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Chapter ONE
[TIES THAT MUDDLE]

 

The makeshift tank is murky, and the ammonia stench is atrocious. Slicing the gritty air like a chef’s knife through an onion — singeing my nostril hairs, and causing my eyes to water. I can’t believe the council would allow Vikki to bathe in her own feces and urine.

Her head hangs lifelessly. Shoulders hunched. Her wrists bound behind her back and ankles shackled to the chair. Her clothing tattered and soiled. Her once shiny golden tresses, now matted and moist. I stand near the sealed entrance wondering why the council decided these extremes were necessary.

Vikki is a human being in an underground facility, surrounded by descendants who can crush her throat with a flick of their wrists. Not to mention that escape is virtually impossible because she’d never survive a trip down the corridor, and that’s the only way out of Afrax. For everyone but Rye anyway.

I summon Zsita’s brisk freshness to saturate the humid atmosphere. The breeze tousles her mane. I slowly approach her. She feebly lifts her head. Her eyes are absent hope, and sorrowfully vacant. Defeat, in the form of teardrops, escape them. There’s a foreign twinge of remorse in my heart.

“Adam?”

“Hi, Vikki.”

“Are you here to kill me?”

Her lips tremble over the words as she manages a lopsided smirk.

I levitate an empty chair over, and I sit facing her.

“Victoria —”

“Katareena.”

“Right.”

I grin, and dispense with trivialities.

“Katareena, I’m sorry that —”

“Don’t.”

“No, I need to —”

“No. You don’t. I’ve lied. I’ve had plenty of time to think about all of this. I thought — I believed that I was honoring my father by doing what he asked of me without thinking for myself and —”

“You did lie, but we all have. We all do. All of this could’ve gone much worse.”

“Worse than your father being killed? I doubt that.”

I don’t have a respectable handle on my anger, and she’s trying my patience a bit more than I was prepared for.

“Vikki, don’t.”
“Katareena.”

“Whatever!”

My eyes heat up, and my Limbal ring glows. She’s visibly shaken, and jolts backward. That was not my intent.

“Look, Katareena. I didn’t come here to debate government names.”

I wait for her anticipated retort but she presses her lips firmly together instead. Dammit. Now she likely won’t converse any further until I exhibit a good faith act of kindness. She lowers her head, and seemingly sinks back into wherever her mind has taken her since she was captured. I wanted to talk to her alone. But now, Plan B.

I stand and motion the chair from whence it came.

“Vikki.”

She doesn’t move.

“Katareena.”

She lifts her head.

“I’m sorry.”

She nods, and rests her chin against her chest. With a mental command, I unbind her wrists — freeing her. Her arms slowly fall by her sides. She struggles with her limbs until her palms are in front of her face.

“Is this for real?”

“Yes.”

“But —”

I remove the rest of her restraints, and walk over to her.

“Please! Please, don’t kill me!”

I don’t say another word. I just scoop her into my arms, and carry her from the cell. She’s lost a considerable amount of weight. She’s light as a feather. That pisses me off even more.

When I exit, Carly and Val are waiting for me.

“Jude took care of everything,” Val informs me as she tosses a blanket over Vikki’s legs.

Vikki’s eyes grow even wider with confusion and fear as she gazes at Carly approaching.

“We have everything set up in Val’s dorm,” Carly says as she leads the way.

We rush inside. Val secures the door behind us.

I sit Vikki on her feet. She stands frozen, clutching the blanket against her frail body.

“Are you going to kill me now?”

Okay, that’s it! I hold my palms in the air.

“Katareena, no. We’re not going to hurt you. I brought you here so you can shower, get some fresh clothes, and a decent meal.”

She doesn’t move. This scene is eerily reminiscent of the one with Terry at the Den. It hurts my heart. Carly takes one step in her direction. Vikki bolts against the far wall of the living space. She plasters herself, as if she’s making a vertical snow angel. Carly moves back, and sits down.

“I’ll get her shower started,” Val announces as she exits.

“Carly isn’t going to hurt you. No one is going to hurt you anymore.”

