Author’s Note: So here’s a possibly funny story for today… I thought I was in a terrible mood to write fluff (and I was, I really was,) and since I’d somehow convinced myself that I needed a Tuesday Truffle (something sweet) piece, I asked for help finding one. Liana Mir generously prompted me with something to tie in to the collaboration, and I managed to write fluff.
Then I opened up this window, got set to post it, and realized today was Monday. Monday is Monday Mayhem/Mystery. I had the wrong piece. So that is something to look forward to tomorrow, I guess.
Today, I will take a snippet from my latest work, a science fiction mystery. I kept wanting to give the full scene, but it’s quite a bit longer than a “snippet.”
“Cullings were outlawed over a century ago.”
The words were hissed with reptilian displeasure, Chuitanya’s nostrils flaring and scales rippling as she spoke. She bared her claws, standing to her full height as she exchanged a look with her mate. Pellton turned away, not wanting to watch the two of them deal with her emotions the only way the Chular knew how. He was trying to work a case here, not get caught up in angry politics again. He wanted no part of that. He just wanted to do his job and get home to his own mate.
Days like this, he regretted agreeing to join the newly fledged Integrated Division, but he’d been around long enough to know that if change was ever going to happen on this planet, it had to be with both parties working together, regardless of past atrocities and broken treaties. This new investigative force needed to succeed, or they’d end up backsliding back to a century ago and the warfare that had led to this unpleasant situation in the first place.
So he pretended he wasn’t bothered by the Chular, and the Chular pretended that he was more than a living computer, and it almost worked.
“That doesn’t change what I’m getting from this,” Pellton said, rubbing his fingers together as his body processed and cataloged the genetics he’d found at the scene of the crime. Their thief was a man in his late forties with light hair and eyes, without gifts or shackles. “This guy was pure human, no alterations or modifications, which we all know is impossible.”
“Impossible because the Chular say they stopped, not because that is true.”
That made all of them wince—even if Chular winced in a way that didn’t look much like it to humans. Coming from their youngest member, it was a harsh critique, should have made both of the aliens angry, but no one could argue with the proof standing right next to them. Zenith was not yet thirty, yet he carried the bitterness of a man three times his age, the dangerously unhappy product of an illegal culling that ripped him away from his entire family and trapped him here.
“If someone has started culling again, we’re going to find them and stop it,” Pellton told the other man, touching his arm.