The reality is that you are more important than my editor which is saying something because my editor rocks. But you are my readership. I wouldn't have a career if it wasn't for you. So read these few pages and PLEASE COMMENT. I want to know what you think even if you hate it. I'm tough, I can take it.
So with no further adieu I bring you The Pinnacles:
Genevieve stared at the two names on top of the list in front of her. She pressed her hand against her mahogany desk, the dark wood only accentuating the whiteness of her skin and her bulging veins that seemed to become more prominent every year. “We can’t do this,” she said as she read the list over for the fiftieth time. “We’d be actively courting destruction.”
“They are Pinnacles,” Marcel said quietly. He was at the other end of the office and he was staring out the window as if he had the power to enjoy the view. Perhaps he did. Even before his blindness he had never relied on his eyes to see. Soothsayers never did.
“I know they’re Pinnacles. That’s the problem!” Genevieve snapped. “There are two of them! Do you realize that in the last twenty years we have had four Pinnacles graduate from this university and if we enroll these two that will bring the number to six in twenty four years!”
“Thank you, but I was able to do the math in my head,” he laughed. “Besides there have been times when there have been more Pinnacles on this earth than that.” Marcel turned and smiled at her. She wished he would wear his dark glasses. In the last few years predating his transition his eyes had looked like those of any other blind man but now his pupils were gone leaving only circles of gray. It was a tad disconcerting.
“Marcel, the last time there were this many Pinnacles around we had a World War. Seventy million people died.”
“But there’s a chance they wouldn’t have if the University of Krisa had existed then,” Marcel reminded her. “If ALL the Pinnacles had been educated at Krisa much of that bloodshed might have been avoided. The Pinnacles of The Darkness might not have prevailed.” He shook his head. “We can’t ignore that.”
“But there is no guarantee that the Pinnacles of Light would have survived the ones of The Darkness even if they had been trained here at Krisa!” Genevieve protested. “Besides, if I’m understanding you correctly what you’re saying…what you’re saying is that we are training these people to annihilate each other!”
“No, that’s not quite right. After all, they’re not exactly people.”
“Relax.” His smile was playful now and he moved toward her, effortlessly avoiding the chairs and the side table with all the grace of a dancer. “Look at the two Pinnacles on our entering-student list. There’s Maya…she’s complicated and by the end of her time here there will be blood on her hands but she is not of The Darkness and the same can be said of the other Alejo. Maya and Alejo do not have competing purposes so there will be no motivation to go to battle with one another.”
Marcel held up his hand to stop her, his gray orbs moved back and forth as they always did when he was tracking The Descendants. “There was another Pinnacle born this morning and at least two of the Pinnacles that have passed through our halls have now embraced The Darkness. One is near Maya now…and his purpose is directly at odds with hers.”
“Cashile?” Genevieve asked. She glanced toward the window distractedly. She could hear one of the Sirens singing in the distance. Completely unacceptable. If a ship crashed against the rocks there would be consequences. Genevieve would see to that. She could usually reign in her Sirens. It was the Pinnacles that were impossible and Cashile…he was dangerous. She had seen first hand how he could manipulate people’s fears and play on their longing for simplicity. And Maya was barely 18. She wasn’t ready to fight him.
“We gave Cashile an advantage by teaching him what he is,” Marcel said. “Are we going to condemn Maya to death by denying her what we gave him? And Alejo is in danger as well and he might be the most important Pinnacle of all. Are we to turn our backs on him just because having him here is risky? What will happen if we don’t take that risk? Have you thought of that? We have to admit them, Genevieve.”
“But…” Genevieve faltered her eyes slipped to the ancient artifacts that were displayed on the shelves around the room. There were things from the Byzantine, the Assyrian and the Roman Empire. She had statuettes that were made by the Ancient Greeks and the Ancient Egyptians even the Sumarians. Millenniums of human civilization were represented in her office. It would only take one earthquake to bring it all down. How amazingly fragile this world was that it could be brought down by a discordant note, or by the whim of an undisciplined heart. “Marcel,” Genevieve whispered. “Alejo and Maya…what if they fall in love?"
Marcel offered her a sad smile and closed his blind eyes. “Disaster,” he breathed. “We’re playing roulette, Genevieve. The only comfort we have is that we have no choice.”
Okay, now give it to me straight. : )
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