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About the cover: The cover image, titles Space 4 Stock, has been researched in good faith and is believed to be in the public domain. The image can be found at Official-PSDS.

The Book Changes Hands

The great desert winds pummeled my body like a rag doll, dragging me and shoving me to and fro until I'd gone over the edge of a deep ravine. My arms scrambled about, my fingers clawing desperately at the loose dirt as I felt my weight slip away below me and towards certain death perhaps a hundred feet below.

Finally, I held enough of the rugged dirt to cling to the ravine’s edge like some giant bug. I lowered my head near to my shoulder, hastily trying to draw breath, but only received a mouthful of whipped sand for my efforts. I’d been warned that this task wasn’t going to be an easy one.

How long I hung there, I can’t recall. I was becoming more and more certain that I was going to die there, at the moment my grip weakened and my body tumbled down the rock face.

Suddenly, unexpectedly, a strong hand reached down and clamped my wrist. With a mighty heave, I was yanked away from the precipice and hoisted back on stable ground. Through the wind and dust, I caught only glimpses of my benefactor: a short, stout form, eyes covered by bizarre rounded goggles, and sporting an unusual and fluttering orange cape.

We both stood there, with my short rescuer’s hand firmly on my shoulder, both of us crouched and wincing against the ferocity of the wind. Neither of us spoke. Even if we had the whipping wind would have drowned our voices out like a flood.

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