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.
ericaporamoralcine: La trama es muy interesante y original y eso ya dice muchísimo cuando todos tratan de triunfar con ideas ya trilladas.No puedo opinar en detalle sobre la gramática, porque a pesar de entender el inglés a la perfección, la falta de uso en cuanto a lectura y diálogo hacen que me maneje bastante mal...
cassandrab: Delightful SciFi (for a change)! I am not a SciFi fan: mostly the genre is far too dystopic for me. This book (written by a high-school friend) is, on the other hand, generally upbeat. Yes, Earth's future is threatened. But Earth has a chance to plan a response. And (spoiler alert) ultimately win...
Dru83: This is perhaps my favorite part of the Olafson story just because it is here that were are introduced to his "gang". The characters are so diverse and complicated that each of them could just about spawn their own story. Eric's buddies are just so captivating and the plot just rolls along. Again...
Chris Rolfe: BOY!!! I sure love what Aer-Ki Jyr did with this series. IMHO he captured the essence of what stargate is all about. Thru out the Stargate stories Aer-Ki wrote Stevens and John Shepard some of the main characters in his stories are pursued by a corrupt I.O.A.. All the while Stevens is changing in...
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...
Roger A. Fauble: Excellent read, the only thing not to like is that I could only read it at home on my computer. I'm a character reader, I get into the characters, their story, who/what they are. In this story characters are introduced and developed allowing you to really get into them. Next the story is develop...
Mark-Mikkel: Got directed here by the author herself. Started reading it, schoolday turned into a day of reading. I really like the apocaliptic world she has created. There are some oddities in the writing tho, but I guess they are because she did have to do it for NaNo (which she wrecked, good job!). In the ...
Steve Lang: I thought this story was imaginative, and well thought out. I also think it was an original piece, and not a rehash of previous scifi stories I've read in the past.Thank you for the effort put into this tale, and I look forward to reading more of your work!
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...
Tony Lee: Great ideas. Some mistakes here and there, but not too much to break the immersion :) This was my second book here, and I'm pretty satisfied! Well I can't think of anything else to write so I'm just gonna fill the space up with random words. Magazine holder sidney sheldon first bible shack tom ha...
Dru83: This is probably the fourth time I've read this one. I read this a few times on fictionpress as dru83. This is a wonderful story. It still needs a lot of shining up as there are many instances of punctuation issues, grammar issues, and issues with using the wrong word. But all that still can't ta...