She’s breathing heavily. I decide that it’s best to allow her to psychologically gauge her situation without further interference. Images of Terry bleeding out on the floor flash before my eyes. I blink rapidly, and shake my head.

Eventually Vikki relaxes her posture. I join Carly when Val returns.

“Your water is warm, and everything that you need is in the restroom,” Val informs her while motioning toward the hallway. She then joins us on the other side of the dorm.

Vikki’s eyes move suspiciously between us before she darts into the bathroom. Val levitates the door closed. The three of us collectively sigh.

Carly’s conscience gets the better of her.

“This is all my fault,” she stutters. “It was my idea. I’m the one who tortured her. I’m —”

“Babe, stop. I had a hand in this. A very large one,” I admit while hanging my head in shame.

“Adam, you didn’t know.”

“When I did know, I didn’t do anything to stop it. I didn’t even care what happened to her. But, she’s my — my —”

I can’t even utter the words. Carly and Val rub my back, but I don’t deserve to be comforted right now. Like it or not, and come hell or high water, Vikki is indeed my family. A precious commodity that I’ve run low on these many months. If the Iksha can capture us and manage to convert us to their cause, then we can do the same with Vikki.

Keeping her locked up inside of a cell until she wastes away is something I won’t allow. It’s counterproductive, and stupid. If the council attempts to stop me from taking her out of here, so help me God, I will reduce this facility to rubble.

Vikki is the only biological link that I have to Alexandra’s memory, and to my own humanity. I don’t want to lose that. I won’t lose that.

“I need to talk to her. Alone,” I remind them.

She and I have much to discuss.

“After she’s showered and clean, Rye will port you to the Appalachian Mountains, since there’s a perimeter already in place,” Carly informs me.

I grab her hand.

“Thanks, babe. I know this isn’t easy for anyone.”

“Easy is just a word. The strongest of us recognize that,” Val interjects with her palm in the air.

The three of us sit anxiously on the futon while Vikki takes the longest shower in the history of mankind. She might be the first woman who deserves it.

***

The Ordovician winds flush our cheeks as Vikki and I sit beneath the pinking starburst sky. I don’t think she’s absorbing the view as much as I am. Her face is drowning in the meal Carly prepared for her. Her freshly shampooed locks draped over her shoulders. I wait patiently for her to finish. After licking the plastic Tupperware bowl clean, she lifts her head, and gazes around.

“Why did you bring me out here?”

“There’s a lot that you don’t know.”

“That much is obvious.”

Hasn’t she figured out by now that I’m not the greatest at handling sarcasm unless it’s coming from my own mouth? What’s with her?

“Look, I don’t know how to say this except to just say it.”

I inhale and exhale deeply.

“What? Did something happen to my father?”

“Uh, no. Well, yes. Sort of.”

Her eyes bulge, and she becomes irate. Rightfully so.

“What the hell do you mean? Either he’s okay or he’s not!”

“Please, calm down. Look…ummm, Nikolay is not your father.”

“What?”

She squints her eyes impatiently.

“He took you and used you. Umm, your father — my father. Well, my biological father was —”

“Please, please just tell me. Took me how? From where? From who?”

“I’m your brother. You’re my —”

“Wait, wait, wait,” she mumbles while waving her hands.

“I know it’s a lot to digest, and you have no reason to believe anything I’m saying, but…”

“I don’t believe you! Let’s just get that straight right now.”
“Well, if you’ll calm down and let me explain.”

She folds her arms across her chest, and stares at me intently.

“Okay then. Explain.”

“Then shut the hell up and listen,” I growl while pointing my finger at her. I flash my LR. She softens a bit.

I sigh. I truly need to try a little harder to like her since she’s family and all.

“Nikolay borderline abducted you. He —”

“Borderline?”

I purse my lips and she zips hers. You’re the little brother, Adam. Try to be nicer.

“After your mother died, your real father all but lost his mind. He threw himself into his scientific BK studies. Even going so far as to secretly experiment on himself trying to mutate his LR until he nearly went blind.”

“BK? LR?”

