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Tales of the Citadel

Sudden Storm

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #21
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Control over the elements is dull until a man walks onto her world and makes her senses burn.   Vexan...

“Damn.” Something was awake on Ki, and it was starting a row of dust devils on the sand dune half a kilometre away.

He inhaled and concentrated, looking for body heat. Heat was his thing, and body heat was impossible to hide unless you had a talent to do it. There.

He fixated on the point where he felt the body heat and sent the skimmer toward it. He was racing the cyclones of sand that were coming down on him, and time was a factor.

A small piece of stone was projecting out of the sand and he leapt from the skimmer, sealed it against the sand and started digging the doorway out of its sliding protection. When he saw the glyphs on the door, he remembered what he had been told and simply knocked on the door. A moment later, he was inside the tunnel with the wind whirling outside screaming to get in.

The muffled sound made him glad that he was within the tunnels. He could feel the heat of the storm coming off the walls, and without another moment’s hesitation, he walked further into the darkness.

He lit a ball of fire in his palm and held it in front of him to light his way. The tunnels twisted and turned underground, but he eventually found his way to a strange chamber.

To his surprise, a woman was sitting on the edge of a fountain, idly trailing her fingers in the water. She looked up in surprise as he entered. Her brow furrowed in confusion.

“Hello, miss.”

“Greetings, visitor.” She continued trailing one hand in the water. Her blonde hair gleamed in the light, it cascading down over the shoulders of her bodysuit, giving an air of innocence to her features.

When Burn met her gaze, it was obvious that she was far older than she looked. Her eyes showed every one of her seventeen hundred years.

“Elemental, I have come to you with an offer to leave this place if you wish it.”

She rose to her feet and glided toward him with an unsettling grace. “What? You wish me to make another planet uninhabitable?”

He shook his head, catching hints of her scent as she walked around him with that peculiar stride. “I wish you to leave this place and find another use for your talents.”

“What of those who hired me?”

“They have released you from your contract. They released you nine hundred years ago, but the communications systems on Ki were dead by then.”

He slowly removed a document and extended it to her. “Here is the release.”

She took it from him and lifted it to the light, examining it closely. She ran her fingers along the document. “It has the feel of age.”

“It is nine centuries old. There was no way to deliver the news that you were free of obligation without landing here, and your orders were to keep Ki free of living creatures, so no message could reach you. It was quite the tangle.”

She smiled absently as she read the document. “Well, this is in order. Where do they want to send me?”

He slowly withdrew another document. “They are giving you your freedom. It is now up to you to decide what to do with it.”

Her hand trembled as she discarded the first document and took the one he offered. “Freedom?”

Control over the elements is dull until a man walks onto her world and makes her senses burn.
Vexaniali has spent her life in solitude, finding ways to entertain herself on an empty world that has become her prison. She was ordered to keep anyone from landing, but it was just a make-work job to keep her out of the way.
Burn arrives and offers her a chance to use her skills on a variety of worlds under the aegis of the Citadel Arcani.
Moving a cure around a world using her mastery of air is time consuming and tiring but not difficult. It is a good start, and when Burn offers himself to top up her flagging energies, how could she refuse?
Rain of Tears

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #22
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Needing help to free her creation, Rain turns to an agricultural specialist who has more than furrows on his mind....

The dust puffed up with every step Reyan took. She shook her head at the arid landscape. They had really let this place go to hell since she was last here.

Three hundred years ago, the inhabitants had begged for her help when their weather-control machine had stalled out. The rest of the world of Jarko suffered because the people of this small corner of the continent liked to screw with nature. Reyan considered it her personal mission to keep the weather patterns even so that everyone got a chance at a harvest.

The people of Nekahar were jerks, there was no doubt about it, but the predictable weather brought settlers by the hundreds.

Reyan stopped and drank some water, hitched the bottle back onto her belt and walked into the city.

The guards at the gate stopped her. “Halt, we are on water rations. If you need food or water, you will have to pay.”

She grinned. “I accept your conditions, now let me pass.”

They could only see the lower half of her face. The marks that the Ichadran scientists had designed her with were an experiment and were also worn by her younger sister, the Destroyer. Her forehead was dotted with a very feminine pattern and her cheeks were streaked with silvery tears. Combine it with her pale blue eyes with their dark blue rings and her pale lavender hair, there was only one person she could be, the Rain.

There were three worlds in this system and Jarko was where she was able to do her best because of their screwy weather system.

The guards let her in after telling her that free food and water would be available in the central arena as a method of calling the rain.

As she passed through the city, she noted the signs of poverty, the abuse of authority and the degradation of society that always came with the drought. Those who couldn’t run, rotted.

She would do what she could, but unless they let nature take its course, they were doomed to repeat the cycle.


“As you know, we have fallen on hard times. Our efforts to repair the weather unit have failed and help is still months away. All we can do is beg the rain to return and hope that it will stay with us until the harvest is in. One good season is all we need, so rain, if you are listening, come to us!”

Reyan milled with the other travellers who had arrived in the city. She asked the man next to her, “Do you know how often they do this?”

“They started last year when the machine first malfunctioned. When did you get in?”

“This afternoon. Why?”

“They have a special treat for newcomers, but you can only claim it once.” He moved away from her, and she could see him radiating fear.

Cocking her head, she noted the guards who had seen her in were pointing her out to arena staff.

This was what she had been waiting for. The horror that had been whispered through the nearby areas, spread by those who had run, told of brutality in an effort to bring the rain.

Needing help to free her creation, Rain turns to an agricultural specialist who has more than furrows on his mind.
After centuries of waiting, Rain has an opportunity to retrieve a creation that she designed and it means far more than a simple machine should. Her memories are wound around the weather machine and it has been used to destroy the natural order of Jarko.
When she completes her introduction to the local mayor, he ends up leaving office suddenly and his replacement is first a member of the Citadel before he is acting mayor. He is more than willing to help her with the weather machine. Of course, being from the Citadel, there will be a price, but Rain has learned that there always is when it is for something she really wants.
Waking Dream

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #23
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Out of her body and lost in space, Wiyra finds solace and help in the form of a tracker who has his own designs on...

Wiyra Kwinto settled into her pod. “Do we have the sites that you want me to check out?”

Her cousin Stennar nodded and grinned. “They are loaded. Feel free to check on them, cuz.”

“I will. I hate it when you use me to surprise other folks on the mining colony.”

He chortled and put her drips into her arms and thighs. “You spoil all my fun.”

“And you like to use me to give people heart attacks. We all have our burdens to bear.” She exhaled and let the gel lining of the pod take her weight. It would keep her hydrated, fed and breathing while her mind went for a walk without her body attached.

She carefully gave Stennar a thumbs up as she used the keys under her left hand to get her locations. Her mind automatically corrected for drift and propulsion, and the next moment, she was out of her body and standing on a slowly rotating asteroid.

She did her standard mineral check. Several hours of walking through the rock layers later, she was confident that it was a viable site. She moved onto the next rock and the one after that.

Six hours out of her body was enough for one day, she returned her astral form to the drifted locale where it should be and ran into a slight problem. The mother-platform was gone. All the surrounding asteroids were in the proper alignment, but the platform where her family and her body were was gone.



“Wake up, Master Tracker Burin, I need your help.” She carried on the conversation with her hand inside his skull. It was the only way she could transmit her thoughts into something he would understand.

It had been hard to force her way into Citadel Reevish. The tower and the Masters’ quarters were fully lined against psychic spillage. Apparently, she qualified, but she was also very determined.

He opened his blue-green eyes and jolted in surprise. “I have had this dream, but you were in your body at the time.”

“That is my problem. Someone has stolen my body and my family platform.” She really didn’t want to be here. The last time she had spoken to Burin, he had offered her an amazing amount of money to join Citadel Reevish. She had rudely turned him down and told him where to stuff his offer. Now, she was sitting in his bedroom with her hand inside his skull. Life was unpredictable.

He chuckled. “You are joking.”

