I've decided to start a new thing ... "Blast from the Backlist!" And I'm starting with my series of superhero romances, the first of which is APHRODITE'S KISS.
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VENERATE COUNCIL OF PROTECTORS
Protecting Mortals Is Our Business!
Ms. Zoë Smith
Los Angeles, California
Greetings and Congratulations on your upcoming twenty-fifth birthday:
Enclosed please find your Application for Membership to the Venerate Council of Protectors (487 pages, excluding affidavits and attachments) and Council Publication Numbers 1758-A(3) and 2987-Z(9), respectively titled "So You're A Halfling" and "The Venerate Council: A Brief History in 1200 Pages".
Please complete the Application and return it in triplicate to the Council by no later than one month prior to the 25th anniversary of your birth.
As part of the Application process, you may be evaluated through field testing during your birthday week. Such testing is random, and Applicants are not informed in advance.
You will be advised of your Application status the morning following your twenty-fifth birthday. A decision as to your denial or acceptance will be based on your overall skill level and performance during the tests.
If you are accepted to the Council, you will be informed at that time of the date and location of your swearing in ceremony. If your application is declined, you will be escorted to the Bureau of Registration, where you will be required to either register as an Unlicensed Protector (Outcast) or forfeit your Protector heritage and undergo mortalization, at which time all memories of your Protector relatives will be removed. (For more detailed information on the mortalization process, including limitations of liability, warranties, and disclosures, please visit our website at www.superherocentral.com.)
Failure to register as an Outcast or to select Mortalization is a violation of Section IV, subpart 2(a)(ii) of the Mortal-Protector Treaty of 1970.
In addition to your formal Application, you must submit -- by no later than sunset on your twenty-fifth birthday -- the enclosed Affidavit of Mortal Disclosure affirming that you have disclosed to your mortal parent your status as a halfling and your decision to apply for Council membership.
As you are aware, your Protector parent filed a Notice of Halfing Nascence contemporaneously with your birth, and such information has been periodically updated. Your file currently states that, in addition to the speed, strength and agility inherent in the Protector genetics, you have also demonstrated a propensity toward the following skill(s)/power(s)/characteristic(s):
heightened five senses (including x-ray vision)
As the anniversary of your birth draws closer, you will most likely experience significant oscillation in your ability to control/utilize such skills(s)/power(s)/characteristic(s). Such fluctuations are an unfortunate by-product of your halfling status and are considered normal.
Our records further indicate that you have not yet mastered the following necessary skill(s):
matter manipulation (a.k.a telekinesis)
Form 82-C(1)(a), on file with the Office of Halfling Registration, reflects the issuance of the following Council-controlled articles:
propulsion cloak, model C-14A (training model)
x-ray blocking glasses, tortoise-shell variety (regular and sunglasses)
Please be advised that at any time prior to the anniversary of your birth, you may formally announce your intent to not submit the Affidavit and to select mortalization. Please use Form 93B, enclosed, Intent to Select Mortalization.
Upon submission of such form, you will be immediately escorted to the Bureau of Registration for processing. Please arrange return transportation in advance. Following the mortalization process, you will have no memory of the Council or your Protector relatives. A stranded mortal is an unhappy mortal!
Thank you for your attention to this matter -- and happy birthday!
Assistant to Zephron, High Elder
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