An Excerpt From The Vessel

© Nancy Fraser, 2017

26 The VesselLiam McGregor crossed the embossed seal, pressed his hand to the encoded screen, and stepped into Cal Stewart’s office.

Cal, the leader of the military branch of the United Republic, sat behind a huge oak desk, his attention given to the older, rather gaunt-looking man who stood before him. Dressed in a dark, worn suit, his back bent with age, the man turned and raised his weathered gaze in Liam’s direction.

“Is this the guy?” the old man asked.

“Yes,” Cal confirmed. “Liam McGregor, this is John Barrow, Sciences Division Director.

He’s come to request our help, and I’ve assured him you’re the best man for the job.”

Liam nodded. “What job would that be, sir?”

“Sit,” Barrow said, waving his hand in the direction of the nearby chair. “I have some background information to give you. It will explain everything, and define your part in saving mankind.”

“Mankind?” Liam repeated in question.

“Yes.” Cal’s response was filled with conviction. “Our future depends on a successful mission.”

Liam lowered himself into the closest chair, his focus on the strange man who’d sought him out. Barrow shuffled across the room and perched himself on the edge of Cal’s desk. He drew a long, ragged breath and began.

“A little over eight years ago, the government discovered a small group of women who possessed a rare DNA string and previously unknown blood type. A very valuable blood type.”

Liam cast a glance in Cal’s direction. “Valuable in what way?”

Cal lowered his gaze, his robust voice a mere whisper when he admitted, “It allows them to procreate. To carry on with life.”

Liam thought about the childless couples he knew, and of how they’d suffered with sterility as result of the chemical war of 2150. “So, you’re saying these women are resistant to the radiation that left the rest of the known world sterile?”

“Yes,” Barrow admitted.

Liam bit back a curse. “And, I assume, the government has kept these women under lock and key since then.”

Barrow shot Cal a grimace. “Something like that.”

A shiver made its way along Liam’s spine, a well-honed warning all was not what it seemed. “Perhaps, you can enlighten me a bit more. For the sake of my mission, of course.”

~ ~ ~

Return to The Vessel

Return to Books