QSFer K. Aten has a new FF sci-fi romance out(bi, pan): The Last Scion of Ra.
Eighteen years after the Chromodec Uprising of 2020, the world is a very different place. Kaelen Ra-Evon lands on Earth, a planet where aliens exist and refugees are fast-tracked to citizenship in many countries. Her tale encompasses the age-old notions of loss, love, and found family. Kaelen tries to navigate her new life on Earth, as well as a romance with genius CEO, Lea Lockheed-Tuck, all while honoring her family’s legacy as the last of her house.
She’s wary of the Chromodec Office of Restraint and Protection, a US agency tasked with policing people of power regardless of their race or planet of origin. In an attempt to protect the woman she loves, Kaelen becomes a vigilante: Scion. She won’t let laws or the CORP stop her from doing what’s right.
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Three days later, Leah, Ellie, and Einstein were in Leah’s office, waiting for one Kaelen Ra-Evon. Ellie and Einstein used the time to inform Leah of the latest findings on the nanotech project. Jenna’s voice over the intercom interrupted their conversation. “Ms. Lockheed, Joe said your interviewee is ready for you in conference room six.”
They made their way down the long hallway of L-Tech’s executive level. Conference room six was the smallest room but still had enough space for the four of them. Leah was first to go through the door but stopped as soon as she met Kaelen Ra-Evon’s pale, blue-eyed gaze. It was like being struck by lightning, without all the pain. The moment felt heavy, important somehow, and she struggled to make her brain work.
Objectively, it appeared as though Kaelen suffered in the same way as her mouth dropped open. Suddenly she cocked her head as if she were listening to someone. She abruptly stood and approached Leah and she held out her hand. “Hello. I am Kaelen Ra-Evon, citizen of Canada, refugee from Argon, and resident of Twenty-four East Lane Street, Los Angeles of California, United States of America. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to interview for this work assignment.”
Leah shook her hand gamely and snapped out of her daze when she heard a throat clear behind her. She gestured for Kaelen to return to her seat, then quickly moved to the opposite side of the table where one of the office chairs had been moved away. Ellie entered next, followed by Einstein. Kaelen stood again and leaned across the table so she could carefully shake both their hands.
Ellie smiled. “Please, you don’t have to be so formal with us. We like to have a normal conversation in these types of interviews because you’ll be working closely with the people in this room if you’re chosen for the job. Be yourself.”
Kaelen nodded, but her brows furrowed indicating confusion about Ellie’s reassuring words.
Einstein gave Kaelen a calculating look. “You are Argonian?”
“Yes. May I appear in my natural clothing?”
Kaelen smiled with excitement and caressed her collar. Leah was surprised to see what looked like normal Earth clothing shift into that of a sleek black jumpsuit with a gleaming symbol on the front that resembled a stylized S. Kaelen answered Einstein. “You’re familiar with Argon?”
He nodded. “I visited a planet near yours long ago. I was not more than a child at the time.”
“Are you an alien refugee too?”
Einstein pressed a button on his belt and an iridescent skinned, purple-haired man sat in the chair, instead of one that looked like a typical Earthling. “I am from Donboth but wear a hologram inducer to make people more comfortable around me.”
“Oh. The Thinker’s Guild had a lot of respect for Donbothian’s, though I don’t believe they were allowed near our planet.”
He frowned. “For good reason. You are a long way from home, Kaelen Ra-Evon.”
She looked down to where her hands gripped each other on the top of the table. “Argon is no more so Earth is my home now.”
It was rare for Einstein to show any emotion, other than around his girlfriend. Even so, he gasped at the level of tragedy involved with losing an entire planet. “Are there any others?” Leah assumed he meant others that escaped.
“It was rather sudden. As far as I know there was only myself and my younger cousin, though I have yet to find him. Perhaps he never arrived at all. I’ve only been here a little more than a month so have not given up hope. Kymeth sal ne Ra.”
Leah leaned forward slightly. “I don’t understand.” Those piercing blue eyes met her own and Leah felt short of breath.
“The creed of my House. With intellect we overcome.”
It was apparent that Einstein had a lot of knowledge of Kaelen’s people, so Leah let him continue to probe for her background with questions that they wouldn’t know to ask or understand. He pointed at the glowing symbol on her chest. “That is the meaning behind your family crest, correct?”
Kaelen’s eyes widened with something that looked like excitement. “You are familiar with Dolem-Ra?”
Leah interrupted. “What is that, doh-lem rah?”
“That is my family.” Kaelen paused and tilted her head, as if she were searching for the right words.
Einstein answered for her. “Ra is her house name. The phrase ‘dolem Ra’ roughly translates to ‘house of Ra’ but there is no exact match in human culture for all that entails.” He looked back at Kaelen. “I have some knowledge of your house. They are mostly Thinkers, which I’m assuming you are as well.”
Kaelen smiled. “I was the youngest to ever be inducted into the Thinker’s Guild. Unfortunately, I was forced to leave my home not long after. I learned about Terra—Earth during the ten-year long sleep that spanned the course of my journey.”
Leah interrupted by raising her hand. “Hold on, there is a lot to unpack here.”
Kaelen’s brows furrowed. “On the contrary, there was nothing to unpack as I arrived with a minimal of material goods.”
“No, I mean—”
Einstein explained. “What Leah is trying to say is that you’ve given us a lot of information, data that two beings of Earth would have some trouble coming to terms with since they are unfamiliar with extended distance space travel or hypnopedia learning.” He addressed Leah and Ellie. “That is a mostly Argonian practice involving images and education sent directly to the cerebrum using a nano-aided bio-organic connection within their ships.”
Leah’s curiosity clawed its way up her spine, and she gave Einstein a hungry smile. “I trust that you’ll explain to me in depth later.” She turned back to Kaelen. “Sorry for interrupting. My thirst for knowledge exceeds my good manners most days.”
“The person that lacks a thirst for knowledge is cursed to wither from intellectual drought.”
Award winning author and Michigan native, Kelly Aten brings extraordinary heroines to life in a variety of blended LGBTQ fiction genres, specializing in speculative fiction.