About The Vintages:
Forty-seven prototech Mindguards who call themselves the Vintages have fled to the Hando Desert and seized control of the territory's thoughtenhancing drug trade. Under the leadership of the mysterious Jaycen Nemeth, the Vintages are rapidly becoming a danger to the IFCO, bringing them into direct conflict with the Enforcers. As Nemeth’s influence grows among the Desert Dwellers, the prospect of a new Mindwar threatens the future of mankind.
A very strange feeling took hold of him. Lately, he had been getting these peculiar spells where he could no longer get his mind to focus. His thoughts were drifting like specks of dust, settling on specific moments from the past, which he relived with a sort of detached intensity, if such a thing was even possible. In those moments, he felt utterly disconnected from reality, as if his mind could travel to better places while his body was cursed to remain on Sattyr. He reasoned that it was a side effect of getting hit in the head so much.
The wooden stairs creaked with every step, as if they had to support the weight of his mind in addition to the burden of his body. He got an unusual sensation when he reached his fourth floor apartment at the end of the narrow hallway. Mindguards could sense another person's thought timbre.
Cairo stopped in front of the entrance and gently placed his right hand on the door; as if that could help him get a better feel for what was waiting beyond it. There was no one in his home; he was certain of that. He would have easily sensed an intruder. Still, something was there.
It was unlike anything he had experienced before: the lingering after-effect of a thought timbre, as if someone had broken into his home and left a trace of their mind behind. But that was impossible.
Carefully, he placed a hand on the knob and slowly turned the key. Even as he was doing so, he realized that caution was futile. A telepath would long have known that Cairo was there. Then again, so would Cairo. He wasn't really sure who or what he expected to find, but he was never one to hesitate.
When he heard the familiar 'click' he swung the door open and stormed in, ready for a fight. He turned on the lights and looked around. Deep inside, he almost wished an aggressor were waiting for him. He kicked open the bedroom door and found no one. Furnishings were scarce, so there was little chance of being ambushed. He then moved to the bathroom, the only place left. In the mirror, his reflection was partly hidden by a message smeared in red paint. It was the letter V, underlined and followed by a dot. When his brain fully assimilated the symbol, something else came with it.
All things are ready if our minds be so.
The words came out of nowhere, as if someone else were thinking them inside his head. The intruders had managed to leave behind an untraceable message in the form of a lingering thought, an enduring piece of cognitive information firmly fixed in space-time. It should have been impossible.
He didn't know the meaning of the words, but he was aware that they were merely a calling card. It made sense that another message would follow.
Cairo, we embrace you with open arms. Follow your thoughts!
So, they knew who he was. It was all coming to an end and Cairo felt a great sense of relief. He also knew who they were. No one else could have achieved such a breakthrough in mind-to-mind communication.
"Alright, then," he said out loud, as if the intruders were still there to hear him. "I'll show you open arms!" He left his apartment with confidence, for he knew exactly where to go. With the two messages also came an awareness of his destination.
About Andrei Cherascu:
Andrei is a full-time author with a passion for science-fiction. He studied Letters and subsequently pursued an American Studies M.A, writing his thesis on the music of Tom Waits. After working in I.T support for a couple of years, he decided to dedicated his entire energy to writing. His debut novel, Mindguard, was published on September 2nd and chosen Book of the Week by SciFi365.net exactly one month later, with the comment:
“Careful, intricate plot lines reminiscent of Greg Bear combine with characters whose fates you will care about - no matter their motivation. This is the type of novel that you might find in an independent bookstore with 'Staff Recommendation' and a hand-written review. One for all Science Fiction fans.”
Andrei also maintains the jazz-themed blog, The Music and Myth, where he reviews records and live shows and features artist interviews. When he is not writing or reading, Andrei likes to spend time listening to jazz and drinking wine in the company of his wife, Ioana and their Netherland dwarf bunny, Picky.