From Suffocation (Novel 1)
Sofita Kul and young Fuzo Dox left Holy Cross and Port Yukon behind, and now await word from a new lead before they can move on in the mission.
“Permission to speak freely, Komad?” Dox said.
Sofita moved closer, “I’ve been waiting for you to do just that.”
“Why did someone as important as CR Banto leave the mainland?”
“You were hacking into her system. Banto’s a very private citizen.”
“Why were we hacking into her system?”
Sofita sat in the seat beside her.
“CR Banto served as a Citizenry liaison advocate at Nazca Base, until her heritage forced her back to Vanda.”
“—heritage?” Dox was becoming agitated.
“She’s the donation of Committee Member the Third, Tee Banto.” Sofita said. “She’s duty bound to serve in the Cloister. It’s a prerequisite to ascension.”
“Someday, she will ascend to the Tenth Gen Committee.”
Dox turned to her, “I thought…”
“When the Primary’s gen-heir died, the Tenth were nullified?”
Dox looked away, “Someone at Nazca had an incident, and contacted her about it because…”
“—CR Banto’s good at preserving peer relationships,” said Sofita. “Her influence is substantial enough that said associations endure.” There was obviously more to Dox’s discomfort. Sofita added, “—and that’s why, Donmat, we invaded her privacy.”
“If I’d known what I was doing,” said Dox. “I wouldn’t have done it.”
“You were under orders,” Sofita got comfortable in the chair.
“Orders I find objectionable.” Dox said.
“What is it with you Pure-gens, and hyper-rectitude?” Sofita said.
Dox gave a start, “What’s a helovx girxhole have to do with it?”
“Rectitude is integrity, honor,” said Sofita, smiling.
“Honor’s important, Komad.” Dox said, without a hint of embarrassment. “It’s what separates us from the helovx.”
“I don’t want to make light of your convictions,” Sofita said with a grin, “but only six chromosomes separate us from the helovx, and their rectums.”
“We can’t breed with them, Komad,” the Donmat was doing her best to remain respectful, “—so it’s more than just a few chromosomes.”
“You’re right—we female Citizens can’t breed with them.”
“We female Citizens? That’s such an old mindset! What is it with you Silent Gen, and living in the past?” Dox stopped talking then, and closed her eyes. “Forgive my disrespect, Komad. My generation has no males, since they’re obsolete, they aren’t considered in the everyday vernacular.”
“Did you just say vernacular? Those are mighty complicated words for a bruiser that doesn’t know a human’s ass from her honor.” Sofita got serious, “Life is moribund with each passing moment, Donmat, making your manifestation of prevalence, obsolete.”
Dox added nothing to this.
“Yet if you wish to pick the ice flecks, my Gen does have males, as does the Gen before it, and as did the Gen before that.” Sofita said, “You tend to forget this, Donmat, peculiar, considering that this division specializes in matters connected to those particulars.”
“I didn’t know this division existed,” Dox deliberately concentrated on the console at her fingertips. “—but I knew the Sorority of Defense required the best…”
“You wanted SOD, but not the Femitokon Division?”
“What I wanted no longer matters, Komad.” Dox spoke quietly. “Staying on topic, I was unaware our males could breed with helovx women.”
“Donmat, look at me,” Sofita said, and when she did Sofita became lost in the past. Young Dox looked so much like Orestes. Eppis was right in that it hurt Sofita to see it. “Zhang was sired by Carl Crystal.”
“—wait the cult leader, from the California’s?” Dox said.
“No, Caro Cristi, the male farc from Ramaxia,” Softly replied. “He was surgically altered to hide his nature.”
“The NAU’s had him jail for a long time.” Dox said, “How have they not figured out what he is?”
“Nauist convicts get no medical care. They get a room with no view, and are only fed once a day.” Sofita sensed the Donmat was more annoyed than intrigued, “When he was free, he had children with helovx women. One of them was Pym Zhang, our devoured geneticist.”
“That’s why we considered repatriation…” Dox said.
Sofita gave a nod, “Nauists don’t know they have a farc, and the Committee didn’t want them learning about it from Zhang.”
Dox looked her in the eye.
“Komad, I don’t like the word farc. It’s a slur.”
“Yes, it is,” Sofita took great care not to grin at the Donmat’s conventional nature. “I won’t say it again.”
“Thank you, Komad.” Dox wasn’t finished with her yet. She turned back around then, and faced Sofita. “I also don’t like it when you fraternize with helovx males. You failed to report engaging in sexual intercourse with the suspect, but chose to relay details of this action to me, when you briefed me on your suspicions of him, in your plan to terminate him.”
“I wanted to be open with you,” Sofita said.
“I’d like you remain open with me, Komad,” Dox said. “—but if you’re going to engage in future helovx-violations, I don’t want to know about it.”
Sofita stared at her, until the Donmat shook her head in anger.
“You’re laughing at me,” Dox snapped.
Sofita sat up, “I’m not amused in any way.”
“I can see it in your eyes,” Dox declared.
A knock on Ornith’s hull diverted the tension.