This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
It was several years after the Great War. The war started at the year of 2068. It ruined landscapes and ravaged the country. Everyone who talked about the war talked about how terrible it was and all the fighting that erupted. It all started, well, nobody remembers exactly. Some say it started out as a brawl from the dirty downtown of Chinatown LA in the night and eventually spilled over overseas to China. Eventually, the fighting spread like a virus across Asia and into Europe as well as Africa. Next morning that came, I found myself turning on the television with my family and looked at the news. I was eight.
It was an ugly sight. Fighting everywhere on the streets. Rioting. People being murdered for their money. It was like a virus had gripped the entire nation and thrust us all into a World War III. It became that eventually. For the next few weeks my family held onto every word through the news. The killings, the murders and violence were happening overseas. What started on the south coast of the United States of America spread westward all the way to England. It hadn’t happened yet here because we lived on the Northern coast. Eventually it did and when it happened, my family was forced to move.
The President called an emergency private session. The day after happened quickly. It was the day everyone came. The FBI, the NCIS, the ATF and other government groups with different acronyms swarmed the streets. The Navy, the military and even the marines all came. They didn’t knock. They broke down doors and ripped families apart. I didn’t understand then because I was eight. This was the day that I lost my father and my brother when they took them. Drafted them into a war that nobody wanted.
My mother and my sister, the only family I had, took me away far north passed the Canada borders. They said it was the only way we could survive. To watch with horror as we lost everything. Our freedom to the flag. The congress burning. Even the President was killed. The following week since I lost my father and my brother, we lost several cities during the night including Washington D.C. War had begun all within a month after the rioting started. Here, in Canada, there was no war. No reason to cross borders yet.
Not only were people being ripped from their families, but there was a reason for that. They had to prepare for war and when it started, people started dying all over. I lost my brother to a bombing three months later and my father to a motor landmine a week after.
What started it all was from all the basic sins including corruption, greed and lust. People started fighting each other for money, property or control of their domain. Huge mob bosses rose while the weaker ones were either killed or blended into their own groups. There was no end to all the bad things that happened in my lifetime.
I was one of the lucky few that survived the war. It lasted for fifteen years. World War III was one of the bloodiest and one of the worst wars in any generation. It ended at the year 2083. It felt like a bad stain. Like no one wanted to clean it up. Sure, there were still fighting in the streets but not everyone had any energy anymore. It was like on that day of August 8th, 2083 the world stopped fighting a pointless war. The people simply had no drive to continue. Like they gave up and went below ground.
Me? I won’t give up. My name is Skylar Cade. I am only 23. I spent the rest of my life growing up in Alberta, Canada with my mother and my twin sister. While I watched the war continue from behind those doors, I enlisted at the age of thirteen to the new taskforce of Canada called the Canada Border Patrol as a trainee as well as my sister. Together we fought through the academy and came out agents. We were responsible for the defense of Canada if the war ever came.
They never did, but the border patrol never sleeps. All the world cared about was the fighting overseas and destroying what was once a great nation. The United States of America was crippled by the war. It never gave up, but she was crippled. The flag still waved today, but it wasn’t what it was anymore.
The war ended, but there were still some fighting to be done.
Skye walked across the darkness of the old streets. The air was warm. The lamp continued to flicker illuminating his way. The cold metallic feel of his lowered weapon rested within his hands. A soft crackle from his radio on his shoulder went to life, “All units in the vicinity to the south end. We have a body.”
He was close. Clicking the radio hooked around his ear, the agent confirmed, “On my way!”
His feet increased in tempo from a quick walk to a fast run. The air was getting colder. Vapors were coming from his mouth. It was in the middle of summertime. A concerned look crept across his brow. He got closer as the background sirens slowly got louder. He crossed the threshold between the two streets. From before him were several police cars and a mobile crime scene truck. Lowering his gun, he holstered his weapon and slowed to a trot before pulling out his badge.
The officer behind the holo-tape raised his hand to keep him back. He showed his badge, “Skylar Cade.”
The officer turned as a young woman approached them. She waved him forward and responded, “That’s my brother. Come on, Skye.”
The officer stepped aside as Skye walked through the animated holo-tape. Skye grabbed her shoulder and asked, “What happened, Sara? What’s going on? Did we get the person responsible?”
