Today I have the pleasure of interviewing tech magnate Edwin Mysk. Few people know that the founder of Mysk Industries isn’t human, but an alien from planet ‘Topia. He’s leaving Earth soon, and I was fortunate to get an exclusive interview with him before he leaves.
Cara: Thank you for meeting with me, today, Mr. Mysk.
Mysk: My pleasure. Just call me Mysk. You can call me Edwin if you prefer, but that’s only the alias I assumed while living on Earth.
Cara: How long have you lived on Earth?
Mysk: A little over 50 years.
Cara : And you came here as an adult?
Mysk: Yes. I was 25 in ’Topian years when I arrived. My ship got caught in a jump space time warp, and we were thrown back into time.
[My jaw drops as I do the math].
Cara: You must have really good genes. I would have guessed you were 35-ish, 40 tops.
Mysk: ‘Topians have a much longer lifespan than humans. I’m considered in my prime—although most Veritals my age have long since mated.
[A Verital is one of 5 subspecies of ’Topian]
Cara: If you’ve been here for more than 50 years, why leave now? To find a genmate?
Mysk: No, I’ve accepted I’ll never mate. If I had a genmate, I would have met her by now. I’m leaving to seek justice for my people. Our planet was destroyed by the Xeno Consortium, and the few survivors were scattered among dozens of haven planets. I intend to reunite the lost ones, mobilize them, and make the Xenos pay for their crimes.
[If you could see his face. Scary. I decide to change the subject]
Cara: Do you have like, super alien powers?
Mysk: Mental telepathy.
Cara: You can read minds? Can you tell what I’m thinking right now?
Mysk: Not without your consent. That would be a violation of the Verital Code of Ethics. Many people believe that once you break the code for any reason, you’re compromised. The power becomes seductive, and you’re unable to resist breaking it again.
Cara: So, Veritals have this power they can’t use.
Mysk: We communicate telepathically with our genmates. Mating for Veritals is mental as well as physical, making bonding the most intimate experience there is. Or so, I’m told. I don’t have a genmate to communicate with. But, I have used my mental powers to counsel others, help people to recover lost memories, settle issues. Always with their consent.
Cara: Always? You’ve never violated the code of ethics.
Mysk: [Expression grim, he shifts in his chair]: Only once, in an extreme case where the ends justified the means. A human woman was kidnapped and mind-raped by another Verital. Earth has no laws against mind-rape. But kidnapping is a crime. I convinced the perpetrator to turn herself in to the police and confess.
Cara: Convinced her how?
Mysk: I implanted the idea in her mind.
Cara: You can do that?
Mysk: I can erase memories or implant false ones. I can control someone’s mind and make them do anything I want them to. That’s why adhering to the Verital Code of Ethics is so important.
Cara: But you broke the code once. You’re not worried you’ve been compromised?
Mysk: No. I personally don’t believe one can be so easily seduced by the power, and I know, I can’t. I’m stronger than that.
Vengeance led him to love. But will it destroy him, too?
Vengeance keeps ’Topian Edwin Mysk from surrendering to the pain of the destruction of his home world and the loss of the genmate he might have had. One day the Xeno Consortium will know his wrath. Until then, he will pursue his self-imposed mission to locate and reunite the massacre survivors.
When he lands on Laxiter 4, he finds the ’Topian settlement abandoned, except for a lone woman. Lala. Their immediate, intense bonding proves she’s his genmate, the one female his genetics have chosen for him—the one he’d believed lost forever. With Lala at his side, he resumes his search for the others.
But Lala is not the ’Topian he thinks she is. She’s a shapeshifting Xeno, a disgraced former general in the consortium military wrongly convicted of helping ’Topian insurgents escape annihilation. Edwin Mysk offers her best chance to locate the escapees and receive a stay of execution—as long as he doesn’t discover her secret.
Will the gulf between hatred and love, despair and desire, prove too wide for them to cross? Is their genmate bond a tragic mistake?
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