The idea of the Jakkattu Vector began sitting in my doctor’s office, listening to the list of possible things that could be contributing to my chronic, but undiagnosable, illnesses and immune depression. The list went on and working with him we peeled back layers and layers until finally the bloom of the onion was exposed and we finally had something tangible to treat. During those visits, though, often I would sit and think I’m simply put together wrong, my body isn’t like every other body on this planet.
It didn’t make me feel unique or special or blessed. It made me feel lonely and like I was on the losing side of some terrible experiment. Someone had mixed up the puzzle pieces and lost the critical one when putting me back together.
I’ve always loved science fiction. I remember sitting on my mother’s bedroom floor watching the tiny television and trying to replicate the makeup from DS9 from my meagre theatre special effects kit. But one of the things that always bothered me was how easy it was for species to interbreed. That and the lack of non-humanoid aliens (I love you, Odo!).
Being an author naturally, my frustration with my own health led me down the path of thinking about what it might take in order for two alien species to interbreed. Would it be as easy as it seemed in television and movies, or would it take something special, some genetic anomaly that would make this occurrence not just rare but statistically impossible? That anomaly could suddenly go from being the source of illness and frustration on my part to being a sought after, universe changing, miracle. That anomaly could mean the difference between life and death for a species dependent on interbreeding.
That anomaly would become not just an illness, but a Vector.
This idea sparked what would go on to become a two-year journey toward The Jakkattu Vector. A journey which reached a major milestone yesterday when I turned in the completed first draft to my editor. The past two years have consisted of other publishing projects (Sin Eater, and many anthologies), but all along, Jakkattu has been wriggling in the background, refusing to be ignored. Some of you have visited the world of The Jakkattu Vector already in Avendui 5ive and All These Bodies (included in The Cyborg Chronicles and CLONES respectively), but I’ve held the truth of Jakkattu close to my chest.
Only a handful of readers have seen the full scope of The Jakkattu Vector’s world, and it is vast. Vast and expanding. So vast, there will be more short stories coming and a minimum of two more novels. Two years seems like a long time to hold onto all these secrets, but it’s only a few more months until Jakkattu will be available in Bookstores everywhere. We’re set to release in November of 2016 and so far I haven’t even shared the cover. So to tide you over, at the top of this post is the Title Image for the final book cover and below are the first few unedited chapters of The Jakkattue Vector:
Light crisscrossed through the overhead bars. The only way in or out loomed over 15 meters above her head. Once, Sabaal would have simply climbed the walls and clawed her way out, scattering the innards of her captors across her path. But now, she was a mockery of her former self.
A shadow moved across the light and without even looking at the silhouette of her tormentor, she knew who was there. She crouched in the corner, poised on her toes, curled in to cover her nudity. When the grate moved out of place so they could lower the platform that would carry her up, she hissed and her hands rose in defense.
My hands, she thought.
The amputated talon that once grew long and regal next to her index finger sat on an exam table deep within the prison she’d called home for three revolutions around Earth’s dim sun. It will regenerate, but as soon as the bud of flesh appears they will remove it again, finding some new torture to inflict upon her in the name of their science or religion, depending on who you ask.
The platform lowered on a hoist and thick chains. Before it reached halfway down she leapt from her crouch, landing easily and making the contraption shake from side to side, slamming against the stone walls of her home.
She stood tall as they raised her the rest of the way.