On a world where everyone has a superpower and the powerless die before puberty, Imgrace is not in for a long and lustrous future. She learns at nine that she will never have a talent, and when her family pretends she never was, her life becomes a routine monitored by bots.
Being asked to help the Guardians in an experiment is one thing, finding out that she has something to offer her people is another. Imgrace is shocked.
Shadow was indifferent to the young woman who had lived her life powerless, until she kissed him. One moment turned his focus from his people to this young, frail woman who had been rejected by every means. He was about to pursue her when his commander shipped her to the Citadel, and then, he had to wait.
Training at the Citadel is surreal, and finding out that she isn’t what she thought shocks her to her core but fills her with purpose. She left a void, but she is returning a Guardian.
“I am sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Kelart. Imgrace has no talent. She has no physical effect, no psychic ability and no incidental skills that can be detected. She is simply a void.” The doctor gave his assessment in a cold tone.
Imgrace sat and watched her parents as they argued that something must have been overlooked.
At nine years of age, she knew that she was not in possession of one of the talents that were given to one hundred percent of the population of Jremat. Her self-awareness was her only talent, but it wasn’t a talent, it was a survival mechanism.
When everyone in the schoolyard had enough power to destroy her, she had to be on her toes and around the corner before they could focus their energy.
School, busses and other public transport all were equipped with dampeners, but playtime was dangerous for someone like Imgrace.
She looked at the doctor when her mother whispered, “What will we do with her?”
He looked directly at Imgrace, and his prognosis was grim. “If she is injured at school, there will be an inquiry. I would recommend homeschooling with a bot or other tutor.”
Her parents looked at each other and then over to her. Imgrace looked back with an unshaken gaze. “I am willing to work from home. I can probably complete my education ahead of schedule with no distractions.”
The Kelarts swallowed and nodded in resigned agreement. Imgrace’s fate was set.
She wore a headset to keep the psychics out of her mind as she walked to work. It was a creation of her own making and mimicked a standard control band that kept psychic input from leaking out.
In the distance, she could hear the thud of a talent out of control. She increased the speed of her steps and got into one of the reinforced buildings for her morning tea and pastry.
She smiled at the clerk and gave her order. The cup and pastry went sailing through the air without a hand touching them.
Imgrace took her order from the counter and made her way through the crowds pushing in. At first, she thought it was the line for the counter, but she swiftly figured out that it was one of the Guardians of Jremat. So’orn, the Walking Shadow. His covered eyes and armoured suit gave him away.
Imgrace smiled slightly and made her way out of the building and into the light, two more blocks until she was at work in the call centre for the city where she only had to pass along the calls of those who needed information on their municipal taxes. It was an easy job and one that suited her.