“BK is our acronym for biokenretic. LR is for Limbal Ring.”

I forget that Vikki doesn’t know our descendant slang. She’ll learn.

“Nikolay took an interest in you because he wasn’t sure if you were conceived during the experimentation or not. He wanted to keep watch over you just in case you exhibited the traits.”

She’s quiet now. Yeah, the truth has a tendency to shut us up.

“Your father — our father — and Nikolay were friends and colleagues. Both evil vile men, to be sure. But when Nikolay discovered what his colleague had done, he didn’t report him. Instead, he watched and waited just in case there was success that he could steal for himself. He was likely hoping to privately experiment on you. Then again, it seems that he did.”

“What was his name?”

I nearly think she’s referring to Nikolay. Then, duh.

“David.”

“Uncle David?”

“He wasn’t your uncle. He was your father.”

“What did you mean when you said our father?”

“David was my biological father too. He raped my mother before she killed him.”

“He raped her?” Her face twists in disgust.

“The experiments drove him crazy, and he became obsessed with her. He continued to rape her even after she conceived me. So, she burned him with her black lava, and escaped. Nikolay had already begun to brainwash you after your mother mysteriously died. David wasn’t functional, so Nikolay was free to spin more lies.”

“Mysteriously? You mean?”

“It’s likely that Nikolay had something to do with your mother’s death.”

She sighs in disbelief.

“How do you know all of this?”

“Val. Well, Val’s mother kept journals. All descendants keep them. For this very reason.”

“So, I’m supposed to believe the words of some woman I don’t even know?”

“No. You don’t have to believe a damn word I’m saying. You can be stupid and deny rational thought, or you can use your brain and recognize the truth.”
“Truth,” she huffs.

“Before all of this you had a crush on me, right?”

She doesn’t speak. But her face flushes strawberry.

“Exactly. But you had to notice that the attraction wasn’t mutual.”

She’s still silent. Embarrassed, I’m sure.

“Honestly, I loathed you and I know for a fact that you caught on to that. But you kept pursuing me because —”

“Because my father sent me to —”

“Stop. Just stop. We both know that’s not why. The point is, I know you noticed when I despised you and I also know that you wondered why that all suddenly stopped.”

“So. And?”

I want to punch her in the face. I sure hope that changes with time. I clench my teeth to keep from swearing.

“And, my repulsion was the biokenretic gene’s way of preventing us from mating. It wasn’t that I loathed you as a person, but I didn’t know the difference yet. As the serum slowly circulated out of your system, my core registered with you. I felt you as being a part of me. That’s ultimately what validated the content of the journals for me.”

“Serum?”

“Yes. I saw your memories. That tiny glass vial of clear liquid that Nikolay had you drink, telling you that he had a job for you. That was a youth serum, designed by the Iksha to keep you young just long enough to infiltrate Keetering High.”

“What? I — I remember it burning. But how do you?”

“BK gene.”

Her eyes bulge from their sockets.

“I always wondered why I felt so much stronger after that day. Healthier somehow. Until Fall semester of senior year.”

That’s also when I noticed her crow’s feet appear, nearly out of thin air. But I won’t hurt her with that.

“My father never told me any of this. Nothing. Squat. He only ever told me that there were evil people who should not exist because they could kill all human life on this planet.”

“Humans can kill all other humans on this planet, and they actually do. Every single day. Even right now as we speak. Likely over money, revenge, power, lust or just because they felt like it. Descendants may possess more destructive power, but we clearly don’t use it for what the Iksha fear we will use it for. Either way, they’re just as equipped as we are with their atomic bombs and such.”

“Why minimize the truth? You’ve shown me what your kind are capable of.”

My kind? You mean, our kind. We’re all human here.”

“Your mutant girlfriend and her mutant mother nearly killed me.”

“So did your alleged human father.”

“But they used —”

“What did Nikolay use?”

“It’s not the same.”

“No, it isn’t. One tool is far more powerful than the other. Trust kills more people than anything else. Besides, having the ability to kill is not the same as having the will. We all have the ability. But we both know that Nikolay has both, and he’ll be looking to finish the job. Why else are the Iksha so obsessed with harnessing the traits? Harnessing to study or to possess? Use your brain.”

