We reached the mine and stopped about two nindan from the mine entrance. I climbed out of the tank and jumped to the ground. The throng of miners clustered around the opening stared at me, expressions of disbelief on their faces. I looked around for Teger but didn’t see him. “The Laerd,” I shouted. “The Laerd!”
At that moment, Teger came running out of the mine. “Great gods—what are you doing?” he yelled. Reaching where I stood beside the tank, he stopped and glared at me.
I glared back at him. “I’m here to help you.”
“This is none of your business.”
“I’m making it my business. Have you got that blast door open yet?”
Teger shook his head. “No. It’s stuck good and tight.” Then my plan must have dawned on him. His jaw dropped. “You mean to fire a round through the blast door? Are you crazy? What if there’s more thalin gas behind it? You could blow up the entire mine!”
“Have you got a better idea?” I snapped. “If we don’t do something, those miners are dead, anyway. Now are we going to do this thing or aren’t we?”
“No, Moreva. It’s too dangerous.”
I pointed to the mine. “And you’re willing to let those hakoi die because there might be thalin gas behind the blast door? What if there’s not? How many more families do you want to visit today, Laerd?”
Teger didn’t answer. He turned and seemed to stare at the entrance.
Teger turned back to me. He gazed into my eyes for a full minute. “All right,” he said, sounding tired. “We’ll do it.” He called to a man standing a few šīzu away. “Ror. Berätta för gruvarbetarna att de ska komma bort från dörren. Vi kommer att försöka spränga den.” He turned to me. “I told him to tell the miners to get away from the blast door. We’re going to try and blow a hole through it.”
Ror ran into the mine and was out a few minutes later. Everyone must have heard the plan because more hakoi came scurrying out of the mine and the ones clustered at its entrance scattered.
I climbed back onto the tank and told the driver to choose the best vantage point for firing into the mine. Then I climbed down. Teger and I watched the tank float over to the mine’s huge entrance and settle into position. My hands clenched. Would this work? Or would I, as Teger said, bring the entire mine down on top of the miner’s heads?
The gunner fired.
Title: The Moreva of Astoreth
Author: Roxanne Bland
Genre: Science Fiction
In the world-building tradition of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey and Ursula K. LeGuin, The Moreva of Astoreth is a blend of science fiction, romance, and adventure in a unique, richly imagined imperialistic society in which gods and science are indelibly intertwined. It is the story of priestess, scientist, and healer Moreva Tehi, the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful goddess who is temporarily exiled from Temple life in her beloved desert home to a volatile far northern corner of the planet for neglecting to perform her sacred duty, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.
Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local public library and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated. Ms. Bland lives in Rosedale, Maryland with her Great Dane, Daisy Mae.
Buy the Book: