This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
“Gods, hurry up!” Nick snorted cold, wet air in frustration and rubbed at the dark stubble on his chin. What was taking so long? He was going to get busted. It had taken long enough to reach the rendezvous point. He’d had to take special care to avoid the authorities. And now he was stuck waiting. He was conspicuous as hell.
Nick switched his torchlight off. Behind him, the monstrous towers of the City stretched up towards the sky, like a hundred thousand fingers dripping in diamond light. The glow of those lights provided more than enough ambient light for the young man to see by, though the more sparsely lit City outskirts were some few hundred meters behind him. Nick waited on one of the spans of the linking bridges that joined the great City with the surrounding countryside and that bridged the kilometre-wide gap over the gurgling, roaring waterfalls beneath.
The hum of an engine cut thought the night air. Nick swore under his breath. From the City side of the bridge, twin points of light announced an approaching vehicle. A moment later the cop pulled up beside him and lowered his window. “Out a bit late, aren’t we?”
Nick forced a smile. “Yeah, I suppose.”
Nick allowed the bracelet on his wrist to be scanned.
“Nick Forsythe. Employed. Mechanic.” The cop read his scanner. He glanced up. “And that vehicle’s yours?”
Nick turned to the ageing green sports car parked behind him. The paint was fading and it didn’t even have anti-gravs. He winced. “Yeah, didn’t that show up on the ID?”
“It did,” said the cop, with the faintest hint of a smile. “I just wanted to see if you’d admit that hunk of junk was yours. So what’re you doing out here?”
Nick gave his best, nonchalant shrug. “Eh... just had a bad breakup. I needed some air.”
“You gonna jump?”
“What? No!” Nick mentally kicked himself. He’d been lucky enough to attract the attention of the nicest cop in the City, who now thought he was suicidal.
“So there’s no reason for you to be out here then. Tell you what; I patrol back this way in fifteen minutes. Make sure you’re gone by then.” The cop rolled up his window and drove off.
Nick cursed and kicked a loose stone. It bounced into the side of his vehicle. Despite its condition, Nick winced. “You said they patrolled here an hour apart, Steph,” he grumbled to himself. He walked back to the bridge’s edge and looked down, searching the darkness below.
Movement caught his attention. Nick fumbled for the flashlight, switched it on, and pointed it into the black expanse. The beam was lost to the drop. He swung it to his right, but all he saw was the cascading water curtain on the far side.
Then the beam reflected off dull metal. Something was down there. In the darkness the shape moved towards him, up from the depths. It was huge, and the torchlight did nothing to reveal its full dimensions. A dull metal hull rose and stopped a few meters below the bridge. A gloved hand reached up and grasped the lower railing.
“Hang on.” Nick dropped the torch and rushed to help the man. He grunted as he heaved him up and over the railing. “You took your time, Jason.”
“Had to wait for your friend to leave.” Jason reached from beneath a dull black trench coat, slick with spray from the falls, and grasped Nick’s hand firmly and briefly. “So, are we ready or not?”
Nick pulled his hand back. “We’re just as ready as I said in our last communication. I told you then I could have her to you with a minimum of fuss. I could have her to you now!”
“And I told you: this is something I wanted to do myself.”
“You realise why that makes me uncomfortable, right?” Nick growled.
“Shh!” Jason grasped Nick by the arm.
Nick too heard the approaching engine.
“Your friend’s back already,” said Jason. Nick could feel the man’s hand tense around his arm. “Come on.”
“Relax, he’s seen me already, he’ll just think...”
Jason opened the door to the passenger side and swung himself in. “It’s not what he’ll think that I’m worried about.”
Nick scowled. But he couldn’t afford to be caught out here, especially with Jason. He might be able to get away with saying Jason was an Unemployed, but then he’d get done for trying to pawn off shares or something. And what would they think of Jason? Neither of them needed the complication. Nick climbed in the driver’s side and put the vehicle into gear.
“Just remember, this is the City. It’s different. You’re not going to get shot on the street corner just for being vaguely suspicious.”
They tore away with a screech of tyres.
Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...
Schaelz: I was intrigued from the second I started reading, and it kept my interest the whole way through. Chelsea has a way with words that will enchant you until the very end. She is very poetic with the way she mixes genres and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The main character is also very relat...
themyronus: Vanessa has made 'amazing' the norme. I didn't want to read this as I am waiting for the finished and polished book to come out. But then I decided to read one chapter for kicks...well hours later I finished what was posted. Fortunately, my memory is not to good and I hope I will read the book wi...
PaulSenkel: If you like Arthur C. Clarke's Odyssey, especially The Final Odyssey, then you will probably also enjoy this book. I definitely did.It does, however, address a more adolescent public than the above-mentioned book.I enjoyed the story and finished it in a few days. The overall situation on earth an...
Alex Rushmer: I just read the first two chapters of this story and really enjoyed it. I have to admit......I have a real problem with insects, especially nasty ones like what are in this story. I don't think that I'll read any more, but I did like what I read. It was interesting seeing different instances in w...
Karl12: This is a very unusual sci-fi mystery. I enjoyed the suspense which was present throughout the story. I loved how I never knew what to expect from the characters. This made the story thrilling and made me suspicious of everything and everyone. You have a great style of writing – one which captiva...
Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...
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...
Christopher Chew: Been a while since reading was this fun. The plot was easy to follow and built at a gradual but good pace. The dynamics between each character were interesting and kept things fresh and exciting, very much so that you would forgive it for not going deeper into the back stories of each character. ...
spooky jedi: Love your story!I really hope more people read this story!Its amazing!! The plot is very unique and different, which is very good to have in a world full of stories. You have very complex and intellectual plot line, with your many loveable character and that hint of 'will they, won't they' is ju...
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.
usubitha1: There are many things in this book that I liked but most of all the way the author wrote this story. This is a clear inspiration for humans and inspired me much. I liked the author way of presenting the characters of the story, the plot of the story and most of all the inspiration. There are som...