The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 22

Dellani Oakes

the-man-who-wasnt-thereBrian’s body didn’t react well to the MRI, but after a healing in Jackie’s crystal room, and a long nap, he’s feeling better.

Brian nodded, but it made him dizzy, so he stopped. He grunted instead, finding that something he could handle without a problem.

“Want something to drink?”

“Yeah, but if we go to the kitchen—noise.”

“I know. Is the ringing in your ears better?”

“Yeah,little bit. How did you know?”

She motioned around herself. “Your aura was all off. There were black lines stabbing into it near your stomach and ears. I knew you were going to puke before you did. I was lucky I had a reusable grocery bag within reach. That caught most of it.”

“Good. At least I didn’t puke on you—did I?”

“No. And it would have been okay even if you did. In sickness and in health, right?”

“We aren’t married yet.”

“But…

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Wil Makes a Discovery in The Maker by Dellani Oakes

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The Maker frontThe Halls of the Hallowed Dead are the only structure that still exists on the the surface of Shakazhan. It is an ancient place of burial for the warriors of the Timokuan people. Each warrior’s essence is preserve there for posterity, their voices recounting their accomplishments for anyone who will listen. Since it’s not integral to the functioning of the planet, Wil and his people haven’t fully explored it.

Wil has been to preoccupied with mending the Sentience’s networks to worry about the Halls, though he knows that the sentient robots have been repairing and restoring it. At the moment, it’s the only way in or out of the Sentience’s lair.

Muttering to himself, Wil walked down the long corridor from the Sentience’s lair to the Halls of the Hallowed Dead.

Wil felt compelled to deviate a little further to the west than usual and wandered to the very end of the branching hallway. His feet led him to a monument whose importance was overshadowed by other, more recent additions to the Halls. Long neglected, it stood on a wall by itself. Probably one of the original tombs placed here.

Wiping dust of ages off the plaque on the tomb, Wil deciphered a little of the legend carved there. He’d had been teaching himself the language, he christened Old Speak, compiling a database as he went. A word here and there stumped him, but he memorized the characters, intending to look them up later.

His left eye caught the hint of a bas relief, some sort of picture. He spit on his sleeve, using it to clean the plaque. Rubbing vigorously, he managed to wipe a six by six inch area relatively free of accumulated dust and grime of ages past.

Wil gasped. The area exposed showed a face—his face. There was no doubt in his mind that the visage depicted there, centuries old, was that of Wilhelm VanLipsig, The Lone Wolf. He saw the same firm jaw, the high cheek bones, chiseled features, it was all him. The most striking thing were the eyes. Crafted of onyx, they were black as night, glittering like a dozen stars.

Wil was unaware of the passage of time, having no clear idea how long he stood gazing at his own face, until his comlink startled him. Blinking, trying to focus on the here and now, he raised his hand in slow motion to answer, still looking at the portrait.

“Yeah?” His voice sounded far away, rasping, dry.

“Wil?” Matilda’s voice was tinged with worry. “You were supposed to be back half an hour ago. Where are you?”

“You need to come see something. Where are you?”

“I’m on Styx.” The worry grew in her voice. “Are you all right?”

“Fine, I’m fine.” He couldn’t seem to draw his eyes away from the portrait. “I’m in the Halls. I’ll wait here for you.”

“On my way.”

Wil knew Matilda had started to walk off the ship as soon as he answered her and would be nearly half way to him by now. A few moments later, he heard her running down the hall toward him. He stepped out of the alcove so she could see him.

“Wil? What’s wrong? You’re way over—” Her voice stopped when she saw the portrait. “Oh, my God, Wil, that’s you!”

Dragging her eyes away from the tomb, she stared at him, as if he were a stranger she was seeing for the first time. Wil nodded mutely, eyes still riveted on the crypt.

“You’ve been here since leaving Sentience?”

He nodded again, this time his eyes flickered over to her and back. “I read some of this on the stone. This guy was incredible! He saw even more action than I’ve seen.”

“Do you believe in reincarnation?” Matilda asked quietly.

Wil studied the portrait again for several moments. “Until today, definitively no.”

“And now?” she asked sharply.

“Well, now I’m not so sure.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 21

Dellani Oakes

the-man-who-wasnt-thereBrian’s MRI doesn’t reveal anything bad, but it did show a something on his right shoulder, as suspected by Andre and Marissa. Unfortunately, the electromagnetic charge of the machine seems to have upset Brian’s inner balance and he’s not feeling very well.

Flowers of every type and color danced around him. Soon, they turned into lovely, slender women with flower petals for skirts. They swooped and whirled around him in an evanescent blur. Their faces were beautiful, delicate, ethereal. Their bodies were as brightly colored as their skirts. Long, green hair flowed down their backs. When he looked more closely, Brian could see it wasn’t hair, but fine vines. Brian was happy there, content. The pain receded, joy filled him. They invited him to dance. He joined them, twirling and spinning until he was too dizzy to stand. The dance whirled faster. Brian stumbled and fell to his knees. His…

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Character Quote from Shakazhan by Dellani

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Shakazhan frontCaptain Benjamin Drexel, commander of the Hannibal, paced the bridge as he assessed their situation. Three years of cryo sleep had brought him and his crew to a place no other ships should be. And yet—there was a mysterious ship in orbit around the planet.

Angry and flummoxed, Drexel scrambled his fighters and raised his shields. Taking his seat in the big chair, he prepared a greeting—both friendly and intimidating, for the captain of the other ship.

“Any luck identifying that ship, Warrant Officer Wilson?” He barked at the young woman on communications.

“No, sir. Still getting the robotic garbage scow reading off her.”

“Well, we can all see that’s a lie,” his second said, making a rude gesture at the screen.

