A Sentinel gen novel
written by Jody Norman
Jim and Blair have been at odds for a few weeks now, and things only look like they're heading farther downhill. That is until Blair disappears.
Drawn into the VR world of a madman, Blair must fight to stay alive in an AU version of Vietnam. Luckily he's not alone, a man who claims he's from Blair's past is helping him, but it's not enough. In a final bid to save Blair's life, Jim joins his guide in the VR world where, together, they must work past the issues that had pulled them apart in order to escape together.
Jim sat in the dark, watching Blair. The detective's shoulders were tight, and he stretched, wincing as a joint popped. It seemed like days since he'd been able to relax, and every muscle in his body ached.
He wondered how Sandburg felt. The psychotropic drug had to be hard on the man's body, and a higher dosage must have pushed Sandburg to his limits. To make matters worse, the anthropologist had gone into the experience already exhausted and hungry. At first, the higher dosage of the drug had forced Blair's heartbeat all over the board ^ uneven and stuttering, then fast, occasionally tripping, then normal, then a set of trip hammer beats that slammed through him. And then they had stopped. And so had his breathing.
Ellison wiped his forehead, feeling the icy sweat that still clung there. Thank God the doctor had arrived by then, or his friend might have died right there. As it was, they'd had to hit his system with other drugs, since they couldn't shock his heart back while he was hooked up to the computer ^ no one knew what that would do, and no one wanted to find out, either.
The doctor had also hung an IV and inserted a needle into Blair's other arm, all over Harrington's stringent objections. The man complained that none of his other subjects had had water or nutrients, and this anomaly would throw off his results, making them unusable. Jim's reaction to the statement hadn't been civil, and it had taken both Joel and Simon to pull him away from the man. The Sentinel suspected that the officer who had been called in, and ordered to stand guard over Harrington, was there at least as much to protect him from Ellison as to watch him.
Finally, though, Sandburg had stabilized, and he'd woken up in his reality. Jim was so relieved to hear his voice again he hadn't even blinked at his friend's almost verbatim recital of his own words, even though it made both Simon and Joel shift uneasily, eyeing Jim with a wary wonder that, at any other time, would've made the detective smile. It hadn't been that long since both men had been hardy skeptics on the subject of the metaphysical, but that was before the realities of friendship with a Sentinel and his shaman had forced them to accept it, and work with it.
And now it was a new day, and Jim sat beside his friend in a darkened room, watching him with Sentinel sight, wondering what kind of mental bond could be tapped when those so linked were separated by drugs and computer programs, and hoping that, whatever it might be, it was enough to save both their lives.
108 pages. $10 for PDF version with color cover.