Natsuya Uesugi has a new queer sci fi book out. Please join me in welcoming Natsuya to my blog today. They’re generously sharing a bonus ficlet with us!
grydscaen: beginnings by Natsuya Uesugi
p style=”text-align: center;”>Series: grydscaen (note: this is the backstory first book in the series which introduces the characters for volume 1)
Publisher: PageTurner Press and Media
Release Date: Tuesday, September 25 2018
Length: Novel / 80,675 words
Cover Artist: Natsuya Uesugi
Genres/Keywords/Categories: sci fi, cyberpunk, tech noir, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, bisexual, transgender, gay, non binary, asexual
Faid Callen is tired of life on the run in the Echelons trying to keep his psychic power in check. He founds the Packrats, a group of cyberterrorist hackers. A young powerful Psi Faction operative, Lino Dejarre, is sent on a mission to capture Faid. Wanting to keep Lino under control, the Psi Faction kidnaps his half-brother, Riuho, and they take him prisoner, experiment on him, train him, and subject him to mind control.
When Lino is assigned to a high stakes diplomatic mission to reveal a traitor, he finds another psychic operative in play, causing him to question the Psi Faction’s motives. Can Lino rescue his brother before more blood is shed or will Faid step in and destroy the Psi Faction’s plans?
About the Series
Lino just wanted peace. All he got was war.
In After Colony 2055, the Atlantea Federation, a draconian power had taken over 75% of the world’s territories and launched a nuclear attack, the Dionysis Effect against the insurgent Pacific Territories. In a single brave act, the Pacific Territories retaliated in a battle known as the Blood Red Incident. The untested weapon’s radioactive fallout created Codess which manifested as psychic powers.
After the initial destruction, people struggled to survive and some developed psychic powers as others fell to the pervasive radiation sickness. Civil war ripped at the heart of society with cyberterrorist hacker groups rising up to fight the government. The son of the Viceroy, Lino Dejarre had psychic power. He joined the Psi Faction as a clandestine psychic operative tasked to capture Faid Callen the leader of the Packrat hackers.
Separated at age nine and banished from the royal family, Riuho Dejarre’s hatred for his brother Lino grew as he tried to scrape out a life in the slum level Echelons. Stripped of his citizenship, Riuho vowed to get revenge and thwart Lino’s every move as the young operative tried to govern and keep his people safe. With Faid and Riuho using the Packrat cyberterrorist hackers to attack the government even as the Atlantea Federation increased the threat trying to destroy the remains of the Pacific Territories and their allies, the war took a dire turn.
The Atlantea Federation attacked brutally on the ground and threatened the Pacific Territories’ space colonies. Lino and his Psi Faction team were roped into global diplomacy, inter-colony politics, covert missions, battleship scurmishes, jet fighter sorties, and space battles facing the Atlantea Federation head on. When Riuho once more entered the fray, his high stakes game of manipulation and lies threatened to destroy everything for which Lino had worked.
With threats to the fragile Pacific Territories coalition and the fate of the world at stake, can Lino, the Viceroy of the City, the Echelons and the Zone lead the Pacific Territories to a victory? Intrigue, fast-paced action, clandestine psychic operatives, hackers, the oppressive Zone Police, and shadowy government conspiracies, the situation couldn’t be riskier. Will Lino ever see peace and an end to war? Find out in the dystopian grydscaen series. Whose side are you on?
“Why is there a child here?” asked Jai.
“He will be staying here now. He has psi potential. We are giving him to Dr. Ren as a test subject,” said Gailen as they walked down the hall to the Controlling Chambers in the Psi Faction building.
“Where did he come from?” asked Jai.
“His mother sold him to the Psi Faction for a cit card,” informed Gailen.
“People actually do that?” choked out Jai.
“His mother was a prostitute. She sold him and was paid a hefty sum and given a cit card. The child has very high psi potential. We would have requested him if she had not offered.”
There was a maintenance crew in the hall. They were fixing up a room in the back of the Controlling Chambers to make a day care center, a playroom. It was to ensure there was some age appropriate place for the child to be kept during the day. Dr. Ren was in the Controlling Chamber area when they got there.
“How is it going?” asked Gailen coming up to him.
“Oh Gailen. Come in. Come see. It is going rather well. I think this room will be adequate,” said Dr. Ren.
