"The Maiden and the Monster," Part 3 of 3
The late afternoon smelled of conifers, fall, and the ending of things. In the distance, Corinne could hear a creek rushing swiftly downward. It sounded cold.
She turned in her saddle and gazed back at the black gelding she led. The old war horse followed placidly enough on the narrow, untended forest trail. Long experienced in the ways of war, the horse seemed to sense that its rider was wounded and that each jolt was agony for it chose its way with care over the rocks, gullies, and broken branches.
With his head drooping, Hawk hunched forward in his saddle. In his great black cloak and hood, he reminded her of a new-caught tyg-falcon of her father's who had willed itself to death rather than face captivity. Already he seemed more and more lost in the past as the old did before death. It was as if he were preparing himself to meet again his wife and his people who had gone before him.
Corinne's heart lurched at that thought. This situation was not the same as the tyg-falcon she reassured herself. Hawk would not have endured these three grueling days in the saddle if he had sought death. His was a courage greater than needed in facing an opponent for he bore the terrible pain that movement and the poison caused. He willed himself to live for her sake. If he did not have her to consider, he would have killed Taskin and then given up as that tyg-falcon had.
The first day of his blindness, Hawk and Garth had decided to secretly flee her father's castle before anyone discovered Hawk's blindness and told Taskin. Even though Hawk could barely stand and had to be helped onto his horse, they had left late the same night and had begun their journey to Hawk's downed ship. Hawk wished to wait there for Buck, his shield brother, and give her into his protection.
She had her own reasons for coming. If Hawk was lost in dreams of the past, she must look to the future. He may have given up hope or desire for his life since the maiming blindness, but she could not. He had told her of the medical wonders aboard the Searcher.
Certainly they could cure where she could not. She felt that Hawk's medicines from the red-crossed box had kept him alive rather than her herbs. If his medicines were not gone, he would not fare as poorly as he did now.
She had asked Hawk of their medical methods and had learned enough to save samples of the poison and diseased blood for them. A doctor of great knowledge could save him and bring light back into those beautiful alien eyes of his.
Garth rode toward them from his reconnaissance of the trail ahead. He pulled up his huge bay mare beside her. She stopped. He looked more at home here in the primal woods than in the castle where he had been relegated since he had become "too old" for warfare and hunting. His craggy face and weather-burned skin blended with the leather jerkin and pants he now wore.
He spoke for her ears only although he need not have bothered. Hawk had not changed position; he did not seem to be aware that his mount had stopped. "There be a clearing ahead. Sun will set in an hour, and yond beastie must rest."
Corinne was not offended at Garth's calling of Hawk. He and her lord were fast friends, brought together by their mutual care and protection of her. The old sergeant at arms had an enormous respect too for Hawk's courage and his princely dignity and manners.
With a nod at Garth's suggestion, she urged her horse and Hawk's forward.
The campfire burned so brightly that Corinne could barely see the roving stars in the night sky. Kneeling beside Hawk's recumbent form, she brushed back her escaping hair from her face and gazed up. The stars -- some fast, some slow, some huge, some as tiny as fireflies, danced above her. They were like shimmers of light on moving water.
Hawk had told her that those stars were really asteroids, not true stars, and that they circled her solar system and kept other people away. The asteroids were so bright that she could not see the true stars which moved in seasonal and night patterns and seemed never to move when watched. It was a strange feeling to learn you have wished upon an asteroid and not a star.
Hawk lay tucked in his bedding near the fire with his back propped up by his saddle. The firelight played upon his features, making him look fierce, barbarian, and untouchable, but his hands entwined with hers told her he was her Hawk.
A night bird called, the flame crackled, and the wind blew with the noisy insistence of fall. Hawk listened with his whole body. She had described the natural clearing in the hardwoods to him earlier, trying to paint a vivid picture of autumn on her world. It had always been her favorite season, a time when she, Jessie, and Robert had stomped fallen, crunchy leaves and had helped gather nuts.
She did not feel she had done it justice and wished she knew the words in his language to express what she saw. Man's words were always of changing and shaping the world, not of accepting the universe as it was. Hawk accepted as the animals did, but his perception held an intelligence as great as hers.
As usual after the day's journey, medicine, several hours of sleep, and a hot meal had revitalized Hawk enough so that he began to talk to her. Corinne thought he conversed for her sake and not for his. He wanted to reassure her that he was more than the husk which rode behind her each day; otherwise, she did not think he would bother to leave the past he entered to escape the pain and exhaustion of staying on his horse.
