"Sometimes it’s harder to kill than pod might think. I crouch in the dark, stare into the manimal’s shining eyes. It blinks right at me. It shakes in fear. Its thrumping furred chest quickens my own pulse. It licks its full lips and I feel the send. Or do I? It’s not Loo and it’s blaaty not me. The thing wave-sends a sonic roll of pure emo: terror, disbelief, and a wee glimmer of hope. That’s when I like completely lose it. I drop my crossbow and the filthy, stinking thing scampers into the darkest corner of the cave."
Big Big Sky
2008, Red Deer Press
Rustle is a young Scout in an elite, tight-knit Warrior group of five female mutants. They’ve been modified and trained to be ruthless, obedient Assassins —though for what exact purpose they couldn’t tell you. Now the group is falling apart. Roku mysteriously disappears. Rustle has failed to prove her killing skills in a crucial test of courage and is hiding a terrible secret from the others. Loo, a blood thirsty Hunter who is always ready for action, is Rustle’s private yen. Solomon, the Healer of their unit, is a steady hand, but not even her powers can save them. Not when Shona, the Leader, is a pawn for the autocratic powers that be. Not when they discover they’re breaking the original commandment: until she may Decline, Deform, Disobey.
So when their unit is transported to Living Lab on an extermination order, they know it’s time to make a run for it, or else be permanently Deplugged. It takes tremendous wit and energy, but eventually they escape to the outside of the great mountain where they’ve been raised —and here, for the first time, they behold the big, big sky of the real world. In this totally unfamiliar environment, they must learn to survive, and Rustle must face the reality of her true identity and the consequences of her love for Loo.
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