Eli is an ongoing character in the Gingezel novels. He is a part time pilot of the Allegro, Joran's Genie spaceship, and a full time pilot for Interplanetary Courier Express. Before that he was a top Genie race pilot.
Eli at the Genie navigation console with a Gingezel space station in the background.
Eli is Tribe, a group genetically engineered for deep space work. They are engineered to be almost fearless and to not disorient without spatial reference points. He is one of the first to choose to not work as a deep space construction worker. Genie racing he partnered with his lover Rhea. But their relationship is rocky now because he has accepted the arranged marriage required by the Tribe, and Rhea is not Tribe.
It was one of those glossy society announcements showing footage of the wedding of Eli Heron, Tribe, to Rila Featherstone, Tribe. They made a handsome couple, matched in height, build, and coloring. Both were tallish not tall, slender, and well proportioned. They had the high cheekbones common to the Tribe, dark eyes and hair, and the not-quite-pale-not-quite-dark coloring. Even their hair, sleek caps below their ears matched. The article went on to describe the illustrious Genie racing record Eli Heron had achieved with his partner Rhea Enlis. Then there were images of the deep space structures Rila had worked on. The dateline was about two hours ago.
Bojo looked at Rhea with real concern. “Did he warn you?”
“Eli? No. I told him I didn’t want to know when he got married, or to whom, until it was all over.” Rhea applied herself to another greasy looking chicken wing with an air of martyrdom.
“You’re right, Rhea. It’s one hell of a universe. Want me to call Arn and tell him he’s flying first shift and butt out of your life?”
Rhea gave this serious thought. “No,” she said at last. “I’ll just feel like shit in the morning and nothing will have changed.”
Nothing would ever change, she thought. There was nothing to change. Eli had applied to the Tribe for permission to marry her, but she hadn’t passed the genetic screening and permission had been denied. Most outside the Tribe did not pass screening. In Rhea’s case she had a couple of dominant traits that would dilute key features of the Tribe genome. This was not something that was negotiable. The Tribe provided the vast majority of the galaxy’s free space and deep space workers, that elite who were comfortable spending their lives floating in space assembling the shells of various structures to the point where non-tribe workers had a reference point they could relate to, and could tolerate working from.
The Tribe traced its ancestry back to the high steel workers who framed the megacities of Terra, and they had done a lot of very careful back breeding to obtain the right and undiluted genome. They were the least agoraphobic people in the galaxy, relatively fearless, and in her current mood Rhea would say arrogant as all hell.
With the galactic demand for free space workers more than twice what the Tribe could supply, and demand unlikely to drop off for three or four generations, there was tremendous pressure to have children. Tribe children. Of course Rhea could have been a perfectly legal second wife and Eli could even have made her home his primary residence. All that required on her part was her agreement to permanent sterilization so there would be no risk of non-true bred children. On Eli’s part he would have to sign a contract agreeing to provide sperm to his Tribe wife for the requisite number of children, and to share the child support.
Rhea wanted children. Not necessarily more than she wanted Eli, but she wanted them. Eli wanted them too, and she knew he’d be a good father. That was the other big catch in the second wife scenario. A soon as he had children, he would be with them. As Tribe law required that they be raised by the Tribe mother for cultural reasons, that was where he would be. Damn the Tribe! She’d more or less never see Eli once he had children, so it might as well be like that from the start. Rhea looked at Bojo glumly.
He looked at the almost empty glass presumably of what the bartender had been mixing. “You’re going to feel like shit anyway.”
Excerpt from Gingezel 2: Bad to Worse © Gingezel
Any resemblance between the character images and any person living or dead is strictly coincidental. These are artist portraits created by the authors to match their imaginings of the characters using Photoshop and/or DAZ3D.