Gods Given – Draft – Opening Scene

Why did it have to be a little girl?
Pat had had a daughter of her own before her wife died. Unfit mother they’d called her, then.
Single mother of a Gifted child, not a regular church-goer, too busy being a hard-working detective and bringing in the family income to be a “proper” mother to a Gifted child. Yeah, right.
Would have been a different story if she’d been a Lay Preacher, but Pat just wasn’t that religious.
And that was the problem, if everyone concerned were going to be honest about it. The Church didn’t like one of the Gifted being in the hands of someone who couldn’t give a rats arse about religion; that would be her hands.
So the Church had demanded their Rights of Rematrination.
Unfit mother, they’d called her.
They’d been right, too, at the time.
Pat hadn’t been coping well with Leigh’s death, work had been getting on top of her, and she’d been leaving her daughter in day care way too much…
Still. It grated.
It grated even more when, a few months later, after intensive councelling and a shift in workload, she was able to ask the Church for a reversal of their rematrination decision.
The Church, of course, refused.
She’d fought, and she’d lost.
She’d lost her little girl.

Pat brought her reverie to a close and her attention back to the case.
These guys had fought, too. Fought the rematrination of their daughter and won.
Two years later, this.
Mysterious ailment. Cause of death: unknown. No suspicious circs, except the damned suspicious circs!
Couldn’t report it that way, of course. Couldn’t even say it out loud if she wanted to remain on the force, let alone on the case.
Damn. Why did it have to be a little girl?


Dave Robison (of The Roundtable Podcast fame)  has started a facebook group for those of us who are friends of the Roundtable Podcast and participating in NaNoWriMo. I’m pleased to say that I had a small input in its formation, by randomly mentioning the name RoTaNoWriMo in a comment thread.

It can be found over here, where we’ve been supporting each other in the run up to the start of the writing.

Many interesting questions have been asked, covering craft, environment and attitude.

I look forward to filtering Gods Given through these excellent mentalities during November.

Gods Given

Big multi-theistic society, major religious influence. Think Christianity during the renaissance.
All psionic abilities are accounted ‘gods given’ (telepathy from the goddess Rutha, for example).
Scientists (held in low esteem by the churches; but secretly well thought of, and funded, by the state) are putting forward theories as to how the psionics actually work and are finding certain equations can produce similar results to psionic abilities.
Working with renegade psionicists, under state protection, they’re making machines which can interact with psionics or, even, reproduce them.
4 implications (of many):
– The powerful religions are wrong, but they won’t like it;
– Men could control machines by telepathy, etc;
– Everyone could be a psionicist (and choose his/her ability, shudder);
– Machines could control men by telepathy (bigger shudder), etc.

Death of a little girl and the investigation by detective and 2 juniors.
Little girl’s parents are scientists & out of favour but the girl started to show signs of telekinesis. Parents took her for testing which proved positive. Church demanded the girl had to go away for ‘instruction’ on how to use her gods given power as the parents weren’t fit for that duty (in the church’s eyes). Parents fight demand. Parents win ensuing court case. 2 years later girl dies of ‘mysterious ailment’. Cops called in.
Suddenly there seems to be a mild epidemic of this ailment, baffling doctors. Among the victims (but not only) just happen to be everyone involved in the trial, lots more besides.
Police have to call in a “man of the cloth” if they want anything done psionically (legally).
The ‘godless’ seem particularly prone.
The investigation leads them dangerously close to the church but also gets them noticed and contacted by the state security services and thence with the rogue scientists and psionicists.
Sub-plot: Even though the female junior is ‘out-of-favour’ with her church, she develops a talent. She gets the ‘ailment’ but pulls through and suddenly seems accident prone.