Lost At Sea Scavenger Hunt Stop #10

THE SCAVENGER HUNT IS OVER! You can definitely read through this blog post, but there are no contests or anything like that. Thanks for stopping by!

Welcome to the Lost At Sea Scavenger Hunt where we are helping the Kinsman people find a new home. If you’ve just found us, be sure to start the adventure at Stop #1, which is Jill Williamson’s blog.

Collect all the clue words in order so you can enter to win the Kindle. If you want to enter to win the second Kindle, you’ll have to take a quiz at the end, so take your time and read each post carefully. The main prizes in the hunt are open to international entries. Individual author contests, however, might have different rules, so please read the parameters on each site. You have until Sunday night, February 19, at midnight, Pacific time to finish.

If you need help, or get lost along the way, click here for assistance.

After the battle, the Argonaut left orbit, stranding Wilek, Trevn, and their party, but the marines had left a damaged deep-space dart behind. With the help of a mechanic, Wilek and Trevn repaired it and flew to the next closest ship, Stop #10, the Aura Lee, from John W. Otte’s novel Hive.

Upon arrival at the Aura Lee, Wilek and Trevn were greeted by four humans, two older men, a young man roughly Trevn’s age, and a pregnant young lady. But what caught Wilek and Trevn’s attention was the appearance of one of the men and the young lady. They were covered in metal, almost like partial suits of armor. But the more they studied these strange people, the more they realized that the armor had been grafted onto their bodies.

“Simply fascinating,” Trevn whispered. He took a step closer to the girl, admiring the graceful way that metal and flesh blended together. “Did you undergo this process willingly? What advantages does this give you?”

The man with similar modifications growled. “If you want, kid, I can take you in back and show you how it all works firsthand.”

Trevn brightened, but Willek recognized the threat under the man’s words. He quickly clamped a hand over his brother’s mouth. “That won’t be necessary, good sir. We just require transport to our destination, that’s all.”

The other man laughed. “Don’t worry about Jim. His bark is worse than his…well, actually, both are pretty bad. Let’s get you to where you’re going.”

Welcome to the Least Read Blog! I’m John and I’ll be taking care of you today. If this is your first time visiting my corner of the interwebz, allow me to introduce myself further…

John W. Otte grew up in Columbia Heights, a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota. When he was younger, he dreamed of being a superhero, fueled by reading collections of Superman and Batman comics. Instead, he attended college at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he majored in theatre. He graduated summa cum laude in 1996 and then attended Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, where he received his Master of Divinity in 2000. He now serves as a pastor in Blue Springs, Missouri, where he lives with his wife and two sons. His debut novel, Failstate, was a finalist for the 2013 Christy Awards and he has been a finalist two other times with Numb and Failstate: Nemesis.

 Here’s a closer look John’s novel Hive.

On the run to save her baby.

A pregnant cyborg and a teenage boy fight against intergalactic governments to protect the unborn in this novel from a Christy Award-nominated author.

Why is Zain pregnant? She belongs to the Hive, a collective of cyborgs who choose to live apart from the rest of human society. At times, the Hive rent out some of their females to produce tailor-made children for paying couples. But Zain is an engineer, not a breeder. When she finds herself separated from the Hive, she decides to find the person who she thinks ordered the baby. Surely they’ll help her find her way home.

Matthew “Scorn” Nelson has spent the better part of his teenage years cracking computer systems, causing mischief and havoc wherever he can. But the night of his greatest triumph turned into a painful memory, one he wants to erase. But that night was also his first step on a road to faith. When Zain arrives on his doorstep, Scorn is horrified. What’s he supposed to do with a pregnant teenage cyborg?

Unfortunately, he’ll have to answer that question on the run. Zain’s people want to reclaim her and terminate her pregnancy. And both the Ministrix and the Praesidium, two intergalactic governments in a constant state of cold war, want Zain’s baby for their own reasons. Will their enemies run them down? Or will Zain find a new Hive for both her and her child?

A Safe Space

The storyworld of The Hive came together entirely by accident.

Several years ago, I started working on a short story as part of a contest. As I worked on it, I realized that the story I was trying to tell wouldn’t fit in a short story. Instead, it morphed into my first NaNoWriMo project. The dueling intergalactic governments of the Ministrix and the Praesidium emerged from that never completed novel.

In many ways, the Ministrix and Praesidium are mirror opposites, born out of what I believe are over-exaggerated fears of what both Church and State can become. The Ministrix is a twisted version of Christianity, one in which grace has been exchanged for power, where love has been forgotten and fear has taken its place. In other words, it’s what non-Christians expect the Church to either be or become.

The Praesidium, on the other hand, is a government supposedly built on tolerance, the kind that many modern Christians worry are being thrust upon them even now. This is a state and society where atheism is promoted as the highest good. But because faith-based morality is kept further than arm’s length, there is little to constrain society’s impulses.