He sat up and she moved with him, trying to ignore the muscular nudity of his form. “Could you put some clothes on?”

Out of her body and lost in space, Wiyra finds solace and help in the form of a tracker who has his own designs on her physical self.
Wiyra is an astral investigator. She can leave her body and search any specific point in space that she wishes. She merely has to know its location before she leaves herself. A problem arises when she leaves to examine some mineral deposits and returns to the place her body should be, only to find it missing.
Her entire home is missing. Her cousins, grandfather and brothers are all gone with no trace. There is only one person she can turn to, and while it makes her grit her astral teeth, she heads to Citadel Reevish.
Master Tracker Burin is woken from a sound sleep by an astral hand in his head, and while he is startled, delight soon follows. Wiyra has come to him for help and the Citadel does nothing for free. He has her right where he wants her…as soon as he finds her.
Walking Haunt

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #24
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Yohwen enjoys her life, but when the Citadel comes knocking she has to face change, danger and a man whose touch c...

The final gong rang, and Yohwen started to walk. The first step on the smooth sand tingled through her and she made herself a conduit between the energy of the dead and their living relations. As she slowly paced, paused and paced again, she kept herself focused on letting the dead speak and move through her. The moment she drew even with the first burial site, the glowing figures solidified and were ceremonially embraced by their relatives. She felt a surge of relief and pride that she would not disgrace her temporary title.

The light sprang up around her, and she heard murmurs of surprise as she continued her slow and deliberate pace. Her mind joined the song that the dead brought from the stars. She gave herself up to them, pulling power from the ground beneath her to offer them visible form. Yoh heard chattering, excited sobs, and she kept moving on the sand path laid out just for her.

There was one moment, a few hours in, when an excited child stumbled into her and the light dimmed at the contact with the living. She turned her head, and the child stared up at her in shock before her dead grandmother came up to her and shepherded her back to the family with apologies to the Haunt.

She silently wished the young girl a peaceful transition into activity.

Bemused at the contact with a Haunt in her young stage, it took Yoh a bit of effort to get back into the pacing trance that continued for three more hours.

Niisa was waiting for her at the end with a stool, her shoes, and a soft brush to remove the sand. Yoh sat and let her assistant take care of her. She got to her feet and looked over the largest cemetery in the world. Lights of souls were still there, still active.

“Let them go, Yoh. You have done more than enough.”

“When you miss the ones you love, there is never time enough.” She smiled sadly, and as the dawn began to rise, she let the ghosts fade. The souls returned to the stars, and those left behind smiled with watery eyes.

The conclusion and dissipation of the souls was marked with another gong, and Yohwen was free to return to her quarters, change and get the hell out of the capital city.

On their way back to her staging room, she leaned on her friend. “That was tiring.”

“I can imagine. You lit up far more sites than expected.”

“How many?”

Niisa laughed softly. “I am thinking…all of them. As people started noticing, they called everyone nearby into the city so that they could all participate. You might be getting a bonus for this.”

“Does the bonus take the form of a nap?”

Her friend giggled. “No, I don’t think it does.”

“Then, I am not interested. Back to the room, change of clothing and out of this makeup. I don’t want anyone to recognize me by sight when we leave.”

“Fine. You start scrubbing, I will get the chisel.”

Yohwen enjoys her life, but when the Citadel comes knocking she has to face change, danger and a man whose touch can set her on fire.
Yohwen has finally reached the pinnacle of her art. She is the Master Haunt and during the festival week, she wakes the dead for their friends and families for one night only.
The next day she is invited to help the Citadel on a world where the entire population died without a whimper. They were Ysheer, the same species as Yohwen. She can talk to them and let them talk to others in a way that no other being can manage. When her assistant asks to go, there is no choice. She has to go.
Scorcher Orkill was not expecting the lovely creature to agree, but when she did, his heart raced and his body heated in a way he was only used to when his talent was in overdrive.
She is here to do a job, and he is here to help, but once the work is over he has every intention of pursuing her. Unfortunately, something goes horribly wrong.
Scorched Heart

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #25
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

A woman with a talent for destruction is partnered with a Guardsman with a flair for bringing things to life. ...

Winera swallowed hard and pulled at her collar. The neckline of her tunic made her feel hot, but everyone was wearing their best. A chance at a full Alliance education, a job and an opportunity to see the universe was in that sensor’s hands.

Loshosh wasn’t so much a poor world, as unutterably dull. There were two ways off. You could wait until either you had acquired enough money to travel or you could be chosen for the Citadel. There were no other ways out.

Winera stepped forward another position. One of the men ahead of her got the nod, and he was allowed to go to the left instead of the right. She felt flushed and crossed her fingers that she had a dormant talent inside. The power sensor would know and he would tell her whether she was acceptable or not.

No one in Winera’s family ever got the nod but everyone still tried. It was the nature of the population of Loshosh; they were both optimistic and realistic at the same time.

There were three people between her and the sensor. With each slide of skin against scale, her heart pounded until she was facing him and he extended his hands to her.

“Please place your hands on mine, palms down.”

Winera extended her hands to him, slowly lowering her palms to his. She heard a sizzle a moment before he shouted, “Containment!”

A woman broke from the conversation she had been having with the organizer and was at Winera’s side in an instant.

The hug was surprising, but the pull of the woman’s arms broke the contact with the sensor.

Another robed Citadel member rushed to his side and placed their hands over his.

“Calm down, miss. I am going to walk you to the edge of the grounds. You can send out a pulse from there.”

“A what?” Winera was confused. Did I pass or fail and why is she holding me?

“Oh dear. Well, we are going to take a walk and I am going to explain a few things to you. My designation is Container Nehad. You can call me Needy.” The woman chuckled but kept walking with her arms around Winera.

“Well, Needy. I appreciate meeting new people, but why are you hugging me?”

“You have a talent that just woke up under the stress of the determination. Based on the smell, you burned the sensor. Don’t worry. We keep a healer with us for just such occasions.”

“So, I am a talent but I just assaulted the power sensor. Where does that leave me?”

They swayed together as they made it to the edge of the property.

“Well, you need training. Heat talents are always needed for many different applications. You will be a wealthy woman by the end of your career.”

They exited through the door in the fence and Needy tugged her to one side, with her own back to the wall.

“What precisely is it that you are doing, Needy?”

“Well, my talent shields me from yours, but we need the stone wall at our backs to protect all the people at the selection event. With the amount of heat you put out during a handshake, you would not be good for their health.” Needy settled herself and slowly lowered her arms.

Winera was nervous. “What do I do?”

“Step away from me until the heat returns, and when it does, because it will, it will course out of you. Aim it at the mountains and away from any buildings in the distance. You might be more powerful than you think, so pick the safest spot you can.”

Winera took a few steps and looked back at Needy. The woman’s birdlike features and feathered skin and beaked nose were surprisingly comforting. Her dark brown eyes were kind as she waved Winera off.

At twenty paces from Needy, Winera felt the rising heat once again. She let it come.


She shivered on the ground, kneeling on a scorched piece of earth. Needy was at her side in a moment, clucking in comfort and covering her with the Citadel robes that she had been wearing. “It’s all right, child. You will be fine. We have you now. You are joining the Citadel. What is your name by the way?”

“Winera. Winera Eckerhart.” She huddled in the warmth of the robes.

“How old are you, Winera?” The soft hand stroked her forehead and calmed her.

“Twelve, Container Nehad. I just turned twelve.” She dozed against the feathered touch and didn’t look around as she was lifted and carried to the shuttle.


“Mr. and Mrs. Eckerhart, your daughter Winera is one of the strongest Scorchers that I have ever seen.” Power Sensor Riskin was trying to break things gently to the couple.

The couple were clinging to each other and looking around them with wide eyes.

Mrs. Eckerhart spoke up, “Where is my daughter?”

“I will be frank. Do you see that dark mark on the hillside below?”

It was a three-mile-wide span of scorched earth and vegetation that had flashed from living to crisp in seconds.

