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Science Fiction
(Fic)


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Apparent Power: Book One of the DiaZem Series
by Dacia Arnold

A dormant gene awakens... And so does a rising world government. Valerie Russell is the key. Does she save her husband and son? Or humanity?



Chapter One

The electricity flew from her fingers to the shower door handle. Valerie Russell yanked her hand back. The shock had not hurt, but the burst of light caught her off guard. She reached again, slowly. This time, nothing happened, and she stepped into the shower. The w...





Chapter Two

The vehicle shook violently. A faint whistle, like a hot tea kettle on a stove, grew louder with each passing second. Valerie opened her eyes just as a plane glided low over the street and crashed into a field she knew was just out of sight. She felt the impact in h...





Chapter Three

Valerie screamed so loud she thought her throat would bleed. She had no time to process what had happened, had no way of knowing if her husband and son were even alive, and no way to get back to them. She collapsed onto the asphalt and sat there. Mulling over multip...





Chapter Four

Judging by the distance traveled, Valerie had walked an hour. The weight she bore was awkward with the large rucksack on her back, and the smaller, yet substantial medical bag on her front. The AR-15 sat atop the larger bag, strapped down and secure.

She trek...





Chapter Five

“You know, Mike brags about you more than your brother,” Jack sighed. “I’ve known your pops for a long time. We served together at a training center in Louisiana in the late nineties. He saved my butt a few times. I owe him one.”





Chapter Six

Valerie looked down the hallway past Max’s foyer at the light fixtures, searching for an indication of Max’s genetic standing. Though no lights were on, it was still midday and plenty of natural lighting shown through the many windows. She had at least m...





Chapter Seven

Valerie wanted answers. She cuffed the pants Hyka had provided, put her shoes on, and looked in the mirror to adjust her tank top, careful to maintain her modesty despite the lack of undergarments. She walked down the hall to Jack’s room. The door was open, bu...





Chapter Eight

“Everyone find a seat and listen up.” The thick Southern accent came from somewhere in the pitch black of the room. She heard others shuffle around her and waited for her eyes to adjust before following the instruction.

“Curse it, does anyone...





Chapter Nine

Wringing her hands, Valerie sat in front of the large cherry wood desk across from Max. Certificates and plaques hung along the walls next to photos like the one in Jack’s room. She was not impressed with the display of coins, ribbons, and badges he had earned...





Chapter Ten

The crisp evening air gave instant relief from the stuffy confines of Max’s fortress. Valerie kept silent pace with Major as she had been instructed to earlier in the day during battle drills. Hyka stayed a moderate distance behind them with Jack at a similar ...





Chapter Eleven

The RV lurched forward. The rocking of the vehicle knocked Valerie into Jack. He caught himself and pulled her up to her feet, searching her eyes to make sure he had heard her correctly. He had.

“What do you mean?” Jack demanded, his grip tightene...





Chapter Twelve

“I don’t play their high-techy games,” Staff Sergeant Stephenson said, waving the barrel of the black 9mm in Valerie’s face.

O’Connell came barreling out of the command tent. He gave a visible sigh of relief when he saw Valerie w...





Chapter Thirteen

Despite her elaborate show of power, Major lay lifeless under Valerie’s hands. She searched his eyes, hoping he would return. She needed him. She needed him to tell her what to do next. She needed him to be her father’s voice of reason in his absence. Hi...





Chapter Fourteen

Valerie held Scott’s arm and rested her head on his shoulder in the back of the package truck. He stroked her hair with his free hand. She was almost complete. Having her husband by her side made the entire journey seem trivial. She was minutes from reuniting ...





Chapter Fifteen

They provided Valerie a chair next to the grave intended for her husband. She sat in silence in a black dress that Hyka had procured from one of the resort’s stores. She had also brought Valerie a pair of sunglasses, though the clouds overhead were still thick...





Chapter Sixteen

The raw, empty hole of her husband’s passing ripped itself open and threatened to swallow her again. She felt stupid for not having put the pieces together herself. All the signs were there. She had brushed off her morning sickness and fainting as anxiety over...





Chapter Seventeen

Valerie pulled the heavy blanket to her chin, savoring the comfort. Caleb rustled next to her, and she pulled him into her arms, nestling him against her. She smelled his hair and looked around the dark room. She had no idea where she was but accepted the illusion o...





Chapter Eighteen

“I have to get back to Caleb.” Valerie pushed out of her tall chair and walked to the elevator. Lucas was far enough away she could get back to her room and give everyone a fair warning, maybe even tell them of her pregnancy before he did.

“...





Chapter Nineteen

Valerie remembered the control room from her surveillance search for August. She scanned the cameras for Caleb. He was still fast asleep, and Kevin sat in the chair with his eyes closed. She let out a sigh of relief. On another screen, Jack and her father boarded a ...





Chapter Twenty

The train approached Terminal B, where Rob had told Hyka they could find women’s clothing. As they crested the top of the stairs, a lingerie store awaited them.

“Tell me this is not what he meant by ‘women’s clothing,’” Val...





Chapter Twenty-One

“Madam, is Your Majesty willing to take the Oath?” Lucas Jarrett asked, holding a large heavy book. He wore a simple but formal black suit and a black bow tie.

“I am willing,” Valerie answered.

Lucas handed the book to her befor...





Chapter Twenty-Two

 

Valerie washed the blood from her arms and rid herself of the excessive makeup deemed necessary for the coronation ceremony. She had no tears left. No anger racked her nerves. Even her grief washed away, staining the white-tiled shower stall. For a long time, she let the water just r...






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