Launch Sequence I – Chapter 1

“Launch Sequence I” is the first story from “Genesis-6,” the (much more uplifting!) sequel to “End of the Line.”

 

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5

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ONE

My mother held my hand so tight it began to hurt. She gave me a soothing look, but I could see the fear in her eyes. I didn’t really understand what was happening, but I knew all of the adults were scared. The thunderous booms that filtered down through the underground complex resonated regularly. Every thump caused Mom to jump a little, and each time she would squeeze my hand even tighter.

“Mom, you’re hurting me,” I said after another powerful explosion made the world around us vibrate.

“I’m sorry, honey,” she replied, relaxing her grip, then giving me a quick hug while holding a small smile on her face for a few seconds. “I’m just nervous.”

Another boom, this time louder than any previous, rumbled down the walls. I could hear other children crying, whimpering in the line all around us, along with the voices of parents doing their best to soothe them. Just like my mother was doing for me. I wondered again if I was dreaming.

—|—

A week ago, I was playing in the park, beating my friends at video games, and practicing with my school’s basketball team. At twelve years old, I didn’t pay much attention to the adult things like the news unless my father left the tablet screen open to the cartoons, though some of the cartoons made no sense. Chancellor Ryley was a woman who looked almost like my mother, and I didn’t understand why some cartoons showed her as a donkey, or why the aliens we were at war with were stuffing apple pies into her exaggeratedly large mouth.

Sometimes I liked to read the sports section. Earth was two hundred light years away, but they had all of the best sports leagues, as some sports couldn’t be played on colony worlds if the gravity or atmosphere wasn’t right. Once in a while my own name was in the local sports section, along with those of my teammates. Sometimes we got our pictures in the news as well. My father printed a hardcopy of the time I made the news by scoring the winning basket in the championship game when I was eight.

It was a distraction from the hushed whispering—sometimes even shouting and shoving—the adults did over what was happening in the Coalition. All of us kids were told not to worry about any of that, only to focus on the next game, the next day, the next homework assignment. It was easy for me, though it made me uncomfortable around certain adults, as they sometimes forgot to stop worrying and focus on the next game, day, or work assignment. Continue reading

“Countdown” published!

“Countdown” is a companion story (not a sequel or prequel) to “Departure.” I’ll have links to it once Amazon approves it!

Chronvalescent (a story in the “Departure” universe)

If you’ve never read “Departure,” then this story might not make as much sense. Then again, it might not make much sense mostly because I wrote it…

NOTES: Not edited, so there will be mistakes/errors. I am around 85% finished with the story, which has sort of come on strong over the last few days out of nowhere. I AM planning on a sequel to “Departure” (and in effect, this story as well), which will be titled “Arrival.” This story together with “Departure” will give a more complete backstory to “Arrival.”

CHAPTER ONE

“We have to go, Drea,” Melly said, tugging my arm.

“I don’t want to,” I said. She heard the sulking, near-whining in my voice. “Well, I don’t. I want to stay here with you.”

“You can’t,” she said, her voice heavy with emotion. “You know you can’t. We’ve talked about this for years.”

“I don’t care,” I said.

“Bullshit. You DO care. You’ve seen what happens when you miss your departure.”

“I don’t care,” I said again, feeling every bit the petulant child that I sounded.

“Then you lied all these years,” she said with sudden anger as she let go and pushed me away. “Because if you cared, you wouldn’t do that to me. You wouldn’t make me watch it.”

“It’s not fair, goddammit!” I nearly screamed. I only kept my voice down because the Hackers were everywhere in this part of the Bower.

“I know, baby,” she said, her face immediately back to the crushing defeat she’d tried to hide from me for the last few months. Hell, the last year or more, but it really began on my 39th birthday. She stroked my cheek, trying to wipe away my single tear without allowing herself to shed any. The heartbreak in her face made me want to fall to the floor and just give up. I would just lie on the floor and cry until I missed my departure. The memory of what happened to the unlucky (or stupid) ones who missed their departures was ingrained in us from childhood. Even without the instructional holos we were forced to watch at various intervals in school, there would be one or two who drove the message home every month when they refused to depart.

“Come on,” Melly said. “We have a ways to go just to get topside.”

When I refused to budge, she cupped my cheeks and pulled me in close. I stared into her eyes for an eternity while she nearly brought me to orgasm with an intensely passionate yet soft, loving, slow kiss. My mind whirled as her tongue gently flitted against mine. Time became nothing. My departure became a worry for someone else. I was no one and nothing, my only thought on Mellisandra and how much I loved her. Continue reading

The Evolution of Custom Art #4

Yay! Trevor sent me a final ‘rough’ sketch of the scene as we’ve agreed on. It’s making me extremely excited. I can only hope the book itself is even 5% as awesome as the cover.

Final 'rough' scene sketch before painting!

Final ‘rough’ scene sketch before painting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can’t wait to see this fully painted! There’s still the whole back cover to show you at some point.