POWERS SPLICED TOGETHER LIKE SCIONS TO STOCK
THIS IS THE FIRST MISSION
After years of training among splicers—a secluded community of people able to make auras of energy surround their bodies and burst into concussive blasts—Sophie is ready to run away.
She has failed to become a successful splicer at every attempt while it comes so naturally to other students. Their power comes from their communion with one another, which troubles Sophie who is an outsider among a close-knit population and is prone to be alone.
But on the eve of her escape, her instructor pairs her with Logan, the best splicer among her peers, in a mission to escort a group of visitors back to their village. They have made a recent pilgrimage to the tower where the splicers live and they are coming back home through a countryside riddled with bandits and an unforgiving wilderness.
With the perfect opportunity to escape, Sophie must decide between her responsibilities and her true desires. Can she bring herself to risk Logan’s life and the lives of innocent visitors in order to escape?
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The sun was beginning to set and they wouldn’t be able to see the trail for much longer, especially once they reached the nearby woods.
“We should stop for the night,” she said.
Immediately, Logan removed his rucksack from his shoulder and set it amid the grass along the road. He extended an arm behind himself and plopped down on his haunches.
Sophie tilted her head towards him. “Wow. That was easier than I expected,” she said.
“What?” Logan asked, looking curious.
“I just thought you would want to push onward, you know? I mean, you’re the gold standard of splicer students, right? So, I just expected more determination — not that I’m complaining. That’s all.”
Logan rested his arms on his knees with a blade of grass in his fingers. He ripped it apart and then doubled the segments over and did it again until he had to grab more grass and restart the cycle.
“It’s the smart decision,” he said, distracted by the grass.
“Okay. Well, I’m going to go gather some firewood.”
Sophie walked away, considering the option of just running away now and saving herself the effort of actually going through with the mission.
“Whatever. Don’t let me stop you,” Logan said. And Sophie was glad that he could not see her growing so angry with his rude attitude again that she imagined herself with a fierce red aura.
Soon, she disappeared into the woods, mumbling to herself; deciding that, yes, she would leave now and find a new home.
Preferably somewhere far from the splicers, please.
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