“Your daughter’s power manifested during the power sensing. She got nervous and this is what happened. Now that she has activated, there is no way that you will be able to train and contain her.”

Her mother straightened her shoulders. “What do we need to do to make sure that she is safe?”

“Sign this contract and authorize the Citadel to make all decisions regarding her training and employment.”

A woman with a talent for destruction is partnered with a Guardsman with a flair for bringing things to life.
Winera showed her talent as a Scorcher in a spectacular first display of heat and destruction. The Citadel welcomed her with open arms.
Years after joining the Citadel, she is finally a full-fledged Scorcher and ready for her first official mission with a member of the Sector Guard. She had no idea that she was getting more than just a partner when a bundle of feathery fluff claims her as his own, much to her new partner’s amusement.
Hyl has been waiting for the matchmaker to find him a partner that he can do more than go into battle with. One look at Winera and he knows that this fiery woman could set his senses ablaze.
Smudge is a Yaluthu who has been patiently waiting for his person. When he sees the woman of fire, he knows she is the one that he is destined to be with, and he flings himself into her arms.
Let’s not talk about the ship. She has too much attitude.
Creating Harmony

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #26
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Iara lives her life for calm, partnered with a species she despises. She has to fight for what she brings so easil...

Iara remained quiet as her father hauled her through the streets of the spaceport. Her dress tried to trip her feet, and her mother walked behind her, her head covered in dark netting the concealed her features.

The family bodyguards surrounded them and pushed through the crowds that gathered to see Kozue walk the pavement of Saroo.

Iara Hanikada stumbled but kept her head high. Her father kept his grip on her arm, but he eased his pace.

They continued through the spaceport to the administration centre. An escort was waiting for them.

The royal guard surrounded the man with the prefect markings tattooed on his face.

He stepped forward. “Is this the great talent?”

Battle Captain Rehzik Hanikada eased his daughter forward. “Here she is. You will take care of her as I have instructed?”

Iara blinked up at the man with the heavily tattooed face.

He smiled down at her, and she felt the attack coming a moment before the warrior struck.

Her father held his men back.

Iara turned to face the man coming at her with a knife. She held out her hand, and he paused in place, relaxing his arms and his mind coming to a slow, humming, calm state.

Iara looked back to the prefect and gave a small curtsy. Her mother had taught her the gesture just that morning, and she heard a small sob behind her.

Iara turned and walked back to her mother, taking her hand and filling her with calm and harmony. “This is where I need to be, Mother.”

“Be well. I will come back when I can to see you.”

“Remain safe, Mother. I will be here, alive and strong when you return.”

Iara squeezed her hand and bowed to her father. He bowed in return, and she walked to the prefect. “We can go now.”

She took his hand, and he blinked in surprise. “I don’t feel anything.”

Iara sighed, “Of course not. I am just not supposed to run around without an adult with me.”

He tossed a bag to her father, and it clinked with the sound of credit chits. “Well, then, shall we head to the palace? King Learith is eager to meet you.”

She nodded and straightened her shoulders. “I think we should since I live here now.”

He chuckled. “By all means, let us go to the palace.”

Iara tried to keep the tears back as they travelled through the city to the place where she would serve as bodyguard to the ruler of the world. They had paid her family a lot of money for her services, but they could have had her for the asking. There was no room for calm and harmony on a Kozue ship. They thrived on conflict and combat.

While she sat in the transport that took her to the palace, a few fat tears ran down her cheeks and she brushed at them, trying to remain calm and stoic.

She tried to remember that she was allowed to cry. After all, she was only nine years old.

Iara lives her life for calm, partnered with a species she despises. She has to fight for what she brings so easily to others.    
Iara was a Kozue whose talent was peace and tranquility. Her parents sold her as a bodyguard to a royal house when she was just nine years old. Twelve years as a bondservant gave her an education that the Citadel continued when she escaped from a fate worse than death.
Partnered with Lock of the Sector Guard, she stifles her urge to scream. There is one man guaranteed to shake the calm she brings to others and she is stuck in a ship with him.
Lock admires Iara for her skill, her poise and her beauty. Finding a female Kozue without family or clan to protect her makes her a target, but her talent makes her formidable and very sexy to his senses.
Thunder Struck

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #27
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Stirring a tempest is the easy part, controlling it is the issue and depending on a jerk of a healer is annoying. ...

Ked stepped off the shuttle, holding the hand of Taedra, the Citadel rep.


Ked held tight to the bag of suits she had been given while bots zipped past her with ration packs stacked on pallets. The food was for her. Iskan did not need it.


“Kedna, do you see that city?”


Ked nodded. “It is empty.” She looked around and the entire world was silent. “Why is it so quiet?”


“Iskan is renovating. He is changing his surface for a new species, and he is willing to delay the process to help you gain control over the elements.”


Kedna looked up at Taedra. “When do you think I can go home?”


“Let’s see how fast you can learn. Your talent seems to be atmospheric. You can learn and practice here without worrying about damaging anyone or yourself. Iskan’s Avatar is a healer. She can keep you up and running.” Taedra was trying hard to keep the mood light.


A figure in robes walked toward them, a staff in one hand. When it got closer, Kedna saw the reptilian skin and wide yellow eyes swirled with scarlet.


Taedra stopped and inclined her head in respect. “Avatar, thank you for your offer of assistance in this special case.”


The Avatar smiled, her flat lips curving upward. “It is an honour to assist with such a worthy matter. Hello, Kedna Kencort. My name is Halwis-Iskan, but you can call me Halwis.”


Kedna released Taedra’s hand and put her palm over her heart. She bowed low. “Thank you for your offer. I hope that it will not be for too long a duration.”


Halwis gave Taedra a chiding look before she turned kind eyes back to Kedna. “It will take as long as it takes.”


She knew in that kind look that she wasn’t going home. Tears started and she lifted her chin. With determination, she stepped toward the Avatar before turning back for a moment. “Thank you for your help, Representative Taedra. I believe that Halwis-Iskan will take over my care now.”


Taedra stepped forward and extended her hand before she slowly lowered it. “The bots have food, and we will send someone to check on you every six months. Avatar Halwis has a com unit that you can use to call home. The contact codes are in your bag.”


“Thank you, Representative. I believe that Kedna needs some time to acclimate to her new home. The instructive holograms are all ready for her and her education has been planned for the foreseeable future. There is nothing more you can do here, but you are welcome to come and inspect her lodgings.”


Taedra inclined her torso in a short bow. “I will return in six months. Kedna, if you need anything, send me a message. I can have it delivered by drone.”


Ked wanted to wail that she wanted to go home, but that wasn’t the right thing to do. Lira was in control training on Thoola after she pushed Nilko into spending his university money on a pony. Finally, their parents had to face facts, and those facts were that their two youngest were exceptionally powerful and both needed help.


They had dropped Lira off on Thoola before coming to Iskan, and now, all members of her family were where they needed to be. Kedna could start working on herself.


It was quite the burden for an eleven-year-old, but she was up to it.


Stirring a tempest is the easy part, controlling it is the issue and depending on a jerk of a healer is annoying.
Kedna has been consigned to fostering on the empty world of Iskan when her power and her health become dangerous. Being mentored by a planetary Avatar is difficult, but moving the weather for an entire world is second nature.
When she is older and her skills are needed off world, she is paired with her first member of the Sector Guard. He is a pain in the butt and harbours resentments toward her for hogging his ancestral planet. She simply concentrates on the job and earns his respect in the bargain.
Fast forward to her twenty-third birthday and they cross paths again. This time, she knows his measure and he knows hers. Respect turns to fascination and progresses into a flirtation that crosses the stars.
Breaking Gods

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #28
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Born to mimic any talent she sees, Lieta is asked for help in taking down those of her own kind. A new career in B...

The storm was wild. She clutched the baby to her chest and ran through the rain.

She had been given five minutes to get her child to safety and her lack of control had caused her to overshoot the landing site. Now, she had to run.

