This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
“Chief!” a snappy voice echoed around the dark room. It startled Malera, who was hunched in front of her holoscreen.
She was daydreaming again. This cannot be good, at all. Especially at work. She just cannot dream away the day.
The woman glanced out of the darkened windows for confirmation. The day was over and she had slept through the evening hours.
This kind of behavior was not good for The Assistant Chief of Security Forces of Lysandria. It has never been a good idea. But this is the second time in this year she has caught herself doing that. Working in the Security Department should be rewarding and challenging job for a person like her. But here she was, sleeping away the day.
“Chief Malera! You have to see this!” the annoying high pitched noise emerged again stirring her from her thoughts.
“I’m coming, coming,” the brown haired woman grumbled and stood up from her desk while rubbing away the sleep from her eyes. “This better be something good.”
Malera made her way through the dark office which mostly abandoned by her staff. Only few of people worked the night shift just like she was working tonight.
Malera reached the tiny security feed operator sitting in front of the huge holoscreen and touched her shoulder lightly. The screen was the only source of light in the room. It illuminated the frightened face of her employee.
“What is it?” Malera asked, her eyes drawn to the many security camera feeds in front of her.
The woman pointed at the screen, “This is the third time I have seen this man.”
“And?” Malera prompted her for more information.
Malera rolled her eyes and sighed.
This wasn’t a big breach of security she had been worried about. It was just a man. One man from the twenty thousand of men living in Lysandria at the present day.
The tiny woman opened her mouth to explain before Malera could say anything back to her. “I have never seen this guy before. He seems to just appear and then disappear into the thin air.”
“You just said that it was the third time you saw him on your live feed, Shinye?”
“No… um… yes,” the woman sighed thoroughly confusing her superior.
“What I meant was… Usually we can track people, who they are or what they are doing, as you know. But this guy…” Shinye sighed in frustration, “I have seen him three times this so far. In different places all over the city. But for the life of me, I cannot track down where he came from nor can I find out where he went.”
“What? This is not possible!”
“That’s what I am saying!” Shinye pointed out.
It was not possible for people to disappear in this city. Nothing was left unsecured. Nothing was left to chance. Every last person of the 40 000 people who were living in the city, were monitored every second of the day.
The security forces knew everything – what they people did, where did they go. Every entrance and exit to the city were monitored, together with every building, every floor.
But this man is bending that invisible rule, right under her nose. He was the unknown. For the system, he was nobody.
“Who is he?” the Chief asked sharply, startling the woman sitting in front of her.
“I don’t know yet.”
“How can you not know who he is?”
“Our database didn’t recognize him. And I have yet to run him through the CDDC.”
“Do it, what are you waiting for?” the Malera stood up, running her fingers through her long, light brown strands of hair. “I want know who this man is.”
“I’m on it,” the woman nodded in agreement and turned her attention back to the screen. The logo of Central Database of the Dome Cities came to life under her touch.
Malera watched her employee working in lightning speed, shifting through several databases at once. In the far corner of the screen, she saw the face recognition engines combing through the unified databases.
It was always interesting to watch this process. She had never needed to do this and it always felt like magic how her employees managed to do this with apparent ease.
Finally, she forced herself to move, to walk away from the camera feeds to let Shinye work her magic. She didn’t want to back to her desk yet. She has been there most of the day, she needed to move. She chose to slowly walk around the room, just to observe the remainder of her team working.
Her team’s office was quite a big room, filled with glass screens and holographs, cubes humming lowly on the tables. She always felt trapped in this room. Not in this room in particular but office rooms in general. They were dimly lit and full of people and it made her feel like she was in a cage, not being able to leave.
There were a lot of this type of offices in the building. Small rooms surrounded by glass filled with people who were monitoring the city around them. It was all part of their job. Her job.
But she felt just a bit uncomfortable whenever she needed to spend another night in there. Apparently nobody had warned her before she accepted the job offer that spending her days and sometimes nights in these small rooms were to be a part of the job description.
