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.
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 ...
snowview03: This is the first book I have read on this app and I loved it! When I read the title I thought about the hunger games, but this novel is so much more. Some book have a comparison between other books that fallow like premises so i will do my own: Arena has the compellingly emotional stresses and t...
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...
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...
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!
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...
Jalakins: I loved this story. The characters were very interesting and engaging. The plot was very interesting and I had a hard time when I had to stop reading - just wanted to read it all in one sitting! My only complaint on the story is that sometimes I felt like the storyline jumped from one thing to a ...
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...
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.
Leah Brown: This was an amazing read! I was hooked from the very first chapter, holding my breadth to see what would happen next. The characters are rich and vibrant, and the world Danielle has created is fascinating. If you love YA, you MUST read this book. Such a smart, brilliant debut novel. I loved it!
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!!
rafajogosmmo: If the second book was not free I would buy it even if I am poor, the book got me hocked all the way to the finish. I hope the second one lives up to the first, I really do.The only problem that I had with the book is that it is a bit confusing to know the side characters, I would get confused be...
Remini UDA: I would like to firstly admit I do not like the romance genre, it's not something I tend to read and as such I did not complete the whole story and only made it to chapter 15. Whether that affects this review is for you to consider.The Unknown Variant is a very well written book, as a reader I wa...