She lowers her head, and tears fall from her eyes. She sobs.

“My whole life. It’s gone. Wasted. My youth, I’ll never get it back.”

I place my hand on top of hers.

“Yes, you will.”

She whips her head upright. Realization glistens inside of her baby blue eyes. The serum. I sense that she’s concocting the same plan I once had. Location and retrieval.

Rye appears with Carly and Val. I stand, pulling Vikki up with me.

“What’s going on?” Vikki asks, still clearly afraid of Carly.

Before she can question us any further, we all grab hold of each other. We’re instantly in the middle of the Siberian desert, several miles from the abandoned Mirny Diamond Mine. For miles as far as the naked eye can see are Chara sands and Udokan Mountains, veiled with thin layers of snow. Roughly 3,000 miles south of Greenland.

Val instructs us to back up several paces. She levitates the ground beneath us, and a heavy cement entryway opens. Sand pours inside of the eerie black hole.

“Come on.”

“What? There’s no way I’m going down there,” Vikki snaps as she snatches out of my grip on her forearm.

Carly turns to face her. Smoldering. Her LR blazing an intimidating fiery red. She steps closer to Vikki.

“I don’t recall offering you an option. Go.”

Vikki inches around her, and descends behind Val and Rye.

“You really can be a bully sometimes, babe.” I laugh at her.

Once inside, the lights come on. It’s a simple living quarters. Equipped for no more than a few people. No electronics, but books galore. Val levitates the sand back up to the surface, then seals us inside. She gives Vikki a brief tour of the cozy quarters.

“You have plenty changes of clothing here. Hygiene and toiletries. A refrigerator full of food. A hot plate. Several dozen bottles of water. I suggest you limit your showers to one a day. Five minutes max. Flush as little as possible. Your trash goes there. You have books, pen, and paper. Most importantly, these.” She points to the journals.

Vikki appears confused and anxious.

“But why? Why can’t I just go back to —”

“To where? Afrax?” Val asks while frowning.

“No, please. I meant with Adam.”

“We can’t trust you just yet. Your mind is still programmed,” Rye spits distastefully.

“You’re not seriously gonna just leave me out here?”

Carly enlightens her in a nicer tone.

“You will be trained here. You will educate yourself with the truth and let go of the lies you’ve been poisoned with. You will cooperate. You will not destroy anything here. You will not attempt to leave. Do you understand?”

Gosh, when did Carly get all serious like this? I take over because I don’t want them to instill so much fear in her that she feels like a prisoner of ours. If that happens, she’ll always look for a way out. That’s the opposite of what we want. What I want.

“Katareena, you’re not a prisoner. We brought you here for your protection and ours. There’s no way a 30 minute conversation can undo 3 decades of Iksha programming. It’s going to take you some time to think without interference. Without anyone else being in your face.”

“But, I don’t wanna be out here alone. Please don’t leave me here. Please. I’ll go crazy.” Her eyes water, and my ridiculously softening heart goes out to her.

“You won’t go crazy. Look at me.” I lift her chin. “I won’t let anything bad happen to you. But trust me when I tell you that you’ll want to be strong for the tide that’s coming. As far as the Iksha are concerned, you’re a liability, and they will not hesitate to kill you.”

“Rye, can we port from inside or do we need to go back up top?” Val asks. Clearly anxious to get back to Ksenyia.

“No. Now I have the exact coordinates for the inside. Grab hands.”

As we do, Vikki grabs me. Still pleading.

“I’ll be back. Get all the rest you can and be ready.”

“Fine go!” she grumbles. Angrily turning her back on us.

She has my attitude for sure. Before she changes her mind, we disappear.

 

 

 

 


Chapter TWO
[NORMALITY]

The minor stinging sensation in my eyes as I await the traffic signal change attempts to shift my mood from light, to one of annoyance. Epic fail. I am entirely too grateful to be alive to allow something as trivial as sensitivity to light to bother me. Saturday is ripe with possibilities.

