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Excerpt from Variant: A SciFi Colonization Thriller

The second Predictive book has been a long time coming!

On preorder, live 6th June 🥳

While there are some romantic relationships in the book, I wouldn't describe it as a romance. More action, adventure and intrigue with a light touch of romance.

Here is a little snippet...

EVA

Although subject to bouts of tiredness, I’d gained sufficient information—both the direct data kind, and the indirect, people opinion kind—for conclusions to be made.

I’d been sitting on those conclusions for an hour, hoping they might be a mistake or that some new piece of information might change them in some way.

Never had I sat on a prediction before. So it came as a relief when Landon messaged to say he wished to discuss a matter with me in private. I didn’t believe in fate, and yet his request, nevertheless, felt fateful, as if the universe was taking my desire to hide the prediction out of my hands.

I didn’t believe in divine intervention either, although I was beginning to wish I could. I believed in predictions; I believed in myself and the truth of my own revelations. It was narcissistic, I admitted as much freely.

Predictives did not come along very often—less than one in a million, billion. There were subtle differences in our manifestation depending upon early childhood exposure. Mine happened to be people. It was one of the more useful ones, or so I had been told. Having never met another predictive, I had no point of reference.

Today, and not for the first time, I wished I could turn the ability off.

Such a burden did have its benefits, and I was sitting within one of those benefits now. No one expected me to get my hands dirty preparing a habitable base on the new colony. Not that this planet required breathable accommodation or even the most basic terraforming for crops and drinking water preparation. It had already been terraformed and boasted air quality not witnessed in many a millennium.

Still, all was not well in paradise, or at least it wouldn’t be for much longer.

I was confident I’d received all information pertinent to understanding. Together with Riley’s insights, those of the other technical experts, and interviews with a sample of the colonists that included all the major skill sets, I had reached several disturbing conclusions. Only some of which related to the unexpected activities on Coulter-416.

My door communicator bleeped signaling Landon’s arrival, and he entered at my behest.

I enjoyed looking at Landon. He was an attractive man in a refined sort of way, and he wasn’t bulky as so many military types, including my brother, were. I often wondered how Eric didn’t break things while going about everyday life.

The tattoo, the symbiotic organism Landon had picked up from the red dust on Ila had finally stopped expanding. The branching violet pattern that covered half his face and a good portion of his body was both beautiful and vivid in the artificial lighting of my room.

I found myself studying the tattoo with more interest than I should have. Landon had refused further study of it prior to the launch, stating that he was too busy. I’d read the paper written by the doctor who had briefly studied it on Ila before everything fell apart.

Variant. It was there in bold in the analysis paper. The organism that manifested the tattoo had formed this relationship with Landon because of his Variant biology. Victor, one of our key sponsors, had sent me a copy of said paper after having it liberated. No one else would get to read it. As far as I knew, even Landon had not read it.

The doctor in question had been granted a place on one of the later colonisation ships despite her being ancient because she was one of the few with knowledge in the field.

I understood that Victor was a collector of both people and things. Landon and I represented human variation Victor wanted very much to perpetuate in his colony.

“You’re staring at my tattoo,” Landon said, meeting my steady gaze. He had yet to take a seat.

“Do you know it picked you because you’re a Variant?”

He grimaced. “No, I didn’t. Is that a prediction?”

He didn’t dispute his Variant status. Then again, he hadn’t denied it back on Ila when I had first made the determination.

My lips tugged up. “No, the doctor who first examined you wrote a paper on it, which Victor subsequently had removed from general circulation. He promised the doctor an opportunity to study you if she kept quiet about it. She is on one of the later ships.”

“Well, that’s something for me to look forward to,” he said dryly, sinking into the plush seating opposite.

Excerpt Variant, © L.V. Lane

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