Vareen & Mica (The Alliance Book 2)

BOOK: Vareen & Mica (The Alliance Book 2)
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Vareen & Mica

 

By

 

Stormy McKnight

Copyright
and Disclaimer
 

Copyright
pending, Stormy McKnight

 

Published
by Stormy McKnight

http://www.stormymcknight.com/

 

Vareen & Mica is the second book in The Alliance series. I would
advise the books be read in order, to enhance the experience. However, I do try
to write them as stand-alone as possible.

Vareen & Mica is a work of fiction and the
characters, events, and dialogue found within the story are of the author’s
imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual
events or persons, either living or deceased, is completely coincidental.

No part of this book may be reproduced or shared in any form or by any
means, electronic or mechanical, including but not limited to digital copying,
file sharing, audio recording, email and printing without the permission in
writing from the author
.

Prologue

Vareen Nas stood uncertainly in the doorway to the classroom. When she
noticed that almost all of the seats were already taken, she shook her head.
History of Advanced Cultures 300
was a
core subject you had to pass if you wanted to get into the
Cestori
Space Program. After this semester,
only
one-fourth
of the students would
continue in this field. The rest would have to make changes to their career
paths and study something else.

“I don’t know why she even bothers to attend. It’s not like a teacher
would dare fail her.” Vareen overheard a few of her classmates speaking to each
other. “Her mother
is
Aicen Edal.”

Vareen looked toward where the
platinum-haired
Calinae Edal stood with another student. A tall, dark-haired male that stood
head and shoulders above everyone else. Vathral Dax, another child of
prominence. His mother wasn’t the leader of the Council of Three, but Tonn Dax
sat on the council with Taspa Lor and Aicen Edal.

“Look at her with Vathral Dax.” The girls continued in their gossip,
unaware or uncaring that she was listening in. “As if getting handed a degree
from the Academy isn’t enough, she has to steal the best male in our class as
well.”

Vareen wasn’t a friend of either Calinae Edal or Vathral Dax. They were
far above her in social standing. She
did,
however,
have a pet peeve about idle gossip. It had started in primary
school when gossips had spread a vicious rumor about her. Since her parents had
died when she was young, she had been a ward of the state and easy pickings for
unkind children. Living off the charity of others, belonging to no family line.
Listening to these girls talk brought up all Vareen’s resentment.

Since she was taller than average, at five-foot-eight she towered over
most of her classmates. It was with relish that she used that height to
intimidate the foolish gossipers. Moving closer until she got their attention
she spoke clearly.

“What logic is there in your thinking?” Vareen demanded and both girls
started at being caught gossiping. “You don’t know the details of another
person's
life. Worry about passing this class,
not hating someone you don’t even know.”

Vareen kept walking down the a
isle
to find a seat. She should have kept her mouth
shut
because now she was the target for the girl’s hateful words.

“What does she know. I hear she’s an orphan, in the care of the state.”
The female talking put enough scandal into her voice to impress her friend.

Vareen stopped listening. Those girls were going to say what they wanted.
It wasn’t logical of her to have said anything. She’d lost count of how many
times over the years her primary teachers had punished her for emotional
responses. She found a seat and determined to keep to herself once and for all.

“You didn’t have to do that you know.” A soft voice spoke next to her and
Vareen looked up. “I’m Cali, this is Vathral. Do you mind if we sit here?”
Without waiting for an answer the petite blonde sat down. “I do appreciate that
you tried, but Vathral and I have gotten used to that kind of talk.”

Vareen noticed that Cali had a way of waving her hands when she spoke.
They were flying about and almost knocked her books off her lap a few times in
her zeal.

“I’ve seen you around the campus before. Even though we haven’t had the
same classes, I wonder why we haven’t talked before now?” She bit her lip in
concentration then shrugged. “It doesn’t matter…is what that girl said true.
Are you a ward of the state?”

“Yes,
” Vareen answered sharply and
didn’t offer any further details.

“Well, it’s not like it will make a difference here. We’re all at this
level of study at the Academy because of merit. You’ve got to be good, or you
wouldn’t have made it this far.”

Vareen took her eyes off the teacher who’d just entered to stare at
Calinae Edal. Could she really be this nice? Her eyes were a liquid amber,
framed by dark eyelashes. Her face was perfect, her figure was perfect, her
hair was perfect. There wasn’t a single flaw that Vareen could see.

“Why get worked up now? I mean. Think how long it is until placement.
We’ve got to make the cut for the next four years or find another career path.
I’m taking advanced classes in diplomacy, trade, and finance along with the
space courses. If anyone burns out, it’ll be me.” She laughed a full sound that
echoed around the room.

Okay, Vareen had found a flaw. Calinae Edal liked to talk. A lot.
Chancing a glance at Vathral Dax she noted that he had a blasé smile on his
handsome face. He must be used to this kind of chatter from his friend.

“The teacher is about to start his lecture,” Vareen warned, hoping to get
Cali’s rant to stop.

“That he is.” The small blonde whipped out the required reading material,
along with a notebook and writing supplies. “Vathral and I are going to The
Diner after class. You should come.”

