Cross Breed (Breeds #32)

•THE WORLD OF THE BREEDS•

They were created; they weren’t born.

They were trained; they weren’t raised.

Tortured, experimented upon.

Now that they’re free, they’re hunted.

Eighteen years ago, a small pride of feline Breeds—humans genetically mutated and altered before conception with the DNA of the big-cat predators of the Earth—revealed their existence and shocked the world with the undeniable proof of man’s evil.

“Science,” screamed their creators, who fought to excuse the demented, depraved experiments.

One hundred and fifty years of death, blood and inhuman practices, of experiments that killed, maimed and forever scarred the incredible beings that science believed they had breathed life into.

The Breeds were taught they had no soul.

Their creators were to be their gods. Those men and women, hearts blackened by greed and evil, held the power of life or death.

More death, sadly, was discovered than life.

The revelation of those first six feline Breeds led to the discovery of the labs and confinement cells that held still endless more—who were sometimes enraged, all burning with hatred for their captors and desperate for freedom. And the tales they told of their confinement horrified the world.

Daughters kidnapped across generations, used as Breeders, then terminated without thought to the lives destroyed.

Families wailed in the streets and on screens across nation after nation. They sobbed at the horror their children, sisters and grandchildren suffered. They screamed for justice for the children, no matter their genetics or mutations, and raised their fists in demand for atonement.

Yet more revelations of those who had escaped, had been slipped out as babes, and other experiments performed in vitro came to light.

Whole families were devastated to learn they were to live in fear that their adopted children or the children conceived in vitro could one day be tested and torn from their arms to be placed in labs where experiments practiced on them were even more demonic than those done to animals in the past.

A cry of horror echoed around the world. A demand for atonement swept through the countries whose politicians and military involved themselves in these atrocities.

Chaos reigned in the capitals across the world. Marches by the hundreds of thousands swept across nations, and for months, the screams echoed to heaven itself. Voices were raised to right this horrible wrong.

The companies revealed to have provided funds for the depraved, horrific experiments saw their stocks crash, and entire corporations were destroyed. Some burned to the ground in the madness of the fury the world felt that their governments, their militaries, had contributed to something so evil.

Government leaders in nation after nation toppled amid the fury until it threatened to decimate whole administrations unless those governing found a way to preserve the lives that had suffered so terribly.

Here, the Breeds found a voice.

They were creatures genetically enhanced to sway public opinion, to pinpoint weaknesses and strengths and use them to their own advantage. The genetics of fallen heroes and villains came to the fore as the Breeds stood before the masses and calmed their fury, suggesting their leaders ensure Breed freedom.

Their genetics were drawn from the greatest minds in generations—long-lost warriors, military leaders, skilled orators, legal geniuses and scientific monsters—and mixed with those of the most cunning and predatory hunters alive.

They understood deception and how to use it. They knew compassion but also the need for force. They became the weapons their creators envisioned, but they were now using those talents against their tormentors.

What science had created and military minds had thought to control, they now found themselves helpless against; they were forced to sit down with creations who held such a fine understanding of legalities, deception and self-preservation that they were able to use the very laws of democracy against the democracies shaking beneath the threat of destruction.

But freedom is still a chimera, a dream the Breeds are reaching for. Because even the laws drafted to protect them can’t silence the voices that rose against them.

“God didn’t create them,” the minority screamed, their voices drowned by those demanding justice.

Allowing the Breeds to move freely would dilute God’s genetic design, the purity of human blood, they argued.

They were ignored.

They were the minority.

They became the shadow that haunts the Breeds.

And nearly two decades later, the battle isn’t over yet.

It’s only begun.