Dissonance (Echo Trilogy, #2.5)

By: Lindsey Fairleigh

ECHO TRILOGY, NOVELLA 2.5


PREFACE



Hello, dear reader!



First off, thank you so much for joining Lex on her adventures through time! After many, many requests I’ve decided to include a quick and dirty little recaps of the previous books in the series. So…



Previously in the Echo Trilogy…



In the first book, Echo in Time (was Echo Prophecy) Lex discovers she belongs to an ancient race of people, the Nejerets, who can see the past, present, and future. She discovers that she’s the central figure of an ancient prophecy, falls in love with an enigmatic and gorgeous 5,000-year-old “god”, and is gifted the ability to travel through time…so she can stop her evil father, Set, from destroying the world. She also learns she has a half-sister (Kat) and half-brother (Dominic) through that same evil father, and that her dead grandfather, Alexander, isn’t so dead after all. Oh, and her childhood best friend and first “love” was really Nuin, uber-god in disguise. Plus there’s archaeology and an excavation, and Lex assists in destroying part of Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple…by getting shot. Whoops! In the end, Lex and Marcus, in possession of different parts of Nuin’s godly power, defeat Set, who runs away to hide while he regathers his forces and plans his retribution.



Then, in Resonance, the novella following Echo in Time, Lex discovers a statue that Marcus has been hiding in the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence that just happens to look exactly like her. An attempted abduction of Lex is thwarted, and Marcus kills a whole slew of Set’s people with nothing but his bare hands. In the end, Lex and Marcus fight, make up, and Lex realizes the statue’s uncanny likeness to her means she’s destined to travel at least back to the Renaissance, maybe further.



And then, in the second book, Time Anomaly (was Echo Queen), Lex travels back thousands of years to Old Kingdom Egypt, where she must learn to control her borrowed power over time (and space, sort of), to keep it from destroying her. Also, she gets to fall in love with Marcus (Heru, in ancient times) all over again, tension and steaminess ensues, yada yada yada… While she’s in the ancient past, Lex discovers that Set isn’t actually evil, but is possessed by an “evil” being, Apep. She also learns that Nuin is similarly possessed by Apep’s less-evil counterpart, Re. She makes new friends (Aset, Heru’s not-so-dead twin sister, Nekure, Aset’s son, and some pretty cool priestesses who decide Lex is actually the goddess Hathor and devote a whole ancient religion to her). She spends some time at the ancient Nejeret homeland, the Netjer-At Oasis, almost destroys it, saves Heru’s youngest daughter, Tarset, by freezing her in At, and adopts a kitten, Rus—who she also freezes in At. Oh, she also goes back even further in time to rescue Aset from an earlier incarnation of Apep, but not before the evil turdball can violate and impregnate Aset with Nekure. Lex returns to the future, gets knocked up with twins who are destined to be uber-gods fated to restore ma’at, universal balance. The book ends with Apep’s soul trapped in a sphere of solidified At that looks an awful lot like a snow globe.



And that brings us to this novella, Dissonance. Continue on, dear reader, to see where Lex’s journey takes her next…





1

Hopes & Fears



“I’ll be right back,” I called through Denny Hall’s closing glass door and hurried down the steep stairs on my way to get coffee, careful not to slip. I hugged myself to fend off the damp chill as I made my way along the slick paved pathway. I was antsy and fidgety, so much so that I’d completely forgotten to retrieve my jacket before rushing outside, and a brisk walk through the seemingly constant Seattle drizzle would do my frayed nerves good.

It had just been a nightmare—or daymare, I told myself. It had all been in my head. But I couldn’t help stopping on the sidewalk by the scene of the imaginary crime and staring down at the spot on the asphalt where Dr. Ramirez’s lifeless body had lain what felt like only moments ago.

I blinked, squeezing my eyelids shut in an attempt to block out a memory from a dream that had felt far too real. When I opened my eyes again, my heartbeat tripped over itself, and I screamed, “NO!”

Dr. Ramirez was there. He shouldn’t have been; I’d just left him in the lobby of Denny Hall. He was supposed to be inside the old building, safe and sound and not here. Not in danger. This couldn’t be happening.

He’d just stepped onto the street and was jogging across. At hearing my shout, he paused to look back at me, and not a second later, a speeding station wagon slammed into him.

Dr. Ramirez’s body rolled up onto the hood, his head hitting the windshield with a sickening crack before he slid back down and was dumped on the asphalt. His arm flopped out to the side, landing in a grimy puddle.

“Oh my God! Dr. Ramirez!” I stumbled across the sidewalk and onto the university’s main drag. But I already knew it was too late. I already knew, because I’d dreamed about almost this exact, horrific thing happening mere minutes ago.

I already knew that Dr. Ramirez was dead.

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