She still missed her rookie days, running around with the Security Squad. ‘Z-squad’, as they had been calling the group. Z stood for the zealous, nickname given them by one of the control officers. Simply because they were overachievers in their rookie group. Everyone wanted to do the best, whatever it took. Not everybody from her group achieved success, though.
Now, after working over ten years in her chosen field, she was trapped in the glass building, working night shifts within the monitoring system. Her team had grown from 3 to 6 in this past year, making them the most effective security team in Lysandria. All of her employees respected her and were always giving her the space whenever she needed it.
She liked that and showed the same kind of respect back. They were a tight group of workers, achieving the impossible, if needed.
The downside was – she missed the fieldwork. Action. Taking down the bad guys. Arrests and chases. She missed it all.
Her little stroll around the room ended in front the large main window.
The whole city laid in front of her, the flickering lights from the streets below her cast shadows to the ambient night of the living areas. Blue halogenic glow from the industrial area on the left catched her eye. The flashing lights from the entertainment and financial screamed for her attention on the right side. Further away up the hills she could make out the warm yellow glow from the agrarian fields, the low light coming from the special bulbs they use for the plants.
It was her city.
She was born and raised here, amongst the busy rhythm of the streets. She will be forever proud to be a citizen of Lysandria. Forever.
“Pssht, Mal,” she heard a whisper somewhere close by and it startled her. She turned her head towards the sound and discovered her friend peeking in from one of the doors.
“Oh sheesh, Mayke, you scared the crap out of me,” she whispered back to the man smiling at her.
“Sorry. Can you come to the hall for a minute?”
“Yeah, sure,” she walked towards the door and squeezed herself through the doorway into a brightly lit blue hall that surrounded the tech rooms.
“What’s up?” Mal asked from the man, squinting her eyes.
“I just got the word from upstairs,” the words rushed out of Mayke
“What is it?”
“There are some rumors. I have heard things,” he continued with his voice low, leaning in closer to her, like he was sharing a big secret.
“Come closer,” he instructed her and then whispered into her ear, making the shudder run down her spine.
She shifted closer, their bodies were almost touching.
“They say that there is a promotion available. Only for you though. It has already been decided somewhere higher up. You are going to be the Chief of Security as soon as Porrtage retires.”
He moved away from her, observing her reactions with glee on his face.
Mal opened her mouth once, twice, but there was no sound coming out.
Big smile emerged from Mayke. Mal raised her eyes to meet his, to find any confirmation to what he had just said. Mayke nodded enthusiastically.
“What?” she finally voiced her thoughts. “I thought they would consider Camden first. I never thought that they could give that place to me.”
Mayke burst out laughing. “Seriously?”
When Mayke saw that Mal is not laughing with him, his face straightened as he got confused.
“You seriously thought that Camden would get the spot?”
She nods, looking up to Mayke’s green eyes, which are full of amusement.
“Camden is…” he paused, grimacing. “… a good man. But he hasn’t the strength and the skill to lead the teams like you do, or that is what I heard upstairs anyway. You have to keep it on the down low, you know. Nothing is final yet. They are still rumors. I just thought you should know. Maybe it would put a smile on your face. I haven’t seen you smile in months.”
Mal was floored by his words
She never thought that the day would come when they would promote her. She has always known that she is good at what she does and she was doing everything with a passion. But she wasn’t sure that the men upstairs would think the same way she did.
But apparently they did.
“Wow,” she breathed out.
“I know, right?” Mayke smiled widely.
“Thank you, My, for telling me this,” she smiled back to him.
That man was always looking out for her, always making her smile.
She really liked him.
“Only for you,” he winked, reaching out to take her hand to his. He raised her delicate palm to his mouth and kissed it. “Only for you.”
