On a planet similar to Earth, a scientist with a supernatural past is tasked to work on a flu vaccine only to discover that she was really deciphering alien genetics for a biological war waged by rulers she never knew existed.
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Stumbling through the streets of a familiar place, a lost child found herself at the doorsteps of a towering dark structure. Action in the night sky illuminated the burning structures of the city. Her baldness was covered by a hooded red-and-white vial that could not conceal her light blue eyes. Explosions in the sky drew her attention from her desire to arrive home. The streets were colored with the ululations of a disaster. The smell of smoke entered her unconscious mind, and her gaze intensified as she realized that the structure was on fire.
Purposefully, the doors of the structure vanished. Lifting from the ground, the child entered the smoke-filled house. An onlooker noticed the child and ran toward her, intending to retrieve her from the flaming structure for the third time, but he could not pass through the door that appeared invisible. Horrified at the sight of the levitating child and the invisible barrier, he fled in wild amazement. Undisrupted by the heat of the flames and the roar of fire that dimmed, the child moved farther down the smoke-filled halls. There, her search ended as she saw a man lying on the floor, barred by a wall of collapsed metallic building material and high flames. The flames parted as the child entered the room and amazingly lifted the man, who was three times her weight, not with her hands but with her mind.
The structure began to shake, and objects fell from their places. Unable to find her direction, the child grew distressed but only for a moment. Spontaneously, the ground below her began to glow, and the man fell to the ground, regaining his consciousness. Staring up at the child he had so easily given away in his act of devotion, he trembled at the bizarre blue light that illuminated her. The blue light filled the room and reflected off many surfaces. In a flash of bright light, they vanished; and for a moment, he was blinded by the brightness. Opening his eyes, he was in the middle of the street just across from his home. He then realized that he could not find the child. He looked around frantically and found her form in the large smoldering crater beside him. He lamented his previous decision to give her away, and despite his momentary frailty, he lifted her over his arm and fled to a nearby underground tunnel.
Years of reconstruction passed by, uninterrupted by the influences of external forces. The Harfore leadership retreated from the planet and found safety in its orbit. Huge prism structures were built to house the Darcon. The Harfore and the Darcon were now seemingly friendly allies. The environments the planet Darth facilitated and where they inhabited peacefully were now too corrupt and insidious for them to be unsheltered and remain civilized. Foreign beings had adapted to the environment, and it was now hostile and cruel. The climate of the planet shifted from docile to tumultuously unpredictable. Its landscape was littered with rusting and half-buried spacecraft, remnants of the war. The topography and climate of the planet was now just as hostile — desert-and junglelike in the southern regions and oppositely swampy and bitterly cold in the northern regions.
The massive hexagonal and subterranean prisms were surrounded by smooth pavement — six of them in total — scattered throughout Darth's surface; invisible from space as they remained camouflaged, they housed the remaining survivors of the conflict. Less than eight hundred thousand of them were housed in each prism. The inhabitants were educated and trained in various sciences and arts of defense; however, not all six structures were equally made and rationed.
Deep inside the prism, a now adult woman left the confines of her postsecondary training institution. She could have taken some form of transportation but decided to walk. She was brilliant, the top pupil in the classes she liked, somewhat popular, and rather beautiful. She walked down the sunlit corridors of the prism located in the northern top quarter of the world.
The corridors were spacious. They extended fifty meters in width, allowing ample walking space for all pedestrians. The layout of the compound was quite complex. It extended from four hundred meters below the surface of the planet to two hundred meters above. The design of the inside was rather amusing: white marblelike floors, dark-brown woodlike walls, golden lines dividing the floor from the ceiling, and sometimes changing floors in certain places. The decor was only bearable because of the sunlight that shone in through the gigantic sunroof. Some areas of the facility were covered with greenery. Potted red, blue, and yellow flowers appeared at entrances and exits. Walls of plants and rooms of vegetation were reoccurring scenes. No ceiling covered the corridors of the structure. Ceilings were only visible in rooms, residences, gyms, auditoriums, and lecture halls. It was quite a spectacular view regardless of the locale.
The young woman kept up her physique easily and had great intuition. She barely avoided a collision with the children who ran by, unable to tell where they would run; and as if prompted, she remembered her own childhood. She could only remember her first days in the communal facilities, the prism complex's nursery, at the age of seven. Her shyness and sadness overshadowed her willingness to learn, and she was neglected in the facility. She did not remember her parent until he arrived one morning in the late spring. Her father did not hesitate to hug her and told her that she was very special to him. Her stepmother remained distant at first but gradually became charming and very interested in her enough to say that she loved her like a daughter. Her mind fluttered; again, she remembered her uniqueness.
