Neanderthal Protocol, a spine-tingling science fiction novel by talented Charles Suddeth.
Greg Anderson is a physicist working on Project Cold Sun, which will generate electricity via hydrogen fusion. After a DNA test exposes him as a Neanderthal, he lives on the streets like a wild animal. Near death, he meets Rachel Waters.
After Greg’s former boss is murdered, the police blame Greg. She helps Greg search for the killers. Can Rachel and Greg find the people who are trying to destroy Project Cold Sun before the police charge Greg with murder and execute him?
Jimmy faced the others. “Greg’s our newest Neanderthal, but he doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do. Let’s teach him the Neanderthal Protocol. I’ll holler out the number. You all call it back to me.”
They sat with no smiling, frowning, or any indication that they were conscious beings.
Jimmy held up his right index finger. “One.”
“Neanderthals are not human,” shouted the group as a chorus.
“Greg, that means you don’t have civil rights and you can’t take people’s jobs or own things.”
Jimmy held up two fingers. “Two.”
“Neanderthals are inferior to humans,” they shouted.
“Greg, humans are more intelligent, creative, and capable. Plus we can see and hear better. That’s why we have everything, and you have nothing. But you Neanderthals are strong like horses and crafty like foxes.”
Greg kept his mouth shut.
Jimmy let another finger pop up. “Three.”
“Neanderthals are animals.”
Jimmy pointed to Greg. “You have the same rights as any other animal. Nobody’s allowed to torture or hurt you without cause. You’re forbidden to use fire.”
Greg fought the urge to smart-off.
Jimmy held up four fingers. “Four.”
“Neanderthals are not allowed to interfere with humans.”
Jimmy zoomed into Greg’s face, almost bumping noses. “This means you can’t interfere with humans or enter our buildings without permission or have sex with us.”
Greg backed away from Jimmy as much as he could on the little stool.
Jimmy flashed his open hand around in triumph. “Five.”
“Neanderthals must bow to humans.”
“Greg, I took pity on you and let you get away without bowing. I hope you’re grateful.”
Greg smiled, even though his face was bleeding.
“Everyone bow, so Greg knows how it’s supposed to be done.” Jimmy clapped once.
The entire group stood as one, looked down with bent necks, and remained in that position. Jimmy pointed to Greg. Biting his tongue, Greg bowed, but he wanted nothing except to cold-cock Jimmy.
Jimmy faced the other Neanderthals. “Now, show Greg what you do when you come face to face with humans.”
Still bowing, they knelt. Stiff necks or not, they remained facing the floor as Greg joined them.
Jimmy gestured with both arms. “You may sit down. Greg, you bow to all humans without exception.”
Greg took his stool.
“Six.” Jimmy again used his fingers to tell them the number.
“Neanderthals must address humans as Master.”
Jimmie looked directly at Greg. Panicking, Greg bowed his head.
Jimmie chuckled. “You’re learning. Call all humans Master—kids, men, women, babies, prisoners, handicapped, it doesn’t make any difference.”
“Yes, Master,” Greg muttered.
Jimmie held his arms straight up. “Seven.”
“Neanderthals live at the mercy of humans.”
“Greg, do you understand that? Thousands of years ago Neanderthals lost the war against humans, but we showed you mercy and let you live.”
Greg nodded and prayed that another, “Yes, Master,” was not in order.
“Greg, listen to this last rule. Even if you forget the others, don’t forget this one.” Jimmy raised both arms in exultation. “Eight!”
“The only punishment for Neanderthals is death.”
Learn more about Charles Suddeth on his website. Stay connected on Twitter.