There was an electrician at the wall installing an electrical panel and he handed Dr. Ren a remote control. The electrician finished up and placed the face plate of the panel at the wall and told Dr. Ren the panel was all set.
“The room has a damper, a psi shield and other features that will help to control the child. He has been here for almost six weeks now. We have just started the first level of his psi conditioning. He has been very receptive so far. Would you like to see him?” said Dr. Ren.
Dr. Ren walked with Jai and Gailen to the living quarters. They went to the main observation room with four rooms along the wall with glass windows. Each room had a bed and a dresser and a chair. There was a child in one of the rooms sitting in a chair. Gailen, Dr. Ren and Jai came into the main room with the lights out. The child could not see them through the one way glass.
The child had dull ash brown hair that kind of looked like it was blue since the colour was washed out. The child was rocking back and forth in the chair with his hands on his head.
“What is he doing?” asked Jai.
“We gave him an initial dose of nanomachines to see how they would take. He is reacting to that,” said Dr. Ren.
“Is it a girl or a boy?” asked Gailen.
“It’s a girl. But when I ask her she says she is a boy,” said Dr. Ren.
“She is transgender then?” asked Gailen.
“Yes, that is what it looks like. I did a whole psychological work up on her. We should start calling her he and just get used to that. She also refuses to wear dresses. One of the nurses in the infirmary tried,” said Dr. Ren.
“What is her name? I mean his name,” said Jai.
“Julian Iskafiin,” said Dr. Ren. “But he said he wants to be called Blue.”
“He is only five. How does he know what he wants to be called?” asked Gailen.
“Julian said his mother called him Blue.”
Jai looked over at Blue in the chair. The child stood up and went to the wall and started banging his head on the wall. Dr. Ren lifted up his arm and tapped out some buttons on a metal arm band he had on. A nurse came into the room and started comforting Blue.
☆ Bonus FicLet ☆
FicLet “The Maze” – grydscaen: beginnings by Natsuya Uesugi
“Hurry Up. Run!” shouted Rom with his dark blonde mowhawk that was not spiked up and dirty tan trench coat. He ran through The Maze in the Shizuoko ghetto on the Echelons side. Alex was behind him by a few meters. The growling was getting closer. Alex, Rom’s beautiful host friend who worked out of The Hole X-rated magazine shop with the puffy white coat, tight black clothes, dark hair, and light skin had Rom’s handheld in his hand as he ran. He was trying to catch up.
The Maze was a craze of alleyways and corridors in the Echelons where the buildings butted up against each other blocking out the sun. The radiation was particularly high in this area since it was closer to the Zone where the Dionysis Effect nuclear bomb had been dropped. Many of the alleys in The Maze led to dead ends. Rom chanced a look back and noticed that Alex was falling behind.
Rom turned the corner of the alley into a dead end.
“Bollocks!” cried out Rom as he took a step back into the cross section where multiple alleys intersected and waited for Alex. Rom looked around him. There was a broken window to the right into a burned out building. Rom walked over to it and looked inside. It was getting dark as the sun set. Rom cried back to Alex to hurry up.
Alex tripped over his feet and went down still holding onto the handheld. Rom ran back over to him and helped him up.
The growling got louder. Alex stood up and looked behind him.
Rom held his position and looked back as well.
Suddenly a pack of wild dogs came around the corner. They held there for a moment sizing up Rom and Alex. The wild dogs had been affected by the radiation. They were rabid. They were drooling as they waited. There were five of them. They had tumors on their faces, scabs and puss riddled wounds on their bodies. The dogs had rows of teeth that looked like they were growing outside of their jaws. These mutations were all the results of the poisoning from the radiation which was higher in this area of the Shizuoko ghetto. Rom grabbed the handheld out of Alex’s hand and scanned the dogs with the radiation reading app. The handheld came back with a radiation warning.
“They are lit up. If they get us we are done for,” said Rom taking a step back.
Alex locked eyes on the lead dog. The dog’s jaw and face were mangled. They hardly looked like dogs. Alex didn’t know what they were. He took a few steps bringing his arms up.
“Good dog…” said Alex and took another step back trying to calm the dogs down.
The eyes of the lead dog seemed to light up red as they shined in the dusk lit day. Rom caught a movement of the back dog out of the corner of his eye. The dogs were going to rush and overpower them. Rom turned. The lead animal moved its foot.
