The Designed - By Kate Tailor
Publication Date: January 26th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction
What if the next new drug was you? Raleigh’s body produces a drug that could define the future of medicine if the dangerous world surrounding it doesn’t kill her first.
Eighteen-year old Raleigh Groves can sense disease in others and is suffering from her own unexplained illness as well. After years and dozens of doctor visits, she has given up hope of ever finding a cure, let alone a diagnosis. Then she meets a man who explains that her talent and curse are linked. Her body produces a drug, Lucidin, which allows her to sense others. She’s rare, and the drug she makes is coveted.
Rho has spent the last few years on the run. The Lucidin that is racing through his system makes him a target. Surrounded by addicts and dealers on one side and scientists and doctors on the other, he has to rely on his wits and his team to stay one step ahead. So far he has stayed afloat, but some of his brothers haven’t been as lucky.
As Rho and Raleigh collide they must face the perilous world of Lucidin together. Nothing is black-and-white and Raleigh must decide where her alliances lie. Sometimes the hardest heart to sense is your own.
Rho was just beginning to wake up. Without opening his eyes, his ears began to process his surroundings. All he heard was the whizzing of the extraction machine. His first thought was that they must have extraction machines in hell…and that seemed fitting. His next thought was that maybe he wasn’t dead. The pain when he moved even the tiniest bit was evidence enough that he still had his body. Suddenly, he felt a rush blast though his veins and his eyes popped open. It was his familiar friend Lucid—but it was edgier and wilder than his own.
Looking down at his arm, he saw that there was only one tube extending from the machine into his port. With the bold Lucid beating through him, he figured that, for once, he was on the receiving end of the greedy machine. There was another set of piping going to and from the machine, and the tubes were connected to a port in someone else’s arm. Rho felt a wave of excitement. He figured that it must be one of his brothers in the bed next to him—no one else made anywhere near enough Lucid to save him.
When he opened his mouth to speak it was dry and tasted like the seawater he‘d swallowed by the mouthful. Then, paranoia washed over him and he stopped. What if he woke up whoever had him? Just because they were saving him didn’t mean that they didn’t intend to use him. Maybe they’d captured one of his brothers and were just bringing him back so they could harvest more Lucid from both of them.
Rho sat up in bed and the room began to spin. He gradually slid his legs out from under the covers and planted his feet on the floor. His drawstring pants were shredded, but the room was comfortably warm. When he no longer felt quite so dizzy, he took a few deep breaths and quietly leveraged himself off the bed. He stumbled and fell onto the foot of the other bed, bumping whoever was lying there.
There was a groan, and the hair on the back of his neck bristled. It was a female voice. The girl rolled over onto her back, mumbling ever so slightly. For a moment, Rho considered going back to his own bed, but he wondered if they were both trapped and if she was being forced to save him.
Careful not to bump her a second time, he inched his way up the bed. As far as he knew, he had no sisters. He peered down at her face. There were freckles across the bridge of her nose—she was somebody’s daughter.
“Wake up,” he said quietly, shaking her shoulders. It was harder than he guessed it would be. He repeated himself in French, just in case he was still in France.
Raleigh’s eyes felt heavy, and her body started to shake as she began to wake up.
“No more extraction,” she whispered, opening her eyes. She almost screamed when she saw Rho above her.
“Don’t yell,” he said, pressing his fingers softly against her lips. “I’m Rho. I’ll stop the extraction.” He pulled the tubes from her port and asked, “Are you all right?”
“They could’ve killed you,” said Rho, furious that his last act on Earth may’ve been taking this girl’s life.
Kate Tailor lives in Boulder, Colorado. She has a background in molecular biology and pharmacology. Writing has been a passion of hers since she was young.