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.
I still think this is one of the standout images in the book. There aren't a whole lot of Elemental effects. It's just some immense cavern, poorly lit by Mink's glow crystal. But, it still wound up becoming an awe-inspiring visual.
Tear of God – Elements
What on Georra did either the Machinists or his people hope to do with anything like this? Just getting near it was more than Mink could handle.
He looked down at the ground and to his surprise, it moved under them at an incredible speed. Nyam was running as fast as before, perhaps faster. The absence of any objects passing nearby and the immensity of the cavern threw off Mink’s perception of the pace. He began to wonder if the pressure he felt emanated from the crystal, or was simply the g-force of his mother’s sprint. But, hadn’t he sensed the pressure when they were standing still atop the cavern?
Soon, they could no longer see to the top of the geode, its own girth blocking the view. Mink got a better sense of how fast they were traveling as they passed under the upward curve. A rush of adrenaline went straight to his heart.
Mink closed his eyes for the rest of the approach, not that he could see much anyway. The crystal’s outer shell stretched beyond their peripheral vision and got closer way too fast for comfort. He kept his eyes shut until he felt Nyam come to a full and decisive stop.
The pressure remained, so that settled that debate. It certainly came from the crystal. In front of where Nyam stood, Mink saw a deep gash in the side of the geode, possibly from a blast, exposing a man-sized portion of the crystal. The reflected light from the glow crystal shimmered and bounced around inside, swirling and breathing with color. The shell wasn’t as thick as Mink expected, and he figured he could easily reach through and touch the crystal inside.
Nyam spoke, but Mink couldn’t hear her voice at all. He guessed she was chanting.
Once her lips stopped moving, she reached out and touched the crystal. Tens of thousands of tiny needles and spikes bristled throughout Mink’s Body. Then he was numb all over. Oddly enough, he felt better than he ever had. Stronger. More confident. He looked upon the site where Nyam had made contact, and smiled. Without understanding why, he felt overwhelming gratitude for the crystal, and tears ran down his face.
Mink looked at his mom and noticed that she had changed too. Her disposition had calmed and her typically soft, lean muscles were tighter and larger. Nyam let go of the crystal and looked back at Mink, completely nondescript. Then, without warning, she began her swift climb up the side of the geode. Using hands and feet to find shallow footholds in the shell’s surface, she moved easily up along its steeply curved side, practically upside down.
Mink wanted to pass out, but instead he stared downward. The floor dimmed in the distance as they climbed. In no time, Nyam reached the widest point and ran swiftly up the top slope. Mink’s view of the chamber floor was obstructed as the top of the geode quickly approached. He flashed back to the sensation he experienced when Nyam had touched the crystal. It was no doubt energy conducted through Nyam into him. He was convinced that this actually might be a Tear of God.