“Thanks, Ray,” Ben snapped.

“Anytime, sir,” Ray replied, nonplussed.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 20

Dellani Oakes

the-man-who-wasnt-thereMarissa’s father is sure that Brian is possessed, until Marissa sets him straight. Miles calls from the hospital to tell them that Brian’s brain looks good on the MRI scan.

“But everything is good? He’s fine?”

“Never better, my love. No worrying allowed.”

Andre held out his hand for the phone. Maribelle handed it to him, her hand shaking. Jackie held her, letting her cry.

“Hi, Miles, it’s Andre. Did they just do a head MRI?”

“No, full body. Why?”

“Can I ask Dad something?”

“Sure. One second. Claude?” The phone exchanged hands. “It’s Andre.”

“Yes, son?”

“Did anything strange show up?”

“In terms of what?”

“An unexplained glow around the right shoulder.”

Claude gasped. “How did you know?” he asked softly. “What did Miles tell you?”

“Nothing. Jackie and I saw it. Marissa sensed it too. We think it’s a Rider.”

“Well, I’ll be. I’ll run that by Dr…

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Characters from The Maker by Dellani Oakes

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The Maker frontNot all the new characters in The Maker are human, in fact, most of them are some sort of bipedal alien race. There are others, however, who are just as important, but aren’t remotely human. In fact, some of the best characters in the books are the sentient ships. We’ve already met Styx, Hammer, Anvil and Quick Silver. They are a family unit who have been remarkably helpful to the folk of Shakazhan.

Now, however, a galaxy wide call has gone out and the Timokuan people must respond. The ships are the ones who must carry them to Shakazhan. This scene takes place as the Timokuan prepare to depart. It is customary for the mated pairs to travel, leaving their children for who knows how long, because there isn’t any room on the ship for them. Reluctantly, Tianna and Lordvik must leave their family behind.

A gentle tingle started on their scalps, working down to their toes. The children giggled happily, holding onto their parents hands. Jessia clutched Acey’s hand in both of hers, not noticing that his fingers were going blue. Acey was too fascinated by the process to notice until they were aboard.

They found themselves in a large cargo hold with more of their people around them, equally benumbed. A strange voice made an announcement which they received in silence.

“Welcome good friends. We apologize for taking you so much by surprise, but it was unavoidable. Our attempts at communication were unproductive. We tried to warn you of our arrival. An anomaly of your planet made communication impossible until we were in your atmosphere.” There was a short pause and the voice continued.

“Please accept our hospitality. The Sentience has instructed us to transport you to Shakazhan. You’ll be taken to the quarters assigned to you. Your belongings have already been brought here and are waiting for you in your state rooms. As your children are such a vital part of you, we have invited them to join you, they’ll be well cared for. I am delighted to introduce myself, I am Bellerophon, your ship and home to you for the next few weeks. Welcome.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 19

Dellani Oakes

the-man-who-wasnt-thereLouisa and Jordan ask Brian to let the doctor check him out because he admits he feels strange after the ritual. Andre shows the others the videos and Marissa’s overly religious father is sure it’s demonic possession. His wife gives him a good talking to.

The adults and teens sat in mute shock as the scene unfolded before them. Fortunately, the children were enjoying the lovely fall day outside with the dogs.

Nadine Pennybaker stood, marching over to her husband on the other side of the room. Shaking her finger under his nose, she continued. “This ends today, this very second. You can be Mr. Religion all you want, but you leave me and our daughter out of it. Marissa has a place in all this. She’s been chosen. I’ve taught her what I could on the sly, camouflaging it so you wouldn’t know, but she’s got a place to…

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Character Scene from Raven Willoughby: Origins by Dellani

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character-quotes-imageRaven shrugged. “I don’t know. Please. Help me find this witch.”

Micah urged him outside, pointing up the coast. “Walk for a day in that direction. When you come to the black water, you’ll know you’re close. She lives nearby. Don’t worry about finding her. When you get close enough, she’ll find you.”

Raven shuddered, not liking the sound of that at all. “Is there any defense?”

“Cold steel and a steady hand.”

“I have both,” Raven declared. He retrieved his sword, belting it on. Filling his pack with food and fresh water, he bid farewell. “If I live, I’ll be back.”

“And if you don’t come back, don’t expect us to come looking,” Micah grumbled. “No one lives that she doesn’t want to. Better hope she likes you.”

Raven flashed a toothy, white smile, his blue eyes sparkled in his tanned face. Black hair wisped around his square jawed…

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Character Quotes from A Little White Lie; a Lone Wolf Tale by Dellani

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lone wolf tales cover“Sheehan’s a flake, but good as they come. Keep a finger on her, she’s fine. This kind of mission… have to say no. We don’t have time to babysit.”

“All right, so we book the other guy for communications. Wallace?” Ben made a notation.

“Krall?”

“Best boomer in the business.”

“Steady hand?”

“Like stone. Seems to have plastique in his blood.”

Wil raised an eyebrow. “Considering what they did to us, would you be surprised?”

Ben snorted in reply.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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Character Quotes from Among the Shine Clan by Dellani

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among-the-shine-clan-cover“Could be. I don’t know the general that well,” she smirked. “Not like the old man and I are on a first name basis. His initials are T.H.”

For the first time, Deacon’s eyes twinkled. His face remained stony, but there was a glimmer of something in his eyes.

“If it’s Thomas McLain, it would explain a lot. Short guy, bad attitude, sort of exudes this aura of….” He hesitated for a word that wouldn’t offend a lady.

“Abject stupidity?” She nodded. “That’s our general. Dumbest son-of-a-bitch I ever met.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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To Read More of Among the Shine Clan, check it out here on

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