Authors: Viola Grace
Tags: #Viola Grace,Bound By Law,sci fi, romance
Table of Contents
Physical talents are illegal on Resicor, they fear an uprising and so lock their active talents away.
Col knows her talent for flight can get her arrested and if she dares to show it in public, her life will end in the dome.
A robbery at a museum ends up with her being thrown off a roof and it is fly for her life or die a free woman. She negotiates with herself swiftly and decides that freedom might be possible if she can live to see it.
Ysyr is on retrieval duty when he meets his first Resicor and she knocks him and his instincts on their backsides. Life with this woman might be awkward, but being without her is intolerable from the moment she put her trusting hand in his.
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Bound By Law
Copyright © 2012 Viola Grace
Cover art by Martine Jardin
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.
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Bound By Law
Tales of the Citadel 6
Colah backed slowly away from the man with the gun. She had been at the museum of Resicor history with her sister and niece. The exhibit of ancient treasures was on display for the first time in four decades and the jewels had drawn admirers and coveters. The heist had begun just after Colah and her family had made it to the fourth-century exhibit.
“Keep backing up, bitch. The guard will take us seriously, or you will die.” The man jerked the gun and the sweat on his face was enough to make her nervous even if being on the edge of a hundred-foot drop had not been enough to do the job.
Colah kept her gaze calm and on her family. They would not see her scream or sob for her life. It would only irritate the thieves and humiliate her.
Her hands remained up and she stood with her heels over the edge of the drop. “I am as far back as I can go.”
He looked at her feet and then her face. “You are awfully calm for someone facing death.”
“I would rather face it with calm than with shrieking panic. This is how I would like to be remembered.” She kept her voice low and controlled.
The airborne vehicles were getting closer and to Colah’s dismay, they were not the transports that the thieves had requested. Gun ships were on the way and this was not going to go down easy.
Colah didn’t know who was manning the gun, but they deserved a medal. The men guarding the hostages were sliced in two with precision gunfire. As the gunship turned to fire at the final man standing, he lunged for her, with his weapon extended.
He fired just as the gunship came around and he separated into two shocked pieces.
Colah shouted when the icy burn of the bullet ran through her left shoulder and knocked her off her tenuous perch.
She heard screams from Cabbili and Makki but was unable to concentrate on anything other than saving her own life.
Making a choice between life and freedom in a hundred feet was no contest. If she had her life, she could pursue freedom later.
With the propulsion of muscle and mind, she changed her trajectory and lifted her body into the air in a graceful arc. She returned to the rooftop where her sister and niece were clutching each other, sobbing together.
“Cabbi, I am so sorry. They will come for me right away, but know that I love you both and always will. Makki, do your homework and always listen to your mom. She may not be right, but she deserves respect for putting up with your dad all these years.”
Makki sobbed and then smiled, “Aunt Col, you can fly.”
“Yes, sweetie, I can fly. And now, I can be arrested with as much dignity as I can manage.” She pressed a kiss to Makki’s forehead and hugged her sister.
The door to the roof burst open as the guards surged in to round up any residual thieves. Once they determined that there was no additional danger, the guard in charge approached her.
He held out wide manacles and gestured for her to turn around. As he locked her arms behind her back, he spoke the words she had been dreading for years. “As you are a physical talent, I now order you to be bound by law and remanded to the dome for confinement. Your restriction begins immediately.”
As they walked her toward the stairs, Colah glanced back at her family. Her sister was still wearing the look of shock, but Makki had a determined expression on her face. Her niece was planning something and Colah wished that she had had more time to calm her niece down. Once Makki got her mind set on something, she didn’t look away, didn’t flinch and refused to give up.
Whatever Makki had in mind was not going to sit well with her mother.
She was handled far more gently than she would have imagined.
“What is your name, miss?”
She was no longer manacled, but there were four guards standing behind her as she went through registration. “Colah Geering.”
“Date of birth, miss?” The clerk smiled politely as her fingers clicked on the keys of her station.
“Twenty-fifth of Arcal, 2913.” Col sat quietly and waited for the next question.
Col blinked, “It has never come up, but I suppose hetero.”
The clerk raised a brow. “You don’t know?”
“I have never been attracted to anyone. At that point, I will suspect that I will figure it out.”
The clerk smiled, “I will type in
Col nodded and waited for the next question.
“Where were you born?”
“Norcallic province. Afrith city.”
The clerk paused, “What is the nature of your physical talent?”
Col shifted in her chair and she heard the guards tense behind her. “Flight. I am a flier.”
“When did you first manifest your talent?”
“Age fifteen.” Col wove her fingers together and held the image of that first day in her mind.
“What were the circumstances? Be as specific as you can be.” The clerk’s fingers started tapping and Colah started speaking.