During his talks to her, he was charming, funny, and gallant, and when he listened, his warm smiles and those attentive twists of his head made it hard to believe he was blind and ill.
His words were always of her future, of the world she would enter aboard the Searcher, and of his friends who would be her protectors. She felt as if she knew each one already after his perceptive, insightful anecdotes. He understood humans far better than he thought he did.
He also understood that she entered a world as alien to her past as he had when he had joined the humans. In some things they were much alike, she and her monster. Both were shocked that a woman could hold power and be a warrior as Wilma Deering did.
Corinne was beginning to consider a life in which she could be more than a wife. Right now she wished for healer's knowledge above all else. She could be a doctor and not just a helpless nursemaid watching Hawk die slowly before her.
After an hour of chatting, Hawk's mask of humor and gallantry left him. "Corinne, I must speak truly. We are but half a day's travel from my ship, but I do not think I will survive for the journey. I feel the poison burning in my blood and nerves again. Tonight or tomorrow, the high fever will come again, and neither my will nor your tenderness and care will save me."
"No! I won't let you die." All the frail hopes she had held inside her for miracles crumbled, and she began to sob hysterically as the pain of his leaving shot through her.
He pulled her to him and held her as he crooned soft comfort and rocked her back and forth until she quieted from exhaustion. Lost in grief, she lay spent in his arms and finally slipped into a light sleep.
"Hawk." Garth's urgent voice woke her. She sat up and away from Hawk and blinked at the old soldier who squatted beside them in the darkness.
"Taskin is here?" Hawk was calm and certain.
"Aye, my lord, with a band of six of the local young lordlings and some soldiers. They're almost on us."
"Take Corinne and run." Hawk sat up. "I will slow them down."
"No!" Corinne protested. "I stay with you."
"There's no time," Garth admitted.
"Then I must face him. He is arrogant and sure of himself now. My flight has told him that the poison worked, and he will accept combat with me."
"Aye, he will. He'll want to shame ye before those lordlings before he kills you and takes Corrie."
Hawk held out a hand, and Garth helped him to his feet.
Corinne gawked as Hawk seemed to come alive before her eyes. Sloughing off the dying, weak husk he had been, Hawk straightened and lifted his head with his old pride. He was so noble and handsome in the white shirt and black pants she had made for him.
Once more he had become the brave warrior whom her father and Taskin feared and who had faced the fang wolf. He must have been conserving his energy knowing that Taskin would come and he must face him in combat for her, but now Hawk was blind and weak.
"May I borrow that dagger you were once so fond of?" Hawk teased lightly.
Blushing, Corinne scrambled up. She had never realized that Hawk had even suspected the protection she had kept against him. "Aye." She bent, pulled her riding skirt up, and drew the dagger from the calf sheathe in her boot then placed the hilt into his open right palm. His hand closed and dropped to his side.
Certain now, Corinne placed her fingers at Hawk's temples. She loved him too much to let him be slaughtered by Taskin. Whatever it meant to her secret self, she must trust in him. "Take my eyes too. I'm not afraid any more."
Her calm voice must have answered his questions for Hawk's free hand came caressingly to her face. She had thought she would be fearful or cringe, but all she felt was safe, as safe as when Hawk had held her in his arms. The universe shifted dizzily for a moment, then all was normal.
Hawk grinned down at her. "If we survive this night, we must change our names. I will be Bat, and you must be Radar."
"Blind as a.... It does not matter. Buck must explain human jokes again. I still do not understand." Hawk turned to Garth as the seeing did. "You will keep the audience honest?"
"Aye, that I will." Garth unholstered Hawk's energy weapon from his hip. "You can see?"
"After a fashion. I stand some chance now."
"Taskin's fast and ruthless with a hand weapon. He'll use no honor if he can hide it from the audience."
"Take care." Corinne stood on her toes and kissed his lips.
For the first time, Hawk kissed back; his lips pressed against hers, and he embraced her. "Have a long and happy life, Corinne."
Blinking back tears, she hugged him.
"They're almost on us," Garth warned.
"Stand away," Hawk ordered her, "and do not hide your eyes."
Corinne did not know if he was joking, but she decided she wouldn't take her eyes from Taskin or even blink over much. "Aye, my lord."
