I just started writing this today, but I LOVE where I think it's going so a taste:

I listen to people. It's just what I do. Pay attention to the words, but even more important, I pay close attention to the tone of the voice......the inflection.....the cadence.....Very subtle clues that mean everything. .

The words on my door tell the story...”Lead Jeneice Roberts, Audio Succor”. Not a whole lot to it.....I help people based on the things they decide to share. The only issues arise when my....clients....omit important parts of their“stories”.

My unofficial office is situated on the 8th floor of the Wilmount building on the northeast side of Linherst, in the great sub-common of Thorson on this ball we call Teeren Prime. I've been here most of my life......since my genscame to help make Teeren Prime habitable. To hear them tell thestory, TP was a great wasteland, full of deafening nothing, save forthe one water cache just south of the last land mass. At one time,there was great debate over re-organizing the entireplanet......allowing the most wealthy first access to whicheveracreage they wanted, and leaving the rest of my people to luck andchance. Finally, the planet decided for them....

In 2971, the seven Lower Zone islands suddenly shifted and moved further south. When they were completely out of view of the main mass, a scout drone was sent to investigate. All of the data retrieved indicated that the seven never existed.Imagine that.......the seven prime pieces of real estate....vanished.

No matter what they tried, the Orchestrates could not convince the 6 Primes to reconsider and purchase land on the Main. And the 10 years of construction began.....

Today, Linherst is the cardinal post of TP, housing mostly states and their kindred. On the outskirts, most Ares Elite reside.

Then you have me.

As a genaive, my genfem noticed I had a “talent” for deciphering if someone was lying. She reported this information to the Ares Elite Proper, who suggested intensive testing. It was soon decided that I would be trained to be an AresElite Civ, one who works for, but is not part of AE.

The one thing that could jeapordize my position is the one thing I've never shared with anyone. What they call a talent, I call “cast”. It's almost like a faint picture in my head...a scent that no one else can smell.....or just a certainfeeling. I've been “casting” for so long, it's truly secondnature to me.

Second nature.....

Second chances....

Upon completion of my training, I was given my first appointment as Audio Succor for the AE civ reserves and proceeded to examine ,my first case.

The wife of Grand Marshall Levins had gone missing.

And he lied from the very beginning.

I sequestered him for just under 2 hours. All the while he remained calm and fixated on getting just the right words out.

His last sentence sealed it..... “She was the love of my life....she was my everything....”

I typed on my infopad. “Hmmm.....” just audibly escaped my lips. Grand Marshall Levins sat up straighter in the well appointed young finox leather chair. His sudden movement caused the material to lightly squeal beneath him.

“What is it?” His voice was firm. “Oh......” I placed the pad on my desk. “It's nothing GM Levins....” He interrupted....”Please, call me Aldin.” “O.K. Aldin.....” I stood and crossed to the front of my desk, purposelyobscuring his possible view of the infopad. 'Lady Levins has beenmissing for just over a week. The AEP have looked into everypossible explanation....situation.....route......but nothing hasturned up. Her family on Rolant has not heard from her, and she hasnot been recorded as taking a transport off of Teeren Prime. Andspeaking to be honest......” I shifted my gaze to meethis. “Well, it poses more questions than it answers.”

His facial expression shifted from a look of absolution to slight confusion.

“Such as?” he demanded. “What question? What questions?” His body language shifted....became more guarded.I felt my pulse rate increase.......heat began to build in my ears.

“Well....Aldin.....” I rested back on my desk. “It took you three days to admit her as missing.....”

“Yes...” he interrupted. “See, Larise has this habit of going off on her own sometimes. I didn't think anything of it until I hadn't heard anything from her....”

“O.K. So you just now deem it important to share this information?”

He turned his face slowly to the side. “I......It should be in the initial report.....”

“I studied the report before this meeting, and there is absolutely no mention of her solo sojourns....”

“Look civ....” his demeanor seemed a touch hostile. “You need to process this information and find my wife!”

“Find your wife? We both know where your wife is.....Aldin.....”

I pressed the indented area on the call unit to summon the in house cap/core team.

He rose from his seated position and smoothed his hand through his thinning hair. His back looked tense, revealing the fight or flight response. I hoped he made the right decision.

“How.......My life......Over......”

The partitian glowed the emergency red for a split second before retreating to allow cap/core access.

“GM Levins.....” The civ attired agent spoke with absolute authority. “Your duty is forefit.”

I averted my gaze, yet I knew what was to come.....

The agent closed the gap between himself and GM Levins. He positioned his dominant hand at the base of Aldin's neck and performed the gene extraction through a small pinprick. Through the same entry point, the injection flowed.

It took a matter of seconds for GM Levins to fall to the floor in a hump of flesh that would never again know a normal life.

One of the Cap/core agents knelt beside him and secured the thin strap around his neck, making sure the command node was situated on the base of his skull. The light flickered a barely visible yellow prompting GM Levins to stand.“Protocol Delta Prime 4....” The agent spoke aloud. “Follow...”And with that, GM Aldin Levins proceeded behind the agent throughthe partitian.

“Lead Roberts.....” the remaining agent began. “Please.....

I interrupted....”I” I slumped in my chair. “ As soon as Vid forwards the encoded pod recording to me......” He seemed to sense my irritation. “Yes ma'am...” I was happy to see him leave. Thevapor at the entrance swirled and settled into the solid closure. Itwas still clear so I spoke “mute” and the opening became moreopaque.

I slumped into my chair. Even after all the times I had seen the agents perform this task, it still seemed to suck the energy from me. My entire being felt listless and wasted. But, as usual, protocol demanded it.

I took a deep breath in an effort to compose myself....while in the back of my mind, a vivid show of what awaited GM Levins haphazardly rolled on like a feature film.

“Jeneice.....” The call unit glowed a faint green. I waved my finger down the right side to respond. “Daylyn.....What is it?” “Just wanted to know if you cared to do a late lunch......”

As we walked toward our destination, I noticed that Daylyn had a nice spring in her step. I was about to ask her about it, but realized that we had been walking in complete silence for the last 2 blocks and thought better of it. She hadn'tbrought it up that conversation could wait.

The scent of the air changed....became more we neared the communal mealstation. Whifs of charbril (grilled water mammal), eemta (long, red vegetable), and tama (sweet bread) greeted us long before we stepped in front of thearched entryway. I glanced past Daylyn to the scan boards, taking inall I could regarding the days meals.

“Jen......” She stepped in front of me seemingly out of nowhere. She snaked her arm into mine and with a slight pull, led me in.....

The mealstation was more like a muted gray bazzar, with carefully placed pops of color. Slate toned tables were flanked by tubular metal chairs that bore bright seat cushions. Asymetrical lines splashed across the far walls.

Each mini station specialized in a different region from our homeworld......and I made sure to rotate from station to station when I visited. Kinda......

“So.....” Daylyn began....”What's it gonna be today?” She wrinkled her nose. “Shi'tah? Kloni'ce? Adar'na?....”

“ no.....” I separated myself and headed toward my old standby.....

I sided up to Esi'jes elaborate stone counter. “I'll have.....” “Smoked bakar #5...?” Klen's tone was even.....deep....and familiar. I felt my face flush as I didn't expect him to be workingtoday. Feeling a bit flustered, I waved my wrist past the sensor andquickly stepped aside. The next customer began ordering, but I stillfelt his gaze on me.

Klen and I were destined to be together according to some old barely remembered texts. Finally meeting at the age of 21 did little to comfort me with the thought of being his mate.

With everything I had I fought......


Family Obligations


I threw aside all I had ever learned and order to

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