I came to love this little universe I had created, so much so that when I abandoned my NaNoWriMo project, I felt the need to keep coming back to the Ministrix and Praesidium. I’ve been back twice, first with Numb and then with The Hive. I find it fascinating, these two monolithic societies locked in an uneasy truce. How would the citizens of one view the people who live in the other? Would they fear each other? Would they hate each other?

But more importantly, I wanted to figure out where Christians would fit in this picture.

True Christians would recognize in the Ministrix the ancient temptation that Satan offered Jesus in the wilderness: “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” They would (hopefully) understand that Christianity and worldly power are a volatile mix that can only breathe poison into the Church’s very soul. And at the same time, they would understand that muzzling their faith under the Praesidium would be just as antithetical to who they are.

So where could they go? Where would the safe spaces for Christians be?

This isn’t an idle question. Maybe you saw echoes of our own reality in my storyworld. Maybe mine is a bit grotesque, a funhouse caricature of the forces at play, but it still begs the question: where do we find our safe spaces? What refuge has God given us that transcends time and space?

And here you just thought this story was about a pregnant teenage cyborg, didn’t you?

You can order Hive on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD or at your local bookstore!

CLUE! Write down this clue: In

The next stop on our map is Stop #11, the planet Jupiter, on C. J. Darlinton’s blog.

Before you move on, I am giving away a copy of The Hive to three lucky winners. To enter, sign up to get my email newsletter, which is located on the right sidebar or note in the entry form if you are already a subscriber. Thanks for visiting my blog. Enjoy the rest of the scavenger hunt!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Something with they eyes probably. Then I could look up stuff whenever I want lol

  2. Photographic memory bank that I could use/access at will.

  3. In my eyes so I can scan long documents.

  4. Don’t know if I’d really want any but maybe eyes that can see really well and read quickly?

  5. Blog hops are so much fun. Thanks for being a part of this one

  6. Um, I don’t know. Something special with the eyes … ? Maybe I should read more science-fiction! 😀

  7. Your books look really interesting, John! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Oh, goodness, I’ve never really thought about cybernetic implants. I feel like I’d want something unobtrusive – maybe something that strengthens my bones? I don’t know.

  8. Wow, never really thought about having implants. maybe something for entrance or memory. Thanks to all you authors for doing these amazing giveaways!

  9. Love the cover of The Hive

  10. I think I’d rather not have any implants. I like myself just the way God made me.

  11. I’m not sure what i’d want. Something with flying.

  12. The works! Vision, hearing, and speed!

  13. Never thought about implants….kinda freaks me out! LOL

  14. Hmm… I think I’d like some sort of music chip. Like a tin ship from Nadine Brandes’ ‘Out of Time’ Series, where it plays music related to your mood 🙂

  15. I would want cybernetic eardrum implants, I was born with hearing loss so I want to hear more of the low sounds I’ve been missing.

  16. Not sure I’d want any.

  17. I doubt I’d want any implants; I’m not a terribly techy person. They make for great fiction, though. 🙂

  18. I would want implants in my teeth for secure communications.

  19. Mostly implants sound creepy, and kinds weird if you could see them, but something that could tell me if a person was lying would be cool as would something that could give me instant definition to words, maths problems and such.

    Is your personal giveaway open internationally, I guess I’ll enter anyway just in case it is, your book sounds really cool.

  20. Oh something cool, maybe a translator chip?

  21. Something to make me really strong and fast.

  22. Would totally go with an eye and brain implant, so I could have something similar to a computer in my head.

  23. Ok, so I’m not sure I really want cybernetic implants of any kind . . . but on the other hand, I’m also not sure I’d say no to having a computer in my brain like Cinder does . . . particularly if that meant I could just download my thoughts into stories and essays and stuff automatically. Just sayin’.

  24. everyone is picking things, I guess it depends on how sensitive it is in the future. I’d love to be able to see well. I never have so that would be a plus but with a body giving out daily, a new one would be good as well.

  25. I don’t want to be a lemming here, but my first choice for a cybernetic implant would be in my eyes. I would like to be able to look at people and places and automatically identify what they were. I think having implants in your feet that could make you run faster or glide or fly would be cool too.

  26. i would love an implant that would allow me to retain everything that i read and where the references were for it….Like a Bible verse…..if i have read it and would know exactly where in the Bible it came from.

  27. For memory, information, built-in maps, infrared a way to hook into the internet with my mind and a way to hack into people’s cell phones.

  28. Trevn and Wilek though! XD (And them in space and… yes.) Enjoyed this stop, thanks for the thought-provoking thoughts! 🙂

  29. I would want an implant in my hand like Cinder’s in the Lunar Chronicles, so that I could have tranquilizers in them and also lots of hidden pens and stuff…

  30. Memory upgrade. Always find more to remember

  31. I think starting with any would only lead me to want More!! lol

  32. Um… None? xP Though enhanced stamina/strength would be nice. Maybe selectively perfect memory. xP

  33. Hehe, if I had to choose, I think I’d prefer to not have any implants at all 😉 But if it was absolutely necessary…I guess something to do with the eyes?