Carly and I pull into Andromeda’s drive thru. I gaze over at her from the driver’s seat in amazement. I don’t know what I’ve done in my current or former life so great to deserve her.

The static talking box breaks me from my reverie.

“Hi, my name is Kevin. May I take your order?”

Ladies first.

“Babe, what would you like?”

“Ummm, I’d like some French fries, and a chocolate shake.”

That smile, and those gorgeous slanted eyes. She can have anything she wants.

I order our food before pulling up to the next window. A young, brown skinned, raven-haired guy extends his arm out of the window for our payment. He’s initially rude by failing to greet us or even turn his head in our direction. Annoyance knocks at my door yet again.

As I dangle the $20 bill, he decides to pay enough attention to at least view the currency he’s accepting, and that’s when he finally looks our way. He notices Carly. He starts giving her googly eyes and what not. What the? Carly, being her jolly oblivious self, just has to greet him.

“Hi!”

He blushes as he retrieves the money from my grasp. I can’t take my eyes off of his name badge. Kevin.

All the while I’m staring at him with my brow creased, he seems totally clueless to my presence. As he hands me the change, he decides to flirt with Carly under the guise of innocence. Man, I invented that!

I’ve answered the knock and allowed annoyance right on in. Damn.

“Hey, do you guys wanna come to a bonfire party over by Beaumont Creek tonight?”

He’s asking us but he’s looking directly at Carly. I’m sure my “what the fuck face” is unmistakable. I squint in disbelief. Taking care not to vaporize the oxygen in his lungs as I do. Before Carly can accept or decline his bullshit invitation, I cut him off. Wiggling my fingers in a “gimme” manner.

“Ummm, dude. Food.”

He disappears from the window for a few seconds, and returns with our order. Still smiling like a retard.

“Yeah, so like the bonfire will be —”

“HELL NAW!”

I snatch our bags and zoom off out of the drive-thru. I hand Carly the food, and speed away in a trance.

“Babe, you really need to control your temper.”

She rifles through the bags of food while my mind attaches to Kevin. Ole slick sumbitch.

“Adam.”

I refuse to share her with anyone else, and I’ll be damned if I let her befriend another “K” dude.

“Adam.”

Kane. Krill. Now Kevin? Heck no!

“Adam?”

I swear they got the game messed up if they think I’m gonna just —

“Adam!”

“NOOOOOOOO!!!!”

“I was just trying to ask you if you wanted some of my fries while they’re hot.”

She smiles and shakes her head.

“Oh. Well then, yes.”

I allow her to place a greasy shoe string potato into my mouth. I sigh, savoring the salty decadence. She wastes no time chastising me.

“Adam, you promised to stop swearing so much.”

“I’m working on it.”

“Uh huh.”

Out of my peripheral, the twin shank, diamond halo claw, emerald, cathedral ring I gave her for Christmas twinkles. The seven-carat emerald is set amongst two-carat diamonds with bits of malachite and jade scattered throughout. She has no idea that it cost $100,000, and I plan to keep it that way.

She also doesn’t know that as the sole surviving Rozovsky descendant, I’ve inherited the entire estate. Unlike the other bloodlines, who split their assets among several living heirs. Just one more thing Dauma likely never disclosed to her.

The Levkin’s and Fokin’s constantly complain about splitting their assets because there are more of them than any other descendant bloodline. That’s no one’s fault, but you’d think that it was by the way they force their bitterness down everyone else’s throat. They’re so pessimistic about it that they fail to realize it’s because they’ve experienced less death than the others. I usually shrug it off. Maybe they should stop procreating. Problem solved.

Carly smiles, and rubs the back of my neck. Sigh.

“Are you ready for Monday?” she asks as she winks at me.

“You mean are we ready for Monday?”

I giggle. Spring Break is indeed over and half of the gang have enrolled at Keetering.

“Well, it’s not like they haven’t attended high school before. They know the drill.”

“True. But you know what I mean,” I remind her.

“Let’s not speculate.”

“It’s less speculation, and more anticipation.”

