The Sanctuary, books of Pamela Foland
The cover for Eyes, Love & Water
Eyes, Love and Water (Book 1)
Miranda swallowed hard against the icy lump forming in her throat. Anticipation was the worst part of the punishment. She wanted to run away, but that would only make things worse. Dichen had ordered this conditioning session because she had faltered in her obedience. To balk at her punishment could only worsen it. So, Nick led and she followed him down the hall to the room. Miranda couldn't completely escape the idea of running from her punishment, or the thought of how they would react. Perhaps Dichen would decide to supervise the conditioning personally. He was worse by far than Nick. Dichen was the master, the overlord, and lieutenant to the darkone himself. Nick was just an errand boy.
Nick opened the door with a wave of his hand. As far as she could tell, he had given over to the dark, never disobeying. It seemed like every door opened for him. Miranda meditated on that, she knew things would be easier if she gave herself over. She had even tried, but deep inside a hard kernel of something brought up bile at the thought of merging.
Nick stood impatiently beside the door; he wouldn't enter until she had. Trust wasn't in his vocabulary. It wasn't in hers either, but she knew what it was even without the word. She entered. The room was white with a bed, more a table. It held no softness. Metal cuffs and straps, in her size, hung and protruded from it. A crown of electrodes rested on a panel of switches. Obediently Miranda lay down on the table. She spread her legs to fit in the ankle straps; she cooperated with Nick and the cuffs. He cranked them tightly to the table. He slid the crown tightly over her head. They had cropped her hair unwomanly close to the scalp for better contact. Once he had seated it properly, he maneuvered it into a locking notch on the table. Then expertly, despite his youth, Nick jabbed an intravenous feeding tube into the back of her hand. That didn't bode well. Miranda wondered how long they were planning to keep her on the table if they felt the need for intravenous feeding.
Footsteps receded and Miranda was alone in fearful anticipation. What would they do to her this time? A frightened voice within wondered how long she could hold out, while her conscious, conditioned mind wondered why she wanted to. She had long since buried the source of that resistance beneath the reach of surface reason.
Cover piece from Minds Mothers Stones
Minds, Mothers Stones (Book 2)
Miranda writhed in her bed, her dreams caught in the too solid memories of her torture by sensory deprivation. Darkness, soundless, flavorless, aloneness suffocated her. She dreamed of the breathing tube shoved down her throat and the way the gel prickled away all feeling. With nothing to anchor her mind to her body, she fell, until she woke.
Gasping and flailing, Miranda flung herself from the bed, all the way to the railing of her bed-loft. Still not anchored in the real, she flinched as caring hands reached to soothe her. Trapped in the mood of the dream she fled without looking to the far corner of the loft where solid walls met.
“Miranda, it’s okay, you were dreaming. I’m here everything is going to be all right,” A man’s voice soothed in the darkened apartment. She throttled her own mind trying to place the voice. “Room, lights, fifty percent please,” The man growled. The instant illumination brought instant recognition. It was only Ben, a man she first met because she was assigned to kill him but now felt incomplete without. How long had she searched for him, to forget his voice now that she had him?
Miranda uncoiled from her fearful ball, and started towards Ben, only to stop awkwardly after a few steps. She still couldn’t let herself admit to needing him, that he had become a part of her, that he was her pairmate. On some worlds the physical, emotional and mental changes which accompanied the formation of a pairbond were all that was required to make them man and wife. They were linked for life. Pairbonding was the private joke that the man who engineered their species had made on them, a self-enforced monogamy broken only by death. Despite all of that Miranda still denied the facts.
In total denial, she refused to accept their link, believing that loving him was a weakness. Throughout her formative years she had been conditioned to resent all weakness in herself. In the dark compound every weakness was attacked and used to try and twist her to the Darkone’s purposes. The sensory deprivation tank was just one of the ways in which she had been thoroughly abused, but never neglected. No, even when they withheld food or sleep, it had been intentional. All of it left her with a shattered psyche full of sharp edges. Secretly she denied Ben’s love for fear he would use it to rip open those old wounds.
“What are you doing here?” Miranda found herself growling.
