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Authors: Lisa Dawn Wadler

Time of the draig

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Table of Contents

TIME OF THE DRAIG

  Acknowledgements

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Epilogue

  Post Epilogue

TIME OF THE DRAIG

LISA DAWN WADLER

SOUL MATE PUBLISHING

New York

TIME OF THE DRAIG

Copyright©2016

LISA DAWN WADLER

Cover Design by Melody A. Pond

This book is a work of fiction.  The names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual events, business establishments, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher.  The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

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Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

Published in the United States of America by

Soul Mate Publishing

P.O. Box 24

Macedon, New York, 14502

ISBN: 978-1-68291-154-9

www.SoulMatePublishing.com

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

Also by Lisa Dawn Wadler

Draig Series:

Time of the Draig

The Draig’s Woman

For Mom and Dad -

who shared their love of science fiction.

Thank you for instilling in me a belief

that anything is possible even if not probable.

Acknowledgements

Many romance authors have used time travel as a tool to place the hero or heroine in a foreign setting, creating a “fish out of water” aspect to the story. Some have created elaborate mythologies or legends to explain the ability to move characters around, while others assume you will accept that a dense fog or enchanted object will work as a portal. Personally, I prefer an explanation or a solid reason to believe such fantastic feats are possible, even if not probable. For me, a science fiction aspect seemed the best route.

When beginning the Draig series, I knew I needed more than simply a “door” appearing out of nowhere. In the first book,The Draig’s Woman, I asked you to believe such a “door” to the past was possible and teased with the fact that the Draig clan accepted these “doors” and subsequent travelers. In that story, you were only told the “door” had been made several generations earlier by an ancestor, Samantha. This is her story.

The trick for me was to find a science fiction aspect that could bring time travel to life. Science fiction takes a singular fact and spins it into a brand new world with rules yet to be written. After reading an article on dark matter, I knew this was the needed piece to my puzzle. Dark matter exists, at least in theory, and theoretically may make up ninety-five percent of the universe, yet we know almost nothing about it. That alone gave me full license to be creative.

Mixing a science fact with an influence of a dystopian future, the reason to even create a time travel mechanism blossomed in my head. After all, you need a goal if you are planning on tampering with time.

Time of the Draigis truly the beginning of the Draig series. Should this book be the first one you read, rest assured each book is meant to be able to stand alone. In each book, there will be references to other stories already written and some yet to be completed. The series will link together with clan lore.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for raising me with a love and appreciation for all things being possible. With a childhood spent absorbing the world ofStar Trek,Dr. Who,Battlestar Galactica,Buck Rogers, and more paperbacks than I will ever remember, I am a proud sci-fi geek. Though, I would like to believe these influences help me see a potential for a better tomorrow.

WhileTime of the Draighas roots in science fiction, it is first and foremost a romance novel. Similar toThe Draig’s Woman, the heroine is strong and capable. A theme I will always honor in the continuing Draig series.

The door to the Draig clan opens . . . 

Chapter 1

Scotland, May 4, 1128

Faolan, Laird of the Draig clan, hid in the brush on his belly as he surveyed the enemy’s camp. Without a sound, his hand pushed the newly budding foliage out of his line of sight. A scowl crossed his features at the sight of meat roasting over the fire. It was not enough that half of his sheep had been stolen and that herdsmen had died in the process. The arrogant thieves had the young men who presumably kept the camp preparing a feast with his meat at dawn’s first light.

Slight movement from his left changed his focus as his cousin, Kagen, pointed to change his line of sight. A smile was offered as Faolan beheld the missing sheep. The grin disappeared when he noted the thieves were absent.

Faolan and Kagen crept away without notice. Only when safely out of sight did they stand and walk back to their waiting men and mounts.

“You were right, Robert,” Faolan said to the man holding his stallion. “Even with a two-day head start, the thieves were forced to keep a slow pace due to the herd.”

Faolan again wondered how it could have taken him so long to notice the loss. Kagen had tried to offer comfort and had reminded him the herds were in the far pastures and not within sight. Yet, with the trouble the last few weeks had brought, the mistake was his alone. The herds should have been kept closer to the security of his walls.

The Draig had lost eight good warriors in the last few weeks. The last two had died with the herdsmen, clearly attempting to save the flock. The others had all been found dead on his lands. Two men had been patrolling his border and never returned. His father, along with three warriors, rode out to find the missing men, and they too were found dead. The tragedy left Faolan the leader of his clan, whether or not he felt he was ready to assume the role.

Faolan pushed aside the pain when his father died. His time to grieve would come later. His mother and grandmother needed his support. Plus, he needed to find out who was attacking his men and stealing his wealth.

Robert’s voice pulled Faolan back to the moment. “How many men, and do we attack now?”

