The opening scene of Sons of Earth, the Sci-Fi novel I will release this spring!
He was watching her. Though he never made eye contact, from under his long, dark lashes he watched. His perfect lips curled, almost too minute to perceive. It made a full body exam decidedly awkward.
But she was done. Khalia pointed to his clothes, folded neatly on the table, and with the same obedience she expected, he picked them up and began pull them on. Even with her eyes on her clipboard, she could still feel his gaze. She glanced up. The bluish fluorescent light sent glints off his eyes as he dropped them.
MFP25A12 was her third and last examination of the morning. The other two had been in perfect condition. She’d recorded every parameter, all within limits, almost exactly on target. Not A12. Vitals, in limits. Height, 183 cm—in limits. Weight, 80.73 kg—drastically out of limits. At his age, he should be not less than 90kg. Khalia scanned the parameter sheets for the last two months. His weight-gain had leveled off two weeks ago, even after adjustments to his diet.
Thud. Khalia glanced up. The MFP was, for once, not looking at her. He’d dropped his shoe onto the concrete floor. She shook her head, and flipped through his records.
He was reject—garbage.
Khalia sighed and took one last glance across the pages. As she flipped to the first page, her eyes lit on a section titled “Intelligence Quotient. Limits 100-120” and below it, the number 183.
Her head snapped up. A12, now dressed in his black garments, didn’t bother to lower his gaze. He stared at her, full on.
“Hey.” She pointed with two fingers toward the floor. His chin tilted downward in obedience but his lip curled again.
Khalia shivered. What rogue gene had slipped through, and graced this specimen with genius IQ? She should test him. Maybe it was a mistake, a transcription error. Who had tested him? The signature was Adam’s. She needed to ask, even if by all physical signs MFP25A12 was destined to be rejected. Barjinder would want to know how this happened.
Khalia grabbed a blue tag from one of the many hooks beside the light switches. It read “Further Testing Required”, the one right beside the red “Reject” tag, stark crimson against the snow-white wall. She stuck it to the Velcro patch on A12’s sleeve.
She opened the door and led him into the wide, fluorescent lit hall, past the rows of exam-room doors, and into the airlock. She shed her shoe covers and lab coat, and pushed him ahead of her into the warm yellow light of the corridor. “I’m taking this one for further testing,” she said to the forms clerk. She signed the sheet that was handed to her, and led her charge two doors over to the genetics lab.
Barjinder’s desk was empty. She’d get the MFP situated, then go find him.
Khalia opened the door of the holding room, an eight by eight room with a cot and a toilet, and let her charge pass by her. She turned and set the clipboard in the folder by the door, and grabbed the log book to fill it out. Her pen had just formed the letters “M F P” when she heard a slight rustle.
Her head turned, and she was nose to nose with the MFP. She squeaked, and then his hands were on her throat. She thrashed, he pushed her against the wall, pinning her. Her lungs burned empty, her head swam. She made one last effort to jerk free. He was a brick wall.
Black spots grew larger and larger.
The last thing Khalia saw before she lost consciousness was his dark eyes, gazing deep into hers. His lip was still curled.