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A 14-year-old boy is struck by a car and left to die in a derelict section of town. He is the latest victim in a rash of deadly accidents spoiling a hot California summer.
Artemis Andronikos, a beautiful attorney with a teenage daughter of her own, knows the deaths are not the unrelated mishaps the authorities report. The victims are Harbinger children gifted with extraordinary perceptive abilities. It has been seven years since the Harbinger suddenly appeared, enabling people to foresee traumatic events. The new sense has proved most dramatic in young children. Now the prescient children are becoming adolescents. And the world's power centers are becoming alarmed.
Artemis and her partner Lucy Breem put aside their comfortable Maui lifestyle to investigate who or what is luring the children to their deaths. What they discover shocks the conscience.
The future of mankind has been wrested in the hands of the Harbinger children. And someone unexpected wants that power back.


First Edition
269 pages
ISBN 978-1-64890-111-9

E-book  $5.99
ISBN 978-1-64890-110-2

First Edition, 269 pages
  Paperback  $15.99
ISBN 978-1-64890-111-9
E-Book        $5.99
ISBN 978-1-64890-110-2


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"Something has gone wrong, Wolf. I've been watching Angie and some of the other kids. It's obvious they do not act upon what they are sensing." "Ah, you are referring to their precognitive abilities." Strang joined her at the railing. "But why does this trouble you, Temmie? We have known about the Harbinger for years. People are at peace with the curious if disquieting ability to foresee impending events." "It's not the adults I'm concerned with. The Harbinger has a much greater effect on children." Strang tapped his finger on his cheek as he thought. "Yes, that is true. But the children accept their ability without difficulty. To them it's merely another source of input. A normal sense. Their minds don't appear to have been affected." Artemis rolled her eyes. "Their minds need to be affected, Wolf. They perceive things, but then they seem confused. Either the kids don't want to process the information or they don't know how to. They hesitate when they need to act. I think it places them in danger rather than helping them avoid it." "Ah, may I assume you are reacting to the recent spate of accidents involving the prescient youngsters? I'd begun to wonder about that myself." Strang cleared his throat. "But tragedies occur even to children, my darling goddess. Surely you don't think you are intended to protect them all?" Artemis smirked in the way she always did when Strang addressed her as if thousands of years were simply wiped away. "I thought if I understood how the mind is meant to work, I would know how to help them." "Ah, a commendable approach." Strang nodded. "The mind is the product of the brain. A marvelous organ, the brain. It processes a ceaseless torrent of sensory input. The mind, a much more ethereal concept, organizes these sensations into thoughts and actions." A light breeze traveled about the lanai, lifting Artemis's bangs and spreading her long black tresses around her shoulders. She smiled, a twinkle in her eyes. "The mind is not the product of the brain, Wolf," she corrected him. "The physical is the slave not the master. Consciousness creates the physical. We've been over this, many times. The mind is the connection between the physical and the infinite. I thought the Harbinger augmented that connection in the children. Which makes their behavior - or lack of it - all the more puzzling." "There is too little known about the brain or the mind, Temmie. I too believe the Harbinger is the source of the children's perceptions. As to why the possessors of this marvelous gift fail to use it, I have no insight for you." He uttered a weary sigh. "However, the prospect of youdelving into this once again fills me with trepidation. Are you certain this is what you want to do?" Artemis touched his arm. "I'm worried for Angie. And the others. They are in danger, I'm certain of it. I can feel it. I just don't know how to get them to focus." Strang saw the depth of concern in the pale-blue eyes gazing intently at him. It was pointless to try to dissuade her. The goddess of the hunt was on a new quest and he would do whatever he could to assist her. Lucy, carrying a tray of coffee for the couple, slid the glass door open and stepped onto the lanai. Struck by the intense looks on their faces, she paused to wonder what issue made the pair appear so serious. "What are you two up to now?" she asked in a low, suspicious tone of voice. "See that?" Artemis nodded toward Lucy. "Now that's focus."

