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.
At this point in the story, Mink is having to answer questions from the High Council. Finally, his uncle Durren, who is a Senior Advocate, has a turn to cross examine him.
This part was fun to write and not only served as a recap of information, but gave a lot of new information about how the government works and what it takes to impress Elementalists who are well acquainted with what we would call superhuman powers and paranormal phenomenon.
Tear of God – Elements
“She dug through two miles of dirt?”
“Yes. Straight up from the geode.”
“Are you telling us that a Body user was able to dig up through two miles of Soil and then, after first completing other tasks, she found a way to put a self effect on someone with no discernable Elemental affinity?”
“Well. How do you account for that?”
The majority of the assembly hung on every word. “After we got up close to the geode, my mom reached through a crack that was already there. While she was touching it, she grew visibly more and more powerful and… wise, you know? Like as soon as she touched it, she knew exactly what she had to do and how to do it.”
“Please describe the stone for us.”
“It’s huge. I would say all of the Main Cameral building could fit inside of it easy. Maybe with some other buildings. And it’s round.”
“What did you sense from the geode?”
“Before we got there, I started feeling a steady pressure pushing on me. That’s about when my dad complained of some loud noise and broke off the Silent Signal Fire. The closer we got, the more intense the pressure, but I never heard a noise. It was like all the sound got muted. Then, when my mom touched the crystal, I felt pins and needles inside, like they were growing out of my bones.”
“Did you touch the crystal yourself?”
“And yet you felt its effects through your mother?”
“Yeah. It was intense.”
“So, what is it, Mink?”
“As best I can tell, it’s a Tear of God. I don’t know what else it could be.”
“Earlier, you said that you knew you were using the Quick Legs effect, even though you’re not a Body user and you’ve never used it before. Now you’re saying that you know the geode is a Tear of God, even though you’ve never seen one before. Do I have that straight?”
“Yes.” Mink felt empowered. He loved his uncle.
“And now your parents are standing guard at the Tear of God, waiting for us to send people to remove it and bring it here. Is that right?”
“They have been for two days. Yes.”
“I have no further questions and will pass the witness.” Durren sat down and sent a small, quiet salute to Mink.
Mink swelled with pride. He could feel the collective attitude of the High Council turn favorably toward him. Indeed, the rest of the questioning went much more smoothly. It simplified Mink’s perspective that he had not listened to his father’s report. Durren had easily walked Mink through just about everything he could verify, and dodged the subjects that Mink would rather avoid. Somehow, enough sympathy was gained from his uncle’s questioning that even Plisthb treated Mink with respect for the remainder of the proceedings.