Mirrored Sky

Mirrored Sky cover.  Amazon link

Mirrored Sky is the 7th story in the VayneLine Chronicles and it tells a survival story of a fighter pilot who is rams his ship trying to stop a superior alien race.  The main character in the first part of the book is Weiko who is an older pilot who has survived several battles which makes him a rarity.  He has a deep burning hate for his enemy, the Rift, who has killed all the friends he once had.

Over the icy world of Sigel-3 he rams his ship into the leader ship, detonating his missiles at a point blank range. His escape pod crashes to the icy world below and quickly realizes there is no way out.  He considers killing himself but when he sees the ship he hit crash land near him he decides he is going to be the first one to ever see a Rift.  The heavy snow and barely breathable air slow him down and when he gets there prepares himself to kill the alien inside.

What he finds stuns him:  it is a young girl pilot who is AGEd to the same appearance as him – bright orange hair and orange eyes.  The alien race they have been getting slaughtered by is another off-shoot of ancient humanity that left after the Aelishan uplift.

Weiko is torn because this is his sworn enemy that has taken everything from him, but the reality that is it just a young girl and they are fighting each other weighs heavy on his mind.  He considers still killing her, and has many dark thoughts about what to do before then.

He brings her back to his crashed ship, gives her a survival suit and lays down next to his flaming ship to rest a little.  He is woke up and forced into battle when a huge creature grabs the girl.  His advanced rifle easily kills the creature and the girl feels indebted to her rescuer.

They see a ship land and begin moving towards a potential way out, but they fall into a cave that is actually a geothermal hot spring.  They rest a little before leaving.  On the way above the battle rages and errant shots start hitting around them, they race back to the cave where Weiko is knocked out by a ricochet.

The girl, Ennina, drags him out of the water they are hiding in and takes care of him medically for the next few days.

They find themselves in a cave that has a type of bio-luminescence where small plants grow.  Ennina notices that they grow extremely quickly at this is likely related to why her race wants the plant.

What follows then is the survival story of the two of them.  There is a subtle interplay as Weiko holds tremendous hate and dark thoughts in his head and tries to raise the young Ennina as a good woman.  She likewise does not know he was the one that brought her down and takes his lessons about not giving into hate to heart.

The question then is how long can Weiko live a lie of not letting Ennina know she was his enemy?  Ennina makes an off-hand comment about wanting to end the war, not knowing the truth that they are fellow Solarians.  Will she have any hate in her heart when she finds Weiko has lied to her for all the time they spent living together as enemies?

 

Characters:

Weiko: A pilot with a deep burning hatred in his heart that he has to combat during his survival with his enemy

Ennina: A young girl pilot that is instructed by Weiko as they live on the ice planet they were shot down at.

 

Trivia:

Mirrored Sky has the least amount of dialogue in it by far for the first half of the book where the characters barely even talk to each other.  There are only a few lines of spoken dialogue in the entire first half.

Mirrored Sky had the least amount of named characters in any story, only Weiko and Ennina

Neither character correctly pronounces the other’s name, neither corrects this either, as they find it endearing.

Mirrored Sky is the longest VayneLine chronicle story, followed by Proud Infinity in second.

 

 

Mirrored Sky is available on amazon here

 

 

Synopsis:

 

 

**Spoiler alert:

 

Warning what follows is an explanation of all events in the story which is meant to be read only after finishing the story in case of confusion**

 

Weiko is a fighter pilot who is rare in that he has survived a few fights with the ‘Rift’.  The Rift are an advanced robotic race that they have never been able to see a real one of as they lose almost all their battles.  Weiko was previously in a battle with overwhelming odds and they still barely win.

Over the icy Sigel-3 he spots a leader of a group of the Rift ships, as the battle is slipping away, he rams the shipping, blowing up his missiles on it before hand.  His Valcare crashes to the ground and he is ejected a little distance away.

Waking up he has constant thoughts ranging from suicide (as the planet is hopeless, and he knows his race will not win the battle) but sees the ship he rammed and is focused on seeing one in person.

He constantly has dark thoughts that are so powerful to almost be another person, they are much more violent in its desire.  The planet has barely breathable air and the deep snow makes moving very hard.

Upon getting to the ship, he considers shooting it open, but eventually gets it open to find an unconscious but very attractive girl pilot (Ennina).  This is highly significant because it means the ‘Rift’ were actually other Solarians that had somehow diverged and neither could talk to the other.

