"So, Commander. Is that a rocket in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"
CRESTA: My day was going pretty well until I was abducted by aliens.
Who am I kidding? Things weren't really going so great. My science career was failing, the Celestial Mates cherub was on my case, and I hadn’t had a date in years.
But being taken to a hostile planet to be impregnated with scorpion-bug larvae? That was a whole new level of suck-itude.
Luckily, things are looking up. I just got rescued by some hot alien dude in a military uniform. And he's very easy on the eyes, if you know what I mean. Now we’re shooting through the stars, trying to find our way back to civilization.
If everyone would stop trying to kill us, things would be awesome.
HARKUS: This human female is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. She is a goddess.
If I had to slay every alien in the galaxy to free her, I would. I am willing to destroy entire planets to keep my beloved safe.
But not all fights are fair.
If we make it out of this adventure alive, one thing is certain. We belong together. And nobody in this universe will tear us apart.
ROCKET IN MY POCKET is a complete standalone sci-fi romance novel, set in the Celestial Mates shared world. It is a self-contained companion book to THE MILLION MILES HIGH CLUB.
Contains: one kickass human heroine, one fiercely protective alpha male alien hero, plenty of action and adventure, some steamy love scenes, and a very happy ending.
"All right, Miss Raybond. Show us what your invention can do."
My hands tremble a little. The silver rectangular device I'm holding gleams in the artificial light from above. I have to hold on tight to stop it slipping out of my shaky grasp.
Clearing my throat, I start my well-rehearsed speech.
"I call this machine the Vivendum. It's a healthcare tool. I've been working on it for some time."
Understatement of the year. I've spent every spare second working on this since the day I started working at the lab.
"The machine shoots out three healing rays of light, at the touch of a button," I continue, "and they each do something different."
I touch the top of the Vivendum to open the control panel. Then I turn it over, so everyone can see it.
"The first treatment beam is called Stasis. It stops whatever is killing the patient from proceeding."READ MORE
"Stops it?" Professor Gripslade's eyes flash. "Stops it altogether?"
I have his full attention, for probably the first time ever.
"Yes. It's... kind of like hitting the pause button on death."
To demonstrate this, I give one light tap to the top of the device, and wait for a second. A thin beam of yellow light shoots out of the front of the silver box. The light beam outlet is trained on a wall, so nobody is in the way.
Professor Gripslade nods, his eyes narrowing in concentration. "Go on."
Two more taps to the control panel and the beam switches to a pink ray. A new hush fills the room, like everyone in it is holding their breath. Perhaps everyone is.
"This beam is called Restoration." I turn the box slightly so the ray shoots upward, away from the people around me. "When the pink light falls on a biological organism, all cellular damage is reversed. The body is restored to peak original condition."
Professor Gripslade frowns, like he can't believe what he's hearing. He pinches the top of his nose and narrows his eyes.
"All recent damage is reversed, you mean?" he says. "Be specific please, Miss Raybond. Sweeping statements help nobody."
I shake my head. "No, Professor. Not just recent damage. All physical damage is reversed. No matter how long ago it occurred."
The professor stares at me. I hold his eye contact, suddenly a little bolder. My Vivendum works. I know it does. And I have total confidence in my work. I know I'm holding something pretty special, even in a laboratory as distinguished as this one.
From the astonishment on his face, I believe the professor is starting to agree. Even if it would half kill him to admit it.
"Give me an example of this damage reversal," the professor says. He looks skeptical.
"Okay. The Restoration beam can delete a twenty-year-old scar. It can restore an original amputated limb. There's no longer any need to digitally print a replacement leg in the lab, and then transplant it to the patient, as we do now."
My voice sounds firmer now. I hear it, even though I still feel nervous in front of an audience.
"It reverses the negative effects of any disease or injury, Miss Raybond? No matter what form the damage takes?"
"Yes, Professor, it does."
Professor Gripslade's assistant Lucy leans forward, waving her cosmonet notebook. Her picture-perfect face wears a tight frown.
"Does the Restoration beam reverse cosmetic enhancements? And, uh, restore the person's original physique, to what they looked like before they had work done?" Everyone stares at her. She coughs and looks down. "Um, for example."
"Actually, it... I..." I stumble over my words, because I actually hadn't thought of that.
Why hadn't I thought of that? That's a really basic thing. In a world where pretty much all women have had cosmetic work done, I never even thought of the effect of my Restoration beam on that work. Damn. I'm such an un-girly girl.
"Perhaps it would," I admit. "Yeah, I guess so."
Lucy leaps back, as though terrified of the pink beam. I switch it off.
Professor Gripslade glares at her, then turns back to me. "You said there were three stages to your medical invention, Miss Raybond." There's a note of steel in his voice. "What is the third?"
I swallow. This is the big one. The one that will really make them sit up and take notice.
"The third stage is called Revival."
"Yes? And what does it do?"
Taking a deep breath, I look around the room. It's the moment I've been waiting for since I first perfected my Vivendum. I'm going to savor it.
After this, my career will soar. Everything I've worked so hard for will be achievable, at last.
My heart pounds in my ears like a thunderstorm. I clear my throat, so my words ring out loud and clear.
"The Revival beam is the most special one of all."
I hold eye contact with Professor Gripslade. I'm not nervous any more.
Here comes the science bit.
"It brings the dead back to life."COLLAPSE