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Prometheus: A New Dawn

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Blurb

Created by science. Hunted by Humans.

Created by science, Prometheans could be the ultimate apex species. But only if they break the genetic shackles forced upon them by their creators, humans.

With their entire population under threat, two Prometheans take the collective fate of all into their own hands.

To save their species from extinction, from the merciless human raiders who hunt them, they will have to break the last taboo. Before the humans reach them…

Prometheus is created by Nicole MacDonald, an EGlobal Creative Publishing signed author.

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Chapter 1
The air hung thick, humid, and sticky. Dashing around the striking couple, children shrieked with laughter as they chased one another, oblivious to the stillness that struck the adults who spied them. Staring at the eyes that met hers then dropped, Alyssa rolled her shoulders under the weight of the canvas pack that pressed unpleasantly against her sweat soaked back, fighting a growing uneasiness. 'Easy as, Ally,' Eoin said quietly beside her, his long fingers giving her hand a quick squeeze. 'Keep your veil up. Just through the marketplace, the vehicles will be on the outskirts. Don't worry, no one will look twice.' The blatant lie passed his lips with an easy confidence that caused his wife to shoot him a look of exasperated amusement. 'Uh-huh. Right. Let's move then.' Ally tucked the veil firmer behind her ear, arching a dark auburn eyebrow at him, her violet blue eyes looking a deep purple in the shade of the gauzy mottled green fabric wrapped over her head and around her neck. Walking with a forced sense of ease, Eoin met the gazes of those bold enough to stare, nodding and smiling pleasantly as they moved through the teeming crowds of humans. Like sharks startling schools of fish, the humans moved away with speed as they walked by, clustering in doorways and behind stalls, their dark eyes watching, teeth flashing against their skin as they whispered amongst themselves while watching the couple. Ally bared her teeth beneath the hand-woven silk scarf, the constant pinprick sensation of unfriendly eyes hitting her flesh, making her hunter instincts ache to be released. Only the occasional glance felt warm, a tentative expression even though their bodies tensed in alarm if her gaze met theirs. Distracting herself by studying the architecture, Ally let her eyes roam the rough plastered walls that rose high on either side. This village was one of the originals that survived the outbreak. The humans who lived here were descendants of those who managed to survive the superbug epidemic that struck almost five thousand years ago. Humanity swiftly reduced to a scant percentage of their once booming numbers. Her father estimated the current population at fifty million. Eoin thought it closer to double that. This town alone would be four or five times their hometown of almost twenty thousand. And this was a small human town. They'd avoided the capital city, Delhi, with its population of almost four million. While they might get away with passing through a town this size, a capital city posed a variety of problems, the least being the sheer overwhelming number of humans. Ally breathed steadily beneath the veil, nostrils trembling as scents bombarded her: spices, cooked food, unwashed bodies, faeces and urine. A motion from the corner of her eye caught her attention and with the slightest turn of her head she watched a man squatting on the side of the street to relieve himself. The blatant disregard for basic sanitary conditions, given human susceptibility to disease, left her bemused. Eoin gripped Ally's hand tighter, feeling her agitation. He reached to adjust his pack, giving it a jiggle while glancing to check no one hung off the back. Ally met his eyes with an amused quirk of her lips. As if she'd allow a pick-pocket. It would take a very skilled human to get away with that. They kept pace, walking further along the street. The paved street sloped down at the centre to allow an easy run off for rain and all other sorts of muck, the locals flinging rotting food scraps toward it, and emptying toilet buckets into it with a casualness that made her shudder. The high stone walls of the dwellings on either side of the market lane were pierced with open windows and doors, balconies on the second, third, and fourth stories all hung with freshly washed clothes that undulated in the gentle breeze. The vibrant colours helped to distract her from the smells. She stared up then out ahead, looking across the fabric roofs of all the different stalls, a sea of colour and patterns that rippled in the breezes blowing through as they headed down the sloping street. Everywhere people called out, begging for customers, declaring their goods the best, the very best. On either side wagons with large trays were piled high with goods: fruits, nuts, brightly dyed and patterned lengths of fabric. Wedged in between them were men and occasionally women manning sizzling hot plates perched on tripods, fanning the sheltered fires beneath as they bared their teeth in smiles, sweat running down their soot stained faces. The smells of humans vanished behind the inhalations of those spicy, savoury scents, punctuated occasionally with sweet cloying notes. The loud cries for buyers quieted as they drew near, but took up again the moment they passed. Ally's head rung from all the sound. No one seemed to just speak, everyone shouted. Clanging from the food stalls, rattling from the nut sellers as they shook and gestured at their wares, and the children running afoot, shrieking and yelling while adults shouted at them and scolded. It was like nothing Ally had ever experienced before. Eoin snuck a glance at his wife's face. The contrast of the green silk scarf she wore against her olive toned skin, with a hint of auburn brown curls peeking out and her striking eyes, made many look twice. Ally ignored the stares but Eoin noticed the expressions of fascination and desire on more than one human face they passed, men and women. Those in the market place gave them space, something no one else received but not due to respect. Fear, as always with humans, inspired them. Eoin mentally shrugged it off and made the effort to keep smiling, his body relaxed and calm. Ally, with her hunter instincts, wasn't able to relax and she kept her eyes moving, avoiding deliberate eye contact. The hunters of the Promethean race found it hard to mingle with large groups without giving away their natural instincts. It made him thankful for his scientific mind. He, at the very least, found towns like this one fascinating glimpses into cultures so foreign to theirs. As they passed another food vendor, the human's hot plate piled high with crispy delicacies, Eoin paused. Ally stiffened, eyes staring through the heat waves shimmering above the tripod to the food that smelled tantalizingly good. 'Hungry?' he asked with a smile before turning to bargain with the man. The human hurriedly piled the steaming hot bundles of fried noodles into a multi-coloured container created from gently melted sand that was moulded over a rectangle shape. The old human race's obsession with petroleum based products had left its mark on this world. It was rare to find sources of sand un-littered with tiny grains of plastic. Glass, once so common if the shards found everywhere were anything to go by, was now a precious commodity. Clapping a flat lid on top, the human offered the container. Accepting it, Eoin passed some coins over. The human stood frozen with the coins in hand as they continued on but Eoin heard the sudden rush of movement as the man hurriedly checked the coins. The soft sigh of relief as he added them to his tin made Eoin snort in amusement as they walked on. Humans rarely trusted Prometheans — old habits die hard.

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