“They’re older than us and have way more experience than we do,” she assures me.

“We don’t know how much older than us they actually are. But they’ve been underground for God knows how long, babe. Living with other descendants is a far cry from dealing with asshole teens.”

She kisses my cheek.

“Everything is going to be fine. You worry too much. Where are we going tonight?”

“It’s a surprise.”

She smirks, then leans her head against my shoulder. We ride along in silence, munching on French fries, and ignoring our mourning hearts. I drop Carly off at her new job at Cress Law Firm, then head home to change clothes.

***

I can’t believe that I’m actually looking forward to my counseling session today. The more things change, the less I recognize myself. That has to be good. My thoughts run the gamut as I undress.

Why are humans doomed to repeat themselves? I find myself taking Carly’s presence for granted and swore that I never would. Is it an unavoidable human trait? If so, it sucks ass. Prom is approaching and I feel unworthy to be her date. That’s how horribly guilty I feel. She’s expressed little enthusiasm towards the event in light of losing her parents. Probably a defense mechanism of some kind.

The only thing that she shows a little excitement for is her internship at the Cress Law Firm. Either because she’s learning something new and helping in non-descendant ways, or because she gets to spend time with Jo while there.

If it weren’t for our regular visits to Afrax for council meetings and Siberia for Vikki’s training, I’d think that she was trying to distance herself from the biokenretic gene. Allowing my mind to wander down a path of impossibility is something that I cannot afford. Nor can any of us. That thought process is what gets us captured and killed. Denial. But I won’t let her miss prom. That’s an unnecessary regret to have.

Jo says that prom is the ultimate for girls. That it’s like a young lady’s wedding rehearsal, and that’s why boys expect to get laid afterwards. I certainly don’t expect that. Not from Carly. I just don’t want her to miss out on anything. I want her to have as many happy and pleasurable moments as possible.

My sex drive is getting the better of me. I can never allow her to discover that I’m starving for it. My mind is trying its best to reform into the opaque object it once was. I like it better now that it’s somewhat checkered. At least some light enters and passes through. My greatest fear is becoming the human black hole I once was.

The weekly psychological counseling sessions that I attend in McIntyre are helping me to deal with my issues head-on, instead of sweeping them under the rug. Which I am extremely tempted to do. Jo’s in counseling as well. But we’ve agreed not to share the details of our sessions until we’ve reached a point where we can attend jointly.

Every third session, I find myself regretting my decision to see a shrink. To shrink what’s already been shriveled by darkness is categorically redundant. My brain is as small as it can be. How the hell can something so desiccated drip with this much destruction?

The regret intrudes on my otherwise stable emotions every time a breakthrough is near. At least, that’s the word my therapist, Dr. Aubrey Blake, uses to describe it. I dash out of the door, manipulate the locks with my energy, and head to Dr. Blake’s.

 

Inside of the elevator, I prepare myself as best as I can. This won’t work if you’re not willing, Adam.

I exit on the top floor, and greet the receptionist just as Dr. Blake opens her office door.

“Hi, Adam. Come on in,” she beams.

I avert my eyes before entering.

I sit down on her black, cashmere chase lounge sofa, and clasp my palms together. She grabs her notebook, and leans back in her chair. I always lean forward. It’s my way of expressing my discomfort and eagerness leave. Her pink skin unwillingly captures my attention.

“The last time we spoke, I asked you to try being more transparent with those inside of your intimate circle. How successful were you?”

Dr. Blake taps the pen against her blushing full lips.

“I failed.”

“Care to elaborate?”

I lift an eyebrow. If she’s learned anything about me these past months, she knows the answer to that question.

“Okay. Have you at least told Carly that you’ve inherited over a half-billion dollars?”

“No,” I sigh, leaning back against the sofa. I’ve even had to lie to Dr. Blake about the amount and source because it’s so astronomical.

“For every day that passes, she’ll view your omission as a lie. As a woman, I can attest to how damaging that can be. If she discovers the truth for herself, she’ll think back on the many times you lied to her with a straight face.”