The woman set the child against the gate in the shelter of an overhang, and she rang the bells with all her might. Her keeper was coming for her to resume her training. This was the only moment in the entire span of time that she wanted.

Her daughter needed to be safe.

A figure appeared next to her and she was hauled away before she knew that her daughter was safe. She screamed as she was taken away and then fell silent. Her daughter had heard that scream twice today. The first time had been when she died.


* * * *


The monk opened the door as the blood-curdling scream faded in the air. The smaller, more insistent shout came from the bundle at his feet. He leaned down and lifted her in his arms. “Hello, little one. Did you make all that noise?”

The baby looked at him with eyes in a purple so dark they looked to be deep brown. She blinked and slurped her fist.

The monk lifted his hand and light covered it, illuminating their new arrival. The baby waved her fist in the air and it glowed in reaction.

“Oh dear, little one. You have a lot of power in that tiny body.”

She waved both fists and both glowed. She giggled and then burped. He brought her inside to the warmth and shelter of the temple. Sister Esrai would know what to do with her.


* * * *


Twenty-three years later, Lieta was hauling in the harvest with the monks and acolytes when a blast struck the ground near her feet.

“You. Manager.”

She turned to face the young man with the dark soul and blacker temper. “Redol, right?”

“She talked about me, did she? The stupid bitch.”

Well, she had guessed right. “Ah, so you are Venila’s ex-boyfriend. You are everything she said.”

Lieta moved away from the wagon and toward the intruder, into the monastery’s property. “What did you want?”

“I want Venila back. Give her to me.”

“She is not a slave, nor is she owned by the monastery. She can come and go as she pleases, but she is choosing to live there and take vows to serve others.”

Lieta kept easing to one side until there was nothing to strike behind her.

“She is mine. She will come back to me.”

“Oh, I do not think so. She will remain where she is safe. Where a jackass with a bad temper will not cow her and make her feel like nothing has happened because her healing talent takes over the wounds.”

“Then she will be working on you tonight, bitch.” He extended his hand and a ball of whirling wind emerged. With a clumsy shove, he directed it at her.

She shook her head, caught it and sent it back with a tight, hard ball of whirling air that struck him straight in the chest.

Born to mimic any talent she sees, Lieta is asked for help in taking down those of her own kind. A new career in Breaking Gods.
Abandoned at the doors of an abbey, Lieta began life with knowledge of how to use any talent she was in contact with. As she grew, so did her collection of accessible power.
When the Citadel came to the abbey to ask for her assistance, she was astonished to learn she was not only not the only one of her kind, but she was one of the only sane ones. Her species enjoys being worshipped and that is rarely a good result for their people.
Lieta has to stop them, nullify them and make sure that they won’t hurt others. Running into one of her previous arrests and finding out that she is expected to let him be her shadow is a shock.
Muraz once fancied himself a god, but after being shown that he was not alone, he has decided that working with the only being more powerful than himself might be educational
Water and Power

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #29
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Enslaved by her own people, she breaks free and joins the Citadel in her capacity as a water elemental. Her destin...

Morakil Esterhart clutched her purse as she walked toward the screening centre. Her world had become a strange and dangerous place to live in, and it was getting worse.

Resicor was turning into a world of darkness and paranoia, and Mora was afraid that she was about to become its next victim.

A woman came up next to her and said quietly, “Do you want to pass this interview?”

Mora tried to turn but the voice said, “Don’t look. Do you want to pass this interview?”

Mora nodded.

“Good. Just relax.”

A hand gripped her wrist and held tight for a moment. A second later, they were in the midst of a pushing and jostling crowd. A cloak was draped over her head and shoulders and hands guided her out of the crowd and away from the screening centre.

Mora glanced back, and she bit her lip as she saw herself stepping toward the centre with a nervous stride. She kept her head down and walked with the stranger who had his arm around her.

When they got around the corner, a transport was waiting for her. The man behind the wheel said, “We can take you home or to the mountains. Your choice. Once you are out there, you will be on your own.”

“So, I am escaping the dome and going to the hills instead?”

“Your mind and body will be free. Consider that our gift to you.” The man nodded to his companion, and they chuckled together.

Mora sat back. This was going to be no life for a jeweller, but she supposed that living free was a better option than living in confinement. Idly, she wondered how the fake her was doing at the interview.


* * * *


The double was sitting in the interview room with two people glaring at her from across the table. In the corner was an empath who was monitoring her mind.

“So, despite your neighbour complaining about your farm having water during the drought, you are claiming that you had nothing to do with it?”

Fake Mora smiled nervously, keeping the copied memories and personality in front of her own. “I don’t know why the family farm has more water than my neighbours. We might be on a different water table. I don’t involve myself with the farm at all. I am a jeweller.”

Fake Mora felt the pressure on her mind, and she showed it only what it should feel. Nervous fear and confusion.

This was not the first time she had done this, or even the hundred and first. She sat through more questions about the water levels at Mora’s home, and finally, she was discharged when the empath shook her head.

She had a clean bill of being normal, which would mean that Mora could go home, but the blood sample would degrade in a matter of hours. Mora would be registered as normal until someone checked on the blood that they took when fake Mora entered the building. After that, there would be a hunt for her.

Enslaved by her own people, she breaks free and joins the Citadel in her capacity as a water elemental. Her destiny is fluid.
Mora was identified to the Resicor government as a talent, and on the way to the interview that would lock her up, she was diverted and hidden in the mountains.
After a year on her own, she was captured and her time in service to the Resicor government began, deep underground where the public would never know.
Tranoth was assigned by the Citadel to break her free, but as a technician, he had to go where he was sent. By chance, he ended up with her on two occasions, and it was enough time to set things in place for the breakout.
By the time they are able to move, she has been alone for six years with only minimal contact by other beings. Her mind is fragile but she is determined. If they give her a place to run and hide, they will have to catch up to her because she is going.
Tech Tack

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #30
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

A tech from Resicor meets a bodyguard with sedating spikes. When she wakes up, she is on her way to the Citadel.&n...

Ainora faced her interviewer with all the calm she could muster. She hadn’t been able to adjust the appointment any longer. If she had skipped today’s events, they would have arrested her.

“Yes, I have a talent.”

The security guard and the empath were surprised. Her interviewer blinked as she organized her next question.

“Why haven’t you come forward?”

“There wasn’t any need. No one can tell that I have a talent, so why should I worry about it. I am no threat to Resicor or its people.”

The interviewer tapped her finger on the table. “You are hardly one to judge.”

Ainora cocked her head. “I beg to differ. I am a very good judge of my talent.”

“What is your talent?”

She laughed. “I thought you would know since you went to the trouble to bring me in.”

“The report that your co-worker filed was lacking in detail. He suspected your abilities were more than natural.”

Ainora stretched and put her hands behind her head. “They are completely natural. Urak couldn’t match me on any details even if I don’t use my additional senses.”

“How did you know?”

“That it was him? There is only one person at the firm that hangs over my shoulder trying to discover my secrets as I repair the equipment. It got him into trouble on several occasions. Last month, he stopped following me, so I am guessing that that is when you got the tip off.”

The empath in the corner smirked.

“You really thought that it would work to simply ignore your obligation to declare the talent you had acquired?”

Ainora smirked. “I didn’t acquire it. It is as much a part of me as your toenails are part of you. There was nothing to declare. At no time did I smuggle them through customs.”

The interviewer slammed her hand down on the table. “This is not a joke.”

She sat forward and put her own hands on the table. “Yes, it is. There is another talent in this room and she is allowed and encouraged to use her talent each and every day. For her, it is a job, a part of her that she can use daily. What is the difference?”

The interviewer paused and regrouped. “Your talent is dangerous.”

“Really? What is it?”

Ainora waited while the woman flipped through the files.

She sat quietly and waited.

Finally, the woman sat up. “It doesn’t say. What is your talent?”

A tech from Resicor meets a bodyguard with sedating spikes. When she wakes up, she is on her way to the Citadel.    

