Sahara gasped. “You . . .” Unable to find the words, she began to undo his tie in an effort to fight fire with fire. “This is a serious political decision about the future of our race.”

“There’ll always be a serious political discussion,” Kaleb pointed out, removing his sinful hand to push down her sweats and lift her out of them. “Into infinity.”

Unfortunately, she couldn’t argue with him on that point. As the most powerful Psy in the Net, Kaleb would always be at the top. The fact was, without him, no one would take any ruling body seriously—because he could change everything in a heartbeat.

Raising her arms to allow him to tug off her T-shirt, she dropped his tie to the floor and began to undo the buttons on his shirt. “You’re right,” she said, as he wrapped one arm around her neck and used his other hand to remove the cuff link on that sleeve. “Let’s cause an earthquake.”

The tremor registered forty-five minutes later with the increasingly confused seismologists at the Russian Seismic Agency. A half hour after that, Kaleb stroked Sahara’s lazy-limbed body and said, “Information is power. Let’s put a certain percentage of that power in the hands of the populace.”



Silent Voices has styled itself a rebellion. It is nothing of the kind. It is instead a political party with a particular viewpoint. Such a political party has a right to exist in the PsyNet, as do groups representing other interests.

Designation E also has a right to exist. However, unlike Silent Voices, the empaths are critical to the survival of the Psy race. The previous Council hid this knowledge, but in light of the current situation, it is imperative that it be shared so that each individual can make an informed decision as to his or her personal viewpoint: The PsyNet cannot survive without the Es. This is not an ideological stance, but proven fact.

An attempt to eliminate the empaths from the gene pool was made at the dawn of Silence—it led to the deaths of tens of thousands and to an acute spike in cases of severe mental illness in the population, including criminal insanity. The proof of this fact is in the continued existence of the Es. Designation E would have otherwise been erased three-quarters of a century ago.

As a result of the above, any attack on an E will be seen as an attack on the foundations of the PsyNet. Should members of Silent Voices, or any other group, incite others to act against the Es, they will be dealt with as terrorists. Political disagreement is acceptable. Aggression that threatens to collapse the PsyNet is not.

—Kaleb Krychek

Chapter 42

Chaos Reigns.

PsyNet Beacon headline

IVY WAS DEEPLY asleep on the muscular pillow of Vasic’s arm, the two of them having decided passive contact wouldn’t activate his ability, when she physically jerked awake under a slamming punch of black panic. Her skin went clammy, dots sparking in front of her eyes.

“Vasic, they’re dying,” she gasped, screams echoing in her ears. “It’s close, right on top of us.”

Vasic was already out of bed, his feet in his boots in the next two seconds. “Grab a jacket. I’ll get mine and confirm the location of the outbreak.”

Ivy scrambled out of bed to slide her arms into her raspberry-colored coat, wrapping it over her pajamas and pulling on socks and her snow boots seconds before Vasic reappeared. He’d tugged on a dark gray T-shirt that was far too thin for the cold, thrown his leather-synth jacket over it, but there was no time to make him change.

“Rabbit, stay,” she managed to get out before Vasic thrust a knit cap on her head and ’ported them into carnage.

This time, the majority of the screams came from inside the apartment buildings. A body flew out of a window, glass shattering. Vasic caught the male using his Tk, lowered him gently to the ground . . . where he got up, his body bleeding from countless cuts, and immediately ran to the wall in front of him. His head made a wet, ugly sound as it repeatedly hit the concrete.

Shocked, Ivy reached out to calm him. He fell to his knees. She couldn’t hold the calm for long, but he remained on his knees regardless, rocking back and forth and making bloodcurdling animal sounds of pain. Deciding that was better than self-directed rage, she began to zero in on one mind at a time, while Vasic took care of the violent infected who had begun to spill out onto the street.

Two cabs that had turned into the street right at the wrong time screeched into reverse in an effort to escape. One backed into a parked car, the other was hit by oncoming traffic in a low-speed impact. Abandoning their vehicles, the drivers all scrambled out and ran.

Then there were just too many infected and Ivy’s focus narrowed to those who seemed the most dangerous.

A few undirected telepathic strikes glanced off her without doing any damage. The telekinetic strike, however, would’ve crashed her into a wall if Vasic hadn’t seen her take the blow and stabilized her.

Thanks, she telepathed, and they dived back into the fray.

She didn’t know how many people she managed to soothe into a state less dangerous than mindless rage, but she lost strength far too soon for her level on the Gradient, her nose bleeding, her muscles jelly, and her head pounding so hard it felt as if it would split open if she made a single sound. Frustrated near to tears, she collapsed in the street, a kaleidoscope of horror around her.

Another scream, high-pitched and holding a terror that paralyzed.

Jerking up her head, Ivy felt her stomach lurch. No, not a child. No! Driven by protective anger, she found the strength to run toward the barefoot little girl who stood in the direct path of an adult wielding a heavy metal pipe. No real empathic power left in her, she lashed out with her low-Gradient telepathy and managed to distract the adult long enough to grab the child. Copyright 2016 - 2024