She retreated to Hawk's rear and to his right as befitted her status as Hawk's ward, then faced the trail to home. These men would not say she was nothing but a slave in her lord's heart nor he an owner in hers. Garth blended into the outlying shadows of the woods away from the campfire and the night light of the clearing.
They rode in slowly, Taskin first. He stopped his mount about three horse lengths from Hawk, then the six young nobles fanned around behind him like fang wolves in a pack. The soldiers sat at the rear. Taskin must be certain of himself and Hawk's illness to take the front so.
He studied Hawk as if he would like to ride forward and lop off his head with his drawn long sword, but he held his place. He would torment for his pleasure before he killed. Tall, muscular, dark, and not yet of middle age, Lord Randolph Taskin was considered strikingly handsome by most women with his chiseled features and easy smile. Most men respected his skill with the sword, and the wise feared his cold, ruthless cunning laced with charm.
Hawk stared at him and the others with his fierce alien eyes. All but Taskin looked away and shifted nervously. Corinne could see the lordlings' faces. She knew each one of these sons of the neighboring lords. Most had been her brother Robert's cronies before he died. They were a dissipate lot, but none of them was evil like Taskin, just stupid and manipulatable.
Taskin drawled, "We've caught ye, monster, before you've murdered Corinne. You may have fooled the girl's father, but you couldn't fool us. You've come out here to savage her."
Several of the lordlings edged forward as if seeking a way around Hawk to Corinne. Apparently they believed Taskin's lies.
Before she could retort, Garth laughed, and the others noticed him in the shadows for the first time. "If he'd wanted to hurt the child, he chose the wrong companion. You young pups know me. I've served Corinne's father and his father before him. No one will hurt a Barclay while Garth is about. I gave little Corrie her first horse ride and many after. I'd not share shield with anyone who'd hurt her as I've ridden with Hawk. Yond creature is a true and noble lord even if he does look... different."
Corinne could tell that Garth's words had shaken the young lordlings. Garth was a respected fighter and campaigner who had taught many of them fighting skills. For Garth to declare Hawk a shield brother, a title which he honored very few with, had told against Taskin's lies.
Garth pointed Hawk's weapon and vaporized a tree beyond the party. Horses reared and screamed, and a few bolted away with their riders. "If he'd of meant harm, he'd not of loaned me his weapon."
Aware of the questioning eyes of his pack, Taskin must have felt his control of the situation slipping away. He rode several steps toward Hawk, then halted as Garth pointed his weapon toward him.
Hawk spoke quietly, "Will you face me honorably, Lord Taskin? The lies you tell others do not fool me. You want Corinne, and you have come to take her for your sickness. She is but a pawn that you will use to gain her father's land, then you will toss her aside."
"Fight you? Why should I soil my sword on a monster?" Taskin smiled arrogantly.
"I asked myself the same question, but I decided to kill you anyway."
Garth and some of the soldiers snickered.
Taskin flushed. "How dare...."
"Come face me. Do you only know how to fight against one with an army at your back? Can you only prove your maleness by beating and raping a young girl who was given to you in lawful marriage?"
Taskin slipped off his horse in one graceful movement, tossed his cloak off, and advanced toward Hawk with his sword drawn.
Fortunately with his arrogant certainty of Hawk's weakness, he had not donned leather armor over his leather forest clothing.
Hawk showed his dagger and that he had no sword. With a glance at his audience, Taskin dropped his sword and belt, and drew his own dagger. He advanced within an arm’s length of Hawk and tensed into a fighting stance.
Rushing forward, he slashed backhanded at Hawk who barely dodged his obvious ploy. Hawk blocked his opponent's knife arm and jabbed with his own weapon. Taskin retreated then began to circle and dart forward again and again, but Hawk parried each attempt.
Taskin reminded Corinne of a snake, all stillness and sudden strikes. Her lord seemed to just hold his own against such a technique which would exhaust him quickly. Despite Hawk's show of strength, she knew just how weak he was, and Taskin must have guessed for he worried his superior foe and waited for the illness to destroy him.
After five minutes, Hawk's parry slowed, and Taskin raked him across the left upper arm then pulled away. Blood dripped down Hawk's sleeve.
The lordlings howled approval. Off their mounts, they waited like scavengers for him to fall.
Hawk flexed his left hand, and Corinne's heart started again. Nothing vital had been severed.
