Saturday, December 1, 2012

Excerpt: The Chameleon Effect #12

Chavez works for The Agency and has been assigned to rescue Kira Rostropovich and return her to Vega Minor, where she resides with her parents. After being in prison and being 'bought' by Chavez in an auction, Kira is not happy about being searched by Chavez. But he finds a tracking device on her right before a mercenary, Captain Maddeson, finds them and demands that Kira be turned over to him. Chavez immediately makes a sudden jump across the galaxy, much to Kira's surprise! Kira continues to have nightmares and is haunted by the fact that her life is in danger. She demands to go back to Prison Planet 452, but Chavez has someone to add to his crew complement first.
Kira's dream keeps coming back. Is it a warning? All she knows is that her destiny lies intertwined with the prison planet. Will Chavez understand? It is six hours away from rendezvousing with Dr. Winters, who will attempt to help Kira with her problems. But Captain Maddeson is on an intercept course to capture them and return them to the warden. Will they escape? Dr. Winters has diagnosed Kira with the Chameleon Effect and in an attempt to halt its progress, he will use Chavez's DNA. But Kira has other plans and escapes off Chavez's ship, without a word to anyone.

Chavez couldn’t stop thinking about Kira as he plotted his course to Prison Planet 452. He finally satisfied his curiosity by deciding to review her file again. He’d read through all the essential parts and now he wanted to know everything he could find about her. Although he had perused the file before, he hoped there was something that he’d missed.

“Computer, open the file on Kira Rostropov.”

A few seconds later, her entire file flashed onscreen, starting with a recent visual of her at her home on Vega Minor. She was standing next to the family swimming pool, dressed in a white cover-up, with her thick, curly hair piled on top of her head. What Chavez noticed most about the image was the smile that adorned her face. It lit up her entire face and sent out a non-verbal message of happiness. Chavez automatically smiled back as he felt a yearning for her in his gut. He wished that she was able to smile like that now, but he’d only seen hints of it from her. He frowned at the thought he suddenly had, and decided to follow through on it.

“Computer, shown me Kira’s mother and her history.”
Chavez searched through her history and found what he was looking for. Kira’s mother was the first wife of Ambassador Rostropov and was descended from a line of seer’s that were from the planet Darius. They had mental powers that were unequal to no other in this part of the galaxy. She died after giving birth to two female children. If Kira had even part of the powers her mother had, what would the Chameleon Effect do to her and how much power would it give her? He wondered if the warden had figured this out and that was why she was targeted. But unless they had a way of controlling her, the power would be useless.

Chavez pulled up the file on Ambassador Rostropov’s second wife. She was his current wife, who was freed from slavery by the Ambassador. She had one child who followed her into slavery, but had become lost when he or she was thirteen.

Chavez reminisced about his own mother who had worked so hard to protect him while they were bound in slavery. But it was at thirteen when he met the warden, who gave him his lasting disfigurements and sent his mother away to the slave auctions. The last word he had received about his mother was that she had died under someone’s hand. Chavez vowed he would make the warden pay for his cruelty not only to him, but to his mother. He had caused her to work herself to death in slavery.

Chavez continued to dig through the family history until he came to the line about a younger sister that had been born three years after Kira, and then kidnapped at age 13. She was never found and although they continued to look for her, the family rarely mentioned her because of the pain it caused their father. But Chavez was curious. Why had Kira insisted that she had to get back to Planet 452 or she would die? She only knew bits and pieces about the Chameleon Effect, nor did she know what happened to her while she was there. Or did she? She was so insistent about going back, that she actually commandeered a shuttle and headed off into space, not knowing which way to go. Were the two incidents related somehow? The answers lie on the prison planet amidst a crowd of greedy, backbiting individuals who would sell their own mother for a credit. Chavez knew he needed to go there to get the answers he was searching for. He needed to find out what had happened to Kira.

1 comment:

  1. Lots of little, tantalizing bits and pieces to the puzzle revealed here. It'll be interesting to see it all assembled!

    As a side note... it's fascinating yet disconcerting to imagine a future where slavery is commonplace! It's makes one think...