QSFer Chloe Spencer has a new bi/lesbian sci fi/paranormal/fantasy book out: “Duality.”
A dead-end job, a slob for a boyfriend, and neglectful friends: this is Kat Wallace’s life. Ever since her best friend got married, Kat has been struggling to find happiness.
All that changes when she meets Melody Adebayo, a field agent with the mysterious transdimensional company Clockwork & Associates. Melody’s job is to send the consciousness of others to a scarier dimension in order to make them kinder and more grateful for their lives, which, in theory, will influence them to do good.
But when Kat is sent to B-215, she awakes in a world beyond her wildest dreams. She’s wealthy, well-liked, and has a successful career. Kat realizes she doesn’t need to find happiness in her own world … she can just steal it from her other self.
Because of a certain (ahem) incident, Melody owes a lot of money to her evil ex-girlfriend, and Kat works out a deal with her in order to keep visiting B-215. With each visit, a sinister plot unfolds. Kat discovers her life is at risk, and she isn’t alone in this dimension.
To eliminate the threat, she must team up with Melody, but can the two uncover the truth before Kat loses her life? More important, will they be able to move on from the mistakes they made in the past and find love with each other?
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Kat laid down across the surface of her bed and watched as Melody hooked her up to the LyfeModulator. Melody was trying to be helpful, explaining each instrument she attached to her body and what it did, but to Kat, it all sounded like nonsensical jargon. She could feel her heartbeat quickening, excited to return to a world much wonderful than her own. She wondered if she would be able to attend the meeting with BigScoop, but she didn’t know exactly how much time had passed in that dimension. She also wondered if her other self, which had been suppressed during her last visit, understood what was going on in any way.
“I’m sorry, do you mind if I …?” Melody nervously pointed to Kat’s stomach. She was pinching the FoodDepositer in her hands. “I have to apply this carefully.”
“Or you’ll pull out my organs through the pores in my skin?” Kat smirked.
“Not that extreme, but it could make you bleed.” Melody sat down next to her on the bed and patiently waited.
Kat reached down and rolled up her shirt, exposing her round, soft stomach. “Like this?”
“Yes. Now just hold still,” Melody gently pressed the patch into Kat’s skin.
Kat winced. “That feels weird.”
“Are you in pain? Please tell me if you are. You shouldn’t be in pain.”
“No … it’s like when your foot falls asleep. Like that feeling is in my stomach. It’s all tingly and numb.”
“There are hundreds of microneedles on this one patch. Perhaps that’s what you’re feeling?”
“This shit has needles?” Kat laughed, then gulped. “I wish you hadn’t told me that.”
“You’re not afraid of needles, are you?” Melody rolled her eyes. “You’re an adult.”
“I’m not afraid of needles, but when you say ‘hundreds of microneedles,’ that sounds a bit freaky.”
“I assure you that you’ll be fine.” Melody adjusted the LyfeModulator’s cone around Kat’s head.
She glanced down, and refrained from smiling. The way that Kat’s brown hair fell against the pillow, it almost resembled a halo. Melody cursed herself. Kat was friendly, but she wasn’t her friend. She was her client, not to mention her key to getting out of her situation with Xadia. There was no time to be infatuated with her wavy locks, or her emerald green eyes, or the faint freckles across her cheeks … Melody was here to perform a job: nothing more, nothing less.
“This takes a lot of time to set up, huh?” Kat murmured.
“There are a lot of things that we have to do to ensure your safety. Make sure that we don’t delete or totally transfer your consciousness to the different dimension.”
“What is the dimension that I’m visiting? Do you know?”
Melody checked the screen on the LyfeModulator. “It’s numbered in my system as B-215.”
“B-215? What’s ours?”
“The one that you and I are in? C-024.”
“How can you possibly know that?” Kat laughed incredulously. “Is there someone who just goes around numbering all of these different dimensions?”
“To my understanding, the system does it for us. Each one that’s discovered is added to a database.” Melody checked the clock. “Okay, we need to get started. Are you ready?”
“Yes,” Kat said, closing her eyes. “I’m ready.”
Melody nodded and then went over to the LyfeModulator. She pressed a series of buttons, triggering the release of melatonin and sedatives into Kat’s bloodstream. Almost instantaneously, Kat fell asleep. Melody then began the process of transferring Kat’s consciousness and subduing her other. After mashing a series of buttons, she successfully completed the transfer. She looked at Kat, sleeping so soundly, her face pale. She came over and sat on the edge of the bed, and manually checked her pulse. Her heart was beating, alive, and all too real for Melody to handle.
Chloe Spencer is a journalist, award winning indie dev, and author. She is also the creator of five different webcomics, all underneath the Cross X Comix collective on Tapas. When not writing, you can probably find her playing indie games on her YouTube channel. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Film and Television at the Savannah College of Art and Design. In her spare time she enjoys playing video games, hiking, and coming up with nicknames for her cat.