why, but Sarah suspects there’s a link between the toxin and the fertility crisis of Shipborn humans.
To investigate is forbidden. But as lust becomes something deeper, binding them together in a way neither expected, Niko and Sarah must battle time-and their superiors-to uncover the secret that could save humanity…or destroy it.
Chapter One of Traitor
Another fascinating, albeit somewhat distressing, day hovering above the planet Earth as the natives battle the deadly entity threat and my passengers and I advise them as best we can. While some deep cellular twist in my matrix would dearly love to send my Shipborn residents to aid the Terrans, it’s not safe. One taste of one of my charges’ essence, and the entities would converge into a massive creature called a…
Hold that thought. I can multitask to the hundred-thousandths degree or more, but you, new friend, cannot, and there is something more interesting than the war about to occur. Sarah CallenJoseph, Niko’s human female doctor, is about to confront him in his quarters after he rejected her latest summons. He’d probably like to know she’s coming, but I think I’ll let Sarah surprise him. If he realizes she’s taken the initiative, he’ll find a way to avoid the appointment again.
That can’t happen. His health is at stake—and more than he knows beyond that. In fact, his checkup with Sarah will assist his social and emotional development as well as the progress of the rest of a novel about me I’m told has been written.
Who are Sarah and Niko? Well, Sarah and Niko are residents under my care and they’re quite well suited romantically. Not that I’m a matchmaking population Ship—galaxies, no! I’m a fine, sleek military vessel in my second century of sentience. But I confess. I have a personal interest in Nikolas. Little Niko. I helped his father, my Shiplink General Vorn, raise him from babyhood, you see.
He has been avoiding his required checkup with his personal physician. I know why, of course, because I am practically omniscient. He’s afraid he’ll involuntarily request that Sarah mate with him, and for some reason the silly two-legger thinks that would be improper.
Humans aren’t the most logical of the member species amongst the Shipborn, but most of my crew are humans. That is why I was sent to save Earth when it was discovered. It’s populated by humans, as well, and many species take comfort in being rescued by their own kind. We Ships do try to coax the xenophobia out of our Shipborn residents, but we can only do so much.
Oh, look—Niko is trying to keep Sarah from coming into his room. Nattering about medical overrides and outranking her and such. Ha ha, I’m going to pretend I don’t understand and cite some vaguely related code.
I suspect he’s imagining her unclothed. I recognize that expression on his face. He often wears it when her back is turned. Sarah doesn’t know the expression, but one day I’m sure she will, too. The more I see these young people together, the more I want them in a partnership. It’s so enjoyable to see my charges happy and fulfilled.
She’s asked him to disrobe. This should be interesting. Not that I’m prurient, you understand. I just enjoy sentient interactions. He isn’t doing it, of course. He’s turned his back on her and said some self-deprecating things about his performance on the last mission, the one where he and the other Shipborn handlers impregnated a swath of Terran females. I do so look forward to meeting the mother of his child and the child herself, of course. I took great pleasure in helping parent Niko, and his offspring will surely be satisfying as well.
But I digress. You’re probably more intrigued by the simmering tension between Niko and Sarah. Independents and their tensions. We Ships aren’t fraught with sexual desires, although I’ve gathered that if one purchases an android extension, Ships too can partake of fleshly pleasures. My Shiplink refuses to obtain an android for me. I remind him regularly, which bothers him.
I like to bother him.
But I don’t like to bother Niko. Or Sarah. If Niko doesn’t cooperate with the exam Sarah wishes to do, code requires that sentients respect each other’s free will. There’s a small chance she’ll give up. But she’s remarkably clever. And brave. And determined.
Oh, dear. He’s turned his back on her. Friends, I wish you could see the expression on her face right now. So much can be gleaned from the micro-expressions and body language of humans. He probably shouldn’t have done that.
She’s gotten out her medical applicator. Dialed it to a sedative. He thinks she won’t use it on him. He’s laughing at her.
She is very careful to catch him when he passes out from the tranq. In my opinion, which is what you came here to seek, her gentleness with his physical form indicates her subconscious attraction to him. She doesn’t know it’s there yet, but…
I’m not really supposed to interfere with these things. Free will and all.
But she’s so stubbornly professional. Maybe just a little push!
Meet Jodi Wallace!
Jody Wallace grew up in the South in a very rural area. She went to school a long time and ended up with a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. Her resume includes college English instructor, technical documents editor, market analyst, web designer, and general all around pain in the butt. She currently lives in Tennessee with her family: one husband, two kids, two cats. One of her many alter egos is “The Grammar Wench,” which should give you an indication of her character. She is a terrible packrat and likes to amass vintage clothing, books, Asian-inspired kitchenware, gnomes, yarn, and other items that threaten to force her family out of the house. She also likes cats. A lot.
Jody publishes the Maelstrom Chronicles with Entangled Publishing, an Earth-based science fiction romance series. You can find other science fiction, paranormal, and contemporary romances by Jody at www.jodywallace.com, including her horrible science fiction romance spoofs, The Adventures of Mari Shu, which make fun of the Maelstrom Chronicles, among other science fiction concepts and stories.
Want to purchase Jodi’s novels?
One Thousand Kisses (Fae Realm #1)
Disciple (Dreamwalkers #1)
Cooley’s Panther (Felidae #1)
Pack and Coven (Pack and Coven #1)
The Whole Truth (Supercharged Files #1)
Mage By Any Other Name
A Spell for Susannah