Circling, Taskin tried to repeat the same blow but could not so he eased away, edging slowly away from the campfire light. Corinne followed them and scrutinized Taskin's every move. He obviously grew tired of risking himself with a stronger opponent than he'd expected; he would try something dishonest away from his audience.
The growing darkness around them made it difficult for their enemy and Corinne, but Hawk was now in his element. He had grown used to the dark in the last four days. She could almost see him feeling and hearing. He attacked, and in the blur of shapes, Taskin cried out, once in pain and then in triumph. Hawk fell.
Taskin retreated with a bloody gash across his chest.
Hawk staggered up and limped a few steps toward his opponent. No blood or cuts were on his left leg. Taskin must have kicked him.
Angry now, he enjoyed hurting, not being hurt, Taskin leaped forward and attacked the avian.
Hawk fought with cold calculation. With each failed attempt, Taskin grew angrier and more careless of his own safety, but Hawk fought weariness so they were evenly matched.
In the dance of shadows and flickering campfire, the two fighters were like shape-shifting demons as they circled and struck at each other.
They struggled seemingly forever with strategies and techniques that Corinne did not understand but dared not take her eyes from, then Taskin gasped and backed away from Hawk toward his men. As he reached them, he collapsed, clutching his bleeding left shoulder.
When he did not get up, Corinne decided it was not a trick so she turned, ran and retrieved her medicines then rushed to Hawk who had not moved. She caught him about the waist and helped him sink to his knees. Kneeling, she asked, "Where do you hurt?"
Swaying, Hawk motioned toward his cut arm. Corinne took out the salve from her saddle bag then ripped open the linen shirt she had taken so long to make.
Taskin's personal soldier bolted toward them. She grabbed the bloody dagger Hawk had dropped and eyed the man who ignored them, grabbed some of her medicines and bandages, and left as quickly.
"He is not dead. A pity," Hawk slurred. His face was white and wet with sweat; the illness had taken him again. Now that he had stopped fighting, he could not start again. If Taskin got up, they were finished.
Corinne cleaned the cut and rubbed salve into it, then wrapped up the arm before she bothered to see how Taskin fared. He lay on the ground. His personal soldier was pouring liquid from a black bottle onto Taskin's bare wounded shoulder. Taskin cursed bitterly at the pain and cuffed the man.
She opened her mouth to call out a warning, but it was too late so she returned her attention to Hawk, who crumpled unconscious against her. Propping him up with her body, she embraced him.
"Kill him," Taskin screamed at the lordlings who huddled around him. "Kill that murdering monster, and take Corinne." A few looked at her and saw that Hawk was helpless.
Corinne stared about for Garth, but she could not see him. One of Taskin's soldiers must have gotten him during the excitement. She eased Hawk to the ground, stepped between him and the others then stood in an attack stance with the knife clutched her hand. The only way they would take her away from Hawk would be to kill her.
Four came and stopped just beyond her knife’s reach. Lord Jamie Morgan, who had known her since she was five, cajoled, "Come on, Corrie. We won't hurt you. We'll just take you home safe and sound to your parents."
Corinne believed him. She did not fear rape from these pups; they had some honor in them. "And Hawk?"
Jamie shrugged indifferently.
"Kill the monster," Taskin screamed.
Corinne's eyes narrowed. She was sick of that term. If nothing else before she died, she would speak some truth to these fools. "Monster, who is he to call someone monster? Let me tell you about monsters."
With her knife, she motioned toward Taskin who sat propped up by his man. "This one you follow so keenly, he married my sister to get a child to take my father's holdings. She was thirteen, but he did not care that the doctor said that she would die bearing a child. He would have a child. Nor was he content to cherish her as an innocent bride. That brave man only enjoys a woman if he beats her almost senseless then rapes her." Corinne's free hand clinched. "Rapes again and again and again. When Jessie died, I was there alone to tend her. Her body was black with bruises, and huge with child. He is indeed a noble lord.
"And now he wants me for his bed, and when he has killed me and taken my father's land, he will seek some other child bride to rape and beat to death. Perhaps your little sister, Jaime, or yours, Adam, or yours, Benjamin."
Jamie looked ill, and a few turned away.
"And my brother Robert, your good friend. Have you not wondered at his strange death?" Taskin gave a guilty start. She had guessed rightly about that. “Robert conveniently died before Taskin sought out Jessie to take our holdings through a child. I am certain his next bride’s brothers will not live to see her wed to him.
