Ah, finally. An excerpt from Renegades: Book 2 of The Wildblood. I’m really hoping this will be released in February, 2016, barring any further lightning strikes in Real Life. So, here are some words. A WIP, so editing has not been finalized. Comments welcomed.
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south of Estes Park mid morning Feb 10
“This is one of three air bursts,” Vance said, pointing to the video monitor. It was aimed east twenty miles and recording as the airplane banked around to give them a clear shot. The group of buildings was isolated and more than that, destroyed. Melted, irradiated, and nothing remained that looked like it had ever been occupied by a human being.
“Rocky Flats,” Shannon said carefully. There were no ghosts, no remnants of the past, crowding into her thoughts. She was glad for that, having firsthand experience with a nuclear detonation. Being genetically enhanced, she could see things not so obvious to others. This place was . . . null.
“Anything?” Green asked, fully aware of what could happen if she sensed something unusual. He’d been her second, her backup, for years. Today he was piloting.
She wrinkled her nose. “No, nothing that merits mention.” Flying was an aversion, one she hadn’t been able to avoid, recently.
“What does that mean?” Vance asked.
“It means she doesn’t see anything I can’t see,” Green offered. He wasn’t a Gen En. He was Siksika, a Blackfoot; a misplaced Vista Security officer, like her, and found himself being her bodyguard, at least for a couple hours. Green didn’t mind the duty. Capt. Allen, Shannon, was his senior officer despite being younger, having turned twenty recently. Their relationship was far less complicated than most people believed.
Vance nodded. “The other air burst were east and south, one directly over downtown Denver and the third, the airport. All happened within five or six minutes.” He’d been in charge of Estes Park a few years, having moved north for a more secured city as his base of operations. The southern sections were troublesome. Several towns were under his jurisdiction, but there was a large and empty landscape where Denver used to be.
The camera moved as he’d indicated, east, then south, lingering on each a full minute. “Got it,” Green leaned over her shoulder, watching the feed. Their radiation scanner hadn’t ticked up and that had been his main concern. The boundary was unpredictable and went from normal readings to dangerous ones in the space of a few miles. By air, those miles went by very quickly.
“Trade me seats,” Shan spoke as she moved.
“That wasn’t so bad,” Vance chided her. He hadn’t forgotten what it was like to be her age, but there was nothing similar about their lives.
Shannon was a fourteenth generation Genetically Engineered human, born after World War Three and raised, oddly enough, by her parents. He’d never had any indication of who his parents were, and had never thought to ask. As a fifth gen, raised in a controlled, sterile environment, his abilities were a far cry from hers. She had proven that numerous times, with her partner and fellow Gen En Wade, during the brief time before they made an uneasy alliance with him.
Green put it on the ground, on a long, straight section of mostly flat highway. The Cessna landed smoothly, wheels crunching in the gravel as he parked it where it stopped. There wasn’t any traffic; there hadn’t been in more than twenty years save the occasional airplane Vance sent out for recon. Like today.
After he had a quick look around, Green offered her a hand down. Vance let himself out the passenger’s side. They could see the ruins, across the valley, downwind.
“If this,” Green tapped the patch, another radiation monitor he’d placed on the front of his parka, “Beeps even once, we’re gone.”
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