She felt butterflies making rounds in her stomach and suddenly experienced her legs loosing the ground beneath her. Mayke’s gesture was making a riot in her body, making her want more. Instead of reaching out to him, she pulled away her hand, trying to steady her beath.
“You are a sap and you know that.”
“And you like it,” he shoot back.
She was silent for a moment and looked into his eyes. Mayke’s blue eyes were glinting with happiness in the harsh light of the hallways. Finally she answered shyly, “Yes, I do.”
The door slammed open somewhere in the far end of the hallway.
It broke the silent spell around them.
Mayke was first to stir as his face projected the seriousness that usually occupied his features.
“You should get back to work,” he whispered softly
“Yeah, I should,” she nodded. “Thank you for telling me, My.”
“No problem, you know that. Just keep it low, Malera, ok?”
“I will,” she whispered again, opening the door to her tech room.
“See you around?”
Her gaze lingered on his retreating form for a moment, as she did not want to go inside yet. But she had to. There was work that needed to be doing
“I’ll call,” she whispered before the door closed.
She barely heard his answer. “Looking forward to it.”
Smiling, she leant back at the closed door.
Exactly 26 floors down from Malera, very near to the Security Office Building, a tall man crossed the street. His steps were hurried and he glanced around the area like he was searching for something. He was dressed in the black undersuit, like all the citizens of Lysandria were. His dark blue overcoat flapped on the gentle wind, as he tried to ignore the flow of people on his path.
He found the front steps of the big library with no problem and he walked up the stairs.
Just before he entered the building, he stopped and looked directly at the security camera.
He smiled and turned away, disappearing to the darkness of the library.
ElusiveBadwolf: I loved this book so much! It's a shame that i already came to the end of this. I really enjoyed the story, and i liked it how everything became in the end. It was a great book and i can say that you are a great writer too. Keep it that way and i think you can make it in the writing business!
Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...
SandraHan1: This story is very descriptive, with vivid scenes from the very beginning, which made for a good scene setting. I love the symbolism in names, such as “Naysayers”, “Hadd”, etc . The story itself is revolutionary, intriguing, emotional and exciting. I was very pleased to see that there is a happy ...
Katy Rayne: i really enjoyed this book. i have to say i didn't know what to expect, but with every chapter that came something crucial to keep you reading happened. I was disappointed with the ending if this is for another book i will defiantly carry on reading the next book.
Alex Rushmer: Chapter One: Not much is happening in this chapter, but I was absolutely fascinated by the depth of your character development. I love how you just sat there with the reader and explored Eddward. Usually, that sort of thing gets boring very fast, but this was actually really cool! He's so unique ...
Giuliana Cassetta: My face is full of tears, I never cried like now with a book or even a movie. I loved every single chapter. I truly don't know what to say, I'm out of words and my eyes hurt from crying. Such an bittersweet story, it's so wonderful. One of my favorites for sure. Keep it up!
Grapes Are Juicy yes!!!: I give this novel FIVE STARS ! This novel is worth reading from the beginning to the end! The plot and conflicts in this story are very smartly integrated. The language facility is a little odd , but i guess this was done on purpose, given the novel's set era. Other than that, this should definit...
Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...
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...
maewilde25: I am so in love with this story!!! captivated me till the very end, there wasn't a dull moment. Didn't particularly enjoy the lay out and some bits of info was missing along with how a 21 year old man amassed so much wealth that needed to be explained other than that and a few spelling errors, th...
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!!
Sandra Estrada: I loved every minute of it and I thank my lucky stars that brought me to the story, it's been a whirlwind of emotions, plot twist after plot twist but I never got tired of them. Abby and Kade's story is a hard one to understand but once you're submerged in their story and love, you can't help but...
263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...
annie08c: I really like this story, I can relate to it a lot and with how she feels, the boyfriend and the events that happened but I'm a little bit younger. It was really good plot, really liked how you stuck to the topic and you had a new title for every chapter making me guess what's going to happen. Ma...