First contact. In the story of Alien Revealed, the sexy science fiction romance by Lilly Cain, that phrase about the protocols surrounding the first meeting between humans and aliens takes on some amazing new variations.
And I don’t think any of them are quite what Star Fleet might have had in mind. Although Jim Kirk probably did. 😉
But in this first contact story, the humans are the less scientifically developed race being contacted by the more scientifically advanced Inarrii. And the contact is accidental. As in collision.
Agent Alinna Gaerrii has been observing the human Starforce installation from her covert base on the moon. Some of that observation has included a bit of close-in flying in a stealth pod. That’s what got her in trouble. An unscheduled airjet swerved into the airspace over the base and collided with her pod. The resulting crash wasn’t pretty. The airjet’s passengers were killed, and Alinna’s pod, with all of its alien technology, hit the trees. Alinna survived, just barely, but it was exactly the kind of situation for which self-destruct signals were created.
The humans were not supposed to know that they were being observed, Not quite yet. Alinna was just about ready to return to the Confederacy Alliance base on Jupiter’s moon Europa to report that the humans would be excellent candidates to join the Alliance against the brutal Raveners. The diplomatic team would return to begin treaty negotiations.
Instead, Alinna, wounded and bleeding, was found by Starforce pilots investigating the crash site. Also found was a small piece of melted plastic, the last remains of her ship.
Starforce Major David Brown mistakenly identifies Alinna as the psychtech who was supposed to have been aboard that airjet. The one who was scheduled to evaluate his Special Forces team before their mission to Mars.
Alinna decides to go along with the mistaken identity, using her Inarrii abilities of reading emotions as a way of observing the humans up close. Even though she will break every protocol of observation that an Agent is supposed to maintain, she is certain the information will be worth it. Everything she’s seen of the humans shows that they are exactly the allies the Confederacy needs.
But David Brown is a shock. Because Alinna can reach him, mind-to-mind, as though he were another Inarrii. Which he manifestly is not.
That any human can achieve mind contact makes the humans even more valuable as potential allies than anyone could have guessed. They can be full partners.
But for Alinna, alone and isolated for far too long for one of her people, David is much more. The mind contact that he initiates in his dreams soothes her. Inarrii need touch almost as much as food and water; and Alinna has been alone for months.
When those dream-meetings, and dream-matings, move into the real they discover that they might have something worth changing their lives for … if they can get past their very big differences. And the people who are shooting at them.
Escape Rating B: As I said in my review of the second book in Cain’s Confederacy Treaty series, The Naked Truth, this science fiction romance leans a little more on the romance side of the equation than the science fiction side.
However, maybe because Alien Revealed is the first book in the series (Undercover Alliance is third, and it’s due out in June) a lot of the science fiction worldbuilding takes place in Alien Revealed. Which I liked seeing.
Even if I think that the base security is weaker than it should be. But folks snuck into Stargate Command who shouldn’t have, too. I did love some of the fun touches, such as the bit about the folks who really, really wanted to meet an alien were nicknamed You-fo’s, derived from UFOs, and no one ever believed them. Until all of a sudden they were right.