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Page 7

Svana tossed, the sheets twisting tighter and tighter around her legs, her brow furrowed in a grimace of pain.

Sassa stood on the threshold and let her twin fight the dream. It used to frighten her, the way Ana thrashed and fought, how her face screwed up and her mouth screamed silently. When she heard the tell-tale creak of the mattress she would rush to her sister’s side and shake her violently awake.

She turned away from the door, sliding it shut behind her, locking out Ana’s nightmare. She was tired, tired and far to used to the silent dreams. It was the times she wasn’t silent, the times when strange, foreign words streamed from her mouth that disturbed her. The sounds tickled something in the back of her mind, something old, something that came with fear.

But this wasn’t one of those times, and as Sassa grabbed her jacket from the back of dining chair, she was glad at least that Ana was no longer shutting her out. The genetic anomaly her twin had stumbled across was … was … Sassa shook her head. There were no words to describe it, not yet at any rate, but they’d find them, publish them, own them. Her and Ana, just like they used to.

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Page 5

This page is not working for me, I’ll rewrite it soon.

The compound was peaceful in the small hours with the others tucked away in their bunks. A few, like Svana still roamed the modules and interconnecting umbilici, the graveyard shift who where either unlucky enough or obsessed enough to work the first twelve hours of Hetica’s 38 hour rotation.

Svana leaned against the the curve of the plexiglas and admired the tops of the starlit forest. From it’s position atop the volcanic rim, the compound commanded unparalleled views and a highly defensible perimeter the efficiency of which had not been tested in the eighteen months since the Directorate had landed them on the planet. Which caused much speculation as to the cause of the tension in Captain Kava’s shoulders and the new lines in her forehead.

Something nocturnal winged it’s way through the night, a deep rumbling craw following in its wake.

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Page 4

I’ve made an executive decision (since no one else has weighed in), The Hybrid Theory will the 3rd person.

The tall white bucket was almost comfortable put her in easy reach of the fruit. Three discarded skins already lay on the frozen concrete floor of the cold-room and she plunged her hand into the tub for a forth.

The botanists were calling them Citrus musa, the rest of the expedition called the tart, curved fruits Grape-nanas and relished the latest addition to their diet of protein packs and dehydrated vegetables.

Svana peeled the thin, fleshy skin back with practised ease, careful to keep the inner flesh intact lest a cascade of juice run down her arm. She dropped each long piece of red-orange peel to the floor and then began separating the long, slightly curved segments with more gusto.

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Page 3 – 3rd Person

World changing. Her twin’s words ring in Svana’s ears, following her into the dark mess hall and around the vacant tables that sprout the legs of upturned chairs like a herd of hedgehogs. She doesn’t need world changing, isn’t looking for anything more than life changing, her life changing, but all the same something had tightened in her gut when Sassa flung her hands in the air and said the words. The something stayed with her, crouched in the back of her mind, running up and down her spine with equal parts excitement and trepidation.

Svana pushes past the half-door, slipping into the galley, dimly lit by the green exit sign and small red standby lights on the huge appliances. The heavy cold-room door stands at the end of the long row of stainless steel benches and she pulls it open slowly, waiting until the flickering automatic light steadies before stepping across the threshold. Rows and columns of carefully stacked and sorted food and, towards the back, a stack of frosted plastic drawers. She slides one out, revealing a pile of orange-red, banana like fruits the gathering party collected the day before, and reaches in and picking out the juiciest.

“A single genetic marker.” Svana’s breath frosts in the cold as she studies the fruit, her mouth already watering. “Changing the world.”

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Page 2 (3rd Person)

Page two of The Hybrid Theory. Again this is in three different versions, first person, second and third. Let me know which one you like best.

Sassa is beautiful, a pale blonde vision of Nordic beauty with high cheekbones and lips the same tint as dusk. She is Svana’s mirror, apart from the eyes, a classic icy blue where hers are brown, the only remnant of their father stamped on Svana’s face. The rest belongs to their mother, beautiful and petite and cold.

When Sassa looks up from the microscope the artificial daylight turns her hair the colour of straw and highlights the shadows under her eyes. Her face is tired, the new lines in her forehead deeper than they were just 73 hours ago before they started down this path.

“What’s it look like?” Svana asks.

Her twin drags a few wisps of hair back into her ponytail. “Alien?” She shrugs and the white lab coat slips further down her shoulder. “I don’t know where to start, I’ve never seen anything so …” Her face scrunches as she searches for the word to describe what has become Svana’s obsession. “… So perfect.”

“So what’s it do?”

“Do?” Sassa’s laugh is edged in glass. “I can’t even tell you want it’s made of. God Ana, this is…” She threw her hands in the air and spun around, her eyes on the ceiling like she could find whatever answers she needed in the perforated tiles. “This is world changing.”

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Page 1 – Key of 3rd

The ficlet in third person perspective. Read the read the other versions (first person and second person) and tell me which one you prefer.

She is Svana, daughter of Jorge and Heidi, sister to Sassa, mother and wife to none.

There is a burning desire in her heart for she knows not what. By night she is tantalised by fragments of dreams that are more than dreams, by day she buries herself in trivialities and knows that she is meant for more than this, more than her relationships, more than her work and the knowledge drives her mad.

Who, what, why is she? The key to it all resides within the fragmented narratives of her dreaming, she knows it like she knows she has a purpose beyond her everyday humdrum. She know it with an absolute certainty that sits in her heart like a stone, strengthening her even as it weighs her down. But the dreams that border painfully on memory find no meaning within the meagre wealth of her existence, beyond the literal confusion of historical fact and scientific fantasy. And so she wait, wait for some clue, some sign to unlock the mystery that is she.

She is Svana, daughter of Jorge and Heidi, sister to Sassa, mother and wife to none and she is waiting.

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