The Joining

A Romantic Sci-Fi Short Story.


A space rescue.

An alluring alien.

Five years of searching for a lost past coming to an end, one way or another.


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“Welcome aboard.”

She inclined her head with the grace of a queen.

The familiarity of the movement staggered him.

He did know her. The realization chased heat and cold throughout his body. Something from the void of years before the Guild, before they’d given him the name, Erik. He clutched the back of the pilot’s seat, chasing a memory. Her name

Then the crack into his past closed.

“I am…” She seemed to try to form a sentence in Lingua Franca. “I am called Shakuntala by humans.”

That wasn’t right. The snippet of memory disoriented Erik. All he could do was wave at the co-pilot’s chair.

“I am Erik Stigander. Guild Scout. This is my ship.”

Shakuntala nodded, watching him with a disconcerting intensity. Erik turned toward his blinking instruments array.

Suddenly, the floor buckled under his feet, and the lights dimmed. He gripped the back of his chair. His senses cleared just as abruptly, leaving only a residual buzzing in his ears.

The instruments showed no power fluctuation.

An ESP surge?

Just like five years ago. They had gone on for months after a Guild ship had rescued him from…

…darkness. Cold.


Once again, his memories skittered away. He remembered only the tail end of it, long periods of clarity between stretches of darkness.

“Are you unwell?”

Her voice brought him back.

“I’m fine.” He maneuvered himself into the pilot’s seat, motioning his guest once more into the other chair.