"There is an expression -- 'as cowardly as a scavenger of fang wolf prey.' A man who will not properly tend another’s fang wolf wound, even an enemy's, is beyond contempt. To let another die in that agony is worse than a stab in the back."
Corinne indicated Hawk. "Taskin tended his wounds after he braved the fang wolf and saved my father. Taskin did not even clean the wounds, let alone apply the antidote. That is why he so 'bravely' faced my lord in combat. Hawk is dying of his treachery. He has been dying slowly and in great agony."
Corinne shrugged and swiped away tears. "But it does not matter. Hawk is only a monster.
“When I was given to him, I expected worse than what Jessie had died from, but this strange looking creature was gentle and kind. He did not molest me or even touch me with less than all due honor. He treated me as if I were his beloved little sister, and when he discovered what Taskin wanted to do to me, he left his sick bed and took me into the wilderness for my safety.
“You all know what agony movement is in the last stages of the poisoning. He faced this torture for me, an alien and a stranger, because he respects life and believes in gentleness for women and children. He fought Taskin for me even though he has become blind from the poison.
“He could have left me for Taskin and fled, but he did not. Instead, he fought according to our ideals with a courage and honor that shames us all."
Corinne paused and gauged her audience, both lordlings and soldiers. "Let me ask you this. Who is the monster -- this creature lying here or yond man who tortures and murders women?"
All who had come with Taskin turned and left as a group. Someone dumped Taskin onto his horse, and they rode away into the darkness.
Garth limped forward, rubbing his shoulder. "Sorry I failed you, Corinne."
She smiled and touched his cheek in understanding, then they carried Hawk back to his bedding, and she knelt and began to give what aid she could to the unconscious avian.
Garth watched her tend Hawk's wounds and then cover him with his bedding. "I'd better follow them for a bit to make certain they don't double back. Taskin may open his mouth and convince the fools to come back."
With a nod, Corinne clasped Hawk's limp hand in hers. "Taskin will not harm another Jessie again. His soldier accidentally poured fang wolf venom into his open wound. He will be dead within a week."
"I saved some venom I scrapped from Hawk's shoulder for the doctors on the Searcher. It can never be neutralized."
Garth chuckled. "God works in mysterious ways. Who'd of thought a 'monster' would come like The Prince from the Sky and save you from Taskin. God works in mysterious ways." Kneeling, he patted Hawk's shoulder. "And some of God's angels look like demons." He hugged Corinne in farewell then got up, mounted his horse, and followed after the lordlings and Taskin.
After several hours, Hawk appeared to be sleeping peacefully, but Corinne knew it was the calm before the final fever hit. She had fought hard, but her lord died. Bending, she adjusted his blankets, then got up to walk to keep herself awake.
When she was twenty paces away, someone grabbed her around the throat with their arm and yanked her backwards. Screaming, she struggled, fighting with her nails and feet. Her hand was captured, and she was bent where she could not fight.
Another dark figure neared Hawk. She did not recognize him as one of Taskin's party so they must be bandits. Concentrating, she willed Hawk to wake and use the knife she had placed under his pillow. Certainly there was enough of a link left between them for him to see and know.
The stranger knelt and leaned toward Hawk. In silhouette, he had the big lithe body of a fighter. He reached for Hawk's throat.
Corinne screamed, and Hawk lunged with the knife toward his attacker. As the knife neared his chest, the stranger hit Hawk on the chin and knocked him flat.
Shrieking again in despair, she fought her captor to get to Hawk. "He's not a monster. He belongs to an Earth ship. If you kill him, the crew will tear this planet apart to find you and kill you."
The stranger muttered, "You've got that right, lady."
"How is he, Buck?" Her captor was a woman.
"It doesn't look good. He didn't recognize me, and he feels feverish."
Corinne relaxed. "Let me go, Wilma Deering." The arms released her. "Buck Rogers, I am Lady Corinne Barclay. Hawk's friend."
She walked over to Hawk, knelt beside him, and stared across him at his best friend. Even in the firelight, she could see Buck's kind and beautiful hazel eyes. He was very handsome when he smiled. "Hawk is poisoned from an animal. He is in the last stages of the fever. If it is not stopped, he will die."
"Our shuttle is just over the hill. We saw your campfire and stopped to check. We'll get him to the Searcher."
"And your doctors," Corinne added.
