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 excerpt is rich with goodies. Has everyone heard "show, don't tell?" This is my favorite show of how Fire augments Body users. I don't really need any more explanation than this, but I also peppered the story with reminders.
This section also plays as an important underline for how impossible it is for Mink's family to accomplish their goal. The odds aren't just stacked against them. What they need to do can't be done.
Tear of God – Elements
Nyam returned to the camp clean of any mud, but more haggard and weak than Mink had ever seen her. The Fire that Mink and Juré had prepared lapped up the Air with greedy intensity. Without a word, Nyam plunged her arms down under the logs. She let out a long, satisfied sigh and pulled out two fistfuls of embers, recovering quite quickly as she rubbed them on her arms and massaged them into her neck.
“I just need to get my strength and then I’ll run back to the High Council and convince them to send a team.” Nyam kicked off her shoes and sat with the soles of her feet in the flames.
“You can’t leave us here,” Juré protested.
“We don’t have enough time. I’ll get there much faster alone.”
“Exactly. We don’t have enough time. Even if you could be at the Capitol by morning, the soonest a team could make it here would be at least four days from now. And realistically, it would take you two days at peak condition. Assuming the Machinists send a search and rescue team in two days, they could still have an army here before our team. Mink and I won’t be able to hold them off. I need you.”
“They won’t find the scout or his vehicle. That’ll slow down their response, but I see your point.” Nyam lost herself in thought, rolling a burning log between her hands.
Juré’s words made grim sense to Mink. The Machinists’ vehicles transported multiple people over long distances with great speed. Rift Ridge was closer to Freeland and, from Juré’s description of their imaging, the Machinists had better maps. The more people they sent, the greater the chance that some of them would have an Elemental affinity for Body or Water, in which case Juré couldn’t use any effects on them. Not favorable odds when Machinist weaponry could kill all Elemental types.