Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Avily would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

To Steal Freedom

By Avily All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Scifi

Chapter 1

Light from the two moons cast conflicting shadows across the roadway. Iris crept along as silently as she could, so far eluding notice from the patrol drones that circled lazily overhead.

Twenty minutes until the last boat left the colony for good, taking with it the last of the mining equipment. She quickened her steps. Timing was everything tonight. She couldn’t afford to be a moment too early or too late.

A glow from the landing pad at the station grew brighter with her every step. Soon, the faint outline of the transport ship became visible.

The Union had stripped the small planet of all it considered valuable and was moving on, leaving behind the colonists, to survive as they would.

The comm in her ear buzzed. “Are you here?” Rathe asked.

His voice, deep and masculine, epitomized strength and intelligence for her. Her heartbeat quickened and she took a deep breath before answering.

“Almost. I thought you were going to take care of the drones?”

“I disabled as many as I could, but the Union is still monitoring. Control until the last minute, I guess.”

“I’ll see you in a second.” Iris ducked behind a scraggly bush as another drone flew overhead, then hurried the last few steps to the station.

The gate that protected the landing pad stood ajar. Apparently, despite their monitoring, the Union didn’t fear a last-minute attack.

Iris slipped through the crack and toward the pad.

There wasn’t even a guard in sight. All Union members must be safely aboard the boat, ready to move on.

She trotted the length of the ship to the cargo bay at the far end.

Rathe stepped from behind the landing gear. “It’s about time. I was getting worried about you.”

Iris smiled, willing her stuttering heart to slow.

Rathe put a hand on her shoulder. “Come on.”

He showed her the panel that opened the third of five storage bays. “This is where the equipment is.”

“You’re sure?”

Rathe nodded and patted her shoulder. “My information is good.”

The warmth of his hand radiated through her. She smiled at him, then turned to the control panel. Only the right combination of buttons, gears, and keys would open the hatch. Any wrong move would set off an alarm.

“Okay. Be quiet, I need to concentrate.”

The Union programmers were predictable, despite their layers of protection.  They had to make combinations that could be remembered by the average cargo handler. Figuring out the combination of buttons was mostly a matter of examining keystroke patterns using her infrared glasses and dusting powder.

The gears were similar to old safe locks, clicking into place when they reached the right position, so listening with her high-powered stethoscope made that part go quickly.

The hard part was the key. It took a specialized key that made picking the lock a long, slow process. She pulled her tools out and began the process of unlocking the mechanical lock.

“Hurry,” Rathe whispered.

“Sh. I’m almost there.”

When she had all the gears in place, she motioned to Rathe. “When I say, I need you to turn the middle peg.”

Finally, she began on the electric lock system, downloading the specs into her handheld data processor, a device she’d put together herself just for this purpose.

The information transmitted to her processor and she reconfigured the information into the magnetic chip on the keycard Rathe had manufactured.

“Ready?” she asked.

Rathe nodded.

“On three. One…two…three.”

Rathe turned the pick key and Iris swiped the card.

The locks clicked open.  

Rathe grinned and gently squeezed her arm. “That’s my girl.”

Heat rose to Iris’s cheeks, but she forced her smile to remain stoic.

Rathe helped lower the heavy door and Iris climbed inside just as the ship’s engines engaged and started to warm up.

“We only have a few minutes,” Rathe hissed.

Iris grabbed the first box and handed it out the open bay door. He set each box down and reached for the next.  

Piece by piece, she handed Rathe the equipment until the cargo bay was empty. “That’s it.”

The engines rumbled, making the whole ship shake.

Rathe glanced at his timepiece. “Hurry and help me move this stuff out of the way so it doesn’t get damaged in the burn.”

He held out his hand and helped Iris climb from the bay.

Together, they ran the boxes of equipment to the edge of the pad.

“That’s the last one,” Iris said. “You take it, and I’ll get the door. If we’re lucky, they won’t even notice it’s missing until they reach the next planet. By the time they come back, we’ll have our infrastructure secure from Union invasion.”

Iris pushed the bay door closed and engaged the locks.

An alarm sounded.

 For a moment, Iris just stared at the lock mechanism. She hadn’t done anything to trigger the alarm, she was sure of it.

The door to the passenger bay opened and a half a dozen Union guards tramped out, led by Union Captain Andon himself.

He leered at Iris. “Well, well. What have we here?”

