A Few Answers

Author’s Note: This is where she starts to understand more, and I do like this.

“Should I be worried that this sort of thing doesn’t even faze your people, or is that actually a good sign?” She asked as she reached the doorway to the office she’d been in earlier. No one on her way had given her so much as a raised eyebrow.

They also hadn’t offered to help.

“It is not uncommon,” the man at the desk said, rising to come over to her side. He took Vershon from her with ease, carrying him over and setting him on a long couch on the other side of his office. He took a blanket off the back of it and draped it over Vershon.

“It isn’t?”

“How did this happen?”

“I don’t know exactly. I was—we were arguing. Again. That’s all we seem to be able to do. I guess made him pretty mad, and he grabbed me, but… he didn’t actually do anything but yell at me again before he just sort of… fell over.”

“That is all?”

“Well… I did think I saw a green light of some kind. Is that his Talent?”

“If you had seen his Talent, you would not ask.” He looked back at her, and she wondered just how much trouble she was in now. Should she have run instead of coming back? She hadn’t been able to ignore her instincts as a doctor, but maybe she should have. She should have run, even with the restraint. She could have cut it out. She was pretty sure she’d survive it.

She met the man’s gaze head on. “I won’t apologize for being angry. This whole situation is intolerable, and I won’t pretend I think it is. I don’t care if they’re listening. What they’re doing is wrong.”

“You do not have to convince me of that. Nor was it necessary to argue it with him.”

“What, you heard all that?”

“No. It is simply obvious what you were discussing when this happened.”

Obvious. Yes, she wanted to kick herself for being stupid now. She’d said it wasn’t natural, but she’d assumed it was some weird byproduct of Vershon’s Talent or something, not what she should have known it was. After all, hadn’t she felt light-headed earlier when she started getting really mad? “They did that. They sedated him, didn’t they?”


“And they do that often?”

“He is unique.” The supervisor turned from her and crossed to where he kept his tea pot. “Uniquely gifted and uniquely feared.”

She knew that much already. She’d seen the kill restraint scar in his neck. “What do you mean? There are dozens of people with Talents, and his little light show didn’t do anything, so why are they so damned scared of him?”

“Both of his parents had Talents.”

She tensed, her eyes going to Vershon again. He’d practically been cursed, hadn’t he? There was almost no way he wasn’t going to end up with a Talent after both his parents carried one. He might even have both of their abilities. And yet at the same time, it was hard to believe. “That’s not actually possible. They test everyone for the markers as infants. They run checks every new school year. That’s how they found mine—it got flagged on a routine check when I was in college. Unless they were very young when they had him, they would have been found before that happened.”

“This was over twenty years ago. The testing was less refined, and not all factors for Talents were known then.”

That was true. Still, she’d never heard of anyone with two Talented parents. Maybe one, but most people with them seemed to be first generation, like her. “He inherited Talents from both of them?”

“No. His is different and more powerful than either of his parents.”

So Vershon really was dangerous. She supposed she could believe it, though it was still difficult for her to understand him herself. What he’d said about them not wanting him to have any real responsibility made sense now, and yet it didn’t. “If they’re that scared of him, why do they let him work at all?”

“You already know why.”

“Because the government maintains an illusion that it’s helping Talents and protecting the people if Talents are given specific jobs and monitoring instead of roaming free or being locked up for everyone’s safety.”


“Vershon toes their line, though. He was lecturing me about doing the same, so why sedate him?”

“He has a temper.”

She could believe that now, as much as she’d thought Vershon was devoid of emotions before. “So they flip that switch any time his readings get too high. They’re that afraid of him.”


Once again, she didn’t understand how Vershon could take this, how he could stomach it and pretend even a little to go along with it. True, he’d said it was that or death, but he acted like he didn’t care at all.

“They have him sedated constantly? They’ve always got him on something?”

“Supposedly it is simply a mood stabilizer that is intended to keep him calm.”

“This is so wrong.”

“This is life as a Talent.”

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