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Beneath the surface

Beneath the surface by Alainna MacPherson

Annabeth had no idea her life was about to change forever. As a slave of the aliens who were in power, she had headed down into the tunnels to mine the valuable mantatite, as demanded. But an encounter with the new senai during which she was knocked unconscious set off a chain of events that drew her into the orbit of the hated M’Nai. The senai in question was Kane who had reported for his first day on duty in the tunnels. Subconscious instincts emerged as he laid eyes on the unconscious human he had inadvertently knocked out. His long-held beliefs, values and expectations were about to be turned upside down. 

This chance crossing of two lives leads to an intense relationship that they both find difficult to apprehend. Kane has an overwhelming urge to protect Annabeth, despite her status as a human – deemed to be inferior in every respect by the M’Nai race – and risks everything to do so. Annabeth needs his protection as there are those who intend harming her. 

This is the story of two young people – one human, one alien: one superior, one inferior – navigating the chasm presented by their different contexts as well as the prejudice, animosity and lack of acceptance from their friends, family and the wider community in their developing relationship. Can Kane withstand the opprobrium from his people? Can Annabeth withstand the prejudice and disdain of Kane’s people? 

Winding its way through the narrative are the questions that hover in the background. Who are the M’Nai? How did they come to dominate the earth? Why is Kane so strongly protective of Annabeth? Why is he so aggressively possessive of Annabeth? Is Kane really just a corporal in the senai? As the story unfolds these questions are answered and Kane and Annabeth begin to make sense of their feelings for each other, but will they be able to withstand the powerful forces trying to destroy their relationship?