The genetic alterations manifest in telepathic and kinetic abilities in males, especially seventh born males in sibling sequences of seven sons. Mind to mind communication is portrayed in the book using italics within normal quotation marks.
The section below is from Zezilia's POV
The Sept Son (Master Aleron) was struggling with something. I could feel it as though it was happening within me instead of him, yet I could not discern the reason for his unease. Perhaps it was this new sense of understanding I had toward him. With the first touch of his presence in my head, I had done as I always had with Selwyn and joined my energy with his to communicate and see what he saw. But from that first latching, it felt different than any of the moments with Selwyn. I could almost hear the Sept Son’s thoughts as they flowed beneath the surface of his mind. His emotions coursed through me in a way that felt as though they were my own. Intimate and intriguing, I struggled to hold back my curiosity and concentrate on my exam.
“It seems that Errol is correct again.” Suddenly he withdrew from my thoughts. I blinked in surprise as my eyes adjusted to the dim light of dusk.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I can’t just walk away from you.” Rising to his feet, he took two steps away so that his back was to me. Head bent and arms crossed, he lingered in thought.
“Why?” I couldn’t help asking. I knew why Errol and Selwyn wanted me to go with the Sept Son. They wanted me to fulfill whatever destiny that the Almighty intended and they believed that training under the Sept Son would best prepare me for that. However, that didn’t mean that it was Master Aleron’s motivation.
“You are a risk that I cannot have wandering around unprotected.” I stared at him in shock. He turned in time to catch my expression and suddenly laughed. It was a rough, stumbling sound as though he hadn’t laughed lately. “I don’t believe that you are going to come attack me.”
“That isn’t what I was thinking,” I protested.
Crossing back to me, he crouched down. Looking into my eyes, his face grew serious. “What has Errol taught you about the Elitists?”
Puzzled, I listed all the facts I knew about them. Master Aleron nodded when I finished.
“They have also begun kidnapping untrained, talented young women to bear children for them. Leaving you here, unprotected, would be foolishness.
“When I register your acceptance into the community of Talents, your ability and training will become public record and cause a small sensation among Talents. If I leave you here, on the coastline, others will come to take you and try to use you against your will.”
“You don’t need to convince me that the Elitists are evil. I have seen what they did to Blan.”
“And they are capable of much worse.” Closing his eyes, he wearily lowered his head. “I fear the end is coming, Zez.” The weight of his voice shook me. I heard the crises he listed for Errol, but his fear then was nothing compared to the hopelessness in his slumped shoulders now. “I fear for our nation. The Elitists are going to be unstoppable unless we do something soon, but I am not even settled on what to do.”
“The Almighty will make it clear,” I reminded him.
Slowly he nodded. “The Almighty will make all things clear.” Rubbing a hand across his face, he laughed bitterly. “Forget me protecting you. I am going to need your clear sight to keep hold of the big picture. No sooner am I out of the pit of self-assurance and self-centered thinking than I am slipping into the tar again.” He smiled at me, studying my face with tired, brown eyes. “I propose an exchange. I will take you with me. You join my household as my Aide and I will teach you everything I know. In return, you promise to constantly remind me of the Almighty’s omniscient omnipotence.”
“It seems as though I am getting the better end of the deal.”
“So, it is a pact?” He extended a large hand over the short distance between us. Something about his dark eyes told me that there was more to this agreement than what was spoken, but I didn’t care. He needed me.
“Agreed.” I gripped his wrist with my hand as he closed his fingers around my wrist. It was a childish gesture, made over trades of marbles or favorite rocks. However the sensation of his large fingers completely encircling my arm erased the simplicity and made it something more.
So, what do you think of them?