By: Viola Grace

Terran Times Second Wave

Chapter One

Lynni watched the nurse check her sister’s vitals, and she kept a pleasant expression on her face as her sis took the prodding without complaint.

If anyone had a right to complain, it was Ty, but she kept her head up and her spirits high. It was terrifying and inspiring at the same time.

When the check and sampling was complete, Lynni Nikkelson entered the room with her sterile scrubs and mask in place. It was time to let Ty know about what their genetics had exposed.

After the recruiter left, Lynni spoke softly to Ty. “Are you sure you want to do this?”

“Yes. One chance.” Ty gave her a thumbs-up again.

“Okay, but if they try to set us up with our Familiars, I will cause a fuss.”

“Clones, Ly. Don’t worry about it.”

With her sister’s eyes determined, Ly relaxed until the day the med techs came to transport them. Ty was put in a large cocoon filled with a supportive gel. Lynni did her best, but she could see Ty trying not to scream as they left Earth’s gravity.

“Almost there, sweetie. So, what do you think the Familiars will look like? I am betting that they are tiny and fluffy... like kittens with itty-bitty lab coats.”

Ty’s eyes were rolling with pain, but she chuckled. “I am going to hold onto that image for at least ten minutes.”

“Good. We should be at Lunar Base by then. I am sure that you will be delighted to be in that tank they are dropping you in.”

Ty coughed a laugh. “Sounds restful.”

“I think it will be. You and your fabulous body on display as you regrow some skin. I can hardly wait to mock you again. It has been difficult in your weakened condition.”

Ty displayed her middle finger though the viewing window in the pod, and Lynni felt a little better. Riling her sister up used to be a sport, now it was a matter of Ty’s survival.

Seeing her sister’s true face again nearly broke her heart, but the joy she felt overwhelmed her. Ty’s features were nearly clear of the marks of the acid attack when Lynni was taken aside by the medical administrator.

The male with the crab-like features was the first obvious alien that Lynni had met, and he sat her down for a chat.

“The Lrrko are arriving soon, and they wish you and the others with the Lrrko genome to be enhanced to reinforce the strength of your genetic traits.”

She frowned. “When?”

“The tanks are being readied, and the last of the Lrrko descendants are on their way. You will all begin treatment tomorrow.”

“If I refuse?”

He gave her a sound that passed for a chuckle. “You have signed away rights to your own genetics. We are allowed to do whatever will be necessary to fulfill the contract.”

Lynni had every intention of complying, but she wanted to know if she had any choices. Apparently, the answer was no.

“Fine. Can I wear a swimsuit?”

“No, the inserts will cover all that you need to worry about and provide you with nutrients.”

“I have to let Tyanni know.”

“Of course. Try not to alarm her. She is still recovering.”

“I know what to say and what not to say. So, the Lrrko are arriving tomorrow?”

“Yes, your Familiar will introduce himself once you are in the tank.”

“So, all the Familiars are male?”

“Nearly all, if not all, the Lrrko are male. They clone their own species and adjust the genetic templates enough to keep from having reproduction errors.”

“Printer glitches. Copy fade.”

“Precisely. You and yours are the key to breaking that cycle, and they are desperate for you to join them and contribute your genetic material for the restarting of their species.”

“Thanks. It is nice to know where we stand.”

“Every effort will be made to ensure your security and comfort.”

Lynni nodded and got to her feet. “I am sure it will be. As long as my sister has a full recovery, we are all good.”

“She will. Her alteration protocols have already begun.”

Lynni nodded. “Well, since she seems to be fine, I will say you are doing an excellent job. See you tomorrow.”

She left him alone and headed for her quarters. If she was going into the tank the following day, she was going to have to prepare herself. Time for a big dinner. They could pump her stomach when she was dropped in place.

A lady had to have her priorities after all.

Her last monologue with her sister rang in her mind as the leads were initiated under her skin.

Tyanni was better. That was all that mattered. She held onto the hands of the med techs as they lowered her into the tank and the body-temperature fluid closed around her.

Breathing the liquid was the hardest thing she had ever done. She braced her hands on the tank, and the techs held her head under when she would have shot upward for air.

The first breath caused panic, and she saw the monitors going wild. They continued to hold her under as she gasped again and again with heavy jerks of her jaw.

The world looked strange through the thick plexi of the tank and the liquid. Everything was larger and warped.

The doctor gave her a thumbs-up, and they started the therapy.

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