YA Science Fiction/Romance
Publisher: Cosby Media Productions
What Would You Choose: Love or Duty?
As the Torrian Alliance continues its age-old mission of hunting down Star-children, King Gregorio Derry reluctantly agrees to send his only son, William, to planet Earth on a mission to bring honor back to the Royal Family name. The target: Sydney, a young teenage girl, unaware of her alien heritage. When an unforeseen accident delays the assassination, William begins to realize a connection forming with Sydney and struggles to follow through with his orders. With the fear of Civil War imminent back home, William must make the ultimate choice between his irrevocable duty and love, sacrificing everything he believes. But as a hidden menace emerges to secure a vested interest, and impossible odds begin to mount against them, William and Sydney wonder if a connection between two Star-Crossed lovers is enough to save them from destruction.
Seventeen Years Ago . . .
Sarah stood atop the mountainside, looking out into the sky. The expanse of rich darkness and scattered stars reminded her of home. She desired to return there someday, but knew that she couldn’t. Things had been set in motion. There was no way to turn back now, even if she tried.
Still, something within her body felt wrong.
Is this the right place, right time? she thought.
Maybe the details got skewed, blended together, lost amongst all the immaculate planning. Even they were known to be wrong sometimes. She hoped against all hope that they weren’t. But stars never lie. She gazed into the sky. Their configuration—constellation after constellation, linked like a chain, with the Star of David perched in the center—was picture perfect. This had to be it. All she had to do now . . . was wait.
And wait she did.
Hours passed as the moon slid by. Just as her mind began to fill with doubt, it finally happened. The ground underneath her shifted, rocking her from side to side, up and down, as the stars burned brightly. She braced herself, running down from the mountain the best she could. Her old bony legs wobbled, struggling to keep her upright as she negotiated the uneven layers of rock and grass.
A loud crashing noise like the banging of cymbals lit her ears on fire as the sky parted, sending a tiny bright shard screaming across the black canvas, growing larger as it drew nearer.
Her eyes snapped to the road—the projected point of impact. But one detail had been missed.
Someone else was there.
A vehicle sped down the dusty road, on a straight collision course with the object, which continued to grow larger and larger as time ticked on.
Sarah waved her hands as wildly, screaming, “Hey, you have to stop!”
But her screams went unnoticed. She gasped as the object crashed to the earth, tearing the car into pieces. She squinted, filtering the heat from the explosion as she moved in closer to examine the wreckage.
A gaping hole where the roof used to be greeted her, revealing the charred remains of another passenger. Sarah scanned the rest of the vehicle for survivors, finding only the shell of the driver white-knuckled to the steering wheel.
Her heart dropped.
The muffled sound of a baby crying tickled her ears, urging her to examine the object in the passenger seat more closely. It resembled a meteor, covered in craters and black ash that sent her into a coughing panic. A small crack in the outer shell provided just enough space for her to look inside.
She grabbed the door handle with both hands—wrinkled fingers trembling as she ripped the car door free—tossing it by the wayside. With a sigh of relief, she peeled back the shell. Black smoke stung her eyes while her hands burned from the heat. But Sarah ignored them both, pressing forward with her mission. Nothing would stop her now. With wet eyes, she smiled, finally finding what she had so desperately been looking for—a baby girl.
What You Choose, Becomes You…
Against everything he had known as truth, William has made the choice to protect Sydney from the forces seeking to destroy her. But just as these two Starcrossed lovers are beginning to explore their relationship and search for answers to the mysteries of Sydney’s existence, she advances to the next stage of her Star-child evolution—Supernova—and struggles not only to control her new powers, but also the emotions for her new love. William seeks to find the truth behind Sydney’s erratic behavior, while overcoming the new threat headed to Earth to destroy them. With new villains and old allies on the horizon, and chaos brewing on William’s home world, will self-sacrifice prove to be the only way for him to achieve victory and defend his love, or is there another way?
The follow-up to the debut Award-winning novel PROTOSTAR!
William helped Sydney up alongside a cliff overlooking the city and settled her comfortably along the edge. The blue sky slowly blended in between the black of night above and reddening dusk below. He slipped his arm around her and pulled her close. She snuggled up against him and gazed at the horizon. Home. The place where she had lived out her make-believe life for the last seventeen years looked smaller than ever from up there. And now, standing on the brink of annihilation, all the irrelevant within it ironically seemed larger than life.
If we could only stay this way forever, she thought. Time with William made everything last forever. “With a little bit of luck, we may actually win this fight, William.”
“Luck?” William asked. “We don’t need luck. I try not to put any stock on something that I can’t see, hear, or feel.”
“Oh, yeah? Then what about love?”
“I know that’s real. I feel that with every breath of my being. And no one can take that away from me.” William’s grip tightened around her shoulder. “Nor replace it.”