Viewing the time on her wrist, she increased her pace as she walked and tried to determine the quickest route to her destination. Her steps were pronounced by boots with heels. Her clothes were reserved. Her long black hair was held back in a ponytail with no visible holder, her light-red wool coat that just barely passed her knees held together by dark red buttons. A black leather belt surrounded her well-proportioned waist, and low-heel ankle-concealing black boots complemented her fair skin and styled her. Her soft blue eyes gleamed as the sunlight brightened underneath her purely fashionable gray-toned eyewear as they dimmed.
She remembered the many locations of the prism she had grown accustomed to: the communal facility, the recreational facilities, the libraries, the auditoriums, the public spaces, the residences where her parents lived, and the advanced science laboratories. The communal facility was the place where she and all the newborns, children, and nonadults were raised under the state supervision of the Harfore-Darcon planetary leadership. Her parents had the right to visit her anytime they wished; however, they could only take her out of the facility occasionally. At first, they took her to the recreational facilities, where she enjoyed playing in the gravity-free chamber and other simulation rooms. They also took her to the many libraries that were scattered throughout the compound. She remembered the many hours she spent researching in those libraries to complete her theoretical design of a fresh-water-generating device, which she had later conducted further research on for her postsecondary degrees in chemistry and biological engineering. And she concluded that, theoretically and hypothetically, it should function better and use less power than the classified water-creating devices. For this achievement, she received outstanding scientific awards, publicity, and entry into the advanced sciences.
She always felt as if information was being withheld from her when the inhabitants were summoned to the auditoriums to view the latest news, court trials, military performances, and other concerns. It was truly a command environment. The wide-open spaces of the compound were where Cassandra conducted much of her studies, unaffected by the large crowds and events that were held in the vicinity.
When she was finally allowed to visit her father's opulent and spacious living quarters, she realized how comfortable life could be. However, never had she nursed so many bruises, which resulted from an unexpected, intense fight with an instructed android. Having purposely lost the fight, her father looked at her in disbelief. He had known of her gifts and aptitudes and, understanding her pleasant mind-set, knew it was incumbent on him to develop them further. Any other twelve-year-old girl in her position would have resisted his counsel and lashed out, but she didn't. She had a gentle and restrained yet passionate heart.
After her first visit, her father — a high-ranking commander who shared her last name — enlisted her in a rigorous quasi-military service and secret training. She was discouraged from forming any serious relationships with anyone, and that also meant she could not have a serious boyfriend. Thenceforth, the academia and skill building became her interest. Upon her acceptance to postsecondary education, she was given access to the advanced science laboratories and lived in its dorms. There was no party scene, not in the northern prisms. She completed her studies in half the time it usually took but knew that she had to remain unidentified in athletic achievement and avoided the competitions, the fight clubs, the contests, and the sports.
She again smiled as she walked up the stairs into a large building marked "Assessment and placement" and remembered her first visit — the day her father had arrived at the communal facility with flowers for a week-old fourteenth birthday. This was an unusual event because he was typically in a far distant place on her birthday and congratulated her via message or an expensive educational carded gift. So it was natural for her to show excitement when he declassified the vacation that awaited them.
She had needed an access card to visit the even more massive prism complex in the southern region of the planet. Her trip to the transport bay was fascinating, and the sight of the huge circular devices that were capable of breaking particles into electrical energy and recreating them in their physical form bewildered her mind. It was rare for anyone to be given permission to travel, but since her father had such high status within the defense organization and played such a vital role in the construction and maintenance of the prisms, her way was paved as well as driven.
The tropical climate of the southern prism was spectacular and its views enviable. Although the scenery was mostly artificial, it fascinated her, having never seen greenery in its natural state. Cassandra feared the trip was an elaborate trick, a ruse by her father to have her capabilities assessed or to marry her off to someone he owed a great debt. Or perhaps she would see the beautiful jungles and never want to come back to the frigid, mountainous, and seemingly barren environment of the northern prism complex. She had many colleagues and a few friends she kept in touch with, nothing romantic surprisingly. An assessment would be nothing too strenuous, for she had been training secretly for years and could now channel her known abilities.
Interrupted by a familiar presence, she pulled her mind back to the present and joined the line. She carefully selected the most underburdened electronic teller and saw many familiar faces. She decided to let him approach her and be a successful prankster. He was a just a camper and a student of philosophy in her perspective.
"Ms. Vyers," a quick and light-toned voice whispered in her ears as hands were gently placed over her sunglasses.
Without alerting herself, she turned around slowly. "Alex, I know it's you. You didn't have to come here. It's not a graduation ceremony."
"Ah, I am so sorry I missed it," the brown-haired and very handsome young man said sincerely while removing his hands from her face.
