Teracia unfolded herself from the flaps of the manta and waved it off. The giant ceph jetted away, moving far faster empty than it had with a passenger. She watched as it rose toward the surface, spread its diaphanous wings, and soared the ocean currents. Teracia felt a twinge of guilt for interrupting its day.
She turned and looked across the swimway at Song Corp’s headquarters, a giant teal-blue dome that mimicked an aroused male diaphragm. Centrix city had many palaces and impressive government buildings. This trumped them all. Teracia felt the ballow on her forehead inflate and its neutral beige morph into a swirling tempest of rage red and fear yellow. She fought to control it, drawing water slowly through her gills to force a return to the beige.
Three security guards floated in a line behind the entrance to the building. Fit and young fahr, they showed no signs of song addiction. Each held a pitch wand. Behind them a coral garden beckoned with a collection of radiant trophy fish and a few gauzy shrimp.
Teracia swam forward. “I have an appointment.”
“You’re the femfahr?” the one on the right asked. His pitch wand moved to within a few inches of her diaphragm.
Teracia said nothing but felt the beige yellow and then to pink into irritation. The pitch wand was capable of inflicting severe pain when touched against the male Fahr diaphragm but would have no effect on her. She glared at the guard until his ballow inflated and mauved into embarrassment.
“Of course she is,” said the second one. “If you would follow me, Mamini.”
Someone had taught him the ancient form of femfahr address. Teracia allowed her gill slits a small ripple of pleasure. It was a nod to a time when the fahr expressed their sexuality, when males noticed females. Now the femfahrs were little more than objects of curiosity, mistakes made in the reproductive labs, pitied because songs could not arouse them and males had no interest.
The guard led Teracia past the coral garden and into the stunted kelp forest beyond. A blue-green jelly, a favorite food, pulsed into Teracia’s peripheral vision, she snag-tongued it, pulling it into her mouth and swallowing.
“Not many job applicants would poach in the Song Corp forests on the way to meet Lord Greyling,” the guard said.
“Not many job applicants are called in to meet him personally,” Teracia replied allowing just enough gold into her ballow so show a hint of arrogance.
Planet Song Description:
Book One of the Fahr Trilogy
When the Fahr pet merchants arrive on the Earth in the middle of the 14th century, they are on a routine pet collecting expedition. Teracia, a rare Fahr female, sees the pet merchant’s profit-is-everything mentality as a serious threat to a plague-ravished and stagnant humanity.
She does everything she can to protect them but then the merchants discover humpback whales, singers of the most powerful, addictive and potentially lucrative songs they have ever encountered. When the merchants realize their ship is too small to transport these animals, they decide to return to their home planet for something bigger. It’s a round trip that will take 650 years.
No one in the Fahr leadership believes that humanity will present much of a challenge but, when the Fahr return at the beginning of the 21st century; they find that humanity has evolved into a much different beast. Now Teracia must try and protect the inhabitants of Earth from a war they can’t win.
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