At age sixteen, Mink Jollè still hasn’t discovered his Elemental affinity, which is an identity crisis unheard of on the planet Georra. He has endured constant bullying while being held back in school, and his parents have come to employ drastic measures to help him mature. Their current ruse is a camping trip on Rift Ridge, where they test Mink to the breaking point, to no avail.
Meanwhile, Mink and his parents run across a Machinist scout searching out a mother lode of ore, who finds more than he bargains for. An immense geode buried deep in the ground is fabled to be the Tear of God, and the first nation to claim it will hold power and protection unrivaled on Georra.
The race is on as Mink’s parents stand guard at the Tear of God, sending Mink back to his homeland for help. Defying the odds and surprising himself, Mink succeeds in delivering the news to his people, and is chosen to assist a Team in returning to the site to relieve his parents and acquire the Tear of God for Octernal. Along the way, Mink is forced to rely on his strengths without an Element in order to win respect and ultimately discover his true identity.
Raymond has enjoyed writing from an early age. He lives in Coastal North Carolina with his wife and two daughters. His character driven stories reflect the diversity of the places he has lived and the jobs he has had, focusing on animals and film.
This is the first time Mink has ever seen anything of the Machinists, bitter enemies of the Elementalists, in person. His introduction is one of their vehicles, an Out-World Gripper, capable of driving and parking on near vertical surfaces. It's important to note that Mink has no idea what he's looking at beyond it being some sort of specialized transportation. He has no idea how common or rare it may be.
Whereas the rest of Mink's country feels that machines make people lazy and weak, Mink's lack of an Element gives him reason to be drawn to the idea of using machines. He quite simply craves a way to gain more independence, common among sixteen year olds anyway, but that much more profound in Mink.
Tear of God – Elements
Mink gazed with growing fascination upon the vehicle. A few hundred yards below, it clung vertically to the cliffside by way of anchors at each wheel dug into the rock. He imagined that operating such a contraption would be fun. Elementalists ridiculed the need to use machines, but without an Element to use, he hardly felt superior. It wasn’t unheard of for Elementalists to abandon their abilities and defect to Freeland. In fact, part of Juré’s job was to identify and facilitate dissenters. Still, Mink’s unique perspective helped him see the beauty of the vehicle and he felt like his life could be easier if machines were allowed back home.