Dr. Wolfgang Strang wiped his glasses with a soft cleansing rag and situated them on the bridge of his nose. They were a torment prescribed to aid his aging mortal form with his search of the cosmos. The eccentric scientist was constantly cleaning the lens or removing the glasses to substitute the more familiar eyepiece. Images of the Great Rift lay spread out on the table before him. Its secrets safely cloaked in the mystery that had confounded him for the past seven years. The object heckled him as it once again appeared just south of Sagittarius A*, a supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy. But unlike the objects near it, Strang's nemesisshowed no signs of being consumed. In fact, it was perceptibly larger than usual, and the object's shape had morphed again from hook to hollow circle. A miniscule form among billions of luminous stars, the object had permitted Strang to wrest precious few of its secrets. The object was its own entity - a phantom like the ghost of Phaeton sent to intrigue him. He tried the hated glasses once again and then, setting them aside, rubbed the bridge of his nose. The Greeks would have had an explanation for such an object, he reflected. They'd have given it a name suited to the object's trickster nature. Modern science had only sterile questions to bestow upon the object. Strang likened it to the star of Bethlehem, appearing as it had to signal the birth of a godlike ability. The object and the Harbinger were two faces of the perplexing mystery he was determined to solve. Strang heard a rumble and noticed a familiar name on his cellphone skittering across his desk. "Temmie, my darling girl, how are you?" he answered, delighted at the unexpected call saving him from fruitlessly pondering the object further. He sank back in his chair and readied himself for a prolonged conversation. "I am inviting you to dinner, Wolf." Artemis's voice likewise had a smile on it. "Angie has been asking about you and it's been too long since we've gotten together." "Yes. it has." He ran his fingers through his mop of graying hair. "Has our not so little Oracle come up with some news?" he asked, hopeful for a positive response. "Well, she did detect a hungry shark the other day, but nothing about celestial happenings." Strang hummed low in his throat. "Ah, well, there are mysteries in the oceans also, I presume." "Um, Wolf. Do you have a few minutes to muse with me?" The change of tone piqued his curiosity. "I've been bouncing around a new idea and I know how you adore a mystery." Strang smiled. "I always have time for my goddess, and a mystery - now that's icing on the proverbial cake. So please, enchant me. What's on your mind?" "The mind is on my mind, you might say." She chuckled briefly. "What if we...I mean, I'm interested in the relationship between the mind and the brain. Well, actually, I'm mainly interested in how the whole process results in a person taking action." Strang nodded. "I see." He twirled his free hand and launched into a definition. "The mind is a set of cognitive faculties. 'Mind' is rather a cathch-all term really. The mind includes consciousness, imagination, thinking and perception - not that of these things is truly understood in its own right, sad to note. But we scientists lump them together into what we call the mind. And then we wax intellectual about how the brain is the physical structure in which these things are housed." There was a silence on the other end of the call for a moment. "What if it's not?" "The Harbinger! That's what we are really discussing here, isn't it, Temmie?" A warning buzzer sounded in Strang's head. Artemis was wandering into turbulent waters once again. The world had convulsed the last time Artemis had offered a contrarian view of a little thing called reality. She had walked unarmed into the war roiling between science and religion and had proved both sides wrong, for which she had paid a heavy price. Strang was not eager for her experience to be repeated. "I've been thinking quite a bit about the Harbinger, Wolf. With Angie's ability becoming more pronounced, I've begun to wonder where all this is leading. I mean there has been all this back and forth about the Harbinger and its effect on the mind." He heard her sigh. "Anyway, I've come up with a theory." She issued a rueful chuckle. "I don't think it's going to be a popular one." Strang began pacing about his cramped living room. Ordinarily he would have found such a conversation stimulating, but his concern for his friend overtopped his curiosity. What should have been a reaction of interest on his part was instead a sense of foreboding. "Temmie, my darling girl..." "Dinner's at six, Wolf," Artemis said, abruptly tewrminating the conversation. The subject was better handled face to face. "Don't be late. We're having ribs and asparagus with shaved ice for dessert."