Ainora has been spotted by the government of Resicor and identified as an active talent. Her ability to identify the repairs needed for any situation makes her a valuable tool and turns her into a slave for the government.
Her family makes arrangements to get her off world, and when the rescue comes, he simply knocks her out and carries her away.
Lyon has worked as a bodyguard for years but never has he run across a woman who not only recovers from the toxin on his spikes with incredible speed, but also manages to dodge his next volley with surprising instincts.
Eyes in the Sky

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #31
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

A woman with vision finds a man who can help her reach heights she never imagined. Riasa has been working with...

Riasa dismantled her equipment, put on her protective lenses and left the small hole with the broadcast equipment in its hidden burrow. With a few forks of hay, she covered it up completely.

Humming, she headed out of the barn and continued her chores. She worked the façade on each and every day. The drones flew overhead, seeking her signal. She glanced at them for the appropriate amount of time and returned to her work.

After two more hours outside, she returned to the farmhouse and smiled at her mother. “So, I guess tonight’s the night. I wish I could warn them that it was the last broadcast, but that isn’t going to be possible.”

“Ri, the drones have already narrowed your broadcasts down to our prefecture. You need to go before they capture you.” Her mother shook her head. “We will miss you, but it will be a relief that you are safe and thriving.”

Riasa nodded and washed her hands before helping her mother with dinner. Lobelia Zorgard was a stubborn woman, and if Riasa didn’t go outside of her free will, she would be staked out like a sacrificial lamb if it would get her off Resicor.

Peeling the tubers was therapeutic. Her mind went blank while she was scraping away.

“When are they coming?”

“During the eclipse. Be ready and be prepared to be stunned or zapped in case the drones are watching.”

“Yes, Mom.”

An hour later, her father came in and the meal was served. They ate together as a family and watched the two celestial objects get closer and closer.

Riasa removed her lenses and looked at the sky. “It is time for me to go and check on the goats.”

She hugged each of her parents in turn and headed outside in the dark with a light and her lenses down. She heard a soft beat above her, and in seconds, she was swept into the sky and over the fields at a low altitude. She dropped her light and held tight as he swept her toward a stone edifice that had a ship clinging to the bottom side of an outcropping. He tucked his wings and they skidded inside.

She got to her feet and looked down at him, all bright lines and wide wings. Wings. He really had wings.

A woman with vision finds a man who can help her reach heights she never imagined.
Riasa has been working with the resistance to warn talents of the scanning bots flying overhead on schedules. The warning of eyes in the sky saved lives and families.
Rescued before she could be caught, Riasa begins life at Citadel Teklan, but she knows something is very wrong. Confronting her suspicions, she calls in help and destroys the only home she has been offered before getting assigned to a flyer with wings of stone.
Natu was disgruntled to be picking up a farmer’s daughter on Resicor, but once he met Riasa and saw her talent in action, he had to admit that he had been in the right place at the right time.
Core Charge

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #32
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

A woman with electric skills is rescued from torture by a man who stops time.     Gwiette is haul...

Tears were not doing her any good. Gwiette Lonkastil was pinned to the wall by manacles, and the sporadic pull drew her excess charge from her body and sent it into the power plant.

They had come for her two days before her appointment at the investigation centre. Gwiette jerked as the power surged out of her again. Two days would have gotten her to safety, and the resistance had promised to have a substitute in place to take her interview for her, leaving her family free and clear.

That wasn’t what had happened. They had come for her in the night, rousted her family out of bed and hauled her into the street in her nightgown, their hands covered with rubber gloves. Her younger sister had stared at her in shock as she was pulled to her feet and forced to stumble barefoot down the road into the collection transport. The eeriest part was that not one of those who entered her home said a thing.

She stiffened against the surge of power leaving her body again. This was going to be a short future. Her body wouldn’t last long at this rate.


* * * *


Lafeil Lonkastil entered the teashop and looked for the woman with the blue hair. She smiled nervously and ordered. “A Lemial Spice tea, please.”

The woman with blue hair nodded. “I will have to bring it out to you. Take this number to booth six and wait. I will deliver your tea in five minutes.”

Lafeil nodded and took the order number, placing it carefully on the edge of booth six’s table. Now, she had to wait to be contacted by the resistance.

She waited for the five minutes, looking around at the government agents who entered and left the shop with regularity.

When the woman brought the tea, she sat across from Lafeil. “What can I do for you?”

“My sister was scheduled for an interview tomorrow. They took her last evening. I don’t know where she is or how to get in touch with her.”

The clerk blinked and her features got a little blurry for a moment. “What do you mean, they took her?”

“They came to our house, hauled us out into the street and took her away in her nightgown.” She looked around and was surprised that there was no guard coming to sweep her away.

“Don’t worry. Our booths are lined to avoid psychic residue spill over. As long as you keep your voice conversational, you are fine.” The woman asked, “Did they say where they were taking her?”

Lafeil shook her head. “They didn’t say anything; they just took her. I don’t know what to do or who to tell.”

“Thank you for passing along this information. It will be acted on.” The server nodded and gave her a short smile, returning to the counter without another word.

Lafeil blinked at the woman and quietly got out of the booth, leaving the teahouse without looking back. She needed to find some help for her sister, and if the resistance wouldn’t do it, she would.

A woman with electric skills is rescued from torture by a man who stops time.    
Gwiette is hauled out of her home in the middle of the night and taken off world, turning her into a power supply for a lab or something else she could not see. Her power is painfully stripped from her until a man with shadows in his eyes comes in to rescue her.
Nyral has lived more than his share of time, but he knows that Gwiette is part of his timeline the moment he sees her. Her rescue is his job, but watching over her recovery is his pleasure. He will be in her life and she in his. His instincts are never wrong.
Hyde and Seek

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #33
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

A woman who can copy any form is rescued from her own people by a walking shadow. Working in the Resistance,...

Amly Hyde walked to her day job at the Coroway Tea Shop. When she passed the first agent on the street, she didn’t flinch. She kept her mind pleasantly blank with her duties for when she got behind the counter rippling through her thoughts.

She felt the agent follow her and her heart sank. They were on to her. Today was the day. She had hoped she would have had more time.

There was nowhere for her to escape between her current location and work. They had planned it carefully. She was going to have to use her final option. This was going to happen at the shop.

Amly walked into the shop with four more agents trailing her. “Morning, Herial.”

“Morning, Amly. Have you seen all the agents around? There must be a talent in the vicinity.” Herial was serving the early-morning customers, and they were all craning their necks around to see what or whom the agents were after.

Amly went behind the counter and put on her apron after stowing her purse. She put cash in her bra and went to work. The agents wouldn’t close in on her until there was less of a crowd. She had an hour before she had to make her move.

She went about her daily task keeping the visible tier of her mind on her job. Amly smiled at the customers and poured tea and caf while she handed out pastries over and over.

It was a morning routine that her customers depended on and she needed to keep up her subterfuge. Nine years ago, her cousin had been taken to the domed city. Two years later, they got news of her death. Suicide. She hadn’t been able to live in the confinement of the bio-suit and in the environment of frustrated and depressed talents. Nola was gone now, but Amly tried as hard as she could to get others out of the path of the agents and into the relative freedom of new names in new communities or the wilds of Resicor.

Now, Amly was the one hunted, but she had planned for this. It wasn’t a great plan, but it would get her out and away from the agents. After that, running was going to be her life until she could connect with the Resistance. She was either going to get off Resicor or die trying, there was no other choice. Her talent could quickly be skewed for evil and she didn’t want it falling into the hands of those who would cull the population to suit their own ends.

After the morning rush eased, she looked to Herial. “It seems that whatever they are looking for is still in the area.”

He nodded. “I think you need to head to the back and check the inventory.” He reached out and grabbed her wrist. In all the years she worked with him, he had never touched her.

She recorded his genetic coding and looked at him with wide eyes. “The inventory?”

“The inventory. You need to check the inventory.” His eyes were blank.

Amly walked into the storeroom and closed the door. Hands grabbed her, and to her surprise, she fell through the floor.


