SCIAAR AALAH – A Lost Novel

Here is an excerpt from SCIAAR AALAH, one of my “lost novels.”

***

 Following the crew, Analiese Trujold stumbled down the debarkation tube connecting the tramp freighter to Sciaar Aalah deep space station. In turn, she stopped in front of the Port Authority representative verifying names and authorizations against the ship’s manifests. The rep didn’t  bother to look up from the datapad when she took her place in front of him.

“Name?”

She settled her jacket over her aching left arm. “Tova Ruka,” she replied.

The rep frowned and studied the datapad. “I don’t see it on the manifests,” he said. It took a full moment for it to register. “Tova Ruka? Hey! That’s my name! How did you…?” For the first time he looked up at her. Recognition quickly replaced annoyance. “Miss Trujold? It is you!”

Ruka reached out and took her right hand in his, giving it an affectionate squeeze. “Things haven’t been the same since you sold the station,” he said. “We’ve all missed you terribly. What brings you back to good old Sciaar?”

Analiese carefully extricated her hand from his grip. “I need to see Eben. Do you know where he is?”

Ruka shook his head. “Not my department. But I’m sure someone from Admin would be able to find him.”

“I know,” she replied. “I was just hoping you could save me a trip.” Analiese managed a weak smile. “Do I need to go through any formalities to board?”

“You, Miss?” Ruka recoiled in shock. “Never! You’re always cleared for boarding this station… officially and unofficially.”

She relaxed just a little bit. “Thank you, Ruka. I won’t forget this.” Analiese started to move past him.

“Miss Trujold?”

Without a word, she paused and raised a questioning eyebrow.

“Are you alright? You don’t look like your usual dapper self.”

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