  34. I’d go with a few discrete subprocessors that I could assign tasks to while focused on other things.

  35. I don’t know enough about implants. If there was one that could make me fly, maybe that? ;P

  36. I would want upgrades to my immune system, so that my body would fight, and win, against anything attacking my body. This would include, but not be limited to, that which causes the body to age, thus extending my life and improving the quality of my life.

  37. Being able to replay memory would be lovely.

  38. I love both Numb and Hive! I’m still hoping that another book set in this universe is on the horizon at some point. 🙂

  39. I am loving all these responses. I confess, I haven’t read much science fiction, so I don’t know what I’d choose, but reading these answers is making me want to pick up a science fiction book. 🙂

  40. Tough choice….I’m a little weirded out with robotics, but having a translator chip would be awesome.

  41. Eyes for my dad. He is blind,

  42. Thanks for participating in the HUNT and giving us this opportunity to get to know your books.

  43. This scavenger hunt is helping me remember all those cool authors I read a while ago. Failstate is really great, and I hope to read more of your books!

  44. I’d want some sort of metal arm (probably like the Winter Soldier’s) but with little tools and maybe a flamethrower or blaster built in.

  45. Haha I’m not sure if I would want to become cyborg… maybe if it would help me remember everything I read though, word for word.

  46. Hmm…this is a new question to ponder! Maybe leg implants? For super speed, endurance, and strength!

  47. I think implants to repair damage that occurs to the body would be awesome. Having perfect vision and hearing would be wonderful.. Also, a photographic memory that one could edit. I mean, who wants to always remember every detail of every movie you ever watch, book you read, everything you hear, etc.. ? But being able to access important things that you may otherwise forget would be nice. And something to make one more agile would be nice too.

  48. I have no idea what I’d get…maybe with vision.

  49. hmmm, Probably super Strength!!!

  50. I think I would want speed. I am getting slow as I age.

  51. Uh…not sure I would want one. XD But if I had to pick, maybe something that could record memories? That way I could replay them in my mind whenever I wanted.

  52. If I had to have an implant, I’d want one that would store information and give me a photographic memory. But I’d want to able to delete some of it.

  53. Hmmm… Cyborg implants, huh? Some readers have commented ‘translator chip’ which would be pretty handy. It would be cool to have a voice that could speak with any accent, or sound like anyone I’d want to sound like (mimicking ability). Or a vocal enhancer so I could have that soloist’s to-die-for singing voice I’ve always dreamed about!

  54. My choice would be an ochial augment so I could catch every word someone is telling me, no longer letting my ADD be a hindrance.

  55. A vocal enhancer or eyesight enhancer!

  56. Ears!!! Starting at age 19 till now I have lost almost 75% of my hearing. Bring on the bionic ears!!

  57. Xray vision would be a neat enhancement

  58. Vision and/or memory enhancements.

  59. A photographic memory. Literally 😉

  60. I think cybernetic implants that would give me an amazing memory. I have a lot of languages I want to learn!

  61. I think I’d like the ability to be able to transform. So, I could, for example, spy on someone by becoming their toaster and they wouldn’t even be able to tell. That would be pretty awesome!

  62. Vision enhancements. Then I could get rid of my glasses.

  63. Definitely vision improvements!

  64. Vision enhancement and nanobots to do daily maintenance

  65. (For purely hypothetical purposes) If I had cybernetic implants … I like the idea of vision improvements. It would be cool not to ever need the aid of a telescope to study the moon’s surface, or a microscope to perceive molecular structure. A connection that would allow my brain to directly access internet data would be cool too.

    Ooh, I’ve always wanted something that would allow me to mentally dictate my stories and store them like files without ever having to pick up a pad or paper, or open my laptop. (For when I have that great idea in bed but don’t want to get up … that sort of thing) 😉

  66. Probably wouldn’t want implants, but maybe something on my head to help my mind/memory/etc.

  67. Definitely perfect memory or agility enhancement

  68. I think I’d be interested in the idea of some implants, such as ones to improve focus or strength, but in the end I’d be too afraid of malfunctions, things shorting out, etc.

  69. Would love to be able to pull up anything I needed. Like a virtual database

  70. I’m not totally sure that I’d want any…but if I had to choose…maybe something like eyes that don’t need glasses ever, or knees that don’t weaken. Something like that.

  71. A mind that doesn’t weaken with age

  72. If I had to get one implant, I’d want one that gives me unlimited energy.

  73. Hey John!

    My cybernetics would be make me speedier, so I could get everything done ahead of time. Then I could do more fun things with my family!

    Thanks for the contest!

  74. Um… I would want one that gives me superpowers ;p

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