The darker voice constantly taunts him into raping Ennina, but a small spark of hope drives him forward of trying to not give into it.  He drags her away before her ship blows.  At this point he still goes back and forth about killing her, realizing they have no way out of this situation.  Further, neither can talk to the other as their nanites don’t have the right translation package.

They walk over to his flaming Valcare, and he almost loses control and shoots her.  He falls down to the ground crying and passes out while Ennina hugs him.  He dreams about girls he liked or had sex with and how they are all dead.

Waking up and nearly frozen into the ground, the hopeless now fully hits him.  A huge creature called a Taulander attacks Ennina and in his reflexes shoots it down with his rifle.  In the distance there is a ship landing and they march off after it.

As they march away, they slip through a hole in the ground, coming into an underground grotto that is fed by natural hot springs and crystals that put of light.  There are plants in here as well.  He feels heat through his gloves, suggesting a type of radiation.  This place in fact is a Life/Line Spring where Axls are radiating and why there is life in this cave.  (For reference of other VL Chronicle stories dealing with Life Springs are Eu-Knight and AilAid.)

They rest a little in here.  The story switches and where we find the girl’s name is Ennina, it is clear she understands the situation far different.  She believes Weiko is a rescue pilot sent to save her, and because he is older this was his final ‘age act’ (in their culture, older people do a final dangerous mission as service to the race before voluntarily killing themselves.)  She does not know he is a ‘Drag’ pilot, and thinks about how she hates their swarming tactics like insects.  It is implied her race understands some degree of the important of Life Springs and why they are defending them so they can research them.

Weiko wakes up, again torn between killing her or trying to save her.  They leave the cave to go to the landed ship.  Weiko mentions that his race had left the Solarian a long time ago and they likely were two wayward colonies that had developed in different parts of a galaxy.

As they get closer a new version of Weiko’s Valcare fighters come in, and start to shoot down Rift ships, including the one they wanted to use for escape.  They start running back to the cave to take cover, and make it in time, but a round causes a ricochet that knocks Weiko out as he slips into the water.

Ennina takes over, dragging him out and taking care of him.  She finds out that the plants in this cave grow back quickly and starts to cultivate them for eating. Weiko passes in and out of cognizance  and is at his darkest.  He constantly thinks about raping or killing Ennina and many times has to throw his rifle away before he does it.  Ennina dutifully returns his rifle, and thinks his behavior is because he was hit in the head with a rock.  One important note is the rock Weiko was hit by both scared his face, as well as Ennina kept it to dig with – and gives it to him in jail much later as a sign.

Slowly they start to live together better, learning about each other.  Weiko never tells her he was the enemy pilot and she makes references to wanting to kill that pilot.  He only tells her to let go of the hate.  Ennina is young and impressionable and though Weiko does not truly believe what he says, she does.  After talking she tells him she will figure out a way to stop this war – not yet knowing the Drags are human, and that Weiko is one.

A critical part happens when Ennina tries to come onto him sexually.  Weiko had resisted because as much as he lusted after her, felt like it was the only thread of his sanity he had.  He denies her, and she turns reticent for a while, the biggest thing is realizing Weiko was a Drag after seeing a tattoo on his chest matching the Valcare fin emblem.

They learn a joint language and become very strong on the planet, both from the exercise and the Life Spring.  Eventually a ship lands and they decide to go for it.  Ennina tries talking to them, but they attack her, and Weiko shoots them.  Ennina ‘betrays’ Weiko by stabbing him.  She has never wavered from her promise and knows this is the only way she can do it.

Weiko spends years in jail, his heart slowly growing colder towards Ennina.  Naturally he doubts the promise they had, and starts to question his molding of her.  He mostly blames not having sex with her as the thing that triggered her.  Hate starts to come back into his heart before he gets it back under control.

Later he gets little clues that Ennina is still alive and cares for him, the biggest is the rock that hit him in the head so long ago.  It is not stated, but Ennina had gone back to that planet, and went into their home and grabbed the rock.

Behind the scenes Ennina is setting up a peace treaty between their two ‘races’.  Many members of her race want to see the war continued and she had to do much politicking to eventually stop it.  This included getting in touch with the ‘Drags’ and her being able to speak part of their language was a huge boon.

The final scene is Ennina herself being part of the elite group, presenting Weiko with his knife from the planet, and escorting him to be part of the peace signing ceremony.  Ennina had never let go of the promise and felt terrible he had to endure all of this.  She did not doubt he would, partly due to a degree of delusion as she believed in him more than he did himself.  Their races are unified after a very bloody and mostly one-sided war.  They finally express their love for each other, and both have brilliant white hair due to their exposure to Axls and the Line Spring they lived on.

 

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