Hawk lifted his hand and clutched Buck's arm.
"It's me, old buddy," Buck reassured him.
"I recognized the uppercut." Hawk smiled sleepily. "What took you so long?"
"The Admiral wouldn't let us risk coming in until the asteroids' orbits made a safe path in. He jailed me for over three weeks...." Buck stopped. Hawk's hand had fallen, he was unconscious again.
Corinne collected her medical supplies and their personal belongings, then she scribbled a quick note for Garth and her parents, and pinned it by her saddle with the dagger Garth had loaned her. The dagger would assure him that she was safe if the note did not.
She was ready to leave this world and meet the future that Hawk had promised her. It was she who had been transformed, not Hawk, by the past weeks' events. She had been the unfeeling monster, not him, but he had taught her how to love, to share, and to sacrifice. She hoped she would do him proud.
If Wilma could be a warrior in this new world, she could be a former frog princess facing the future. She spoke her feelings aloud, "I am ready to go."
Both Wilma and Buck gave her the same look. Neither expected a passenger. She pulled out Hawk's letter to Buck from her saddlebag and handed it to him. Buck's eyes grew wider and wider as he read.
After the shuttle had woven its way through the asteroids, Buck walked toward the back where Hawk was stretched out. Hearing his approach, Hawk smiled, cuddled Corinne's sleeping form pressed against his, and waited for his noisy friend. "Buck?"
"Yeah. You're looking a lot more chipper after a few doses of anti-infection." He began to remove the safety restraints.
"I feel chirpier." When Buck chuckled, he decided he at least understood human puns.
"A regular Prince Chirping to Lady Barclay here."
Hawk winced. Perhaps he had been hasty about the puns.
"I'm the one who usually returns with a female in tow, but you've got yourself a pretty little seeing eye dog."
"I would hate to see you dead," Hawk said solemnly.
Confused, Buck replied, "Uh, me, too."
"Corinne is my ward. I would hate to kill you even more."
Buck's voice was filled with outraged innocence, "Me?"
Hawk laughed joyfully. Hope had come back into his life. Somehow he knew that the ship's doctors would find a cure for the poison and the blindness. They were certain of success after reading the computer analysis of his blood samples and the local external antidote Corinne had brought with her. He felt so much better from just the shots that Dr. Goodfellow had suggested from the ship's med-kit.
The bunk bent as Buck sat down at the edge.
"Hawk. I've been thinking about Corinne. She can't stay on the Searcher. She belongs with a family."
Nodding, Hawk held Corinne tighter, his hand tracing her braid and back. "I wish I had one to give her."
"How about the Admiral's younger brother and his wife? They lost their only child, a girl about her age, last year. They'd love Corinne. Their planet's kind of rural like Corinne's was, and they have an excellent education system." Buck chuckled. "I sound like their Chamber of Commerce.
“I met the Admiral there before I agreed to join the Searcher. It was right after the tragedy. They're nice people, and I liked the planet. If I ever have kids, I'll consider it."
In his heart Hawk knew it was the perfect solution for Corinne. This loving, giving child had only been a temporary gift from Make-make to ease the terrible loneliness... like Koori had been. At least this time, Corinne would be alive and happy with a beautiful future of a career, husband, and children in store.
Yes, he could release another special gift when it came time. Until then, he would cherish her as the daughter he and Koori had never been able to have.
“She sure is conked out,” Buck said. "Poor thing's exhausted by all the excitement.”
"No, fear exhausted her."
"She's never even seen a ship,” Buck agreed, “let alone been in one."
"No. It is your flying. Even on her world, they have heard about how badly you fly."
Buck groaned. "That's a story if I ever heard one."
"No, but I will tell you one I heard on Corinne's world. It is called 'The Prince from the Sky'. I will tell it to you as I heard it and also as I lived it. Only the ending is different. In my version, they lived happily, but separately ever after."
If you enjoyed this story with its mixture of fantasy and science fiction, you’ll enjoy Marilynn Byerly’s swashbuckling sf adventure novel, The Once and Future Queen.
Come join fellow Hawk and Thom Christopher fans at the Valley of the Eagles, a Yahoogroups listserv of fellow enthusiasts. Members also have access to classic Hawk fan stories unavailable anywhere else on the Internet.
Another excellent resource is the Thom Christopher website.
The character Hawk and the Buck Rogers series are under exclusive copyright by MCA-Universal Television.