Friday, January 16, 2015

First Fight Friday: Mindguard by Andrei Cherascu

Goats solve their differences head-on. They don’t give the silent treatment or yell, they butt heads, and then it’s over.

Cowboy Marvin has learned humans resolve issues differently especially those romantically involved. His curiosity sparked, he has invited authors to stop by on Fridays and share the first fight from one of their books.


Andrei Cherascu

is here for ...

First Fight Friday 

with a scene from


Telepath and Mindguard Sheldon Ayers is tasked with protecting an information package located inside the mind of a young woman
who claims the knowledge she holds is vital to 
the future of mankind. 

Nobody suspects that Sheldon has a dark secret, and 
it could 
end up changing the fate of the mission.


When Sheldon turned around, his usually inexpressive face was a mask of disbelief. Like a skilled prizefighter delivering a knockout blow, Miller did not waste a second. “Perhaps I can arrange for the Council to grant you access to your beloved grandfather,” he said, smiling in certain victory.

Ross didn’t know if Sheldon was going to start yelling and cursing or crying, or if he would attack Miller or run away or perhaps curl up into a fetal position and just rock back and forward. At that moment, all those reactions seemed equally possible. His friend did none of those things.

“That’s not possible,” Sheldon said, struggling to remain calm.

“I’m sure you can imagine, Mr. Ayers, that I am a very well connected man.”

“You know what I mean!”

Sheldon silently looked at Miller for a long time. His stare was so cold that Ross was surprised Horatio didn’t ask his brother to fetch him a sweater.

“You have, no doubt, heard the rumors,” Miller said. “Now I’m telling you that they are true.”

Sheldon looked like he wanted to hit the man. Ross could not remember the last time he had seen his partner even remotely angry.

“You’ve found a way to communicate with the uploaded minds,” Sheldon half whispered. His voice was cold and it sounded hollow; he seemed to be trying very hard to control his anger. 

“To a very modest extent. But it is possible. My company developed an algorithm which enables limited two-sided communication in the form of single-line true/false responses from IDIs – Individual Data Identities. 

“People can communicate with the memories in the archives,” Sheldon said slowly, as if he were formulating an accusation before a court of law, “and you kept the information to yourselves?”

“Look, Mr. Ayers, it is a very recent breakthrough, still in the early stages of development. I’m sure you understand that access to the memories cannot realistically be made available to everyone.”

“I’m sure you make it available to yourselves.”

“Now listen here,” Marcus barked. “If it were not for funding from Mylonas Industries, most of the technology that even makes it possible for the vast quantity of data to be stored in the archives would not even exist. The funds are provided by my brother. Now, if you don’t believe this entitles him to certain privileges offered by the technology he helps to develop, then that is merely your own opinion, Mr. Ayers.”

“Also,“ Horatio stepped in with an appeasing voice, “at this stage the main priority is developing a faster and more complex method of communication. Our scientists are collaborating with the archive itself to make that possible, hopefully sometime in the next five to ten years. But this can only be achieved if we benefit from discretion.”

“And people like yourself decide the boundaries of this discretion, Educator Miller?” It was the first time that Sheldon referred to Horatio as ‘Educator’ and it had sounded like an accusation. Ross, who was quietly following the conversation, could no longer remain silent.


He raised his voice at Sheldon, like a father at a misbehaved son. “Listen, Sheldon, you either take the case and get the opportunity to communicate with what’s left of Kinsey’s mind, or you walk away, but you are done splitting hairs and you are done wasting everybody’s time. You got that? Now, what will it be?”

“All right,” Sheldon said, without even so much as looking at his partner. “Show me to the bathroom,” he ordered Marcus Miller, who unenthusiastically got up and led him out of the cellar, understanding now that the mindguard was a prototech. As if he needed any more reasons to dislike Sheldon, Ross thought. He waited for the two men to exit before confronting his host in private. “You know, I yelled at him but, with all due respect, I should have also yelled at you, Educator.”

“And why is that?” Miller asked, feigning curiosity.

“You were way out of line.”

“Was I?”

“That is not how you conduct business, Educator.”

“That is exactly how you conduct business, Mr. Ross. Especially with a man like Sheldon. He must be intercepted like an adversary, he leaves one no other option.” 

“You knew where this was going from the start. You baited him by offering him things you knew he would refuse so that he’d let his guard down. If you had mentioned his grandfather from the start, his anger and resentment might have caused him to impulsively decline. You knew that a man with Sheldon’s pride would never have accepted later on if he had already declined. You manipulated him from the start.”

“I did. Would he have accepted otherwise?”

“You have lost his respect, Educator,” Ross said. The whole conversation left a bitter taste in his mouth. 

“I don’t care about his respect, Mr. Ross, I want his services. Now, are we free to ‘seal the deal’?” Horatio poured Ross and himself another glass of wine in anticipated celebration. Ross felt like he wanted to empty the whole bottle right over Miller’s head.

Copyright ©Andrei Cherascu

Mindguard by Andrei Cherascu

Called out of semi-retirement, the telepath and Mindguard Sheldon Ayers is tasked with protecting an information package located inside the mind of a young woman who claims the knowledge she holds is vital to the future of mankind. 

Sheldon and his team must help her cross the most dangerous territory in the man-inhabited universe - the Djago Desert.

Hunted by the Enforcement Unit - the all-powerful Military arm of the Interstellar Federation of Common Origin - Sheldon's team must fight to keep the carrier alive and guard the integrity of her mind. But nobody suspects that Sheldon also has a dark secret, and it could end up changing the fate of the mission.

is available on 

Book of the Year 2014
Careful, intricate plot lines reminiscent of Greg Bear combine with characters whose fates you will care about - no matter their motivation. This is the type of novel that you might find in an independent bookstore with 'Staff Recommendation' and a hand-written review. One for all Science Fiction fans. -

Andrei's bio: 

Andrei is an English major with an MA in American Studies and a thesis on the music of Tom Waits. He has written articles for various online magazines and websites (most notably and runs a jazz blog called The Music and Myth, where he reviews records and concerts and interviews musicians. He is a full-time writer and Mindguard is his debut novel.

Follow Andrei Cherascu online

Thanks for sharing Andrei!

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