Iris sank to her knees. “My pardon, Lord Captain. I was trying to stow on board.”

She hoped Rathe would take the hint and stay hidden. Even if they took her prisoner, at least he’d still have the equipment.

The Captain chuckled. “I heard rumors of someone who could pick our locks, but I didn’t believe it.” He stroked her cheek with gloved fingers. “Brilliant and beautiful. The Union will make sure your talents are put to good use. I trust you have what you need?”

Iris looked up, confused, until she realized the captain wasn’t talking to her.

He was talking past her.

She glanced over her shoulder.

“Yes, Lord Captain,” Rathe said.

Iris looked from the captain to Rathe and back again. “Wha—”

“Good,” the captain said. “In exchange for your help in uncovering this terrorist sabotage, the Union grants you governorship of this planet. Welcome to the Union.”

Iris stared at Rathe. His eyes held the tiniest hint of remorse when he glanced at her, but he remained in proper Union Submissive Stance, eyes lowered and arms stiff at his sides.  

“Very good. Thank you, Governor.”

Iris eyed the open gate at the edge of the landing pad. If she made a break for it…

“Men, take her into custody,” the captain said.

Iris darted toward the open gate.

Rathe lunged toward her, knocking her to the ground. Tears stung her eyes. “How could you?”

“Don’t you see? I did it for the colony. Now we can live in peace. I’m sorry that the price of freedom was at your expense, but it was for the greater good. You would’ve done the same thing. For the colony.”

The guards hauled her to her feet and pulled her toward the ship.

“You didn’t save the colony. You sold it into slavery. You betrayed your people. You betrayed me.”

Rathe shook his head and turned away, toward his bounty, stacked in the dirt to the side of the landing pad.

Iris struggled against the guards, impotent in their grasp, as they dragged her aboard the ship.

“Enjoy it while you can, traitor,” she screamed at Rathe. “I’ll be back, and I’ll free my people from the Union, and from you!”

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Avily
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...

Chevonne Prinsloo: I loved this book.. I didn't want to stop reading it! just my kind of book... I really love how the plot of the story carries along. I hope there are more books to follow after this one! I like the way she describes how Rogue is feeling and the way she shows the emotions going through Rogu. I als...

debmart6901: I could not put this story down. I stayed up reading when I should have been in bed. could not get enough, could not wait to find how it ended. Great story telling. Great detail. Loved it. The characters were very vivid.

Pablo Rojas: Love the story, at the end it is a western story, simple, yet giving hints and pieces of the situation that is happening all over ravencroft´s universe. easy to read and always keeping with the main stream story I want to keep reading about, Olafson´s adventures.

aaron10905: This is undoubtedly one of the best books written on here. I actually unistalled this app until someone told me about this story. I came back not expecting much, just to be drawn into the story and the characters. I would buy this book in real life, as long as another was promised shortly after.

heavyreader: great scifi novels but needs a better spell checker (check auto-substitution level) and grammar checker!!! otherwise, ready for mass market publishing!!

Ding Fernando: very nice read.so realistic you can hardly put it down,i really like the character so human despite posessing immortality and eternal youth.though i would prefer a better ending..i still love this novel and i am recommending it to all sci fi fans to give it a try .you will love it too!!

jigglypuff314: Feeling sad that you can't watch your harem hentai in class? This is the book for you! No one will suspect a thing (other than your boner) as you scroll through pages of some of the best porn you'll ever be able to imagine!Spectacular details and a wonderful tug of emotions, you won't know whethe...

re8622: The Last Exodus quickly grabbed my attention. Almost as soon as I started reading the story, I couldn't put it down. I found that the ideas the author put forth were very thought provoking given the turmoil we have seen gradually rise over the last several years. I felt that I could understand th...

More Recommendations

Jean Tryon: As a beta, I found this story outstanding!! Plot, grammar, phraseology, etc Rachel gives us it all. She takes the story into the future from where due South ends. She is an exacting and thoughtful author.

kim: This is great! Maybe it could just be a little more specific. One of the keys to great writing is describing things in detail. I think you're off to a great start. I wish you much luck.

internathunal: I was held captive by your sense of style. I would love to see more from you. I enjoyed this immensely.

Hawkebat: Playing both Kotor I & II and Swtor I found the story line interesting and it held me until chapter 35 Very good story and plot flow until then, very few technical errors. I felt that the main character was a bit under and over powered, as it fought for balance. The last few chapters felt too f...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.