Lost Earth (Yang Side) Excerpt (New)

Vicissitude

1. A change of circumstances or fortune, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant.

~~~

“At the center of your being you have the answer; 

you know who you are and what you want.” 

—Lao Tzu

~~~

Polarity Cloning Module Initialized. Please select the desired operation.

>>>Polarity Gene Splicer

Please select the subject who will be modified…

>>>Vermilion Bird (Mura Masah)… Is this correct?

>>>Yes

Searching for subject… Please do not turn off the power.

Match found. Please select the gene(s) to be used…

>>>Radiance

>>>Akuma 616 (controllable)

Syncing to subject Mura Masah. Please do not turn off the power.

Would you like to perform another splicing at this time?

>>>Yes

Please select the desired subject who will be modified….

>>>Vermilion Bird (Masah Mune)… Is this correct?

>>>Yes

Match found. Please select the gene(s) to be used…

>>>Radiance

>>>Akuma 666 (uncontrollable)

WARNING! Gene(s): Akuma 666 (uncontrollable) is unstable! Would you still like to continue?

>>>Yes

WARNING! Inserting gene(s) Akuma 666 (uncontrollable) may result in high-risk side effects. Would you still like to continue?

>>>Yes

Syncing to subject Masah Mune. Please do not turn off the power…

ERROR! Gene(s): Akuma 666 (uncontrollable) is in conflict with gene(s): Radiance. Gene(s) Akuma 666 may not express. Continue anyway?

>>>Yes

Would you like to perform another splicing at this time?

>>>No

“Did it work, Heaven?”

Face bathed blue from the computer’s light, a mocha-skinned woman turns her head, blinking fatigued green eyes. “Mura Masah synced just fine. But the second one gave me an error. The Akuma 666 is still causing the problem, Megumi.”

A four-foot-ten young woman zips a fat green calculus book and study guides into her backpack, then comes up behind Heaven and squints at the screen. “Even with my donated genes, it still won’t go through?”

Heaven rubs her temple. “It goes through, but it said the Akuma 666 gene might not express. The Radiance gene keeps canceling out the Akuma.” She gets up. “Are you still willing to keep them for a little bit?”

Megumi’s amber eyes brighten. “Of course. I love keeping birds.” She pivots around to the table, picks up a red hooded cloak, and slings it over her shoulder. “Let me just check with everyone at home first, but I’m sure they wouldn’t mind.”

Heaven tilts her head at the cloak. “What’s that for?”

Megumi points to her cloak. “This? Oh, just a little something I made for an anime expo coming up. It’s from a show called The Red Hood. Heard of it?”

Heaven has not. “I don’t watch much tv.”

“Ah, well it’s a pretty popular show. A nice one to get into if you have the time,” Megumi says. Then she gives an over-the-top theatrical sigh. “But exams…”

Heaven chuckles. “Tomorrow. Did you study?”

Megumi’s face puckers. “Bleh. I did, but Calc is the devil. I’m going to study some more.”

Heaven swipes her keys from off the desk. “I’ll drop you off. Can you check to make sure the other computers are off for me?”

“Sure thing.”

Heaven turns around to face her own monitor.

An unknown error has occurred in creating Vermilion Bird (Masah Mune) Polarity tracking may not be possible. Would you like to continue?

Heaven’s eyebrows knit together.

>>>Yes

“You’re still doing the initiation thing, right?” Megumi calls.

“Hmm? Oh yeah, yeah. Just let me look at…” Heaven’s voice trails. Her gaze slides back to the computer. “Something.”

Would you like to print an error log?

>>>Yes

The inkjet beside her monitor whirrs to life, spitting five pages into its output tray. Heaven thumbs through them and shuffles them back into order. She’ll look when she gets home.

“All done, Heaven,” Megumi chirps.

“Alright.” Heaven puts the papers into her alpaca tote bag. She glances at the computer one last time.

A new message window covers the screen.

Creating Mura Masah and Masah Mune… Please don’t turn off the power. Estimated time to create Mura Masah: 01:58:29. Estimated time to create Masah Mune: 03:27:54.

Please don’t turn off the power…

Faraway, a mother sweeps autumn’s first leaves beneath the clay-tiled portico of her suburb home with shaking hands. Brown eyes glance up at the hedge-flanked moon gate.

A sleek black convertible hums to the driveway. Its owner steps out: a mousy woman wrapped in a beige coypu coat, but she carries herself with the proud air of a lioness: head high, strides confident, aviator sunglasses mimicking the quiet authority of an officer.

The mother’s grip on her broom slackens and her face bleaches of color. She opens the door and the two go inside without greeting or preamble. The mother sets her broom in the crook of an empty corner. She wrings her pallid hands. “Did something else happen, Mai?”

Mai moves to the coffee table, as if to sit but she doesn’t. Instead, she lifts her rounded sunglasses to the top of her head, studies the pictures on the walls of the mother and her daughter: pale wisp of a woman holding close her tan-skinned toddler. Mai’s lips thin down to a minnow-sliver. “Is she here?”

“No, she is still in school with her brother.”

Mai folds her arms.

Hikari watches, shaking still. The silence is so much that she can’t stand it. Her bones are like a child’s play putty, and her skin feels more brittle than glass. “Mai, if it’s bad news, just say it.”

Mai looks away. “Well, how soon can you pack?”

Hikari’s hands tremble. “Pack? Again?”

Mai touches the back of her neck, looking down at her beige pumps. “I can’t guarantee your safety here.”

Hikari presses a fist to her mouth. “But where will we go? Mai it’s so expensive in this country, I can’t keep affording to—”

“I know, I know. I’m working on a place in Tai Tai prefecture for you guys, it costs about the same as here so you don’t need to worry too much. I—” Mai rubs her temple with a hand. “Is there anyone that Jun can stay with? At least for the time being?”

Hikari’s bleary gaze looks to the house phone. “There’s my sister Tammy, but…” A quaver cracks her voice. She bites back the swelling ache at the back of her throat. “I don’t know if she’ll agree.”

The shorter woman clenches her jaw. “Even if it’s a matter of life and death for you and your children?” She paces. “She’s not in the chi system yet. And I suspect that’s how you’re being tracked. They can track you across the country, but not the kids.” Mai stops, leaning against the dining room table. “At this point it’s our best bet. Maybe our only bet.”

“What about Kyo?” Hikari asks, holding herself. “He’s got nothing to do with this.”

Mai runs a hand through her brown tresses. “I know you want to keep everyone together, but it might be best to split the kids.” She rubs her shoulder. “They’re not looking for Kyo, but I’d rather not invite any problems. Jun would be kept alive for sure, but I can’t promise they’ll keep Kyo.”

Hikari’s head falls into her hands. “Oh great gods…” She stifles a sob then picks her head up. “What about you? Aren’t they looking for you too?”

Mai shakes her head. “More likely they’d just try to kill me. Jun is the more desirable target.”

Hikari’s eyes fill with water. She can’t say anymore.

Mai comes to her side. “I know, I know. But I promise, I’ll keep Jun safe.” She gives Hikari’s shoulder a reassuring squeeze. “No matter what it takes.”


If you’d like to read more please check out the rest of the book here.

If you’re a music lover, please have a look at the official soundtrack for the novel!

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