In celebration of the release of Nancy Kress’ deeply satisfying SEA CHANGE, we are honored to share an excerpt from the book.
There was nobody in the tiny house.
It had a loft bed—no time to go up there—a galley kitchen, fold-down table, two easy chairs, bookshelves, a TV. The door to the bathroom was open. I darted in, took the toothbrush, and barely had time to swallow my D. Saliva deactivated its mechanism. The D was soft but nearly a half-inch square, and it got stuck partway down my throat, which gave my voice a strangled gasp when I turned to two cops who filled the doorway.
“The door . . . it was . . . was—” go down my throat, damn it! “—open . . . I heard a child—” the D finally finished its trip down my gullet “—crying and I thought someone might need . . .”
I’d always been a more than passable actress. Jake would have been proud of me. Or maybe not, given . . . everything. But I gave the cops the tremulous shakiness of a shy-but-compassionate middle-aged woman trespassing to save a child. I also had: real trepidation creasing my face, a fake ID in my wallet that matched my fake retina scan, and fury in my blood for whatever missing agent of the Org had put me in this position. If it had been an agent. The alternative was worse.
Most of all, I felt fear. Not for myself but for the organization that always hovered between detection and ineptitude, the organization made of dedicated amateurs up against both law-enforcement professionals and a stupid public, the organization that I would protect with everything in the world until we’d succeeded in our quixotic attempt to save that—probably unworthy—world from itself, whether it wanted that or not.
Sometimes the world doesn’t know what’s best for it.