Bridger is a dystopian serial story about Charlane, a disgraced career soldier leading a security team at a remote research facility. When Char encounters a humanoid creature who claims to come from another world, she sees a chance to save her career—and the dying earth.
Char, a strong, career-driven woman, is fighting to overcome crippling self-doubt after she lost everything in a military scandal. She’d given so much to that career, including her marriage. Now she is starting over. Char doesn’t know that her value as a person doesn’t change based on what she accomplishes. Can she accept the unconditional love of those who care for her?
Our social media and celebrity culture has placed enormous value on beauty, fitness, and lifestyle. Our work culture pressures women to continually rise up the ranks and press for better jobs. All of these are worthwhile things, but they are not markers of personal value. A person is valuable because of who they are, not what they produce.
Char stood in the center of her room for a whole minute, staring at the blood smeared down her front, willing herself to move.
Panic was rising up inside her like a fast-incoming tide. Vague visions of a ditch, soldiers dead around her.
She stood there staring at her trembling hands.
“Get it the hell together,” she muttered finally. “It’s just blood.”
She unclenched her hands and pulled her sweater over her head. She dropped it in the corner and sat down on the bed and took deep breaths until the anxiety passed.
They’d worked well together, she and Seth. Who’da thunk it?
She was surprised he hadn’t said anything about it, but then she’d been at Fort Situk for a week and the ice remained unbroken.
She shut her eyes and recalled the moment she saw him.
“The infirmary wing is on the other side of the command module.” Site director Greta Erwell didn’t point or wait, she just kept walking.
Leander rolled her eyes in Char’s direction. Char smirked.
Their footsteps echoed down the curving, concrete hallway as they followed the silver-haired director. They came to the juncture where the module joined with the central hall of the living quarters, and Erwell swung open a door labeled “infirmary.”
“It’s a four-bed facility,” Erwell said as the door closed behind them, leaving them in a square room lit with bright white LEDs. A few chairs were clustered in one corner. Four beds stood empty and waiting, ready to be partitioned off with curtains.
“There’s an exam room through here,” Erwell continued as she led them forward, “and then there’s actually a small greenhouse that the doctor uses to grow medicinal herbs.”
“Oh!” Leander smirked. “That kind of doctor?”
Erwell smiled tightly. “Mostly for his own interest, as I understand. He’s very capable, I assure you.”
She led them down a short passage, which opened up into a tiny greenhouse made of thick plexiglass. The wan Alaskan sun shone down on rows of plants. A man stood at the back, stooped over a bench of what looked like grass. A dark braid hung between his shoulders.
“Doctor?” Erwell said.
He lifted his head, and his smile faltered.
Char felt as if someone had dumped icy water over her head. Her pulse spiked.
How had she gone through the whole contracting process of bringing her security force to Fort Situk without coming across the name of her ex-husband on a roster somewhere?
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