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Point of View: First Look – The Hencha Queen

The Hencha Queen print wrap

Hey all…

Something fun for you this week. The prologue of The Hencha Queen, coming out in just seventeen more days. I’ll share Chapter One next week. Enjoy!

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Spin’s quantum brain was in flux, trying to process everything.

Aik was under the spell of some strange entity. Another artificial construct like himself?

Raven had been at Anghar Mor. His first friend in almost a hundred years, lost.

And what about me? He’d been human once. A husband with a daughter named Sera. The same Sera who had flown with him on the Spin Diver, much later. He was certain — facial structure and voice matching didn’t lie. And her laugh had been the same, thirty years after he’d lost her on Earth.

His human memories were patchy. They’d tried to eliminate them when he’d volunteered to become a ship mind. Or maybe they’d sequestered them, and that part of him had been damaged in the crash.

Whatever the reason, all he had left were tantalizing clues.

He’d always felt a special affinity for Sera, and now he knew why. She was his, or she had been. Her death, a hundred years prior, felt as fresh to him as the present moment.

Did she know? What had they told her that day when he’d left her — and her mother — to begin his transition?

More pieces fell into place. Her mother’s name was Genevieve. His Gen. They’d been deep in debt for infertility treatments and an unexpected relocation after a fire destroyed their entire neighborhood in Upstate New York.

My sacrifice saved them. Pain sparked through him like a static charge. Why did I have to find out?

He’d been perfectly happy as Spin the ship mind. But now he knew what he’d lost, and it was as vast and deep as the Grand Canyon.

He would have wept, if he’d still had human eyes


News of the world flowed into the spore mother through her children, the forerunners. It was cold, bitterly cold outside, and only marginally better in the dark place under the mountain where she lived, like her two foremothers before her. She’d released some of her children into the cavern, and they’d improved her dwelling considerably, making it hot and damp like back home.

Home. Her memory was fragmented, incomplete. She could feel the broken edges, the gaps in the knowledge of her foremothers that should guide her. She had more questions than answers.

Where am I from? Certainly not here. This world was unsuited to her kind, though that could be changed. It was far too cold and dry to sustain her progeny outside the mountain walls.

Where is here? There was no answer for that one, either. It was not home.

She was the third of her kind here. Of that she was certain. The previous two must have failed. She would not make the same mistakes. If only she knew what they were.

Every day she understood a little more about her strange home. Every day she grew stronger. Still, she couldn’t do this alone.

A few days earlier, she’d felt him. One of the progenitors from an earlier cycle. He was… strange. Broken maybe, like me. Lost.

He was far to the west, his presence faint against her mind. So she’d sent the forerunners to find him. There’d been mishaps. She wasn’t ready to reveal her presence yet, but something had gone wrong, and they attacked a herd of native animals.

Ruthlessly she’d recalled those ones and destroyed them, ignoring their cries as they extinguished themselves in the glacial snow.

She’d birthed another batch, and these did their job properly, contacting the progenitor and planting a seed.

Now she understood. He had bonded with one of the local creatures, and that bond was an uneasy one.

No matter. He was on his way to her. She would take him in, heal his broken pieces, and maybe he would heal some of hers. Then they would know what to do.

In the meantime, she would begin to prepare the way for him and his kind.

She thrummed happily as her form shifted and grew. Soon she would release her seeds. Soon the world would begin to change, and it would be time for their return.

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