Faolan smiled at the question. While he doubted his readiness to lead, the warriors did not question his role. “The sheep are in the next clearing to the west. However, the men responsible are not there. Three beardless boys guard the camp, and I doubt they were the ones who overpowered our lost men.” Seeing the scrawny lads in his mind, Faolan added, “We are five armed men. If those lads have any sense at all, they will run upon our approach.”

Kagen added, “Such a move will alert our enemy that we are close at hand.”

Faolan stared into the tree line as though he could see the camp in the distance. He absently pushed his shoulder length hair from his face. “‘Tis exactly what I want. Enough with chasing shadows . . . I would bring this enemy into the light.” He pulled the sword from the scabbard tied to his back and was about to command his men into action when the earth rumbled beneath his feet.

A loud boom knocked all the warriors to the ground. Faolan felt as if the noise shook his bones as well as the air. Trees groaned as the wind came suddenly to life and roared around them. He looked up long enough to be certain the sky was still clear with no trace of a storm. When the wind screamed with a high-pitched wail, Faolan covered his ears and dropped to his belly.

Then, as quickly as it had begun, it was gone, no wind and no awful noise. Faolan rose, and his men followed. None spoke. All of them stared to the east—the clear origin of the insane sounds and storm force winds.

With a hand signal, Faolan led them east through the forest. He crouched low as another clearing came into view. They crawled to the edge of the protective brush to watch with shock as men appeared from out of nowhere.

Faolan thought it looked like someone had cut a hole the size of a door through the forest. In the impossible doorway, he could clearly see a sandy beach, greenery that must be some type of tree, and the ocean. He shook his head as if to question his vision. They were too far inland for a beach, much less the ocean, though he had never seen such a bright blue sea.

His eyes grew wide when men ran toward the door from the beach and entered his forest. They were like none he had ever seen. These men were built like his warriors, tall and muscular, but that was the only similarity. Their hair was cut almost to the scalp, and all wore identical clothing. The fabric almost made them blend into the ground they fell upon. Large packs covered their backs, but there was no sign of weaponry.

Faolan counted eight men before the door began to shimmer as if it wanted to fade from view. The woman appeared to be thrown through the door and was immediately followed by the largest man Faolan had ever seen. The laird wondered if the man painted his skin for a purpose.

The blinding flash of light from the fading door burned enough to make him turn away from the fantastical sight. When Faolan looked back to the strange men, they were either on their knees or lying on the ground, and the door was gone. He caught a momentary glimpse of two fleeing figures behind the strange ensemble. He pitied whoever had come close to their arrival.

He heard her voice over the low roar of the yelling newcomers. She pleaded for someone named Boom to get off her. Faolan didn’t need to hear any more. While he had only caught a glimpse of her, her vibrant green eyes were burned in his mind.

There was no way he would allow the woman to suffer while he stood close at hand. Faolan, flanked by his men, stepped into the clearing.

Top Secret Military Base

Near Phoenix, Arizona

January 19, year 5 of martial law

Samantha picked imaginary lint from the white skirt of the dress uniform and ignored the question. As she sat in the chair that was too large for her petite frame, some part of her wondered if he put the chair there just to intimidate her and make her feel small. Her eyes wandered the blank, windowless walls as she tried to think of another way to state the obvious to the man who never listened to scientific theory.

His irritated voice again asked, “When can I expect a trial run, Major Sykes?”

In the current situation, she would have preferred the colonel use her other title, “Doctor.” Maybe he would have respect for her opinion if he remembered her credentials far exceeded her rank. But she knew better than to ignore the colonel twice. “There can’t be a trial run. I’ve tried to explain this to you many times. It’s simply too dangerous to use. Any personnel you send into the past, even if you only send them back to yesterday, will change the future. You can’t interrupt the time stream without serious and potentially fatal repercussions.”

“In case you aren’t paying attention, we are in the middle of a war. Fatal repercussions are exactly what I want,” the colonel stated as he pressed the intercom button on his desk. He barked, “Send him in now.”

Samantha hid her smile as the man she expected, Professor David Chandler, entered the office. It had been eight years since he tried to discredit her then latest PhD work, and he had failed. At sixteen years old, she had run theoretical particle circles around him and had enjoyed every moment. Not to mention he had held a single PhD, and she at the time had held three: theoretical physics, quantum mechanics, and condensed matter.

Good manners made her rise to her feet as she noted the uniform the former university professor wore. Similar to the colonel, the professor was likely in his late fifties and wore the same high-top haircut all military men had. She smiled as she offered her hand. “Captain Chandler, how nice to see you again.” As they all sat, she asked, “Forgive the question, but when did you choose a military career?”

“It’s nice to see you as well. It may not be a great surprise that when the universities were closed there was little choice,” Chandler answered. He glanced nervously at the colonel behind the desk. “Serving my country has given meaning to my life.”

