Newest version in post #9. Will happily return the favour!
Ever since the Heart was stolen and their planet destroyed, the Kish have been scorned by the rest of the galaxy. Now, the people of this once-powerful, telekinetic race live as nomads, dreaming of the day when the Heart of Kish is found and they can return home. AWILDA KOREEN, a seventeen-year-old Kish alone in space after her parents’ murder, longs to find a home on solid ground where she’ll have room to grieve. When a small mistake gets Awilda locked in a prison cell with her ship confiscated, she’s ready to give up on life. But RAZIN GALRIO, an infamous twenty-year-old pirate and captain of a massive fleet, offers Awilda rescue and riches, claiming he needs her telekinesis for a heist. Awilda declines, preferring prison to a ship full of strangers—criminals, no less. Refusing to take no for an answer, the pirates kidnap her. On their ship, the Ammari, Awilda meets the rest of the crew, including VINNA, a wise young healer, who tries to no avail to make Awilda feel welcome. When the ship stops at a station for supplies, Awilda’s cat Zusa escapes. While searching for her, Awilda discovers Razin’s secret: his family was murdered, much like her own. Her perception of him as a cold, ruthless criminal changes when she sees his loyalty to their memory. They are interrupted by soldiers from THRAXA, a power-hungry tycoon who’s after the same treasure they are. The pirates escape, but Zusa is left behind. When Awilda panics over losing the only thing she has left of her parents, Razin risks his life to retrieve Zusa, earning Awilda’s trust and gratitude. Razin reveals that this heist is about more than just money; it’s about justice, and revenge. Feeling she owes him, Awilda agrees to help, becoming a full-fledged, if only temporary, member of the crew. As the pirates travel towards their target, Vinna helps Awilda strengthen her telekinetic powers. Awilda grows closer to the crew, and begins to develop feelings for Razin, though she is afraid to reveal them. When Thraxa locates the Ammari, her army of cyborgs attacks. Realizing that these mindless soldiers were once Kish, Awilda believes that not only their mission, but her people are in danger. The crew manages to escape, but the race for the treasure is on. Curious why Thraxa wants it so badly, Awilda questions the nature of the treasure they seek, but Razin claims that whoever hired him for this job is very secretive. When Awilda and the crew reach their destination, the planet Garivald, they take a small team to the surface in disguise. Their plan to steal the treasure runs smoothly, until Razin discovers that his sister, whom he believed dead, was raised by the man who murdered his family. Razin tries to bring her with them, but she resists, having been too young to remember what happened. The plan goes awry, and Awilda pushes her powers to the limit in order to save them. When Awilda reaches the treasure, she recognizes it as the Heart of Kish, and is overwhelmed by her discovery. The pirates escape with the Heart and the princess, but one of their crew, with whom Awilda has grown close, is captured. With the power of the Heart, which amplifies her telekinetic abilities, Awilda is determined to confront Thraxa, and go back to save her captured crewmate, who faces certain death. But Razin stops her, explaining that if he loses the Heart, his reputation will be ruined, and he fears his employer will kill him. Swayed by her growing affection, Awilda hands over the Heart. But when they encounter a stretch of space littered with the corpses of Kish children, the wreckage of a dozen Kish ships left in Thraxa’s wake, Awilda has no choice but to betray Razin. However, before facing Thraxa, she is determined to rescue their crewmate, whose time is running out. She steals the Heart, and flees with Vinna’s help, bringing Razin’s sister, whom they plan to exchange for their captured crewmate. Upon reaching Garivald, they find it under attack by Thraxa, who came looking for the Heart. A simple exchange no longer an option, they fight their way to the surface. As Thraxa tortures their crewmate, Awilda battles cyborgs, forced to kill her own people. When they reach Thraxa, Awilda faces her, using the Heart to amplify her abilities. But Thraxa, who has similar powers, is stronger. With Awilda weak, exhausted, and hopeless, Thraxa reveals her intention to annihilate the Kish and use the Heart to take over the galaxy. All seems lost, until Razin shows up, having chosen Awilda and his sister over his reputation and safety. Determined to protect him and her friends, she musters the strength to overpower Thraxa, but is unable to save Vinna, who sacrifices herself for Razin. Moments later, they are transported onto the Ammari and flee as the pirate fleet, which Razin had originally hoped to use to destroy Garivald, descends upon Thraxa’s ships. With Thraxa’s army decimated, the Kish are no longer in immediate danger, but it is clear that as long as Thraxa lives, they are not safe. Awilda resolves to become strong enough to overpower Thraxa, but knows she can’t do it alone. Razin, deeply impacted by Vinna’s sacrifice, swears to destroy Thraxa. With the support of the pirates, she plans to one day return and defeat Thraxa once and for all, then take the Heart to Kish and restore her people’s home. Saddened by Vinna’s death, but hopeful for the future, Awilda has found the home she was looking for among the pirates, and devotes herself to saving her people.
Note: This is the first in a trilogy.