Here’s a short scene I may add to Abhuman: Revelation. I wanted to explore what it might feel like to be stalked at night, in the comfort of your own bed–normally a sanctuary.
They always came at night.
When you were still and warm and peaceful. Your heart making a tiny patter, your feet warm, and your head heavy. That’s when they came. That’s when it happened.
The commotion in the hallway woke Cheska. Ngome City was as still as the vacuum of space during the night cycle. Even essential workers, who’s jobs demanded odd working hours, made every effort to glide through the city like silent ghosts.
Someone began yelling. “No!”
That’s what had disturbed Cheska’s slumber. Then loud thumps, hard crashes, and the sharp rapport of objects breaking.
Her heart, which had been barely beating a few seconds ago, now pounded in her chest. She wanted to sit up, to look around. But she was terrified, because she knew exactly what was happening.
Yesterday Wei Lu had been sentenced to the Core for being a deviant (a death sentence), but the Covenant didn’t stop there. When a deviant was discovered, they expunged all living consanguineal relations—all family members up to, what people used to know as, great grandparents. But in Covenant society one never knew their direct biological contributors; each child was carefully crafted in-vitro, their progenitors chosen from the optimal genetic match within the 10,000 or so meticulously curated residents of Ngome City.
And that was the terrifying part about someone being sentenced to the Core—you never knew if you might be next. The convict could be a direct relation. Then the next night, after they were sentenced, designated members of the community would sneak through the city, extracting and extinguishing all consanguineal relations.
It was for the good of her people—she knew that. Still …
Cheska heard powerful sobbing outside the door to their quarters. She kept her head pressed hard to her pillow, forcing herself not to look up. She pulled the blankets over her eyes and tried to conjure up the most recent qvid she’d gone to experience with her best friend, Azara. Dolphins. She imagined their rough skin and playful chirping. She longed to see a real one someday, but she didn’t think their gene bank had samples to seed Krijese with. Not that she would ever see them, even if they had the samples from Earth. It would be centuries before Krijese had oceans capable of sustaining large aquatic life.
Loud voices, more sobbing. The sounds were growing more distant—it was done. Whomever had been related to Wei Lu was now heading to the Core. At least their end would be swift.
Why didn’t The Covenant adopt a more humane process for dealing with deviants? After all, they now grew their protein in vats; partly in deference to the suffering of animals, but also for efficiency’s sake. Couldn’t they reform these deviants? It seemed wasteful to her, but then, Cheska was only fifteen. She supposed there was a lot she had to learn.
She also had everything to lose if they discovered her secret—she was one of them.
Long blends fantasy and science fiction into an exciting read. This is The Chrysalids by Wyndham on steroids!
"... a splendid beginning to an intriguing new series"
Interesting character, riveting plot, and intriguing ideas make "Abhuman" a great read
The Verdant Dream - Part 1
I think, therefore I am. They were wrong.
Cheska lives in Ngome, a glistening domed-city orbiting the planet Krijese. Her people are hard at work terraforming the planet below, making a new home for themselves. Life is good. Life is safe.
Unless you’re Abhuman.
In Covenant society, genetic mutation carries a death sentence. But Cheska has done a good job hiding her powers.
Cheska begins having the most vivid waking dreams of a handsome boy named Taro. She feels unnaturally connected to him. Distracted by these visions, she accidentally uses her powers in public. Now exposed as Abhuman, Cheska is forced to flee her home.
Taro tells her in a waking dream, that somewhere on the planet is a safe-haven for Abhumans, called Sanctuary. But when her stolen shuttle crashes, she’s forced to limp across a devastated planet.
When she finally meets the resistance, they explain everything:
She is not who she thinks she is.
She is not what she thinks she is.
And, she is supposed to save them all.
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