Intercept Course

From Chapter One

Oldearth ARAM Encounter

Mud seeped between Aram’s toes. He shivered despite the sweat trickling down his spine. A shower of drops splattered across his face as he beat back the forest’s dangling vines and springy saplings. Exhaustion sapped his last bits of energy. With the back of his mud-smeared hand, he wiped his face.

Visions of a warm fire and venison haunches sizzling on spits caused his heart to momentarily fail. His weary limbs demanded rest, but he only shook his head. Not yet—but soon.

His people staggered in stupefaction. Their flight seemed never ending, their search futile. Danger lurked in every dark motion of the forest.

As his muscular body plodded through the root-gnarled muck of the late rainy season, a new light grew in his mind. He could still see the tawny-colored fur and glittering eyes of the beast as it snatched its first struggling, screaming victim. When he had heard the throaty growls and the moon’s glow had cast uneven shadows on the beast, he had frozen with horror in the face of the cat’s great size.

It had struck in twilight when light danced with utter blackness. His wife, Namah, hunch-backed and morose, had been directing the meal preparations. Her orders rang out shrill and abundant—as usual. The other women had obeyed with their typical, sullen compliance.

He had glanced at Namah as the mighty feline landed on its victim, and though her wide-eyed terror had matched his, she had thrown a rock at the retreating creature. Despite her crooked spine, she showed a strength of mind—not unlike that of the cat.

Even when he had thrown his spear and others joined in action with cries of fear and anguish, he knew it was too late. The night was too dark and the cat too mammoth to hunt in the gloomy forest.

Aram had known the youth well and agony had gripped his heart, but his mind would not respond to his grief—only to fear. If he gave his clan time to rest, their anguish might turn to madness. If he kept moving, they might outrun both beast and terror.

But they were past exhaustion now. The lands of their forefathers lay far behind them. They had entered lands unknown to his memory. They had always gained life from familiar trees, made suitable shelters, and found peace beneath their branches. The ancient woods gnarled together in a forest of immeasurable depth. But their frantic travels had led them into a foreign land.


—Ingoti are large beings originating from the planet Ingilium and range from six to seven feet tall. They are heavy due to their extensive weight and girth but are very fast and extremely powerful. They are never seen outside of their bulky techno-organic armor and breather helms.

—On Board an Ingoti Trading Vessel

Zuri, an Ingoti trader renowned for his clever deals, braced for impact, but there was little he could do to protect his co-pilot. Gem crouched, covering his head with his arms and hoped that the restraints would hold. The small trading vessel carved a deep furrow into the lush dirt and plowed into an Earthen hillside.

Blinking awake, Zuri considered his biomechanical techno-armor, and seeing it intact, he sighed in relief. Hobbling to the main console, he reviewed the status of the ship. Various systems blinked offline status, but life support held firm. Glancing back at the cargo hold, he ticked off the needed parts in his mind and stepped forward.

Gem lay sprawled across the floor, unconscious.

Crouching by his side, Zuri made a quick diagnostic review of Gem’s bio-suit and life signs. With a chuckle, he lightly slapped Gem’s ruddy cheek. “Get up, lazy fool. We’re already behind schedule, and Cresta’s are not known for their patience.”

Rising on his elbow with a groan, Gem shook his head like a confused Ingoti bullock. “I thought I was done for. What happened?”

Zuri stood and rubbed his back. “That replacement Orbital Maintenance you bought blew and sent us spiraling right into the atmosphere. Should’ve guessed. It was too cheap to be an honest deal.”

“Blast! I’ll pay them back for this; don’t worry.” Gem rose and started toward the console. “How long before we’re ready to set off again?”

His gaze rising to the ceiling, Zuri crossed his arms. “It’ll only take a few hours with both of us working on it. But, I’ve heard about this planet—how about we take a little tour?”

Gem scowled. “I’ve heard about humans, too. Primitive and—”

“I didn’t say anything about humans. By the Divide, if I wanted to go to the zoo, I’d visit the one on Helm.” He stroked his chin. “No, how about scouting around a little? There might be resources we could use. The Ingilum would pay dearly….”

A crooked smile crawled across Gem’s face.


While struggling through dense woodland, Gem wiped his sweaty brow. “How does anyone survive here? It’s not fit for habitation!”

Zuri shrugged. “Not where I would have chosen to land—”

A low growl stopped them both in their tracks.

Slowly, they turned. Zuri raised his Dustbuster and aimed as a tawny, four-legged beast drew near.

Gem swallowed. “That thing’s enormous!” Turning at the sound of human voices. He grinned. “Ah, it’s tracking them.” He pointed to a clearing where a large group of humans had settled down for rest.

Crouching low, Zuri peered between the branches until he could see the throng.

Men, women, and children crowded around a central figure, a tall muscled man with long, black hair.