“So, I guess I’ll throw away my rabbit’s foot then,” she mumbled in jest.
“Sydney, I want you to do me a favor. Please do not deny me this one request.”
“Depends on what it is . . . but I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t find a way to give you what you requested. I’d give you anything right now.”
“When the fighting starts,” William began, “I need you to stay away. Don’t come anywhere near the battle. If anything were to happen to you, it would destroy me. And if I thought for a second that you were not safe, it’d break my focus. I wouldn’t be half a man, or any bit of a soldier if I wasn’t confident that you were unharmed. I asked Henry to watch over you. Can I trust you do that for me?”
She took a long fleeting breath. “Yes, William. You have my word to keep safe. But please, I don’t want to talk about fighting . . . dying, or anything else tonight. Let’s just watch the stars and the rest of the world and be at peace. The way it should be. If this is the last of anything for us, I want to savor it by remembering absolutely nothing but the sound of our heartbeats.”
Her eyes filled with tears and spilled over as she sobbed, watching the sun finally fade out of sight.
Henry, Jasmine, Arrion, and Noella wore solemn faces as they spread out along the front porch when William and Sydney pulled up on the driveway.
William squeezed Sydney’s hand as the engine cut off and they met everyone on the porch. “You have an update for me, I take it?”
“It’s time, son,” Henry said.
“How do you know?” Sydney asked.
“We got word from Bill over an hour ago. He didn’t want to interrupt you guys. Dodge’s space fold initiated in Earth’s orbit a little before then. Bill estimates we have a little over two to three hours before Dodge completes the transition and lands on the surface. Bill sent a message to him with the location where the fighting will take place. With any luck, he’ll heed our request and come straight to the spot,” Arrion said.
“Don’t consider luck here, Arrion. He’ll show for sure,” William said.
Sydney looked up at William. “So, I guess this is it, huh?”
The terror in her voice made it impossible to look back at her. His heart swelled. “I need a minute with Henry,” he said.
Noella came to Sydney’s side and walked her around back. Arrion and Jasmine followed.
Henry pressed his shades along the bridge of his nose. “What’ll it be, slick? How long do you think it will take you to wipe this guy out? The bets are mounting up.”
The false confidence in Henry’s voice was laughable, making William’s throat tighten. “Don’t know? Wish I did. Do you remember the plan?”
“Yeah, I do. Sydney will be safe. I won’t let her out of my sight. I got June and Ward polished up and ready to go.”
“June and Ward?” William asked.
“The Cleavers. You know, Leave it to Beaver?” William stared at him, lost. Henry huffed. “Forget it. I got the guns in the house.”
“I also need to tell you something else, Henry. Once we kill this menace, I think I may have found a way for me to live with Sydney and not harm her anymore. It will require me to do the one thing I dread the most. I need you to be strong for her.”
“I got an idea what that entails—the classic love story ending. I’ll do my best.” Henry tipped his hat. “Let’s just get throughthis first.”
“Right . . . Oh,” William said with a nod. He reached into his back pocket and held out an envelope. “And please, give her this when I leave.” He handed it to Henry.
Henry took it. “Sure thing.”
“Well . . . so long.” He turned to walk away.
Henry called out to him, “William, wait.” William met his gaze. “I’m placing all my best on you, son.”
William smiled widely. As he rounded the corner of the house, he caught Noella and Sydney nestled together underneath the tree. Half-dried streaks of tears from reddened eyes ran along their cheeks. He warily approached, grief stricken by the reality that this could be the last time he’d witness such a scene.
Noella crooned some familiar song—definitely not of Earth origin—while she braided Sydney’s hair. Something struck a chord within William. He recognized the melody more than the words. As he faded back to the past, the keys played on, each line breaking through the haze. Finally, there it was.
The same song that his mother had sung to him when he was a child to fight away nightmares had somehow traversed space and time to comfort him once more. He pulled up short to appreciate the sound. The vision of his mother materialized before him. Her majestic elegance pierced his soul. The words from her mouth merged in unison with Noella’s, and just like back then—for the moment—peace consumed him.
The explosive finale to Braxton Cosby’s Star-Crossed Saga trilogy—perfect for fans of TWILIGHT and LEGEND!
What You Believe, Can Destroy You!
William and Sydney have sacrificed everything to fortify their love, so much so that William dares to brave the depths of space to find a cure for their deadly Supernova bond, leaving both her and Earth vulnerable to Torrian Alliance attack. But with a full scale rebellion in play on Fabricius, the reality of Sydney’s execution from Torrian hands is diminished, only eclipsed by the certainty of a more threats – The Third Faction and The Dagmas Clan – lead by Dominic and his insurgent recruits. With overwhelming odds mounting against them, William makes a desperate attempt to find the last of the endangered Star-children only to be captured by a new menace, where he is forced to compete in the dreaded Gauntlet of sport. Allies surge to free Fabricius, seeking alliances across the galaxy while Sydney tries to keep her identity hidden and trains to master the third phase of her Star-child evolution: Solstice. With Sarah’s mysterious return home with clues to unlock the future, Noella’s training and Bill’s symbiotic development hope is restored, but will it be enough to unite the galaxy and destroy evil for once and for all?
