Eight-year-old Daniel McAlister is the first successful specimen—a test soldier—born of artificial and genetically modified DNA. Created by the military for future use on soldiers, Daniel is designed for combat and intelligence warfare. Wanted by those who plan to sell him on the Burmese human trafficking circuit, as well as use him in further lab experiments, Daniel's life is constantly in jeopardy. After one near fatal attempt, he is rescued and taken to live with a loving and caring family who provide him with a new identity. Although he is highly intelligent, his emotional long-term results are uncertain, and any hope of finding true love because of his genetic make up looks dismal, especially when he and "adopted" sister, Angelina, fall in love. Delaney's debut novel is a mix of espionage, romance, and a bit of comedy set within three different customs. The opening immediately launches into mystery and a bit of desperation. Keeping her narrative moving by alternating a variety of scenes, Delaney takes readers on a strange science fiction journey between the military; Daniel's adopted family who has roots in the Native American, Norwegian, and Irish cultures; and Daniel and Angelina's romance. Delaney includes a plethora of characters who, much of the time, play supportive roles for her two dynamic characters, Daniel and Angelina. Tension builds as their relationship evolves from sibling rivalry to intense love over a fourteen-year period. Sci-fi readers will be intrigued with Delaney's well-developed cast and her unique and un-clichéd plot that is laced with thought-provoking concepts on genetic engineering and human trafficking.
The villagers muddled through. They lived their lives in ten-year sequences, telling the same gossip, for until fresh meat came for the carving. To sacrifice for them so that others could live and feel alive without the risk of the pain that went with really living. I couldn’t fail, otherwise they have all died in vain.
Margo must have thought so too, because she sent her men to find me. My choices were few and far between. Cale knew I would return for him. I couldn’t do that with Captain Margo Ardelovic waiting in the wings. I couldn’t let Margo get her hands on Cale. I needed to bide my time until I could find the help that I needed. They beat him bad and they shot him. Time was limited because he needed help now. He was old but not too old, besides he was all I had and I loved him. Why Margo hated him was something of a mystery, but she wasn’t going to be happy until he was dead. I think it was because of me. Cale wasn’t any great father, but he was the only one I was going to get, so I would do whatever I could to get him to safety.
As the helicopter came closer to the sand, Daniel saw it. The portable phone pack that would get them the help they needed. He waited in the crevices with his curly sand colored mop hiding him while he waited until the copter moved down the beach. Hoping Margo didn’t see the phone pack.
“I know that you don’t know me but Cale Gustoff said you would help me.” The boy was close to crying now. “Please help me Mr. Bear. Cale said you would and he is real sick.” Captain Ambrose Bear McAlister didn’t know who was calling, but he knew Cale Gustoff. The man saved his life twice in two countries. “Stay by Cale and I will come get you.” The boy wiped his eyes. “Margo is here, please hurry!” Bear knew who that was. Margo was Cale’s crazy ex-wife. For all Cale’s good qualities, his taste in women was horrible. “Where are you and what is your name?” Bear wasn’t sure who the boy was, but if he was helping Cale he was someone, because Cale wasn’t the daddy type. Besides being too old, he was a scientist steeped in work and mystery.
“Cale calls me boy or Daniel, because he says that I am the judgment of man. Cale is my father. He takes care of me. He is bleeding badly.” Bear was trying to keep the boy calm and on the phone so he could get a location. “Daniel don’t hang up I need to locate your signal. I have Flyboy coming now to get you. It will only be a few hours, try to hang on.” Bear was trying to connect with the office so that he could give them a location. “Daniel where on his body is Cale bleeding, where has he been shot?” Daniel went to look closely at Cale’s old body lying in the sand on the cave floor. He was scared, because Cale wasn’t moving. “Please hurry, his arm and his chest, he was shot once but her guards beat him up. Margo hates him and she’s mean. We are in a cave. My horse is in the rocks but we have to hide because of Margo.”
“Flyboy do you read? Cale and the boy are at these coordinates I am sending now. It’s bad, chest and arm, she got him good this time.” Flyboy came over the air “He never could lay off the crazy bitches.” Bear had to agree. “The boy says they are in a cave. Look for the horse and make it quick.” Flyboy came back “ten four, flying darkgood buddy. Over and out.”
There was a moment in time when Bear knew without any doubt in his mind that he would not have lived without the skills that Cale brought to the table. He was the whole nine yards, as it were. Cale took out the bullets, made the bad press go away, along with the Russians and he could make the Colonel forget any indiscretion of the soldiers, if there was one, over a good double blended whiskey.
Now Cale was almost dead and asking favors from the man that owed his life to him. Cale was as old as the hills, hell, Bear wasn’t sure he wasn’t the Colonel’s senior.
Here was a boy no more than twelve that was holding surgeons at gun point until Bear showed up to give the okay. This was a scene right out of sci-fi. “Daniel is that you?” The boy was shaking and holding a loaded .38 automatic directly at his balls, as he crouched down by the back wall of the emergency room, which was extremely uncomfortable. “He’s not going to die right?” This boy was a blonde beige duplicate of a young Cale. “Daniel, I know that if you don’t put the gun down, he might. No one wants to look at Cale, because they are afraid that you are going to shoot them.” The boy looked up only once. “Cale told me to trust only Bear. He said that I should ask for the Colonel and Bear McAlister. I’m not putting this gun down without Bear’s confirm. Cale said so. He said that was the only way I would be safe.” Bear was so confused because he couldn’t understand what this was about. “Daniel, I am Bear McAlister. I am here to tell you you’re safe. I need to see Cale’s okay. Isn’t that what you want too?” Daniel climbed slowly up the wall from the floor to stand just outside of arms reach, in front of Bear. “ID is no good. Cale said that you would know the code and your last mission. What are those two things?” Bear was impressed, but not without concern.
Behind the door was the Colonel “Little Sparrow and Norway young man, now drop the weapon so we can treat this soldier and my friend.” The boy was actively relieved and crying “Please help Cale. I have to make sure he isokay.” He gave Bear the gun and stood there waiting to be punished for crying. “I understand that crying solves nothing, but I just couldn’t control my emotions. I will take my punishment now.” Bear was shocked. “Daniel you must understand that Cale needs to heal. You will be coming home with me for now until Cale is okay to takeyou home.” The boy just stood there in front of Bear as if he was waiting for death. “Cale told you that I wouldn’t hurt you?” The boy stared at him “Cale said that I would get only from you what I deserve. I am ready.” Bear had to ask “Daniel did you do this to Cale?” Daniel stood there looking as if he was seeing his death. “Bear McAlister, I dragged him into the cave so that Captain Margo wouldn’t take me away and kill Cale. I deserve whatever you wish to give. I needed Cale for my survival and now he is here.” Bear didn’t think this kid was okay. The trauma was obviously too much. He would take the boy home with him and keep him safe until he could get answers from Cale and if this kid wasn’t kidding, they had better be good. What the hell was this tortured child doing with a sex crazed, drunken scientist like Cale?