Meet Cho-Hi Carlton, One of the Fabulous Characters from Stacy Overby’s Debut Novel, Tattoos

Cho-Hi Carlton, born Cho-Hi Nicato, grew up in a prominent United Earth Government Ambassador family. He was an only child who had high expectations placed on him—military service first, then move on to a political role in the UEG administration. Cho-Hi’s parents placed him at the most prestigious prep schools in the capital on New Earth from five-years-old on.

When it came time for Cho-Hi to enlist, he chose Black Ops for the prestige. He and his parents believed the elite semi-independent branch would be a boon to his record when it came time for his political career. That choice, however, is where things started falling apart for him. Cho-Hi Carlton was used to being among the best due to his parents’ efforts to ensure he had the best of everything. And Cho-Hi was, until Eli Thorson ended up in the same training cohort. Cho-hi struggled with a nobody from Old Earth who barely had enough education to pass the entrance exams being better than him. This set up a rivalry between the two men that would not easily be resolved.

The next blow came when Cho-Hi’s father’s scandal hit the news feeds. His father had been caught embezzling money from the government to hide empaths, falsifying government records, and having an affair with an empath. His father was sentenced to life in prison for these crimes. His mother committed suicide in the wake of the scandal. Black Ops command helped Cho-Hi by changing his records to reflect his maternal grandmother’s maiden name. Cho-Hi figured it would be difficult for anyone to connect this name to his parents.

Cho-Hi’s luck seemed to turn some when it came time for his occupational specialty training through Black Ops. Because of the unfortunate events he’d experienced, Cho-Hi had developed a deep hatred for empaths and anyone deemed a dissident to the UEG. This hatred served Black Ops well when they trained Cho-Hi to become an interrogator. Cho-Hi took to the training well and grew exceptionally good at extracting information from targets. Not all his targets survived the interrogation, but Black Ops didn’t mind that, so neither did Cho-Hi. This made him particularly valuable to Black Ops command. Cho-Hi got tapped for a number of high value missions for Black Ops. He believed this meant his luck was turning.

And Then Came Eli…

Then he got paired with Eli for a mission. One where Eli led their two-man team. This grated on Cho-Hi. They managed to complete the mission, but not without deepening the tension and hatred between them. It wasn’t long, and this was repeated only Cho-Hi led their two-man team, almost as if someone in Black Ops command wanted the two of them to go after each other instead of their target. After a third mission like this, Major Wade intervened and broke up the pattern. This respite may well have kept one or both alive.

It didn’t last long, though. The mission to Delarin III came down the line. Major Wade couldn’t intervene as the orders specified throwing Cho-Hi and Eli back together again. While Major Wade did what he could to keep the tension between them down, it didn’t matter much. Then, when things happened the way they did on that mission, leading to Eli’s desertion, Cho-Hi snapped. He saw it as the ultimate gift to hunt Eli, bringing the situation into a much deeper level than a simple Black Ops order. By the time Cho-Hi and Eli met again, the stress of it all created a situation where neither of them had a chance to change the outcome.

You can find Tattoos by Stacy Overby on Amazon and these other book retailers.

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