Sydney and Noella walked hand in hand along the small winding path leading to the top the Mount Dothan. The dusking sky painted a sheet of orange and red light across the woodsy terrain around them, giving the impression of wading through a sea of fire. Amid the grim moment of the day and the burning sensation rising in Sydney’s throat, the tone seemed fitting. Silence accompanied them, and it wasn’t until the pair hit the peak that Sydney finally broke the ice. “So what do your people call this ceremony?” she asked.
“The time of the harvest. It’s the moment when a fallen soldier is said to join the being of the sky. I think humans refer to it as God,” Noella said, her tone as flat as the expression on her face.
“Sounds cool,” she replied as she surveyed the surroundings; a patch of flatland that housed a family of hawks who watched cautiously from above in a lone cedar tree. From here, every inch of Madisonburg could be observed without the need of telescope or binoculars. A bed of dandelions and weeping willows greeted them in the center of the field.
“This way. I’ll show you where I buried his body,” Noella said.
She could see that Noella was visibly shaken, slowly unravelling before her eyes. Her hands trembled as her eyes began to redden. She wondered how long it’d take, amazed at how Noella had not said a word since Arrion’s death a few weeks ago, only morning him in silence, which she explained was customary on Fabricius. She had done the deed all by herself, refusing to allow Sydney to assist in his burial. From scouting the plot of land to digging the hole, Noella insisted that it was protocol on her planet for a lone fellow soldier to be assigned the arduous task of preparation. Seeing as though William had departed soon after, there was no better candidate left for the job.
She took Noella by the hand and drew her close, giving her the most delicate and firm hug she could muster. Noella stood motionless, sinking into her friend’s embrace. After a few seconds, she released her, unable to make eye contact. “I’m here for you,” she murmured.
“Thanks, Syd,” Noella replied, her voice ragged.
She finally looked up at her and gave a nod, following Noella’s lead over to the place where Arrion’s body lay. Surprisingly, the disturbed clay seemed more settled than she expected, dried from the sun and already showing signs of life as Bermuda grass had slowly began to encroach along the edges. A makeshift tombstone had been erected, fashioned from metallic fuselage scraps of the Daedallus, with only Arrrion’s name and handle tatted along the surface, minus dates to hide his identity to hikers in hopes that most consider it a memorial to a lost pet if they stumbled upon it.
Noella knelt next to the grave, slid her backpack from her shoulders and began to open it. Searching her bag, she retrieved a small oval-shaped disk and a satchel filled with purple powder. “These are crushed lilacs pedals. We must first prepare the path for Arrion’s ascension by sending tribute to the sky.” She stood and sprinkled a few handfuls over the grave until a thin layer had materialized before them. “On our planet we usually use the oil of a Tonosia Tree, which is a lot thicker substance and is used for sterilization. Sarah thought it’d be a good idea to use lilacs as a substitute because it was a similar color.”
“It’s beautiful,” she replied.
“I will now begin the ceremony.” Noella placed the disc in the center of the burial site, depressed a red button on the top and came to her side. The two joined hands as the disc began to spin and dig into the hardened clay. Noella pointed a hydrogen phaser at the site and fired a stream of fire upon it that scorched the sheet of crushed pedals. The disc disappeared beneath the flames and Noella broke out into song, in an alien dialect that Sydney could not understand. It was less about the words and more the moment that choked at her, forcing the tears to flow freely down her face. She squeezed Noella’s hand as she crooned on. By the time Noella had finished, a small fissure had opened in the place where the disc had entered and a cloud of embers swirled into the air; a mix of red, orange and yellow. It lifted high into the sky and faded into the clouds.
Noella dropped to her knees in a whimper. “It is finished.”
Sydney came beside her and held her close. “It was… beautiful.”
The two sat in silence with only sobs to drown out the sounds of the forest.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Multi-Award Winning and #1 Amazon Bestselling author Braxton A. Cosby is a dreamer who transitioned his ideas on pen and paper to pixels and keyboards. He tells stories that evoke emotions and stimulate thought. PROTOSTAR: BOOK 1 OF THE STARCROSSED SAGA and THE SECT: THE WINDGATE are currently Young Adult/New Adult series he created. He has written over 10 novels, including his new Superhero adventure book, THE CAPE is book three of the Dark Spores Series. He lives in Georgia with his amazing wife and a highly energetic Morkie named StarKozy.