A woman who can copy any form is rescued from her own people by a walking shadow.

Working in the Resistance, Amly Hyde has specialised in hiding other talents from notice. Now, she has been spotted, and she is hiding in plain sight until she just can’t hide anymore.
Rescued from a capture event, Amly is swept off her feet and through the floor, leaving Resicor in a way she had never really considered. Alive with her feet on the deck plates had never seemed like an option. She is destined for the Citadel and her companion is going to make sure she arrives safe and sound.
Walking Shadow has known his match was on Resicor, and the moment he saw her, he was sure that she was the one. The blue hair was a giveaway, but her strong-minded fixation on survival was a bit of a turn-on. He has time to convince her they are meant to be together but patience has never been one of his virtues.
Mind Strike

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #34
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

A multi-level telepath is sentenced to living death, and her rescue is not precisely textbook. Life, death, life a...

Skiria Linz sat at her desk and tried to keep her mind calm. She had felt one of the holders break last night, and she was on the roster for replacement. It was the least attractive option for her.

Skiria was dreading the possibility of having her mind mingled with any of the local holders. They would know that she had been siphoning talents off Resicor for the last four years.

She kept her head down and worked on processing the scanning information and census records. Guilt always struck her when she had to let an obvious talent go to assessment for interviews.

By the end of the day, she had processed the two that she had found and sent the sisters’ information up to assessment. The other four talents that she had located were subtle enough for her to sweep their scans under the radar, and she made a note to warn the individuals that their actions were being noticed.

She breathed a sigh of relief at the end of the day as she left work with her case at her side and her pass clipped to her lanyard.

Skiria passed through security and nodded at the guards that she recognized. Her path to the underground led her past the teashop where the attempted capture of a talent had failed just three weeks earlier.

The prickling across her mind told her she was still in the monitored zone, so she went inside the shop, got a cup of tea and headed back to the underground where agents had stepped up their observation dramatically in the last few weeks.

The tea was too hot to drink, but she held it, as she did every final day of the week. The underground was crowded but the hot tea got her the space she needed for privacy, as it did every week.

Skiria rocked with the train and got off at her stop. The monitoring prickles were fading now, but she didn’t trust it. Her focus kept the shield over her mind, thinking the rehearsed thoughts with the information from that afternoon’s workload.

Layering her mind was all that she could think of to conceal what she was really up to. Her talent for observation was on record, but the nine layers of her consciousness were her secret. Each layer swirled in a counterpoint to the one underneath to allow her plenty of time to defend against scanning.

Skiria walked home with the sensation of being watched. It wasn’t the first time and she doubted it would be the last. She needed a long, hot bath in the worst way.

Her senses slipped as she entered her apartment, the officers would never have passed her mental nets otherwise.

The captain was seated in her most comfortable chair. “Ah, Miss Linz, how nice that you are here on time.”

She blinked. “Of course I am. Why are you in my home?”

The captain stood up. “We are here to announce your new assignment. You have been promoted.”

Skiria swallowed. “I didn’t know that I was up for promotion.”

He smiled at her, and it was not a good smile. “This is your lucky day.”

She felt sick rising in her throat as the other officers surrounded her. Crap. She had been promoted.

A multi-level telepath is sentenced to living death, and her rescue is not precisely textbook. Life, death, life and a drop into a volcano.
 Skiria has been funnelling files out of the capitol for years, hiding those who can pass for standard, talentless folks. Her telepathy got her a position in the government, but it also put her on their radar, and when they needed someone to fill a vacancy, she was hauled out of her apartment and given a promotion.
Tied down and given a sedentary position to keep Resicor from rising and claiming an Avatar, Skiria is slowly dying. When she finally succumbs, she is disposed of in the most direct fashion and swept off world for a mission that she doesn’t understand. All in a day’s work.
Shattered Light

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #35
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

A jump into a crevice leads to life as an Avatar and a loss that breaks Trala’s heart. The moment tha...

Trala Sheewah walked to another status meeting. Three new psychics had been installed but there were signs of Resicor rising all over the globe.

Attimmorn was already waiting at the boardroom table.

Her sister Noma came in a moment after she took her seat and the other three keepers took their positions around the table.

“Now that we are all here, I am going to tell you that we are doubling our program. You will all have two holders to keep track of. The project is getting stronger and we need to subdue it.”

Trala gave him a long look. “We are burning through psychics at an accelerated rate as it is. How will more be better when the project is just getting stronger?”

He gave her a tired look and he waved his hand.

Trala jumped when she saw guards and women in keeper’s robes. Attimorn gave her a sad look.

“Trala Sheewah, you have been promoted to holder.”

Noma screamed a denial and jumped up.

Attimorn rubbed a hand through his hair. “You too, Noma. You might be able to buy the regular holders a break for fifteen minutes.”

Trala fought against the grip of the guards and ignored the sad eyes of the keepers who watched her and her sister hauled out of the boardroom and toward the holding area.

It was time. There was no way that they could get out of this any other way. She met her sister’s gaze and Noma ran.

With short hard strikes they broke free of the guards and ran for the edge of the crevice that led to the soul of their world.

Shouts sounded behind them as they jump and in the air they grip each other’s hands.

Trala met her sister’s wide dark eyes as they dropped down below the level where they could be seen. “Now!”

Trala called out the light, and Noma called the darkness. Together they went from falling to flying slowly toward the beating heart of their world.

Resicor contacted her with a low whisper, “Is it time?”

“I hope so because I just lost my job.”

Noma rolled her eyes. “Funny, Trala. I lost my job too.”

“Ladies, ladies. We have a job to do. Are you ready?”

As one, they intoned, “We are ready.”

“Excellent. Join with me children, but this is going to hurt.”

Trala held tight to her sister’s hands as the light exploded around them and she was in her element.

And then came the pain.

A jump into a crevice leads to life as an Avatar and a loss that breaks Trala’s heart.

The moment that the administrators decide to use Trala and her sister Noma as holders to confine the mind of the planet, they have to act. Their plan has always been to surrender themselves to the world but when Trala is taken and Noma is sent elsewhere her heart breaks as her twin disappears.
Trala has her work cut out for her in remaking the social structure of her world and defending against layers of invasion she was not prepared for. Improvising becomes her watchword but when a man made of shadows watches her back she doesn’t feel so alone.
Fractured Darkness

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #36
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

A woman out of time lands on a world that has potential to become a weapon for the future. Noma feels the pai...

Noma fought to stand up. Her body was flat on the ground and her skin burned with energy. She hadn’t gotten the mind of Resicor, but it had split the power between the two of them.

Resicor, you trust me with all this?

There is no one else beyond my Avatar that I feel needs or deserves this more.

I know you have briefed me on what I need to do, but I am not sure I am up to it.

I am. I will watch over your sister, so do not worry. You will do what you are destined to do and you will flourish. I have already seen it.

On the other side of the cavern, Trala was stirring, her light flaring in short bursts.

Trala stood and looked around the cavern. The world was bright and vivid through her eyes.

This feels better. How are you adapting, Trala?

Noma could hear them both as if they were whispering into her ears.

I feel fine, Resicor. Where is Noma?

Noma began to stride across the cavern now that she was standing, her shoulders back. I am here, Trala. We are one.

Resicor was filled with joy. We are one, and soon, Noma will be where she was always meant to be and Trala will take control of the surface.

Sorrow ran through their link, and the sisters took each other’s hands or, rather, they tried to.

Sparks flew the moment that they touched.

What the hell? Noma heard her sister echo her thought.

You are night, she is day; there can only be transition between you.

Noma looked to her twin and saw her own sadness reflected in eyes that swirled with brilliant blue.

Their thoughts merged and clung together. If they couldn’t hug in person, they would hug in their thoughts.

I have prepared the portal, Noma. It is there whenever you are ready.

What of our connection? Can I still talk to Trala?

It will be faint, but you will hear her. I would never separate my two most beloved daughters. I will be the link between you, sunset and dawn.

