Hello, I'm Andrea Talltrees, and I'm here to smooth over ruffled feathers and undo anything that Sinbad sh'en Singh might have upset with that little speech he made here a week or so ago. Sin's too impetuous, really doesn't know when to soft-pedal things....

Here's goes: They call me Andi. I'm a Navajo--yes, I know I have blonde hair and blue eyes, but I've lived with Vincente Talltrees and his sons since I was two, so as far as I'm concerned, he's my daddy. My real father, Jon Pardee, was a Federation soldier who was MIA in the Terro-Felidan War, the same war which eventually led to Sin and his father being imprisoned in that awful Fort Joy. (Okay--so he does have reason to hate Terrans!) Vicente promised he'd take care of me if that happened and, after my mother died, he kept his word.

I married a man who worked on our farm, we had a son, Cash--and nothing else remarkable happened to me until I was around thirty--and then a new war started. All Alien Nationals were rounded up, and my darling Tran was arrested as a spy! That was totally ridiculous. Tran's a farmer. The only unusual thing he ever did was go to Angel City once a month and have a drinking bout with others from his home planet.

Angel City used to be called Los Angeles until the Great Quake of 2338 dropped the lower half of the state into the Pacific, leaving behind only Angel City, Coast City, and a small island called Baja.

When Tran was taken to a secret intern camp, my godfather, George Windrider, suggested I seek out a Felidan smuggler to see if he could find its location. His hangout, the Asteroid Cantina, was a crowded, smoky place, filled with drunken men and scantily-clad women. Several men tried to stop me but when they learned who I was looking for, they shied away. They seemed frightened of just his name--and when I saw him...my God! He was the ugliest creature I'd ever laid eyes on--almost seven feet tall, eyes like a cat's, and the wildest, curliest red hair! He was dressed all in black leather, shirtless, and had a tattoo emblazoned across his chest that read We Ravage the Stars!

We went into a private room--it had a bed which looked as if it had been used many times--and I told him why George had sent me as he smoked a really smelly cigar. Though I told that tobacco was illegal and he was ruining his health, he just laughed. Then, he told me he'd help me--for a price. The creature actually wanted me to go to bed with him! I couldn't believe it--or that I agreed. All I wanted was my husband back. He never had to know what I'd done. I told him I'd do as he wanted...and fainted dead away....

When I awoke, Sinbad's attitude changed. He agreed to help me, no strings attached. Before he could start, however, Tran escaped, the Federation was after me, and I was a fugitive, abandoning my son as I ran for my life.

In the year to come, Sin and I visited places I never dreamed I'd see and meet people I didn't realise existed. Once, he was nearly killed and I had to use my knowledge of herbal medicine to save his life. It was while he was so ill that I came to understand the tortured soul hiding within Sin's heart and what a brave and wonderful creature he actually is...and that's when I fell in love with him, seeing him for the first time not as the vicious animal the Federation called him but as a haunted, lonely man.

I didn't tell him, didn't know that he'd begin to feel the same way about me--he has a weird moral code of his own. He won't touch a woman who's already spoken for. It wasn't until a stormy night in the Serapian jungle, in a hidden cave with only a few glow-stones for light, and the rain coming down in a flood outside, that we confronted each other and admitted how we both felt....

...and then, we found Tran....

Afterward, things fell apart. At a convent hospital with sympathetic nuns who treat the Brothers of St. Dismas when they're wounded, Sin discovered he has the same disease which killed his father. He doesn't think I know, even sent me away, pretending he never really loved me...told me some hurtful lies....

I lied, too...didn't tell him I was carrying his child...just left, hugging my little secret inside me.

My people shun me for being a married woman pregnant with another man's child. I don't care. I have my own land and I'll live here and brave their disapproval. My son will never know his father but he'll never suffer as Sin did, and perhaps someday, his life will make up for the waste of his father's.

Cash has taken the news better than I thought--about both his father and the baby. He's 15 now, the same age Sin was when he escaped from that awful prison. Lately, he's been asking a lot of questions about Sin and Old Town. I think he's getting some kind of scheme in that fertile brain of his and I've forbidden him to drive our old internal-combustion vehicle on the highway, but George just told me he's taken the Rover and is headed for the Thieves' Quarter. As if I don't have enough to worry about! That boy's going to drive me....

...Wait a minute! The Rover's coming up the road, sputtering and polluting the air, as usual, and-- who's that with him...a red-hair figure.... Oh, my God!

Excuse me, I have to go...it's going to take me a long time to walk from the barn to the house in my condition. If I could, I'd run....

(Sinbad's Last Voyage is the first novel in the series The Adventures of Sinbad, (published by Double Dragon Publications as an e-book and paperback. It has also been made into an audio book by Books in Motion. The sequel, Sinbad's Wife, is scheduled for release in June, 2008.)

1 comments

  1. Mary Marvella // May 3, 2008 at 9:36 PM  

    Andrea is a great character. I read the first book and I'll follow Andee. She's smart and tough. It's no wonder Sinbad was toast once he met her.