The Shadows (The Shadows Trilogy: Book1)

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ChapterOne: New York City

ChapterOne: New York City

September 2155

It was the Tuesday after Labor Day in New York City. The smog was the first thing everyone saw in the cool morning. 16-year-old Gen-Mod Cassie Reyes had just ran out of her townhouse. Today was her first day as a high school junior, and she couldn’t miss it. She had on her school uniform of a pleated, navy-blue knee-length skirt, her white polo, and her navy-blue blazer. Over her uniform, she wore what everyone else in the city would always wear: Leather jackets with some kind of life-killing decorations on a shoulder, and blacked-out, mid-calf height combat boots. Everyone looked like they came out of a Mad Max movie, then again, the world was still recovering from a nuclear war from 2070. It was now 2155.

Cassie ran into the nearest subway station. She had to catch the underground train to go to her school. The traffic was bad with its cars and buses fueled by rubble and garbage. She entered the station, and before she knew it, there was a large crowd of people, rushing to get on the trains.

Everyone was wearing face masks to cover their noses and mouths. There was smog seeping into the station. It was enough to make everyone sick, yet no one could get sick. How could they? They were the powerful superhuman Gen-Mods. They were invincible as roaches, but at least they looked like beautiful Abercombie models where they had too much photo-shopping going on.

Cassie took out her cotton face mask from her black canvas backpack, and put it on her face. She squeezed through the crowds as she had to get on the train that would take her to her school.

She got on, and saw it was standing room only. She grabbed a metal pole to hold on to. She took out her latest iPhone, which was transparent and as thin as a potato chip. She put round chips behind her ears, and began playing music from her favorite boy band. The chips worked as wireless earbuds. She saw her stop on the holographic ticker. She stuffed her phone into her leather jacket, and pushed through the crowds. She arrived, and walked up to her group of friends. Her best friend, Lilly Ibera, hugged her tightly.

“Cass!” Lilly exclaimed. “How was your summer?”

Cassie sighed, and said, “Boring. The only fun thing I did was reunite with my big twin brothers.”

“How are they?”

“Good. Married to their mates and with small babies,” Cassie ends with sigh.

Lilly hugs her and said, “Aww. You’ll get your mate.”

“Yeah, if I somehow can get into the underground cities, and get me an Undergrounder.”

Lilly sighs, “You can’t. You know that. Everyone is forbidden to enter the underground cities.”

“I know. It’s keep the Normals alive and well. I really do wish they could live back on the surface.”

Lilly looked at her with sympathy. Soon, the group enters their school. Lilly and Cassie shared their first class together, which was World History. The teacher gave a brief overview what the entire semester would be about:

In 2070, there was a nuclear war that was instigated by the Russian Empire. Before the bombs were blasted, the Gen-Mods sent the Normals, humans with physical and mental limitations compared to the superhuman Gen-Mods, to live in newly-built underground cities to keep them alive. These people have been living underground for years now, and have yet to resurface. The Gen-Mods all survived the war, as they already have radiation in their systems. They soon rebuilt the cities and the nations after the war. Then more history of the Normerica before and after the War of 2070.

Cassie, feeling bored, yawns. She uses her telepathy ability, known as mindlinking, to Lilly, and said, This is boring. We know what happened.

Lilly looks at her with a small smile. Suddenly, the classroom flat-screen, touch-screen board turns on. On the screen was a live feed from the President of Normerica, President Atkins.

He announces, “Citizen of Normerica. I have some exciting news for you. The United Nations of both on the Surface and the Underground have reached an agreement. There is a planet just outside of our own system that has been long discovered to be habitable for human life. There are already a few cities built there, and are being lived in by people like yourselves alongside scientists and soldiers. Starting tomorrow, we will begin transferring all Normals to GH569. They will finally begin to live on the surface, and breathe in the air suitable for their bodies. They will moved to these cities: New Yorkshire, Parisian, Los Antonios, Danken, Berlina, and Landon. Gen-Mods on Earth are allowed to move with the Normals into the cities. They must register, though, and space is limited. Registration will open in one week. Thank you.”

With that, the video feed turns off. The students in the classroom were shocked by this. Lily mindlinks Cassie, Cass, I think you found your loophole.

Cassie only grinned out of excitement.

After school, Cassie gets out her thin-as-a-potato-chip plexi-glass iPhoneS200. She calls her one of her older twin brothers, Breyden. Breyden was stationed in London. He’s one of the Super Soldier Gen-Mods, and was married to his mate Jessa, and have their very young set of twins.

Breyden answers the phone, “Cass?”

Cassie replied happily, “Hey, big brother! Did you hear the news?”

“What news?”

“The news that the Undergrounders will get to live on that planet GH569!”

Breyden smiled, “I heard that. I’m glad. My small family and I are actually going with them.”


“Yeah. I was asked to help with moving the Undergrounders into GH569. I was assigned with the city of Landon.”

Cassie sighs. Breyden hears this, so he asked, “Let me deduce: You want to go to GH569, and claim an Undergrounder?”

“Pretty much. You know mom and dad won’t let me go. I’m their only daughter in a house filled with boys.”

Breyden laughs, “I get it must be hard. Maybe you should convince them to let you go and bring your twin brother Ashton along.”

“Ugh, he’s annoying!”

He laughed some more, and added, “I know he is. Look, just talk to mom and dad, and see what they say.”

Cassie sighed, “I wish I could go with you.”

“Trust me, I would if I could. Unless you’re my oldest daughter, I can’t let you go with me.”

“Fine, I’ll talk to mom and dad.”

“Hopefully I’ll see you again.”

With that, they both hung up. Cassie walks up to her townhouse as soon as she got out of a subway station. She walks in. She sees her parents on their equally stick-thin plexi-glass tablets. She walks up to them. Before she could ask them about moving to GH569, her mother speaks up, “No, we’re not moving. Our lives are fine here.”

Cassie sighs sadly. Her father said, “I’m sorry, but we can’t just up and move just so you can get a Normal mate.”

Her mother adds, “Your father is right. Besides, you got plenty of handsome boys all over New York, and they live on the surface.”

Cassie, trying to make her argument stronger, added, “Well, it would be nice to live in a world without radiation in the air, and constant ‘nuclear winters.’ I know we can control our body temperatures well, but still…”

The mother tells her sternly, “No, Cassandra. That’s final. Don’t even try to convince your brothers. Now go do your homework.”

Cassie sighs sadly, and walks back to her room. She stares out at the window, looking at the gray, yet still sunny sky. The nuclear winters barely started to fade away. Then she placed her head on her desk, and groaned tiredly.

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