Excerpt Wednesday: Heart of a Jumper WIP Excerpt

I thought I'd share an excerpt from the novel I'm currently working on. This is an M/M/M/M romance, so if gay romance, or polyamory offends you or if you're under the age of 18 then please click away.

I was born on Earth in the year 1997, and I was a cop. A cop who was lucky enough to have a good home life, and a loving husband, son and daughter. That was the only thing that kept me centered as far as my job was concerned. At the time I was convinced that it was the only reason I was able to be effective in my job; their love was what kept me going. That all changed at 9:00 am June 23, 2037 on my fortieth birthday. It was a Tuesday and I had gotten the day off to go with my husband Eagle and our children Forrest and Jessica to the ocean and just spend the day splashing in the water and playing. At the time we lived in Portland, Oregon so the water didn’t get that hot, but in the city was a different story. It could get as high as the upper 90’s some days so a day at the ocean was a good way to cool down. I had to go back inside because Jessica had forgotten her beach ball and she was adamant that she had to have it.
          I remember rolling my eyes at Eagle and then getting out of our minivan. Just as I reached the front door of our home, I heard the click of the key turning in the ignition and then a loud explosion. I knew before the shrapnel, broken glass, and fire from the destroyed minivan scored the skin of my bare back and legs that my family was dead. The noise brought the neighbors, with their fire extinguishers and horror filled cries, but it was too late to save my lover or my babies. They had died instantly and the licking flames quickly cooked through their bodies fed by the gasoline in the tank we had just recently filled. By the time I lost consciousness from the shock and pain of my own injuries, the fire trucks, and ambulances had arrived though I only know this because I was told by my partner.
          I woke up a week later in the hospital suffering from third degree burns all along the back of my body. It’s fortunate I was unconscious for a week because I imagine digging all that shrapnel and glass out of me before being able to treat my burns was extremely painful. I would gladly have suffered it though if it meant I could have my beloved Eagle, Forrest and Jessica back.
          It was another two weeks before I was able to arrange their funeral and attend it. Even then I was pushing it what with the skin grafts and the very real possibility of infection. But I was so numb inside I no longer cared if I lived or died.
          Once my back and legs finally healed I took every dangerous assignment I could, while on the side I tracked the man who had killed my family. Because it was my family who had died the case was given to some of my fellow cops. I believe though that my partner Danny knew that I was in tracking mode. I was determined to find my family’s killer and bring him to justice.
          In those days most people didn’t believe in the winagi or demons as the wasichus called them. That all changed when the winagis got bolder and bolder going so far as to possess senators, governors and one president. Since the demons were essentially immortal it was difficult to fight them. The thing is I always knew they were real and every bit as nasty as the fictional tales tell. I grew up with the traditions of my people and was raised by my grandfather who was a wichasa wakan, or holy person. Before he died, he told me that I would come face to face with a winagi, the literal translation is “ghost” but it refers to an evil non-human entity. He told me it would be my greatest challenge and that I must stop this winagi at all costs. I took him at his word. Unfortunately, I wasn’t careful enough and was mortally wounded. That’s when I found out about the Jumper Program.
          Turns out the government had been testing ways to detect and fight the demons. Also turns out that my partner Danny was related to one of the scientists who developed the science behind the Jumper Program. He was able to convince his cousin to use me as their first test subject. Since I was going to die anyway, his relative agreed. After all they needed a guinea pig, it might as well be me, right?
          I was out of my body and I could hear everything that was being said and decided. Honestly I didn’t really think they’d be able to do it. I mean how can you transfer the soul of one body into another body, especially one that was being kept alive only with machines? Even if you thought you could, what kind of guarantee would you have that that was really what was happening? Especially since that was what the winagi were doing. How could you be sure it wasn’t a winagi pretending to be the transferred soul? Personally, I could see them having a field day with that one.
 Well the next thing I knew, one minute I was standing over another body, staring into lifeless blue eyes and the next minute I was staring out of them. Don’t ask me how I knew, I just did. What a rush!
          Now you may be wondering why it would be important to be able to “jump” from one body to another. The government’s idea was that since winagi or demons were immortal, in order to effectively fight them we needed people who were not only well versed as cops, but well versed in the well, what they called “mythology” and what I called the “history” of man’s relationship with these things. I fit the bill on both counts. Also, a Jumper could just switch into a new body and continue to track and destroy winagis for as long as he or she wanted.
          Well, that was the idea anyway. Unfortunately, the government didn’t do all their research, typical for them. You see, what we discovered was that the new body was only good for about six months before it began rejecting the new soul. This meant that the government had to provide a new body every six months. This became tricky because the program was black ops and the general public had no idea about it. Not even my fellow cops knew.
          Time became an endless river to me with little change, and all I knew was jumping from one body to another, chasing the winagi that had possessed the man who had killed my family. If I got to destroy a few others along the way that was just as well.
          Fifty years after jumping technology was developed man figured out how to go on deep space expeditions. Fifty years after that we were colonizing Earth like planets. As man went out into space the winagi or demons followed us, and I followed them. I continued to change bodies like I changed my clothes which after you’ve done it a few hundred times is exactly what it feels like. Eventually as the knowledge of demons became common everyday knowledge, the public was told about the program and jumpers were hailed as heroes.
But I didn’t want their adulation. I wanted my family back but that wasn’t going to happen, and the only way I could ensure that what had happened to me didn’t happen to someone else was to continue jumping.
So, that’s what I did, even going so far as to follow the younger generations into space. Interestingly enough though, most women weren’t interested in space travel, instead, they wanted to stay home on Earth. That’s not to say that a few didn’t go, but the percentage was much smaller than I or anyone else would have thought at the time. That was how I obtained my first male body. That took a little getting used to. I liked being stronger in most cases, and not having a period totally rocked, but I had a difficult time with the whole having your sex organs on the outside as opposed to the inside. That first involuntary erection was a real eye opener! For the first time, I totally got how that could happen and how embarrassing it was. Overall, it just felt weird. At first anyway, but after the first couple of times I got used to the vagaries of having a male body and in time I grew to prefer it.
          So I followed generation after generation to one new colony planet after another. I saw the rise and fall of new human civilizations. I saw these new generations lose touch with Earth, and in some cases, a few  who totally forgot about their mother planet, instead believing that the colony was their home world. Not surprising really when you think about it. It used to happen all the time on Earth, grandparents came from Italy and intermarried with other Americans and in four generations it could be completely forgotten that grandpa and grandma were Italian. Throw in the Plagues of the 2070’s where millions died thanks to the winagis, that was them using our own science against us, and it wasn’t hard to imagine how it could happen.
          It wasn’t until sometime in the 3050’s when people were living almost one hundred years longer and bodies were in short supply for jumpers, that our scientists discovered if you put the donor body into a sort of suspended animation, then you could preserve it and the soul inside until such a time as a body became available. This in turn kept the jumper alive until he or she was needed again to fight the good fight. By this time we’d gotten very good at our jobs and there were fewer demons, or so we thought. 

(c) Copyright 2013 by Regina  Paul. All Rights Reserved.