Blessings upon each of you, and may the Good Lord and Our Lady of Perpetual and UndyingMaternal Love watch over you all. This is the prayer of Sister Mary Briona, Mother Superior of the Kognosian Convent..

As Mother Superior of the nunnery on the planet Kognos and head surgical nurse at the hospital there, I was acquainted with Sinbad sh'en Singh in both a professional and a personal capacity. I met him first when he was a 15-year-old cabin boy on Shark Tyvaris' ship, the Celestial Ray, when one of Shark's crewmen got hurt. The man was brought to us and we nearly lost him because we didn't have the right drugs or equipment. Shark made us a deal we couldn't refuse--treat my men when they need it and don't tell the Fed and I'll give you all the medical supplies you need. God forgive me, I agreed! Later, Sin became our supplier and I became friend to that lonesome child. In spite of the Felidan intolerance for other religions, he had been christened Catholic while in that prison, and it was to me that he confided how he'd lost his parents, and of his treatment by the Fed, and how all he really wanted out of life was to have a den and a mate and cubs of his own.

When he crash-landed the Dream Mariner in front of our gate, with that beautiful woman in tow, I thought he'd finally found the mate he'd long sought. That was how he introduced her just before he fainted--"Sister, this is my mate, Andrea." Later, I learned that was merely wishful thinking on his part, what the old doctors used to call a "Freudian Slip." Then, during the surgery to repair his injuries, we discovered the disease which was unknowingly killing him. I was the one to tell Andi and that news, coming directly on the heels of the fact that she was carrying Sin's child, nearly destroyed her. We both knew he'd never tell her his condition; she chose to pretend she didn't know, waiting for him to say the words that never came.

I'll admit I became a little lax for those two, looking the other way as they broke the rules of our little Order--after all, allowing a male in any convent bed-cell was totally against everything--but they loved each other so...Sin spent more than one night out of his hospital bed and sleeping in the single little cot with his Andrea. Andi, bless her!--she did her best to fit in, I'll say that for her--she attended Mass and Prayers and did her share of the gardening...similar to her life with her own people, she told me...but she loved that man with a passion that was totally frightening.

They left here without him ever admitting to her that he was dying. I have a feeling he'll do something drastic, like send her away, and then taunt the Coast Guard and allow himself to be shot down. All I can do is offer prayers for them both, and ask God and Our Lady to keep them under Their protective arms....

Heavenly Mother, please look after that young sinner, for at heart, he's a basically good man and doesn't deserve all that has happen to him!

I hope that, whatever does happens, someone somehow, will let me know...I do care for that young man, just as I cared for the frightened child I met that fateful day....

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


  1. Mary Marvella // May 27, 2008 at 2:47 AM  

    Good job, but I wouldn't expect anything less from you.

  2. Nightingale // May 27, 2008 at 1:45 PM  

    I love these conversations with the characters. It's fun and expands the reader's knowledge of them.