Noma felt the flare of power, and she turned to look at the black silk wall rippling with energy.

It is not for you, Trala.

Noma came up next to her, and she felt the tug through the portal as if there was a hand on hers. “It is for me. I can feel it calling me. What is on the other side?”

The beginning. You are going back to the beginning, and you will know what to do once you get there.

Noma turned to Trala, gritted her teeth and hugged her sister while the energy fought them. It crackled and burned both of them, but they held on as tight as they could until the power of the repulsion of their talents drove them apart.

That was…you are crying!

Noma smiled sadly. “Of course I am crying; I am going to be parted from Trala for the first time in my life.”

Trala sniffled and wiped at her tears. “I am going to miss you, Noma. My heart will bleed.”

“And my soul is broken, but we will both go on. I will start fresh and you will take over. We will go on.” Noma smiled and backed toward the portal; a moment later, she turned and stepped into her future.


A woman out of time lands on a world that has potential to become a weapon for the future.

Noma feels the pain of separation from her sister keenly, but the light that she stumbles across belongs to a man with beautiful eyes.

In a city of the rejected, she finds a purpose, and in the investigation of her destiny, she takes people with her out of the shadows and into the light.

The Citadel takes shape under her focus, and when it comes time for their first actions, her training on Resicor is used to help the talents that it had kept under control. It goes to show that education is never a waste.
Hunting a Soul

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #37
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Chasing a dark soul has been her focus for years, and now, she is being offered the training to do it. Leadra...

Leadra watched her brother fall to his death. Nine people were dead at his hand, and he had killed himself. There was only one horrifying fact—he hadn’t been the only soul in his body.

She watched the two souls separate and go their separate ways.

The shadowy darkness that had started the horror cruised upward and entered one of the security officers standing nearby.

Leadra ran at him and screamed, “You killed him!”

She could see the original soul clawing to be free, but the shadow wrapped him tightly. He struck her and whispered in her ear. “It is too bad about Frelmer. He was a fun host. I suppose I will just have to make do.”

She fought him until she was beaten unconscious, and when she woke, she was in the assessment centre with electrodes on her head.

A voice came out of a speaker on the wall. “Miss Brikar, you have been accused of being a telekinetic, a pusher and a psycho. How do you plead?”

She was confused but she shook her head. “Not guilty?”

“Are you asking me?”

“I don’t know where you are? Where is the officer I was fighting? He can explain things.”

“He already made his statement, and then, he committed suicide, citing your confrontation with him as the final straw. He said he felt your influence and that you had urged him to die. That is punishable by death.”

She snorted. “Right.”

“However, in light of the devastating catastrophe of your family’s demise at your brother’s hands, we are willing to give you an altered sentence. You will be sent to the dome where you will live out your life with other uncontrollable talents.”

She tried to deny her ability to see souls, but one walked through her cell. Her mother came forward and took her hand in both of her own. Do it. Go to the dome; you will be able to learn what you need to learn if you just go to the dome.

Her mother disappeared a second later, before Leadra could reply.

“We have just observed talented activity, so we will alter your plea to guilty of being a talent and your entry to the dome will be carried out immediately.”

Leadra had nothing more to say.


Three years went by before Leadra faced the woman in glowing white. She stepped forward to volunteer to fight and was swept into the air with the other twenty-four members of the dome-banishment club.

She had learned a little about hand-to-hand combat in the dome and gotten her body into fighting shape. When Trala asked for help fighting, Leadra could only nod quietly and agree to try.

She looked for a purpose and did what she was told. Fighting for her world’s freedom might be the pathway that her mother had mentioned, though the conversation had dimmed with time.

Helping wake up the sleepers gave her a chance to scan them for the soul shadow she was looking for. There was no sign of it, but she needed to find it. Death and destruction followed in its wake. She needed to kill it, but she didn’t know how. Strengthening her body was the first step. She needed to find out what happened next.

“You seem confused.” A woman, in flowing robes with a raptor on her shoulder, put a hand on her shoulder.

Warmth and compassion flowed out of that small contact, and the first voluntary touch in three years sent a shockwave through Leadra that had her bawling in the strange woman’s arms.

The bird on the woman’s shoulder chirped and rubbed his head against Leadra’s. Warmth and strength flowed from him as well. That made Leadra jerk upright.

She stared at the animal, and he looked back at her with patient eyes.

“His name is Fixit. He is a Yaluthu. He is part of a designed species mutated from a much smaller creature, and he is self-propagating. That was a disturbing few weeks.” The woman smiled at her. “He would like to know if he can ride on your shoulder. You are hurt and he wants to help.”

Leadra blinked and blushed. “I am not hurt.”

“Your soul is. Can he come on board?”

She gave in to the inevitable and let the creature walk onto her shoulder. The moment he was settled, she felt a lightening of the weight on her emotions.

Chasing a dark soul has been her focus for years, and now, she is being offered the training to do it.

Leadra’s family was murdered in front of her and her brother did it, or did he? A dark soul possessed her brother, and it mocked her, after her brother took his own life, from the mouth of the next person it possessed. On Resicor, seeing souls was a punishable offense, and she was locked in the dome for three years until the uprising.
Now free, Leadra has been offered training to hunt the soul that killed her family. Just one problem, she doesn’t know how to fly a shuttle.
N’ran offered to act as her pilot. His skills include his own sense of humour and the ability to fly anything. He knew who she was before she arrived and was interested in seeing her progress. A woman of power starting from nothing was quite the sight to see.
Krix is the youngest member of Fixit’s family, and he is destined to be the companion of a woman who can pull souls from bodies. She needs his help and he needs adventure. A Yaluthu with an urge to see the universe needs a little help.
Psyched Out

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #38
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Wim can bend others into tools for her purposes and only an Avatar and a Yaluthu can bring her back into a semblan...

Wimsah looked at Veera and smiled, waving a tea set into being. “Hello, Veera.”

“Hello, Wimsah. How are you feeling today?”

She shrugged and sat to pour tea on the edge of her charming balcony that looked out over her mindscape. “I am the same. Is that little thing still sitting on me?”

“Yes. He is. We are calling him Spot. Has he given you another name to call him by?”

Wimsah shook her head. “No. I don’t talk to him much. I am not sure why he is even here.”

“He is here because he has chosen you as his person. He is a Yaluthu and their means of procreation is achieving personal evolution through linking to another being. When you are whole and strong, he can change into his adult form. My Yaluthu, Fixit, can show you what he will look like.”

“Do I have a choice in it?” She made teacakes appear. “I know I should be tired of asking that by now, but it is an ingrained reflex.”

“No. Yaluthu do the choosing.” Veera sipped at her psychic tea.

“Ah well. I appreciate your visit but what prompted it?”

Veera set her teacup down deliberately. “I have gotten an offer of a matched mind for you, but it would involve you going to the Nyal Imperium to be partnered with a Guardian on an alien world. Spot can go with you.”

“But, I won’t be dangerous anymore.”

“Correct. His mind is strong enough to match yours and hold the wild power at bay until you can learn to control it.”

“What then? Will I be free then?” It was a question that needed to be asked.

“No. But you will be able to use your mind in the defense of others.”

“I suppose I will have to settle for that.” She glanced over and watched the small figure hopping just in her peripheral vision.

She turned in her chair and beckoned him forward. “Come on, Spot. If I am going to be stuck with you, I want to get to know you.”

He didn’t need to be asked twice; he scampered over to her and hopped up and down until she lifted him up and into her lap. He snuggled against her chest and chirped wildly with his stubby black wings flapping.

“His name is Spot.”

“Of course it is.” Veera laughed. “He must have been broadcasting it.”

He wiggled when Wimsah scratched his head.

They sat together for a few minutes, and then, Veera got to her feet. “Well, I will be returning to myself now. If you have accepted Spot, he will do what he can.”

“What can he do?”

Veera grinned. “That is up to him and up to you. Let him help.”

Veera disappeared and her aura remained for a second before she evaporated.