Peering back at Gem, Zuri shook his head. “They’re practically naked—without any techno-armor at all. Amazing they’ve survived! They must be brighter than they look.” After stepping back, he sent low-power beam searing through the foliage near the huge, stalking cat, frightening the beast into the thick woods.

Gem scowled. “What’d you do that for? Let the whole planet know we’re here, why don’t you.”

Zuri pointed the Dustbuster at Gem. “Is there anything left of you—on the inside—I mean? We were once naked and helpless too. If the Cresta’s hadn’t taught us—”

“They used us in their studies. They weren’t being generous.”

“But we learned from them! That’s what counts.”

Gem stared at the Dustbuster in Zuri’s hand. “So, what’s your point?”

Shoving the weapon into his armor holster, Zuri shrugged. “I’m just giving them a chance to live and learn.” He stalked back toward the ship. “It’s time we left. I’ve got enough data to make up for the time we’ve lost.” He grinned as he swiped a branch out of his way. “The Cresta can pay us for both the cargo and the information.”

Gem marched behind. “And the Ingilum Supreme Command? What’ll they say?”

Zuri turned and, clasping Gem’s shoulder, he lifted his eyes to the sky. “Contrary to my expectations, I foresee a day when humans and their primitive world will be quite useful. We’re on an intercept course. In any case—information always pays.”

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind

Historical Fiction


Ishtar’s Redemption

Neb the Great

Georgios I—Hidden Heritage

Georgios II—A Chosen People

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings

2018 Short Stories

I don’t have a complete list yet of my 2018 short stories, but here’s a peek into what’s coming each Friday from January to May. 

My newest science fiction novel Newearth—Justine Awakens is slated for publication in early 2018. Many of the characters from my short stories really “come alive” in the Newearth books.


January 5th

Winter Irony

January 12th

Now I See

January 19th

A Beggar’s Choice

January 26th

Intercept Course

February 2nd

Live Again

February 9th

Outlast the Ages

February 16th

Ol’ Diablo

February 23rd

Edge of Life

March 2nd

You Don’t Look Dead To Me

March 9th

Not Natural

March 16th

Don’t Miss a Day

March 23rd

The Great Wall

March 30th

My Love Is Strong

April 6th


April 13th

So Blind

April 20th

Wait and See

April 27th

Alternate Universe

May 4th


Hollywood Book Festival Review

Neb on AmazonI am happy to announce that Neb the Great made Honorable Mention in the 2014 Hollywood Book Festival in genre-based fiction.  This means that every book of The Deliverance Trilogy has won something.  ARAM won runner-up for an Indie Publishing Contest.  Ishtar’s Redemption made finalist in the Tuscany Press Writing Contest and now Neb the Great has won this Honorable Mention in the Hollywood Book Festival. Also, ARAM and Ishtar’s Redemption has won the Catholic Writers Seal of Approval while Neb the Great is under review for that.  What a great way to start a Monday!


The Scholar's ChallengeThere are very few books I would strongly recommend to Christians across the board but The Scholar’s Challenge qualifies. I found this book to be interesting as well as
vastly informative. It is really two books in one. Both are told from a servant’s point of view but the first is focused on Origen, the great third-century Christian thinker and philosopher who did wonders to organize early church documents into a coherent whole. He did some serious speculating which put him into serious trouble but he was obedient to the Apostolic Tradition and bowed to church authority. The second book focused on Jerome, another early Christian thinker, who did a great deal to carry the message of Christ and the teaching of the church to the next generations, albeit, not always without controversy. I am not nearly as good a scholar as Julian Bauer so I can’t pretend to outline all his points but I found this book to be very insightful, well balanced, and engaging. I learned a lot from this book, though I’d need to read it over a few more times to pass any serious quiz. I have already put this on next year’s reading list for all my high school students. I can’t imagine a teacher who wouldn’t want to buy and share this book with inquisitive young minds. Wonderful job!

Reviews for ARAM

Cover for ARAM 2013Two recent reviews for ARAM:

If you like religious fiction and fantasy novels, you’ll love the Deliverance Trilogy by A.K. Frailey. I had a chance to interview her about the books, and she does a better job describing them than I. I really enjoyed the first two books, and I’m looking forward to reading the third! It’s a very family-friendly book for older readers, a series that parents don’t have to worry about their kids reading. What was the inspiration behind the Deliverance Trilogy?

