Touch of Deceit

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Jaqarg Tennan, chief of Intergalactic Security of the planet Bierilla refused to run any longer. Dazed and confused and drugged against his will, he’d let his best friend and second-in-command Stryhn convince him to leave his beloved homeland instead of facing his accusers. Now, forty-eight hours later, he knew escaping the scene of the crime had been a mistake.

As a warrior, he should have stood and fought. Even when a situation appeared hopeless, he’d been taught to fight for the law. In a moment of weakness, he’d forgotten all his training and fled.

But now his thinking was clear, the drugs were out of his system and he’d made the decision to return home. He reset the course of his space pod, the craft changing direction at his command, heading toward Bierilla. Home. Home to face whatever fate dealt him and clear his name.

A warning light flashed and he glanced at the radar. A meteor shower was headed straight toward him. If he’d been in one of the Bierilla fleet ships, he could have weathered the storm, but a single engine pod could not withstand the battering of rock. And if there were any large boulders, he’d be doomed.

He changed direction and gave the engine throttle full power away from the oncoming storm. A few rocks hit the tail of the small craft, making a thudding noise, but then it was silent. He breathed a sigh of relief. He just wanted to get home.

Changing the course of his ship, he aimed once again at Bierilla and then noticed his heading indicator didn’t match the coordinates he’d set. He typed in the correct numbers and still he traveled in an unknown direction.

The rocks hitting his pod must’ve done physical damage to the steering louvers at the rear of the pod. Resetting the instruments did nothing.

With startling clarity, he realized there was nothing he could do to change his course. Something was wrong with the guidance system and he was at its mercy as to where he would land. And contacting Stryhn was out of the question or others would think his second was in cahoots with him.

With a sigh, he checked the directional compass. The tiny pod was locked into a setting taking him to earth. A primitive planet populated with humans. If he survived the landing, maybe he could find some way to repair the pod. Double checking the controls, the craft was flying itself and all he could do was hang on for the ride.

Glancing at the calculations, he extrapolated where he would land. Magic, New Mexico.

Tightening his straps, he gripped the chair and prayed for a safe landing. The touchdown was totally out of his control.