In a world where enhanced animals have altered the ecology beyond repair, the great protective enclaves are beginning to be built, but there will be no refuge there for altered humans, nor for normal humans trying to protect their enhanced pets. A woman with feline genes, bred for sex slavery. A man who kills to protect his pet. Two truckers who don t care about laws designed for the cities. All are on the run across a surreal landscape where their odyssey takes them into the dangerous wilds, along roads and highways rapidly becoming impassable, and into cities where they have to live as outlaws. There is a chance for them to find a normal life if they can survive long enough to be accepted as immigrants to the moon. But only two of them can go, and only if they aren t caught first. Altered Humans is a novel set in the days before the pet plague reaches its peak, where society is in flux, where survival is for the strong, but where goodness and generosity can still be found-if you don t die first.
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Double Dragon Publishing
April 06, 2006
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Excerpt from Altered Humans by Darrell Bain
"Is that all you can find for him to watch " Gary Daniels asked as the front door automatically closed behind him. He eyed the wall holo disgustedly. A life sized image of a conservatively dressed evangelist was striding back and forth, easily covering half the room. With his neat powder blue suit and silver white hair he should have looked distinguished. He didn't. His dark, piercing eyes burned with fanaticism and he waved his arms around like a yeoman on the deck of a ship semaphoring a message to another ship. Gary didn't even have to listen to know what the evangelist was preaching about. Enhanced animals and altered humans seemed to be the only subjects worthy of concern these days.
Gary's wife turned away from the holographic scene playing out against the backdrop of a blank wall. "You should be watching it yourself, she said. Amelia Daniels was pretty. She wore her black hair in waves to her shoulders, matching the smartly tailored black jumpsuit she was wearing. She had a patrician face and a fine body, but her expression was sharp, almost feral. It distracted the eye and made one feel uncomfortable in her presence. Gary had always distained highly opinionated people, but by damn, here he was married to one. Somehow he didn't remember her being like that until recently.
"You know I can't stand those Bible-thumpers," he said.
"My father is a Bible-thumper, as you put it," Amelia said. Her eyes narrowed and her body tensed like a bird dog at point, ready to jump all over the next thing he said.
Amelia relaxed slightly. "You should listen to my father. He could get you into another profession. You'd be better off and you know it. Genetic engineers aren't very popular right now."
Gary knew it and didn't feel like commenting. He came on into the den of their home and began making a drink under Amelia's disapproving eye.
"I still have a job," he said. "Besides, genetics is all I know. What else could I do "