Samantha smiled at the comment, the one straight off the posters that hung on every street corner and broadcast day and night on military radio and television, the only legal sources of information. “Serve your country and give meaning to your life”was the most recent propaganda slogan. Not that anyone over seventeen was given a choice. The slogan should read, “Serve or Starve to Death.”

“I’m glad you two know each other because you are now a team,” the colonel stated as he waited for her reaction.

There was no way she would give him the tantrum he wanted or, more correctly, the excuse he needed to kick her off the base and away from project UNK005. It would never happen, even if she had always been a lab of one. As Samantha forced the polite smile to her lips, she asked, “When should I expect the captain in my lab?”

The colonel replied, “Give him your data today and expect him tomorrow at 0900 hours.” His gaze went between the two of them. “Is that acceptable to everyone?”

Samantha and Chandler answered in unison, “Yes, sir.”

The colonel smiled. “Good. I expect my trial run at the same time. Volunteers have been brought in and are ready to serve.”

Samantha rose and saluted the colonel. She knew him well enough to know that was a dismissal. An involuntary sigh left her lips as she left the office, and her heels clicked on the tile in the corridor. The fluorescent lights lit the way down the windowless corridor to the elevator. As she and Chandler waited, he started to speak. Her hand went up to cut off the sound. Thankfully, he followed her gaze to the security camera and the obvious microphone.

They entered the elevator together and rode down in silence to the lab on basement level twenty. She could sense his unease at being so far below ground. In truth, she preferred the security of the solitude of the lab, or was at least used to it. The only other lab on the floor was empty. They were entering her domain.

She paused only briefly at the security detail who flanked the sealed lab doors. The men were new and unexpected. Maybe she needed to spend a bit more time perusing the general orders within the base’s computer system. With a quick flash of her badge, they stepped aside. Her thumbprint opened the metal doors to her world.

Sergeant “Boomer” Michaels raised a salute as she entered. With a quick, “At ease, Sergeant,” she moved through the lab. Chandler had stopped to eye the two walls of computer banks, the door to her private quarters, and the two metal posts that stood on the far wall. Samantha sat at the large wooden desk and pulled a flash drive from the drawer. Without a word, she turned on the computer and began downloading the required data.

“This is quite an impressive work space,” Chandler said.

Samantha looked up enough to see the lie on his features. The room was anything but impressive; it was standard issue to the naked eye. There were white walls, fluorescent lights, bare tile floors, and a well-used desk. It was depressing and void of life, just like the rest of the buried military base. A false smile covered her face. “I’m glad you like it. I’ll call supply and have a desk delivered for you.” She decided David Chandler must be a quick learner; he had already spotted the camera in the corner.

The beeping from the computer terminal ended the polite nonsense. She handed the flash drive over. “I’ll see you in the morning.”

With a glance at Sergeant Michaels, Chandler asked, “Is he always here?”

Samantha had to bite her cheeks to prevent the laughter from escaping. Sergeant Michaels was imposing to say the least. At six-foot-five and three hundred pounds of solid muscle, her personal security was a given, not that she really needed the protection. That her guard stood with his hand on his side arm and a look that screamed, “Give me an excuse to shoot you,” only tickled her funny bone.

The sergeant was the only person left in the world she trusted. They had met on day one in basic training, a lifetime before the war. He had assumed she needed help because of her size; his big brother instincts had kicked in. At barely five one and one hundred and five pounds, she should have been an easy target. She wasn’t.

After basic, she had been transferred to research and assigned to UNK005 for weapons development. Boomerwas supposed to be sent immediately to the front in the Middle East post-basic. It was the only time she had gone to her father for help within the military. It was an abuse to ask the four-star general for something like a change in placement. But her dad had quickly approved the idea; he said he liked knowing someone was always going to be watching her back given the nature of her research.

Samantha glanced up at the sergeant and back to Captain Chandler before she answered. “Yes.” She had to look away as Sergeant Michaels puffed out his enormous chest in an effort to look more intimidating. The fake cough covered her chuckle as Chandler took an involuntary step backward. “You should go to your quarters and study the material. We can go over any questions you may have in the morning.”

Chandler put the flash drive in his pocket and walked to the door. Without looking up from her desk, Samantha asked, “Is there something you forgot, Captain?”

He turned and stared mutely before raising his hand in salute. She returned the formality and pretended to focus on the computer. As soon the door closed behind him, the restrained laughter finally broke free.

Boomer stepped in front of the desk. “I don’t think the captain liked me. Do think you it’s because I’m black?”

How could he possibly say that with no smile? she wondered before she lost all her forced composure and laughed until tears formed in her eyes. Finally able to respond, Samantha said, “Sure, that must be it. His reaction had nothing to do with your imposing body language, the I’d-love-to-kill-you glare in your eyes, or your general largeness, Boomer.”

He pondered the response. “Just checking.” The smile broke free when he asked, “Are you done pissing on your territory?”

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