Wimsah looked down at the pale, intelligent eyes in the sea of black fluff. “What do you want me to do with you?”

She got an image of her cuddling him to her chest and her global landscape slowly drawing inward.

She scowled. “How long would that take?”

He shrugged his little wings and leaned against her, sitting with his stubby feet poking out on her thighs and his toes wiggling happily.

Well, she wasn’t alone in her own mind again, so things were looking up.

Wim can bend others into tools for her purposes and only an Avatar and a Yaluthu can bring her back into a semblance of sanity.
Wimsah was in a coma before the rising of Resicor, and her mind was wide open when the planet’s consciousness burst out. Her already wild talent grew to absurd proportions and a coma was the only safe place for her.
Benliar, Avatar of Roden, was asked if he would take on responsibility for Wimsah and her open mind. With her power, only the mind of a world could contain it, and he volunteered.
Spot has known that Wimsah needed him since she first landed on his world. He has watched her mental landscape, and she is in definite need of fuzz therapy. He is just the fuzz to oblige.
Burning Stone

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #39
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

A talent for melting stone is given a pilot who happens to be a dragon. Let’s hope the shuttle survives. ...

The sky was falling and Leyhara had a decision to make. Either she could pretend to be one of the screaming citizens, or she could step up and believe the vid that said talents would no longer be prosecuted.

While everyone ran away from the dropping ships, Leyhara moved forward to cut them off. When they dared to land on Resicor, she melted their landing gear and turned the ground around their ships into a hot plate with a molten surface.

Leyhara watched her clothing smoke as her skin heated up with the energy she was putting out. With her concentration on keeping the incursion at bay, she kept the invaders in their ships until she felt folk join her.

A quick glance showed her that they were citizens in normal clothing. A woman with her hair tied up in a scarf smiled and nodded. “Relax, miss. We have this. You have done enough.”

Leyhara knelt as ice cooled the ground and the talents of Resicor joined her in defense of their home. It was the first time she had seen this variety of talents out in public. From what history class had taught her, it was the first time anyone had seen it.

The men who surged out of the ships were large, armed and some had talents of their own. It didn’t matter. They were facing people who were risking their lives for their families. Each time one of the invaders touched ground, he was sent flying and the rest of the talents moved in.

When other ships arrived, they didn’t land. They hovered and broadcast a message of assistance and friendship. Leyhara got to her feet and pointed to a spot where they could set down.

Three ships set side by side in a tight formation. The folk who exited the ship were wearing brightly coloured and tightly fitting uniforms, some wore robes and none were armed.

Leyhara walked over to them, and she stood facing them, ready to melt their feet into the stone if they so much as twitched the wrong way. “Who are you and why are you here?”

A woman came forward with pale blue hair and a uniform that was terribly familiar.


The woman grinned and came forward for a hug. “Hello, Leyhara. They have tried to put one of us on every arrival team to ease things a little. You have done well. We had no idea this pocket had managed to land until someone picked up the psychic energy you are throwing around. We are here to help. Will you let us?”

She swallowed and hugged her childhood friend. “You can help, but who are you? I mean what are these uniforms, these ships?”

“This is an offering of the Sector Guard and the Citadel. We study and train for events like today, and I have to say, I am delighted that I made it.”

Leyhara had been one year behind Kiiki in school, but when she was arrested and thrown in the dome, it had been traumatic for all young talents. Leyhara and others had frantically found ways to control their talents to hide them from discovery. By practising where no one could see her, she had mastered her ability to superheat a surface.

Her parents’ work in geology had been the perfect cover, as their work took them to volcanic disturbances around the globe.

“Go do what you have been waiting to do, Kiiki. We will make sure that no one enters the city.”

Kiiki and three others took flight.

Leyhara beckoned for the local talents to retreat, and they watched the professionals in armoured suits race into the ships and take care of stragglers. For her first day as an outed talent, she thought things had gone pretty well.

A talent for melting stone is given a pilot who happens to be a dragon. Let’s hope the shuttle survives.
Leyhara is a talent of Resicor and she took full advantage of her new freedom to hold off attackers by grounding their craft, by having the ground under them melt.
After the attack, she is given the choice to stay or leave and go somewhere she can use her power. It takes her minutes to make up her mind and she is on the next shuttle out.
Bohrvin has been waiting centuries for a woman who answers the call of his mind, and when he finds she has the ability to melt rock, he decides he had better tread carefully while courting a woman standing on burning stone.
Lost and Sound

Written By: Viola Grace
Series: Tales of the Citadel #40
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Sonic senses and determination take her to the Citadel, but only a sense of purpose can keep her there. Yllin...

Yllin Gerocard flexed her fingers and waited for her turn at the testing unit. The Citadel was holding trials for those who thought they might have a talent suitable for working in the stars.

Yllin rubbed her hands on her leathers and she waited. Waiting was not her strong suit, but she tried to keep herself calm while name after name was called and those around her were taken in ahead of her.

Many of those applying had psychic talents or thought they did. Yllin had to wait for the Citadel Master who was interviewing physical and sensory talents.

Yllin breathed deep and drummed her fingers silently on her knees. When she heard, “Yllin Gerocard?” she jumped out of her seat and was at the man’s side in an instant.

He towered over her, and the scarlet of his skin glowed brightly. His eyes were far narrower than any person of her acquaintance, but then, she hadn’t met an alien before.

He looked down at her with surprise. “Yllin?”

She smiled nervously. “That’s me.”

He inclined his head and extended his hand. “I am Combat Master Wercor. Please come with me to the testing ground, and we will see what you can do.”

She gripped his hand in hers, and he was surprised at her grip. That much was obvious.

“May I ask what you do for a living?” He released her hand and escorted her through one of the halls in the city centre.

“I am a waitress. I serve food.”

“You have quite the grip.”

She chuckled. “It goes with the job. I get charged for breakage, so I try not to drop things.”

The testing ground was located in the convention centre, and the maze of structures was designed to keep her from getting around with any sort of speed.

Master Wercor stopped at a red line on the floor. “Yllin, I want you to go through the maze and pick up three of the nine orbs hidden in the warehouse. You have an hour.”

“That is it?”

He went to a counter and pulled out a narrow box. “Nearly. You need to wear these sensors on your forehead. They won’t interfere with your talent, but they will tell us what is going on when you use it.”

She nodded and settled them on her skin. One on each temple and one in the centre of her forehead.

He set his tablet and smiled. “When you are ready, I will start the clock.”

Yllin lifted her head and she said, “Now.”

The pulse went from her mind through the facility, reached the edge of her range and returned to her. She ran for the furthest orb of the three, and she had to tip over part of the maze to get to it. It was buried under the wall. Holding it in her hand, she ran toward the second, left, right and left again.

She had to lie on the floor and reach behind the podium, but she found the second orb. The shiny gold ball just fit in her left hand as she ran to the third and final orb. The six in the far reaches of the space were unnecessary. She just needed the third orb.

The third orb was hidden under carpet, so she flicked her knife open and knelt, digging a hole in the turf-style carpet that was thrown in front of the start line. The orb popped out, and she caught it between her left arm and her chest while she put her knife back in her boot.

Yllin gathered the prizes and walked back to the line. “Anything else?”


Sonic senses and determination take her to the Citadel, but only a sense of purpose can keep her there.
Yllin has been raised in privilege and has never felt like it was the right life for her. She honed her skills for sonar as a waitress at a busy restaurant and jumped at the chance to apply for a position in Citadel Ohkhan.
Her acceptance is a delightful surprise that isn’t enjoyed by her family. With reluctance, they give her their blessing and she sets out to be the best Citadel Novice she could be.
Her first assignment as a Specialist lands her in an archaeological dig in an ancient buried city. She throws herself into the day-to-day routine and wishes for something more exciting. Unfortunately, she gets it.
Specialist Nearing was her flight instructor and is now her pilot. Despite his urge to fly free, he finds himself drawn to her over and over. His mother really needs to stop assigning them together.