The Diner was a hangout for Academy students. It was exclusive in that it
served only
upperclassmen
and those of
the social elite. Vareen didn’t have the money units or the
genetic
lineage to get into the establishment.
Unsure what to say, she remained silent.

“I won’t take no for an answer.” Cali was listening to the teacher with
one ear and chewing on the
eraser
of her
pencil. Without
warning,
her hand shot
up.

“Yes, Ms. Edal.” The professors of
upper-class
subjects could be
temperamental
and
Vareen waited for him to jump onto Cali for interrupting the lecture.

“In the reading material you assigned before class started, it states
that the people of Atheon are unable to be reached for diplomatic talks.
However, in the notes you posted and all other historical references, nobody
has tried in over five-hundred years. Can you explain those
discrepancies
for me?”

“You’ve read the entire book and posted notes already?” The teacher was
obviously flabbergasted.

“It was assigned
reading,
” Cali
argued, looking slightly embarrassed.

Vareen was quickly rethinking her earlier assessment of Cali. She had
read all of the required material, twice, because she wanted to be prepared. She
hadn’t expected anyone else to do the same.

“We’ll get to those discussions in good time Ms. Edal.” The teacher tried
to rally his composure at getting caught unprepared. “Today’s posted lesson is
a history of logic in Cestori. Don’t get ahead of yourself.”

“I’m sorry professor but isn’t this class
History of Advanced Cultures
. I already know the logic of
Cestori
—”

“Ms. Edal.” The professor interrupted and Cali drew short on her
argument. “I’ll overlook this interruption one time, because of your…lineage.
Do not interrupt me again.” The man then went droning on. It wasn’t anything
they hadn’t heard a thousand times in primary school and in the underclasses to
reach this point.

Cali looked deflated at not getting an answer to her question and Vareen
took pity on her. “I read the material as well. I’m sure that the professor
will get to your question eventually.”

“I try to get something out of my classes that
don't
revolve around
logic,

Cali muttered and Vareen smiled at her dogged expression. This class might be
interesting after all.

After what felt like a mind-numbing amount of time listening to the
boring professor, the alarm finally chimed that class time was over. Vareen
stood to gather her things and with
dismay,
she saw that Cali and Vathral were waiting for her.

“Ready?” Cali looked at her expectantly.

“I really should study.” Vareen tried to move around the bubbly blonde
and make her escape.

“I didn’t catch your name,” Cali had her things stashed in record time
and was standing in the a
isle
watching
her.

“Vareen Nas.”

“Vareen,” The blonde exclaimed. “I like that name. We’re going to be
great friends, I can tell, so let me be frank with you. I don’t care about your
lineage. I don’t care about my lineage. I care about people who are honest,
open-minded and can make me laugh.”

Vareen noticed that Vathral Dax had positioned himself next to Cali in
the aisle, forcing everyone to walk a wide berth around her.

“Shall we?” Cali didn’t let her argue just drew her along.

As they walked her trepidation grew. She wouldn’t be allowed in. Even if
she got past the bouncer, she would have to eat dry noodles for a month to pay
for one meal at The Diner.

Trying to think logically Vareen reasoned that it might be a good idea to
try. The people she could meet in a place like The Diner would be invaluable.
Against her better
judgment,
she decided
to give it a shot. It would be a good study on keeping her emotions in check
when she got turned away.

Since The Diner was right across from the main campus, they reached the
doorway much faster than Vareen was ready for. Her palms were sweating; her
nerves were frayed.

Cali and Vathral went up to the doors, ignoring the bouncer. Vareen went
to follow and was stopped by a beefy hand.

“Name?”

Cali turned from where she stood at the door. “She is Vareen Nas.”

“Ms. Edal.” The bouncer was deferential to Cali. “I don’t have a Vareen
Nas on the list.”

“Please add her
Eldon,
” Cali stated
warmly. “She’s someone special to keep your eye on.”

“As you wish.” The bouncer moved back and Vareen followed Cali and
Vathral into the interior.

“I’m not entirely ignorant and know that you are probably worried about
the money
units,
” Cali whispered as they moved
toward a sectioned area at the back of the large main room. “I’m ashamed to
admit it, but we don’t pay in here. They never let us. Eldon will have told all
of the staff by now that you’re special. You won’t get turned away, even if I’m
not with you…and they’ll never make you pay. You
can, of course,
leave a generous tip, but anything you pay over
that will end up back in your accounts. Don’t ask me how they do it. I haven’t
figured it out yet, but they manage to return my payments every time.”

They reached a secluded table and Vareen saw three other women and a few
males sitting around it.

“Everyone. This is Vareen Nas.” Cali pulled her forward and Vareen felt
their eyes examining her. “Vareen, this is Nellia, Diandra, Conndra, Markus,
Tobias, and
Phineath
.”

So began the most unlikely friendship in the history of the Academy. The seemingly
logical, orphaned ward of the state became best friends with Calinae Edal. The
daughter of the most powerful woman on Cestori.

Vareen vowed that day that she would do anything for her friends. She had
no way of knowing the course her life would take honoring that promise.

BOOK: Vareen & Mica (The Alliance Book 2)
12.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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