Jaclyn gave him a sidelong glance, but didn’t say anything. “The main point of having people over tonight was to get to know people and pick up leads for who might be passing along information to the Human Ascendancy. We’ve been talking about what we learned. Marcus, did you find out anything?”
He gave a brief grin. “Tikki and I kind of got distracted and we left, but I learned about her childhood and what it’s like to grow up a breeder in the Human Ascendancy. That was interesting. Technically, her gene line is ‘active’ but because the Ascendancy doesn’t have much use for it by itself, they’re used as breeders—which meant that both of her parents had to pass their genes along. She’s got half a dozen half brothers and sisters and she’s never met any of them. Crazy, right?”
I nodded. “It is, but it fits with what I found out.” Whereupon I explained what Kals had told me. Continue reading Birthright: Part 6
“Maybe Tikki’s accepting calls?” I asked as Kals touched the bracelet on her left wrist.
“We tried that,” Jaclyn said. “No.”
“Did you leave messages?”
Her sigh was audible even over the implant. “Yes, but not about not touching. You should call them.”
Would Tikki even need to be told? She shouldn’t—except that she’d had a week to discover that there were no issues with touching us at all. I hadn’t remembered it coming up, but she might not have told us if it had. Continue reading Birthright: Part 5
I felt my eyes widen. “What?”
Kals shook her head. “If we’re going to talk about this, we should find someplace where we won’t be heard.” Then she pointed to the door outside.
“Sure,” I said, and we stepped out into the dark. The council building rose above us, the cluster egg-shaped sections shining in the streetlights.
Kals looked up and down the street. “I don’t want to be overly dramatic, but you could destroy all of human civilization.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Um… That does sound overly dramatic.” Continue reading Birthright: Part 4
Trying not to be distracted by my thoughts, I told Kals, “That’s right. I’m Nick.”
She gave a hint of smile and then asked, “What do you do for the group?”
I shrugged. “I pilot our spaceship and keep our stuff working.”
Nodding, she said. “You keep everything working? From the ship’s drives to the computers to your suits and weapons? And you pilot?” Continue reading Birthright: Part 3
I caught Marcus’ eye, keeping my voice low. “I’m not worried that it’s illegal. I’m more worried about the Council deciding that we’re ‘corrupting the youth’ or something. Plus they might have a problem with a party here.” Glancing over at Jaclyn, I added, “They might not have noticed yet.”
Jaclyn watched something outside the window and shook her head. “They’d have to be blind not to notice.”
Through the window, I saw a floating platform come to a stop in front of the doorway. Two guys pulled a keg off the back and walked in, carrying it between them.
“Huh.” I watched them add it to the bottles on the table and join the group. Continue reading Birthright: Part 2
Castle Rock Compound, Colorado, Earth
A figure stood alone in the dark on the edge of a small cliff. Leaning on the railing, she looked out on the houses, streets, and lawns. Except for the stone walls and mountains that surrounded the town on all sides, it could have been any suburb in the United States.
Haley brushed a lock of brown hair out of her eyes, wondering if she should go with a short haircut next time. It would be easier in a fight. Except then Night Cat would have to wear a wig since it wouldn’t be smart for both of her identities to get the same haircut at the same time.
Her eyes drifted upward, above the walls to the night sky and stars beyond. Continue reading Birthright: Part 1