The Deliverance Trilogy began with ARAM as a simple story which told about a man’s search for the one true God in a world of chosen evil. It was basically a revelation (man coming to know the mind of God) as in the prayer the Shema:
“Hear, O Israel:
The Lord is our God
the Lord alone. You shall
love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your might.”
But Aram was born before Israel was in existence…before there was a united people of God. But I have always thought that in order for any man to do any great thing God prepares the way generations before with other faithful men and women who were open to the will of God.
IshtarCVBook two, Ishtar’s Redemption – Trial by Fire, simply continues the conversation that ARAM started. Humanity is broken and prone to sin. Ishtar is a man who falls not just once but repeatedly and it is in his weakness that he finally finds the answer we all need – that we are not strong enough to go it alone against evil and death. We may insist that we have good hearts and clean minds but the powers of darkness are too much for any man to struggle against alone. As both Ishtar and Obed learn, it is not enough to want to be good, or to be learned, or to be strong…one needs a real living God or one becomes lost in a maelstrom of horror which insidiously overtakes our souls.
            Book three, Neb the Great – Shadows of the Neb_Cover front cover onlyPast, was written at the request of my children. They wanted to know how the Neb got to be the way he was. It was a worthy question and one I could not run from. In looking back on the forces that formed Neb the Great who was the grandfather of Ishtar’s father, thus his great-grandfather, I came to realize, in considering my own family history, how the sins of the past do follow down through generations and how it takes a special grace to break free from those chains of bad habits and overreaching pride. Neb the Great made choices and those choices led him to a certain end….but there is hope because Ishtar made very different choices and the book ends not with Neb but with Ishtar’s grandson.
2) When you started writing, did you anticipate it being a trilogy?
No, not really, it just grew into one. I wanted to write a story large enough that it would be capable of delving deeply into the human experience as we journey together on this earth, but I couldn’t accomplish even a semblance of that end until I had written all three books.
3) What do you consider to be the main themes explored in the books?
The main themes would be the search of man to discover the answer to his soul’s deepest longing.  Also the consequence of chosen evil. The hope of redemption and the release from generational sin. Finally, the undying hope that God instills in the human heart for God will never abandon His own.
4) Who are some of your favorite authors to read?
No surprise that I enjoy reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings since I have written a book about the Christian themes in his books. And I admire his attempt to reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, eternal truth that is with God.  I also enjoy G.K. Chesterton’s works.  From a man who said: “Fairy Tales are more than true. Not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” I definitely feel a kindred spirit. I also have enjoyed reading Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset for her grand medieval landscapes and large family interaction. For fun, I like to read anything by Jane Austen.


Deliverance Trilogy, #1

I thought that this book was going to be about Aram, however, it was about the people that Aram led and the people that he affected. There was a really good paranormal twist in the book and I also loved the clan loyalty as well. This is the first book in a trilogy and I cannot wait to read the rest. I hope that Aram made the right decision at the end of this book. I liked the end, but like I said, was it the best choice? The family dynamics in this book were interesting and I definitely felt for Aram’s loss. The beast threw a wrench into Aram’s plans and as his past comes back to haunt him he is faced with the most difficult choices of his life.

I was really involved in this story and there was a lot of action. I am giving this book a 4.5/5.

I was given a copy to review from Night Owl Reviews, however, all opinions are my own.

Rather Like Poetry

I have met a few people in my life whose wisdom, though quiet and unpretending, has had a great influence on me. Most often I do not know much of their history, but I always wonder—what made them so wise? When I have looked into it, I have come across a commonality: they all had to endure some seriously trying times. Often they had to face their own limitations, tremendous frustrations, even battles against temptation and evil. One of the dearest and most decent of men I ever met was a Chinese professor who was living at our house while he was studying at the university. My mother rented rooms to foreign students—which was something of an education for me. This gentleman was so soft-spoken that when he did speak everyone listened for he had a way of saying things which were incredibly beautiful—rather like poetry—very sincere and heartfelt. He noticed things and he appreciated every detail of life.

I saw him as a strong and capable person, so I was not overly concerned when I knew it was time for him to return to China. But one afternoon, as we were enjoying a cup of tea at the kitchen table, he looked at me intently and told me that I needed to listen to him for a few minutes; he then proceeded to tell me about his life. He had been a successful professor, but one day he gave a talk which praised democracy and shortly after that he was a taken from his home, away from his wife and child and parents, and he was made to work on a farm of some kind. It had been years since he had seen his family. But with changing times, the government had decided to educate its people again, and he was called out from his servitude and sent to a university in America so that he could be a professor again, teaching what they wanted him to teach. I asked him why he didn’t just stay in the U.S. but he said that he wanted to see his family again. He could not run away. It was better to be brave and face what he must face in China.

I asked him why he told me all this when there was nothing I could do to help; I was just a teenager at the time, and he said that he just wanted someone to know. And I have known and remembered his story all my life. I have prayed for him and his family. There are many people who have endured so much suffering, so much trial, so much grief and yet they can still see goodness; they still believe in being brave, they can still experience lives of poetry….and mean it.

Sometimes the greatest voices in the world are the quiet ones, the ones who have seen much, have experienced incredible things, though they will not say much about themselves. Yet on a blessed day, we might have a conversation over a cup of tea and our lives will be enriched and renewed forever.