Shadows on the School Grounds
Miona's furry master boards her into an exclusive school where she quickly gets in trouble with the class bully and his aristocrat cohorts. Soon she steps in the middle of a political conspiracy that could wreck a fragile peace between the planet’s main species. To get out of it alive, she'll need all her wits and sword fighting skills, and also a hidden, very special talent. More
If you’d ask Miona what she really thinks of her new school, most likely she’d tell you she isn’t too pleased with it. Her reasons might go like this:
1. Not only there isn’t any car-flying class like some kids in her old school had told her, but
2. Most subjects are tough and no fun at all,
3. Discipline is even tougher than in her old school. The Dean, for one, is this big human woman with a quick switch and no sense of humor, who seems to have taken a strong dislike in her since the first day of school,
4. Another lie that went around in her old school: most chores are done by school personnel. N-o-t T-r-u-e. She has to do them, just like at her old school or at home,
5. Worse still: she can’t make friends in her own class, because the class bully has taken a special interest in picking on her and scaring her classmates away from her. He’s also very good at getting her punished. Since the start of the school year--for nearly two months now--she has only been able to go home once, all thanks to him....
But soon she finds another issue to add to her list: this school is d-a-n-g-e-r-o-u-s. There are shadows roaming the grounds. And the spy game Miona is forced to play might do much more than get her expelled and make her master angry at her. In fact she might need more than her brashness and strong sword fighting skills to check out of that game alive. More than the help from her new friends. What she may need is a strange, powerful gift she never knew she had....
***Flying Back From School***
“What are you doing?” Ruhul tried to stop her, but he could only grab the top of her skirt. She was already halfway through, her hands and head resting on the copilot seat, her stomach on its headrest, and her legs on the luggage compartment. He pulled on the skirt to try to force her back into the passenger compartment, but the fabric gave a warning sound so he eased up on it. Soon he had to let go to slow down their speed. “You’re going to kill us. Go back to the passenger cabin at once!”
“I can’t,” she said, sliding further into the seat. Now only her shins were still in the passenger compartment.
Ruhul glanced at her legs and winced, holding back a new command. “Now what are you gonna do?” he said in a calmer voice. “Travel upside down ‘till we get home, or turn around and kick the controls with your feet?”
“I can’t stay like this,” she protested, the blood getting to her face. “Can’t you catch my feet?” Then she slid down as slowly as she could, trying to turn around to see what she could haul herself up with. Her hand went to the copilot controls, but she knew she’d better not use those.
“Don’t touch that!” warned Ruhul.
She managed to grab hold of the edge of her seat and pulled.
“Mind your feet, won’t you?” Ruhul said in an exasperated growl. “You’re on my tail now.”
***First Sword Game Practice***
At one point Miona found herself very close to Poisonohl. “Hey, Fortvallor,” he snickered under his breath. “Too bad we don’t have the padded gear today. You’ll be all blue when we’re done with you.”
“You’ll be needing your crutches again,” Miona said through her teeth. “Hope you have them close at hand.”
Moments later they arrived in front of the large box, both at the same time. Poisonohl pulled one saber from the crate and in the same movement swung it at Miona’s back.
But she hadn’t taken her eyes off him for more than a second at a time while she was choosing a sword for herself. She pulled a saber from the pack and swerved it with both hands in a parry. Poisonohl's saber bounced off her own with a clank.
The next second both sabers were pointing to the ground and both Miona and Poisonohl moved away from the crate as if nothing had happened.
“Hold on, there!” Professor Musrol said, walking back to the crate. “What was that noise I heard?”