Telepathy and Pets in the Far Future
Carol Van Natta
In my Central Galactic Concordance space opera series (shhhh—don’t tell my male readers it’s science fiction romance), humans of the future are evolving “minder” talents. The talents fall into three categories: patterner, telepathy, and telekinesis. These categories were developed by the Citizen Protection Service, a sprawling government agency with several missions, some darker than others.
Patterners include forecasters, who can see patterns in disparate data and predict the future; filers, who have photographic memories for everything; and finders, who can see patterns in disparate data that point to key information.
Telepathy variants telepaths (i.e., read minds), empaths (read and affect emotions), shielders, twisters, and cleaners. The latter two are scary—they can alter memories or erase them altogether, with subject being none the wiser. Shielders can block telepaths from intruding, and even temporarily shut them down.
Telekinesis variants include basic tekes, healers, and animal affinity. The last one is the ability to work with various types of animals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.
In my story “Pet Trade,” in the Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 anthology, Bethnee Bakonin is a frontier-planet veterinarian who is also a rare, pan-phyla animal affinity minder. She also escaped her dark past in the shady pet trade industry. Whereas the government has strict laws and harsh penalties against tinkering with human genetics and DNA, animals aren't so lucky. Pet-trade researchers and genetic engineers designers breed whatever they think will sell.
Axur Tragon is an ex-elite forces Jumper with cybernetic limbs and several secrets. One of Axur's pets is a chimera, a designer's fantasy with about the size of a German Shepherd, but the resemblance ends there. He has black and brown stripes in his short, sleek fur, six legs and two tails with tufts of fur on the ends. He is, as Axur puts it, "a prime example of what the anti-pet trade activists railed against: tinkering with Terran genetics to create whimsical life forms that would have never survived in the wild, much less natural selection."
Here's a snippet from "Pet Trade," where Bethnee examines Kivo for the first time.
Axur turned his attention back to Kivo. “Why did they create him at all?”
She shrugged. “Pretend alien fauna for the wealthy, maybe? It’s a fad.” She stroked the large hump of Kivo’s middle shoulder joints. “The bio-engineers actually got the six legs to work, but the rest of him is a fantasy hodgepodge.” She snorted disdainfully. “Two tails.” She rested her hip against the table and eased the weight off her stiffer leg.
“He follows me everywhere. He keeps the peace among the other animals, too.” He tilted his head. “Can animals be empaths? I think he tries to cheer me up sometimes.” It sounded daft after he said it out loud, so he was grateful she didn’t laugh.
“Maybe? Medical scientists still don’t know what combination of DNA and subtrans amino arrays make the difference between human minders and non-minders, or even the gender expression continuum. Who’s to say that animals aren’t evolving along with us?”
Read more in “Pet Trade,” one of twelve stories in the Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 anthology. An elite forces veteran crash lands on a frontier planet with a cargo full of designer pets and must seek the help of a talented, but damaged veterinarian to help him save them.
Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, featuring twelve of today's leading science fiction romance authors, brings you a dozen original stories written just for you! Join in the fun, from the Dragon Lords of Valdier to a trip aboard award-winning author, Veronica Scott's Nebula Zephyr to journeying back to Luda where Grim is King, for stories that will take you out of this world! Join New York Times, USA TODAY, and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, and Alexis Glynn Latner as they share stories and help out Hero-Dogs.org, a charity that supports our veterans!
10% of the first month's profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.
Buy your copy of Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2 and help support Hero Dogs:
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About the Author: USA Today bestselling author Carol Van Natta writes science fiction and fantasy, including the award-winning Central Galactic Concordance space opera series, paranormal romance, and retro SF comedy. She loves interacting readers on her website (Author.CarolVanNatta.com) and on Facebook, https://facebook.com/CarolVanNattaAuthor.