S. A. Hoag - Author
Outliers: Team Two

Outliers: Team Two

Outliers: Team Two

A Wildblood Novella


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You know what happened in The Wildblood: Trilogy One, but what are the stories you don't know? Outliers explores parts of The Wildblood world kept hidden, the stories yet to be told.

A generation after World War 3, children of the survivors struggle to overcome the all-too-human penchant to fight with each other. The only thing more dangerous than the people you don't know, are the people you do know.

Team Two - The first book explores Capt. Shannon Allen and Team Two, Capt. Damon Green and Maj. Mick Ballentyne; their efforts to hide the secrets of The Vista and its Altered, the genetically engineer humans, while remaining loyal to the oaths they swore to protect their home. The Vista is no longer alone in the world, and the world is a complicated place.

This novel is a segue between The Wildblood: Trilogy One and the upcoming stand-alone novels.

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Excerpt

"What's your schedule look like?" Green asked as they sat in his car, parked across the street from city hall, hours too early for the wake. They were both taking advantage of her sudden freedom to move about.

Shan didn't have an opinion about speaking with the families. It was part of her job. "Parents, then any surprises Council sets up. I don't expect them too honestly, because they realize I can walk away. That I will walk away."

"All the parents at the same time?"

"Maybe. I wish."

"I wish I could stay with you."

"I'd rather do this on my own."

He was familiar with the reaction, the one where she pushed people away to pretend she didn't feel things, and he sat back, shaking his head. "Whatever happened is over. Wade's fault, Vance's fault, no one's fault, it doesn't matter now. I've watched Wade dragging you in to his own private war for years. If it wasn't with Command, it was Council. He was one of my best friends and you saw me right alongside him, but he had a self-destructive streak all his life. We knew. Most of us ignored it the best we could."

"Not me," she whispered. "I couldn't."

"We realized that, too."

They stared out the windshield, at people crossing to the park, following the walkway, going about their day, listening to the quiet for a few minutes. Later, it would be different. Later, Security would gather, apart from civilians for their own tribute. It wouldn't be quiet. If she went, he'd go along, not altogether convinced she was safe here.

"I don't think it's a good idea for you to go to Texas," she finally spoke her concern about his ongoing involvement with Team Three.

"Why, specifically?" The statement neither surprised nor hurt him.

"I'm not aware of who's going south. It's not up to me, it won't to be. We won't be Security, we'll be strangers traveling the outlands, like the nomads do. You're not tied to this, to me, by some promise you made years ago. I want you to stay here and do what you're doing - help people, heal people. You've always tried to keep the chaos under control. Texas could be a war zone. I'm going because they need an Altered, and because I don't have anywhere else to go now."

"Because you want to go," he said.

"That too."

He didn't answer, not right off. Then, "I've told you, I can't even remember how many times, you're always welcome where ever I am. We've had deep conversations about the seven roads, and how I got picked to take care of you, if there was ever a time when you needed it."

"I know," she said.

Seven roads led into the valley, all carefully monitored. When Shan was a rookie, Wade asked Green to be her shadow, to offer advice when she needed it, and to get her out of town, by one of those seven roads or any means necessary, if a situation arose that was beyond their control. Things had gotten out-of-control. "I've been close, when you had to kill someone. I know what you feel. At first, nothing because you realize there was no other choice. Later, though, you regret it, every time. You try to think of a way you could have avoided it."

"Isn't that how everyone deals?"

"As far as I can tell," she admitted. "But you're a doctor now. There's a conflict of interests that can't be reconciled. 'Primum non nocere'. First do no harm."

"That translation is centuries old and probably inaccurate. My oath says that I'll treat every patient to the best of my ability, with dignity and respect. There's nothing about defending my life or the lives of others, and therefore, no conflict."

"It eats at you."

"Just like it does you," he said. "Then I go seek my absolution, my redemption. You asked me once if I thought the Altered have souls. I said you do or you wouldn't even care. This entire conversation proves it. You worry about my soul as much as I worry about yours."

She sat back, startled by his words. Green was quiet until he had something to say. It was profound.

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