Cassandra answered him wholeheartedly, "Oh, it's fine. You're my half brother. I have to love you." They hugged.
"So how are you? You're a medical doctor now, so Dad tells me."
"I told you what I was pursuing years before I started," she declared as she removed her black-gray eyewear.
"You're a surgeon — no, a botanist ... a genetic engineer," he said questionably.
"I'm a chemical and biological engineer," she said, turning around and grabbing his arm as they moved with the crowded room. She realized her folly. "But you are right, I did tell you I was going to be a lot of things. You didn't come here to see me get my access cards. When are you going to tell me? We talk a lot, but you don't like me this much to show up without flowers to this crowded place." The noise of the room increased, and her last few sentences went unheard. "What did you come to tell me?"
"Huh. Well, I wasn't going to tell you this right now ... I'm getting married soon," he whispered. "She's here somewhere." He laughed.
Her face showed quick surprise and then slow disbelief and the newness of ecstasy. "Whatever happened to you wanting to marry me?" she joyfully contested. He looked at her, slightly perturbed. "Congratulations. I'm very excited about this. Oh, Alex, I'm kidding. Really, who is she? Is she intelligent? Is she pregnant?"
"You're thinking too much," he said with concern. "Thank you. I knew you'd be supportive and make me feel great about my life finally coming together. She's great. She's an archaeologist and a reporter-writer. She does documentaries."
"An archaeologist. So then she's been on the outside of the compound freely? If she's an archaeologist, she might be in the military. There are too many things lurking out there for any unprotected archaeologist to be digging around. It's lovely, and it's great that she's a writer. Sounds sweet ... nice."
"Yeah, she is, and Dad is going to envy me," he said with an outstanding pride. "But" — he paused — "don't tell the world." He leaned closer to whisper, but she heard him loudly before he said it. "She is a special forces op."
"How did you manage to find her? How did you two meet?" The line moved faster. Not noticing that her questions were unanswered, she continued. "So where is she?" she inquired.
"Right outside, waiting. I told her about you from the start. She's all about family. She has a twin that she won't stop criticizing. This isn't some plot though, Cass. I came just to see you and congratulate you on your success. But you know, I've been all over since I met this chick, and we've seen each other only three times in the last month. I want to seal the deal. She's here and excited to meet you. You have to meet her, okay?" he insisted.
"How am I going to say no to you? Okay, no, I couldn't. My hair isn't even done. Look at this frizz. I have so many things to do today. This just adds to my anxiety, but I'm not going to be a bitch or a cunt about you choosing to surprise me," she said, shrugging and flicking her hair back in a fake Valley-girl manner.
"Please?" he said, half grinning, tilting his head to the side, and moving nervously in interior lighting, bluish green eyes.
Sensing how much his request meant to him, she couldn't stop herself from conceding. Cassandra reluctantly exhaled, taking a while to make her decision. "Oh, okay, I'm pretty sure I already said yes, all right. But you can't tell her too much about me, okay? Don't make every conversation about me and what I do. Please don't go into too much detail. Let's go meet her in a few minutes. What's her name? You didn't even tell me her name."
"What about you? Her name's long, but everyone calls her Sky. I'm not telling her much about you. You're the last thing on her mind, trust me. You're the only real family I have in the loyalty sense of the word," he said, slightly afraid as she looked up at him crossly. "I won't tell her anything else I haven't already told her."
"Anything else?" she replied quickly. "Don't even dare —" She paused, interrupted by the loud and robotic voice of the teller.
"Hello, how may I help you today?" the robotic voice began to greet. The teller requested identification, other soon-to-be-outdated access cards, and multiple signatures from her.
In her haste to fill out the forms, Alex was gone. I can't believe him, she thought. She assumed the situation meant he would wait with her quietly, not walk off back to his fiancée.
The ramifications of her capabilities being exposed seemed too much for her to fathom. Experimentation was what Cassandra feared. It was either that or she'd be the newest freak show. Having learned all about people like herself during her studies in biology, which no other student took as seriously as she did because they lacked the imagination and discernment to differentiate fiction from reality, she knew life would be horrible if discretion was not met.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Blue Scorpion"
Copyright © 2018 Carter Onassis.
Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter I In Denial, 1,
Chapter II Feud, 12,
Chapter III Out of Obscurity, 25,
Chapter IV Into Fear, 43,
Chapter V Paper Tigers, 69,
Chapter VI All Roads Lead, 91,
Chapter VII Clash of the Perfect, 111,
Chapter VIII In Captivity, 131,
Chapter IX City of Death, 149,
Chapter X Timely Event, 162,
Chapter XI The Last Chapter, 173,
Chapter XII Post Prediction, 185,