Science has a lot in common with religion. Once a theory is expressed, it can quickly assume the trappings of dogma. And the continual restatement of theories makes the whole experience resemble an act of faith. The current theory about ancient humans is wrong but suggesting such a premise, even casually, causes grants to be withdrawn and ends promising careers - a reality Strang learned early and well. Strang considered such elitism to be mere hubris. But not today. It had taken him less than three months to formulate what ancient cultures had to tell him. And being a scientist at his roots, Strang was absolutely certain his theory was correct. "I can date the onset to between 10-12,000 years ago," he told Artemis. "That's when the massive stone blocks first began to be used in construction as evidence by Gobekli Tepe and Catalhoyuk and the Theopetra Cave in Greece. By 3000 BCE the perfected methodology had spread globally. Consider the Giza Plateau, Stonehenge, and various sites which began to appear in South America. The ruins sprung up everywhere." Strang pushed his glasses higher on the bridge of his nose. "The ancient builders used enormous stone blocks to withstand the ravages of time. Contemporary thinking posits these magnificent edifices were most likely tombs. But I'm certain they are much more significant. The buildings align with the position of the stars viewed from Earth. Taken as a whole, the redundant structures sctream 'look to the heavens from whence the gods came.'" Artemis smirked. "By gods you mean aliens." A broad smile spread across Strang's craggy face. "I think the term god is more endearing. I could never consider you an alien of any stripe, Temmie." Artemis blushed, appreciative of the affection Strang expressed for her. "So, the ancients wanted future generations to know about the visitation?" Strang nodded. "The ancients wanted us to know more than that. The more adept they became, the more elaborate the construction. A latent memory of the gods kept expressing itself in the way the structures were aligned pointing to the same place in the cosmos. I think they knew precisely where the gods went." "And where is that?"Artemis asked, suspecting Strang had comingled her mystery with one of his own. "It wouldn't happen to be near an object you've been interested in for a while, would it?"

The first thing Strang did when he finally got home to his bungalow on the side of Mauna Kea was to walk over to Willa's urn and place his hand on it gently. He stood there a moment and let the warmth of memory fill his heart. The trip had been more strenuous than he had expected, and he felt his body complaining about the difficult climbs and confining travel. He would turn fifty in a few months, but he felt eighty at that moment. He told Willa some of the highlights of the adventure and then shook his shaggy head and laughed. "You will be relieved to know it was a happy ending, my darling," he said, moving his travel bag to a table and unzipping the main compartment. "Lucy was found unharmed. Angie received a boisterous welcome home from her friends and..." He paused and cleared his throat. "And I may have discovered that which Temmie so ardently pursues." He sat in a chair and took a weary breath. His gaze returned to the pretty urn. "Of Artemis I am not so certain." He told Willa he had seen Artemis struggle in a manner most perplexing. Not with the physicality of the trip, but with the very nature of the hunt. He raised his arm and twirled his hand toward the silent urn. "Our lovely goddess is thrashing blindly, I fear. Shecannot find her purpose when she cannot focus on the quest." He leaned forward, elbows on his knees. "I saw fear in those remarkable blue eyes. Fear of loss when the oracle had her vision. But beyond that, fear we have not understood the gift of the Harbinger. For an instant I believe our goddess despaired that all could be lost." He went into the kitchen to procure a drink. Strang selected a bottle of beer from the refrigerator, popped the cap, and returned to continue the conversation with his dead wife. :It is up to us to assemble the pieces, my love, until our goddess finds her footing," he mused. Finished with the beer, he shuffled into the bedroom to unpack. Strang withdrew a large folder from the bag and held it up toward the urn. " These are the pieces we found." He put his large hands on either side of the folder and pressed. "There is an answer in here. It is as elusive as dark matter." A smile spread across his unshaven face. "Ah, but therein lies the fun."

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