This is Space Pets Week! Who knew? There will assuredly be pets in space when the time comes. I’m sure we’ll take our dogs and cats with us, and I’m sure we’ll encounter alien critters who will walk our path with us. My story in Pets in Space 6, the limited edition science fiction romance anthology, stars a little foundling called Neyru. She’s apparently an Oorven, but her people (Afra and Drew) don’t know that straight away.
You see, Neyru was discovered quite accidentally. History professor Drew Torson spied an interesting thunder egg at a market on Laremenssa and bought it because he liked rocks. And then, back in his cabin on a space liner, the rock… hatched. He had no idea what the creature was or where it came from. All his database searches proved futile. For no known reason he decided she was female, so he called her Neyru. She seemed to want to stay hidden so Drew didn’t share his discovery with anyone. Until she was accidentally discovered by the wrong people.
Drew’s new friend had four legs, wide wings that fitted along her backbone when they were closed, and a short tail. Her amazing black eyes were forward-facing and slightly raised in an otherwise slender skull on a long neck, so she was definitely a carnivore, which she proved by wolfing down Drew’s steak right after she hatched. She had skin, not feathers, but she wasn’t a bat. What can I say? She’s alien…
Apart from being able to fly, Neyru had some other qualities. Her hide when at rest was silvery, with that same iridescence that Drew noticed in the rock at the market where he bought the thunder egg which turned out to be an egg. But she could change her colour and to some extent, her appearance to match her surroundings. She was great at hiding in plain sight, rather like an octopus. And she was very protective of her people, even if she was only a baby.
Here’s a snippet from an early scene where freighter captain Afra Abrussen meets Drew and helps him escape pursuers.
Neyru appeared, her wings a blur as she hovered in front of them. Afra wasn’t sure how she knew, but she received an impression of two men following and an imperative to hide. She slowed, looking for a place but Neyru cheeped, hovering over a half-open cellar door. The place hardly looked inviting but the sound of muffled voices was coming closer. “In there. Hurry.”