“Run!” cried out Rom and took off.
Alex turned and bolted as the creatures ran after them gaining ground.
Rom grabbed Alex’s arm as he got to the window around the corner at the dead end. He yanked Alex off his feet with his psi and into the window. They landed hard and kept running as the last rays of the day shined bright through the clouds into the ceiling. The slats from the holes in the roof above revealing the rays.
The dogs followed them into the building.
Rom ran to the next room with Alex following close behind. There was a staircase to their left. He took the stairs. It led them to the top floor. It looked like the walls were blown apart. The roof was torn apart. Rom could see the roof of the next building over.
“Come on Alex, keep up!” yelled Rom as he sped up running. He approached the ledge.
The dogs ran up the stairs following.
Rom ran as fast as he could towards the ledge of the building they were on. He leapt over the 10 meter expanse onto the roof of the next building. He hit hard rolling, putting his shoulder down first and tumbling a few times. He stood up and motioned back to Alex who ran towards the ledge.
The dogs came up the stairs. Alex hesitated at the jump. The lead dog came onto the floor and stared at Alex.
“Good doggy, want a treat?” said Alex with fear in his voice. He went into his pocket. He was trapped on the roof with the dogs now. Rom called out to him.
“Jump, come on!”
Alex took some steps towards the dogs. He unwrapped the protein bar in his hand and pulled the wrapper off. He was trembling. He needed to get enough distance so he could make the jump from a full run.
Alex bent down slowly and threw the protein bar towards the lead dog who was growling.
Alex held for a while as the dog leaned down and sniffed the protein bar. Alex took off running towards the ledge. The dogs ran after him.
Alex jumped but didn’t have enough of a running start. He was not going to make the expanse. He would fall the full story to the ground which in the Maze would be a death sentence.
Alex reached for the roof as he flew through the air. His hand slipped. He started to fall. Rom vanished from the roof teleporting and materialized in the air catching Alex. He vanished again landing on the roof of the other building with Alex in his arms. They fell on the roof.
The dogs jumped the expanse.
Rom pulled Alex by the arm. They kept running. The roof was wide as they ran across it. The next building over was a full story higher. They were going to get trapped. Rom scanned the building. The windows were blown out. Could they jump into a window. Rom’s mind cycled trying to find a way out of this as the dogs ran up on them.
Then suddenly Rom heard an explosion. It was a psi blast that blew the dogs apart. Blood and gore spattered everywhere. Rom turned back to see a large hole in the roof where the dogs had been.
“Seems you have had a busy day,” said Faid as he appeared on the edge of the roof standing on the ledge. His shock of bright red hair shining in the last rays of the day. He brought his right arm down having just sent the psi blast.
Rom stopped in his tracks as Alex bent over and caught his breath.
“Thanks,” said Rom breathing heavily.
“Who told you to go to the southeast side of The Maze?” asked Faid in a scolding voice.
“A john brought me down here in his car. He had sex with me in an abandoned building. Rom came along because the guy wanted someone to watch,” said Alex.
“Well, next time think. The dogs own this area. This is not a place for people to go. Stay out of here,” said Faid.
“How did you know we were here?” asked Rom.
“You, Mister Level 9 hacker, I always know where you are. Get out of here,” said Faid and then leaned backwards and started to fall off the roof.
Rom ran up to the ledge and watched Faid fall. Faid teleporting right before he hit the ground.
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Meet the Author
Natsuya Uesugi is a systems analyst and white hat hacker who has worked in the design of aerospace, semiconductor and financial systems. With an MBA in International Management and a minor in Japanese, Natsuya uses his Japanese, Black and Native American heritage to paint his stories, keeping an eye on diversity.
By night, Natsuya is an author and manga artist weaving stories in his cyberpunk grydscaen world, his dark fantasy universe The Seer of Grace and Fire, and his contemporary yaoi graphic noiz which takes place in New York City. He studied animation and game design at the Art Institute of Phoenix where he learned sequential art and traditional animation that fueled his childhood dream of creating manga and anime.
To date he has created four manga and two episodes of the short anime grydscaen: A Storm’s Coming based on the teenage hacker Rom. He enjoys skydiving, cosplay, manga, World Cup futbol, watching French news, eating ramen and anything with matcha, watching anime in Japanese, and writing poetry.
Author Website: http://www.grydscaen.com
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