“My family and I were at the seaside. I had climbed one of the sand cliffs and was standing, looking down at my family on the beach before closing my eyes and enjoying the stream of air past my face. The wind tugged at my clothing and I felt it wrap around my body one limb at a time.
“When it wrapped around my feet, I opened my eyes and I was hovering ten feet above the sand cliff. I panicked and dropped to the ground, but the cliff gave way under me and I started to fall.
“My talent flickered on and off as I tried to control my descent. My mother said later that it looked like I was surfing down the wall of sand.”
The clerk smiled. “Were there any witnesses?”
“No. Not that I am aware of. I was alone on the cliff and everyone was watching my sister in the water until the sand slide started.” She shrugged.
Though Resicor’s rules regarding talents were strict, they would not punish Col’s family for her physical talent. She took comfort in that fact.
If you were born on Resicor and had a purely psychic talent, you were assured of a government position. If you had a talent with physical aspects, you were removed as a danger to society and sent to live within the dome where your family could visit once per season. The key point was, if you had a physical talent and used it in public, you were fair game. However, if you were able to subvert it and keep it from gaining attention, you could live a normal life.
Keeping her flight hidden from the population had ceased the moment she was thrown off the building. It wasn’t her fault, but news crews and the guards had seen her, so there was no going back. Someone had to be the flier and go to the dome, so she accepted that now was her time.
“Do any of your siblings have a talent that you are aware of?”
Col chuckled. “No. No physical or psychic talents that I am aware of.”
“Why did you define it in such a way?”
Col moved slowly and rubbed her temple. “I have often said that my sister has a talent for ticking me off.”
The clerk laughed outright before she sobered. “Do you know what happens next?”
Colah went through what she knew. “There will be a medical test, restriction implants and a blocking suit before I am sent to the dome.”
The clerk perked up. “The restriction suits now take the place of implants. There won’t be anything invasive.”
Col smiled at the pale woman who had the look of a deep scanner. Her sarcasm came out despite her polite intentions. “Oh good. Out of all of the things that I had dreaded about this day, invasive surgery was one of them. One would hate for an imprisoning to be invasive.”
Colah rose to her feet and turned to the guards who levelled their weapons at her. “Well? Shall we lock me up, or do we have somewhere else to be today?”
The medical procedures made her annual physicals look like a pedicure. Why her stamina needed to be recorded was beyond her, Colah only ever ran when something was chasing her.
They stripped her of her street clothes and put her in some scrubs while asking her to demonstrate her talent.
“I can only really fly when I am falling. I tend not to engage in spontaneous flight.”
A technician nodded. “How high a fall do you need?”
The fact that he was asking her that question calmly as if it was completely normal made her wonder what his exact job description had entailed when he had been hired.
“About fifty feet should do it.” She twisted her lips while another tech was putting monitors on her.
When the monitors were all in place, the tech placing them checked the readings and then nodded. “All good here.”
“Please, Ms. Geering, come with me.”
They walked together and he explained the facility. “Early in the history of cordoning off the physical talents, a series of rooms were designed to test the extent of each person’s talent without causing physical harm.”
She had to ask, “Isn’t it a contradiction that you take such care of us but lock us away?”
“You know our history. When the physical talents started to appear, they wreaked havoc in the cities and towns where they lived. No one was safe. They could strike at any moment. The psychics can be controlled and restrained more easily than the physical talents.”
She snorted. “Easy for you to say, you aren’t missing your family.”
He blinked and touched her arm, bringing her to a halt. “You are mistaken, Ms. Geering. My sister Hahvi is in the dome. She is a fire starter and was taken when she was twenty years old. She used her fire to keep herself from freezing to death after her vehicle broke down in the mountains. She was found after a few days and didn’t hide how she had been able to survive and so, she was checked into the dome.”
Colah felt like hell. “I am sorry. It is just so new for me.”
“It is fine. We all know that this is not comfortable for anyone and your calm acceptance has done wonders for us. We want to make sure that your restrictor suit does not damage you and for that, we need to know your baselines and the marks for your talent. We will aim for a restriction of two-thirds of your active levels.”
She blinked, “Well, I suppose I should show you what I can do.”
The tech grinned and gestured to the door at the end of the hall. “Let’s get to it then.”
The rest of her testing went quickly. She found that her talent would not activate on its own unless she faced a drop of thirty feet or more. The padded flooring was very forgiving until she reached that level and despite her bruising, she had enough time to kick into flight. She quickly did a few laps around the large test area before the tech’s voice came through her monitor stickers. “We are going to play with your levels now. So please lower your flight to a safe height, Ms. Geering.”
She slowed her laps into a hover and kept herself in front of the tech station as he fiddled with the electrical field that kept her flying. Col felt the first tingle across her body and her elevation dipped for a moment before she regained her altitude. The second tingle was more persistent and her feet touched the mat before she was able to lift off again.