Ben visibly bristled, before softening again, “Your nightmares woke me, called me really. I just felt you . . .” He stopped short sensing her inner conflict through their bond, but Miranda’s mind still heard the unspoken, “needed me.”
“I just had a little dream why does that mean you can just come here and...” Miranda felt a wave of vertigo and an intensification of her lack of telepathic contact with anyone but Ben. She was so alone, she swooned.
Cover for Sanctuary Falling
Sanctuary Falling (Book 3)
Annette Peterson felt, so small, so plain, like no one ever saw her. She knew they could see her, but sometimes it seemed like people put energy into not seeing her. It was because she couldn’t send telepathically, not even with a lot of amplification. They could hear her but she was telepathically deaf, handicapped, so that was how everyone treated her, sometimes even her parents, make that foster parents.
Annette couldn’t remember her real parents. Both of them had been killed shortly before the factors rescued her and her brother, bringing them to Sanctuary. Annette’s brother, Morgan, and his wife were Annette’s only real family. Her brother was a telepath, if only a weak one, and his wife was an Agurian, a member of a shape shifting race that had lost the ability to shape shift. She didn’t see them often. They were tertiary factors, their job was observing an earth alternate that was somehow different from its neighbors.
Annette adored the factors. They, out of all of the residents of Sanctuary, treated Annette like a real person, at least most of the factors did. Annette knew everything about them and about where they came from. She had studied the factors for years, from all the details about the foundation, to all about the different ranks that factors could attain.
Annette’s most secret and private dream was that someday she would become a factor. She dreamed about it like kids on earth dream of becoming policemen or firefighters or top gun air force pilots. When Annette had been very small, she told her entire kindergarten class about her dream. Even Kevin, her only friend at the time, had laughed his head off at her. They hadn’t spoken since.
When she finished the sixth grade, Annette had been old enough to enter pre-factor training classes. Since then she spent every morning and every evening before and after regular school in the special training class. Annette did the best she could to do everything Niri, the instructor, asked. Every day, Annette became ever more sure she would never live her dream. Niri pushed her so hard, sometimes it seemed like the woman wanted Annette to fail.
Annette awoke that morning like any other morning, at five thirty. She dressed and ate breakfast from the food processor and left a smiley face note for her foster mom, who worked the late-night early-morning shift in the clinic. Then she woke her foster dad and left for class. Like always Annette was early, but this time, Niri wasn’t waiting in the huge training hall. Curious, Annette crossed the cavern and went looking for Niri in her office.
Annette was just three doors down and noticed that voices were coming from inside. She almost retreated, having heard many lectures on how rude eavesdropping was, but she didn’t. Her curiosity was aroused by, Niri’s shouting, “Damn it Sinclair! You can’t just toss out the girl’s application before she even makes it! She deserves consideration! Heck it’s not like you’re swamped with applicants from this class, only five seem serious about applying right now! Most are going to wait to decide until they’ve graduated. That girl wants this so bad . . . I can taste it! Unlike some you’ve hand picked she isn’t afraid to work for it!”
Sinclair, Annette thought that had to be Mr. Sinclair Chavez, the head of factor training. He spoke next in his perpetually smug tones, “Niri, hold your telepathic tongue! I’m the head of factor training. A big perk of the job is that I get to pick whom I train, and whom I don’t. I tell you that pathetic, Peterson-girl doesn’t have even one tenth of the potential of say, Simmons. It isn’t worth the time.”
Annette finally understood who they were talking about. Tears welled to her eyes; they were talking about her. They had to be, and from the sounds of it she wasn’t going to make the cut. Annette heard footsteps, possibly the sound of someone leaving the office. She couldn’t let them know she heard. Annette raced off to the training area, tears blurring her path. She didn’t care. Closing her eyes, she raced blindly ahead, right into the support pole of part of the obstacle course. She saw stars and lost her balance, falling to the hard stone floor. Her head made contact and everything went black.
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This is the story of a woman, Miranda, in search of her one true love, through time space and alternate realities. Miranda learns much about love, good and evil through her travels and is forced to combat her mentor.