Agent Lux, Director of the Unsolved Cases Division of the Galactic Investigation Association, was not impressed when her annual holiday was interrupted to work an urgent case outside of her unit.
To be assigned a partner, Agent Dion Woolley from Earth, was even less to her liking. Upon hearing the nature of the case, Lux agrees to take it on.
Posing as Mr. and Mrs. Lyons from Earth, they go deep undercover to rescue three kidnapped dragons that have been miniaturized and sold as exotic pets.
Falling for the handsome agent was not on Lux’s agenda. Neither did she ever imagine that their undercover operation would also result in leading them to unearth some of her strange heritage.
Luxoria gazed at her reflection in the mirror. Her wayward curls would not behave. Why couldn’t her hair be like that of her siblings? Black, straight, or even brown, red, or blonde like the rest of her people. But no, she had to have been born with snow-white hair. And to top it all, it was super curly. Just because her mother had given birth to her in the snow while on a hunt. That’s what her parents blamed it on. Her hair had taken on the color and texture of the snow. She hastily tied it back into a ponytail.
“Honey, Councilman Babin is here to see you,” her mother said from the doorway of her room.
“Why? What does he want?”
“He didn’t tell me. He said it was an urgent matter.”
“Weird. Didn’t you remind him that I’m on leave?”
“I did, but he insists on speaking with you.”
“I’ll be down shortly.” Luxoria heaved a sigh. What the hell did the GIA want? Councilman Babin was the GIA’s representative on Uchulia. That he had come to see her, was not a good sign.
Why couldn’t Jerdon deal with whatever it was? Jerdon was one of her agents, the best of her team, so when Lux took her well-deserved vacation, she had placed him in charge.
Luxoria, or Lux as everyone called her, was the Director Agent of the Unsolved Cases Division of the Galactic Investigation Association, known as the GIA. The council had created the new branch a few years ago. When Lux was given access to the cold case vault, she’d been shocked at the number of unsolved murders and missing persons. It would keep her unit busy for years. She and Jerdon had nicknamed their unit The Diggers. Because that’s what they were. Diggers that delved deeper into mysteries than any agent ever had before.
It also helped that technology had advanced to such a degree that even a single eyelash or sliver of a scale could give them insight and a lead. Lux’s team had been successful in solving a lot of cases, put murderers behind bars, found a few missing persons, but the vault of unsolved cases seemed bottomless. They’d have work until they were too old and would have to hand it over to younger agents.
Taking a clean, silk, long-sleeved shirt from the closet, she put it on. Never did she leave her arms and chest exposed, not even in summer. The strange markings on her arms and torso were another constant reminder of her unusual birth circumstances. From a very young age, she’d learned to hide them to avoid nasty teasing.
It sucked to be different.
When she went downstairs, she found the councilman sitting at the table with her mother. He was drinking a cup of herbal tea and enjoying freshly baked trapans, a sweet pastry her mother’s bakery was famous for.
“Morning, Councilman Babin. What urgent matter brings you here so early?” she greeted.
“Agent Lux, can we speak in private? What I need to talk to you about is highly classified.”
“I’m about to leave to open the bakery, and everyone else has already left for work,” Lux’s mother said. “Lux, I’ve got everything prepared for this evening’s meal. Can you put the roast in the oven this afternoon? Your father should be back today, so let’s make this a special dinner. Have a good day, Councilman.”
The door clicked shut, and Lux poured herself a cup of tea. “We’re alone. Please, tell me what’s so urgent that you had to disturb my vacation? The cold cases have been collecting dust for years. Two and a half more weeks isn’t going to make a difference to any of them.”
He cleared his throat and took a drink from his tea. “Sorry. I know you haven’t taken leave for quite a few years, but you’re the best. What I’m about to tell you isn’t about a cold case, and it’s highly classified.”
“Because if the public became aware of what’s going on, it would create mass panic among all species living on our planet and many other planets in the galaxy. Before it goes too far, I need you to apprehend the perpetrators.”
“If what goes too far?”
“Right now, they’re only focused on the dragon nation. But word has it that they’re going to expand to include the wolves, fairies, and unicorns, all indigenous to our planet as far as I know. Maybe not the wolves, because I know there are wolves on other planets, but I do not believe they’re shapeshifters. Your species is more than likely indigenous to Uchulia. Our undercover agent also informed us that they’re going to start looking for tiger and lion shifters. Matter of fact, all shifters throughout the universe. All unusual species are at risk.”
“For the gods’ sake, you’re talking in riddles, Councilman. Why don’t you come right out with it? What is it that’s happening?”
“One of the reasons you’ve been chosen for this mission is because you’re unable to shift.”
Geez, thanks for reminding me of that… Her parents were wolf shifters, her younger siblings, their whole pack could shift, except her. She was an aberration, an anomaly. Not only did she look so different, but she could not shift to her wolf, no matter how hard she’d tried since puberty. Now she was twenty-eight and had given up some years ago. “Yes, and?”
“The deep undercover agent the GIA had in place, has gone missing.”
“And you want me to find him or her?”
“Yes, and the other missing people.”
“You mentioned they’re only targeting the dragon folks right now. The missing agent and other people are dragons?”