Friday, January 29, 2016

Guest Blogger- Susan Kite

Today Susan Kite is here sharing an excerpt from The Mendel Experiment.


The Federation is desperate for the rare materials probes have detected on Mendel, but the system’s blue sun is deadly to humans. The solution? Create a race of young mutated humans who can live and work on the planet.

Corree has successfully led her small group of forest mutants for five years. Then the weird dreams begin. They disclose the group’s previously suppressed memories and lead her on a search to find other mutants. When her quest takes her to the desert, Corree discovers a sinister plot as well as a terrifying enemy—one that will carry her far beyond Mendel’s solar system.

The building still sparkled as the sun rose, but it was no longer reflecting in their eyes. Corree studied the situation. They all felt the compulsion to go inside, but it would be a stupid move. “I’ll go down and check it out. The rest of you wait here,” she finally said. 
Tanna protested. “No! You shouldn’t go alone!”
“I’m the leader,” she began and saw Tanna bristle. “Besides, the rest of you are nest-mated.”
Tanna scowled. 
When he opened his mouth to say something else, Corree shook her head. “We’d be idiots if we all went in at the same time. Or even two of us. One of us needs to check it out first. Then if it’s safe…” She pulled off her bow from where it hung on her back and handed it to Tanna. The small quiver of arrows followed.
Mora snorted. “I don’t see how you’ll get in.”
“I don’t either, but it seems crazy to entice us here and then leave us to stare at it.”
There were multiple nods. 
“Maybe I’ll see something from the ground. Tanna, you and Mora are in charge until I come back. If I can get into the pod, I’ll check everything out.”
  Kollin looked like he wanted to say something, but he didn’t. He was the one who needed to know everything, but Corree didn’t have any answers to his ‘what if’ questions now. 
She pulled on her thin leaf goggles, then extended her arms and leaped out from the limb, dropping toward the riverbank. Air filled the skin flaps and slowed her fall. Her legs were tight together and worked the same way a tail did for the monkeys that lived in the canopy. Corree curved her body and gathered her legs beneath her as the ground approached. Her landing was automatic, learned from cautious experience and from watching the other forest dwellers. None of the group members thought about it anymore, except for Joshee who loved to try acrobatics when he was gliding.
Corree’s feet made only a whisper of sound as she landed on the open, pebbly surface. She crouched and studied the area near the plant-covered building. The sounds of the forest seemed muted. It was like she had walked a long distance from the edge of the great trees. Only the river seemed to have voice. It gurgled and splashed below her. Walking to the edge of the bank, Corree saw that it would be impossible for her to wade across the wild water, nor was there room or wind enough for her to leap or glide across this time of day. 
Stymied, Corree paced along the edge of the riverbank. She signaled for Tanna and the others to remain in the trees. At that moment, she heard a whining sound, like a horde of angry honey wasps. She stared at the oversized pod as two pieces of the building split apart to form a doorway. It stopped and Corree shaded her eyes, trying to see into the strange and familiar structure. Nothing happened for several minutes. 
Without warning, a strip of metal began sliding toward her. Corree backed up, watching the ramp. Ramp. Another new word that popped out of that deep place in her mind. 
Tanna whistled a warning. Corree signaled an okay back to him without taking her eyes off the ramp. It stopped with a grinding thump on the bank near her feet. She waited, not knowing what else to expect. Nothing happened. The sun beat down, and her eyes smarted in the glare, despite her goggles. A trickle of sweat ran down the middle of her back. She knew what she was supposed to do, but she was afraid. Rustling behind her was motivation to make some kind of decision. The group was getting restless. Corree sucked in her breath and stepped onto the ramp. It was cold against her calloused feet. She didn’t hesitate as she crossed the river. Water splashed over the rocks, sending spray up against the bottom of the ramp. 
Corree reached the other side of the river and stopped at the open door. It was cool and dark inside. She could see nothing, nor could she hear anything. The smell was similar to what she remembered in her dreams, only older. Corree stepped in. 
The light in the pod was muted as though she had stepped back into the forest. Corree heard insects humming, and rain dripping from leaves. The smell of dampness and decomposing vegetation relaxed her. She stepped farther into the pod, marveling that such a place could feel so much like her forest home. The temperature rose until it was as comfortable inside as it had been in her nest. 
Corree shook her head. It was still a metal building, despite the comforting scents and sounds. She needed to examine it and then get out. Corree took another step and a small amount of light filtered down from the sky, mottled like sunlight through layers of leaves. She looked up. The light wasn’t from the sky and there were no leaves. She was still in a pod. 
Corree was almost in the middle of the building now. A small whispering of sound caused her to pivot in alarm. She was shocked to realize the outer door had closed. Fear gripped her and it was all she could do to keep from running to the door and trying to rip it open. What an idiot walking in here like a rainbow spider into one of Tanna’s traps!

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                         World Castle Publishing

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