Book Five of the Celestial Serenade

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Two specters hope for rebirth.
Only one can survive.

While the Caltaran Empire hovered on the brink of collapse, one woman saw the end approaching. Sensing how things might end for her, Alrayia Larath laid her plans in the shadows, hoping the seeds she planted might one day bear fruit. She had no idea the triggering of her program might steal a young woman’s life.

As Gaia’s Caltaran doctors race to stabilize her condition, its source slowly comes to light. But no one knows whether or not the awakening of Alrayia’s old memories will cause damage to Gaia’s mind. She must fight alone to maintain her sanity among the new voices.

While Gaia lies on what might be her death bed, fighting to reconcile with a remnant from the past, Kantis must confront a more tangible shade.

Once a silent hero that provided salvation to the Caltaran Empire, Cerendi now threatens to enslave those he used to serve. United by the shared pain in their past, Kantis resolves to lead his old companion to the light – if he can be reached.

But it quickly becomes clear reasoning with this new enemy will not be as easy as Kantis anticipated. Leaving Kantis to choose whether he will mend the bridges of his past or burn them to cinders.

A path for the past to reawaken…
Mere moments passed before they heard a flurry of footsteps in the hall. Doctor Dyhose and Lord High General Banvor hurtled through the doorway and descended on Gaia’s bed, poring over the life support monitor’s outputs for several seconds before they seemed to realize nothing was amiss. Almost as one, they turned toward Anten and Salis, glowering like angry mothers while Tanen cowered in the far corner.

“You realize that the call button is only for emergencies, Lord Larath, I’m sure?” Lord High General Banvor said.

“I was the one who pressed it,” Salis replied primly. “Because we happen to have encountered an emergency.”

“And what, exactly, is it?” Doctor Dyhose demanded.

“If you’re trying to get an update,” Banvor added, “this is hardly the way to-“

“Before we transferred Gaia into your care, Banvor,” Anten interrupted, “Doctor Dyhose said that something had increased the genetic decay crippling her body. Is that not the case?”

The two doctors exchanged a glance before Doctor Dyhose nodded.

“Do you really think the lack of injections caused it?” Anten looked between the two of them, clearly expecting an answer.

Doctor Dyhose hesitated, but the military doctor did not. “Now that we have the serum to study, I think I can safely say the discrepancy is still unaccounted for.”

Anten’s heart skipped a beat before it started to race again. “Please humor me if this seems crazy, Doctors, but is there some way to awaken the memories locked in our DNA?”

“You mean consciously?” Banvor sounded skeptical.

Anten made a circular motion with one hand while he struggled to find the words he was looking for. “I think I mean chemically? Or, perhaps, physiologically?”

Banvor crossed his arms in front of his chest. “In the years before the Cataclysm there were doctors who experimented with such foolish ideas. Most were expelled from the medical community, and several lost their licenses as a result of unapproved trials. Luckily, the Cataclysm took care of them for us. No one’s spoken of such wild theories in my time, at least not as far as I can remember.”

“It would be a most unorthodox treatment,” Doctor Dyhose agreed. “It has been generally accepted for generations that the dormant memories in our system are best left untampered with. If they awaken naturally, there’s little we can do, but trying to awaken them would be like poking a sleeping bear.”

Anten needed to peel his tongue away from the roof of his mouth in order to speak again. “I think my late wife may have found a way to make this disk inject something into Gaia, but I can’t get it to play her message again.” He held up the holodisk, but neither doctor looked at it. They were too busy staring at him, mouths agape in disbelief.