“Yes, I know. I just don’t know how to tell her yet. I haven’t — I’m just not sure that I want to keep it yet.”

“I think you are sure because you’ve already begun to spend it. Are you afraid of how she’ll react? Or are you afraid that she won’t view or treat you the same?”

“Possibly a little bit of both. Or neither. I’m not sure. My thoughts are scattered and it frustrates me.”

I’ve already lied to the doctor by telling her that I’d inherited the money from my dad when he passed away. I couldn’t exactly tell her the truth. Mentally, I rationalize repetitively. Thoughts that were once opaque, began to clear, then stumbled right back into the darkness with one single decision.

I’m terribly close to shutting down and ending this session. But I want to be better. For myself, for Carly, and for Jo.

“Then let’s discuss only one thing. What one thing troubles you the most?”

I don’t immediately respond. I lean back. There’s so much, and I guess I’m a selfish person because I know what it is without thinking. Terry. But I can’t tell her that, so I go with the second most troubling issue.

“Carly feels different.”

“Intimately?”

“No. We haven’t — no. I mean, when I hold her or I’m near her. I can’t explain it. It’s just a vibe, I guess. But something has changed since —”

“Since your father died?”

“Yeah,” I lie to her all too effortlessly.

Truthfully, Carly hasn’t been the same ever since Dauma fell off that mountain. Not that anyone could be the same after a parent’s tragic death. I don’t know how to explain this stirring rumbling inside of my chest telling me that it’s more than that.

Dr. Blake sighs, and I sense the words forming inside of her one-dimensional mind.

“Before you say that it’s to be expected after a traumatic event, don’t. It’s not that kind of change. It’s separate from that. Something else.”

What was I thinking? Therapy and psychological counseling can’t help me because the psychologist needs to be able to understand my entire situation. They can’t do that. Partly because I can never tell them the truth and partly because if I did, they’d never believe me. They’d commit me to an asylum.

“Look Dr. Blake, normally you do all of the talking and I’m the one listening. Let’s switch it up. I mean, if you’re truly here to help me.”

That piques her interest and she tosses her notebook onto the desk.

“Okay, sure!”

I don’t know why she perked up so much, but it provokes my smile.

“Well, it would help me if we played a game of what if. I’m going to propose some situations that we both know are impossible and couldn’t exist, but you give me advice based on those impossibilities. Does that make sense?”

“I understand. I’m not sure how this will help but —”

“You once told me that everything is not meant to be understood. If it helps me, it helps me and it’s not hurting anyone.”

“You’re right. Okay, go ahead.”

“Okay well first, close your eyes.”

She smirks and does as requested. I sigh and step out on the ledge.

“Imagine that everything you view as normal, is actually the opposite. Basically, imagine that aliens exist and the laws of science are open to interpretation.”

“Okay. I’ll try but you have to be more specific.”

“Let’s use telekinesis for example. Do you believe it exists?”

“No. Of course not.”

“Great, then pretend that it does. Imagine that human beings are capable of manipulating matter with the use of their minds and other far out stuff. Like pyrokenesis and human mutations. Sort of like X-Men. Are you familiar with the X-Men?”


AUTHOR Q&A

About me

Cālix is the published author of the #1 Amazon, Russian Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series, The Scion Saga [Opaque, Split Adam, Specular]. She's a certified paralegal, a member of ALLI, YARWA and RWA.

Q. This book is part of a series, tell us about your series.
A.
The Scion Saga is a series that chronicles the lives of Adam, Carly and their clan — all of whom are Descendants of 7 Russian Bloodlines that possess supernatural abilities. Easily identified by their Limbal Rings, they’re under threat of extermination by The Iksha —a murderous society of scientists
Q. Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from this book?
A.
Anton Yelchin (R.I.P.) would’ve been the perfect actor to portray Adam. Kat Graham certainly has Carly’s physical profile. Liya Kedebe would be perfect cast as Dauma. Mila Kunis, Mila Jovovich, and Scarlett Johansson would be great possibilities for the role of Jo.
Q. Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
A.
Every young adult deserves patience and understanding, regardless of how troubled they are or appear to be.

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