About the book
On Alkya, a planet a long way from Earth, the Division of Investigation – Other Worlds – has set up a base where hundreds of personnel live and work. Among them are two men, Major Rafe Wheaton and Lieutenant Adam Deacon, a linguist, who are part of one of the survey teams.
On a mission with the rest of their team surveying a deserted city, Adam and Rafe, now a committed couple, investigate one of the many buildings, which, due to its contents, Rafe has dubbed the “library.” Adam unknowingly operates some kind of machinery, and in a flash of light, the floor opens beneath his feet. In a desperate attempt to save his lover, Rafe gets caught in the same trap.
While their teammates search for them, Rafe and Adam find themselves trapped in adjoining cells, unable to touch or see each other properly, but grateful that at least they can communicate with each other. Though it doesn’t help them to understand what is happening as the walls change shape around them. Adam’s cell gets gradually smaller while Rafe is offered what seems to be a way of escape – but is that just one more trick of the strange trap in which they find themselves?
Will they be able to free themselves, or will they die together – but desperately alone?
An excerpt from the book
Adam crouched in the centre of his glass box; hands over his ears, eyes scrunched shut. As the sound bombarded him, the light flared for a moment before returning to its previous low level. It was so sudden, and Adam so unprepared, that it hurt his eyes for a second and left black spots dancing across his vision. Even now he saw odd flashes of color overridden by dark splotches and the natural reaction of closing his eyes didn’t help at all
The sound finally died and he cautiously moved his hands and opened his eyes. Frowning he looked around him. That couldn’t be right. His eyes must be playing tricks. Yet his archaeological experience had taught him many things, one of which was judging distances. The room was smaller. Not by much but he was sure he was right.
“You okay?” Rafe called to him, his voice sounding farther away to Adam.
“Just a little disoriented, again,” Adam replied as he began a second tour of the walls, measuring as he went. It was not exactly a precise method but he thought it would be enough to gauge if there had been any change.
“I’m not surprised. That was something else,” agreed Rafe. “Adam, er, did you notice anything… odd about that… grinding noise?”
“Odd?” asked Adam.
“Yeah. What are you doing?”
“Er, just checking something.”
“Just a minute.”
“Adam, don’t try and hide anything from me. It’s important I know what’s happening to you. This… half-vision of you is damned annoying.”
“Okay, Rafe, I won’t. I just wanted to check before I said anything. You asked if I noticed anything odd?”
“Yep,” Rafe said after a minute. “Damn, I nodded in answer, I keep forgetting you can’t see me either.”
“It’s okay. Rafe, does the fact that my… room is now a little smaller come under that category?” Adam asked, and he could hear the consternation in his own voice.
“Yeah, as does the fact that the exit to my room has vanished.”