The Epherium Chronicles: Echoes

The Epherium Chronicles: Echoes by T.D. Wilson

Book: The Epherium Chronicles: Echoes by T.D. Wilson Read Free Book Online
Authors: T.D. Wilson
friend’s face. “I’m sorry, man. I just don’t want to see you get hurt by that stuff is all.”
    “Listen, you know me better than that.” He pulled back his sleeve to reveal the patch. “I checked this stuff out. It’s called ‘The Quick’. A friend back home told me about it. It’s a new performance enhancer a little start-up company is developing.” He pulled the patch off and handed it to Priest. “The drug takes a few days to buildup in your system, but I feel great. My rehab time was cut in half after I started using it.”
    Priest examined the patch. There was a small logo on the top, but he couldn’t make it out. “What about side effects?”
    “You know, the usual stuff like skin rashes, trouble sleeping, but I haven’t had any of that. Plus, it’s not addictive. I made sure before I put it on.” Kirtland took the patch from Priest and replaced it on his forearm. “Word is that this stuff may become a staple among the battalions once the military approves it. Who knows, I might be a trailblazer.”
    “Alright, you sold me,” Priest admitted, burying his skepticism. He held up his hand. “We good?”
    Kirtland grasped it in a strong grip. “Yeah, we’re good.”
    Priest slapped his friend on his muscled shoulder and both men raced toward the exit.
    * * *
    Sanchez completed his warm-up laps around the Rec Deck and headed toward the training mat near the center. He was late again. It was becoming a bad habit. In the center of the mat, he discovered Maya Greywalker’s slender form in a handstand. Her red hair, bound in a ponytail, was hanging between her arms. Her feet were together and pointed to the ceiling. Motionless, she was a picture of grace and beauty. He’d met many attractive women in his lifetime, but none had Maya’s allure. He watched for a few more moments and couldn’t detect any movement whatsoever—not even a simple recognition of his presence.
    Sanchez circled the mat and moved behind her. He crept onto the mat and froze when he saw her ponytail twitch.
    “Really, Commander, when a person schedules an appointment, it’s customary to be on time,” Maya chided him while still upside down. She collapsed her handstand into a backward roll that ended with hopping to her feet less than a meter from him. “The least you could have done was not eat the honey mustard dressing on your salad at lunch today.” Even after being upside down for that long, her voice was soft and calm.
    “I had it on the side.” Sanchez laughed. He realized his arms would be shaking after standing in pose like even for a few seconds. Maya showed no effects at all. She wasn’t even sweating.
    Maya made a quick sniff of the air. “Maybe on the side of the roll you ate with the salad, but I couldn’t help noticing it when finished your run.”
    “Hey, lots of people had that dressing today. How are you sure that scent was me?”
    Maya crossed her arms and raised a derisive eyebrow.
    “Forget I asked.” He clapped his hands together and rubbed them. “So, are you ready to begin?”
    Maya’s blue eyes scanned him. “You’re certain you’re ready?”
    “I was cleared over a week ago for training and active missions. With all the stuff going on, I haven’t had the time to continue our training sessions. That’s it.” He rolled his head to stretch and shook his arms. “I’m more than ready. Full spar, let’s go.”
    Fifteen minutes later, a sore and exhausted Sanchez gazed up at Maya’s concerned face. He wanted to get up, but his body told him different. After a few labored breaths, he relaxed and stretched out on the mat. Maya’s breaths were even.
Is she even putting in any effort?
    Maya walked to the edge of the mat and returned with a towel, which she unceremoniously tossed onto his chest. “Today’s lesson is about perception.”
    “Huh,” he grunted. “Never would have figured that.”
    “Much of what we know about ourselves and the world around us is handled by one’s

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