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In this scene from Trailing Kaiwulf by Kayelle Allen, Jee and Dane, two TRAIL agents, are briefed about their latest mission.
“Does Dr. Post think these people are gens?”
“She’s convinced Kaiwulf is.”
“What’s a gen?” When they looked her way, Jee shrugged. “Yeah, I’m ignorant. What’s a gen?”
Her partner answered. “Short for genetically-altered human. The Terran Crescent kicked most of them out in…what century, Thompson? Thirty-eighth maybe?”
“I bet they descended from original genetic experiments in the Colonies. Later, people saw the dangers, but for hundreds of years, drug and medical corporations ran uncontrolled human gene manipulation. What kind of abilities does Dr. Post think they have?”
“I’ll get to that. She says if she can locate Kaiwulf, she stands a good chance of discovering how they became the way they are. He carries a key given to him by his mother. Dr. Post has a theory that the high priestess originally reported the progress of genetic changes to visiting scientists or clinicians, and that each planet might have been given its own special ability. One–”
Jee mimed a yawn. “Cut to the chase.”
Thompson frowned. “Fine. Kaiwulf was sighted twice before they filmed him. First, he walked into Dr. Post in a cave and startled the devil out of both of them. When she screamed, he disappeared. She swears there was no other exit, yet no one saw him leave. A week later, she saw him again. It’s been almost a month since and there’s been no sign of him. So far, the only people they’ve seen on the planet are the sixty plus who live in a small village of thatched-roof huts. They’re the last of a dying race. When questioned, they identified Kaiwulf as their outcast from years before.”
Jee cracked her knuckles. “So they want this key of his, right?”
“More than that. Run the holovid in slow-mo. When Kaiwulf leaves, watch where he goes. I think you’ll see the reason they’re willing to pay TRAIL’s price.”
Jee flicked it on and reset the timing for slow.
“Someone on Dr. Post’s staff leaked information about Kaiwulf to the Colonial Department of Defense.” Thompson dialed back a setting on his BioMate. “She’s determined to get to the boy before the military and bureaucrats do. They’ve kept a strong presence in the area for the last week, nosing into everything her team does. Slow it down a bit more, Jee. This is the part I want you to see. Pay attention to this.”
In the holovid, Kaiwulf turned and walked toward the back of the cave.
“Jee!” Her wide-eyed partner blinked. “Did you fricking see that?”
She gave a slow nod, and faced Thompson, who had the gall to smirk.
Kaiwulf hadn’t disappeared. He’d walked into the stone.
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Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She’s a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she’s tenured.
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