They walked side by side through the illumination of the large street. His sister was his height by about five feet and eleven inches. They were fraternal twins. Sara sighed with frustration shaking her head. Her long brown hair was braided and tied into a ponytail. She responded, “No. Not exactly. You’ll see.”
They stopped before the forensic group tending to a body lying on the street. Sara sighed rubbing her nose with the front of her palm and placed her hands on the hip. She had a grim look on her face. Skye looked ahead of her and dismayed. The body itself looked frozen even on a cool night in the summertime.
He looked at her with a puzzled look. Sara explained, “Body is frozen as you can see. This is a homicide. What is strange that it happened today of all days. And it is warm even though it is still cold in the area. There is no cold freeze liquid nitrogen anywhere within five miles here and yet it is pretty chilly in here. There is only one plausible explanation for this, Skye.”
Skye processed his thoughts and came to one conclusion. He groaned closing his eyes, rubbed his forehead and responded, “Our suspect is an Abnormal.”
She nodded as her tone sounded final, “That is one conclusion, Skye. We need to bring in the Cavalry.”
Skye groaned again as he responded looking at her, “Not now, Sara. We need to handle this delicately. The Cavalry is only used as a last resort.”
As Skye walked toward the body, Sara followed with a protest, “But we have a frozen Abnormal on the loose. It’s a killer! We are in way over our heads, Skye. We need to bring in-”
Skye turned to his sister and interrupted pointing his finger up, “Sara, watch your temper. Breathe. We only use the Cavalry as a last resort, not first. The last thing we want is war on our streets. We can’t just send the Cavalry for every little Abnormal problem that pops up.”
Sara let out an aggravated sigh, bent her body down over and raised her arms as if enforcing her words, “Listen to me, Skye. Frozen dead body. Cold air on a humid night. No freezer miles away from here. Huge word screaming. Abnormal!”
Skye rolled his eyes and shook his head trying to be serious with his sister, “Now you’re just making assumptions.”
Sara let out an angry scoff crossing her arms and fumed at her brother. She started tapping her foot. Skye sat down before the frozen body to inspect it. He was about to touch the cold body when one of the tech grabbed his hand with a warning, “Careful, agent. One of us tried to touch the body without the glove. You don’t wanna know what happened.”
“Right,” Skye muttered accepting the glove and snapped it on. He touched the cold spots on the ridged, prone form studying it curiously. He tried to understand what his sister was trying to say. Finally, he turned to the forensic doctor and inquired her, “Can you tell me what happened?”
The middle aged average sized woman responded in her distinct accent while pushing up her glasses, “Well, rigor mortis showed the man died not long ago. Only five hours ago. As you can see, there is an entry point and an exit. The front and the back. The body is very well preserved as if he just came from the freezer. However, this man was only just recently walking down the street heading home. He was killed in one blast as his heart froze and then shattered.”
Skye sighed closing his eyes, lowered his head and rubbed his temple. He spoke getting her second opinion, “Abnormal?”
She nodded, “That would be my conclusion. This is not the first body either.”
The agent exclaimed, “There are others?”
The doctor continued, “Yes. Bodies of the same M.O. started piling up the few weeks after the war ended. The girl is right.”
Skye groaned again as he sighed rubbing his neck. He spoke looking at the body, “Sara!”
“Yeah?” His sister asked in a gruff tone behind him.
“Call the Cavalry,” he responded touching the frozen body again.
Sara turned from him and cheered silently while taking out her cell phone, “Yes!” She walked away from him as she dialed a few quick numbers and placed the cell on her ear. Skye continued looking over the body as the forensic team started wrapping the frozen body for transport.
Did I forget to add? When the war ended three weeks ago, a huge world shattering shockwave hit each and every one of us. We all fell unconscious and woke up several days later. Many of us were lucky enough to get away with a few scratches, but some of us were unlucky. The unlucky ones gained supernatural powers. We called them the Abnormal because they were of a new breed of humans.
We stopped fighting only because we had no drive anymore. When we fell unconscious and awoke the next day, it was as if we were free. Now we have new troubles. The Abnormal. Some of them are gathering and it is up to us to stop them. Ever since the Abnormal started popping up all over the world, we formed an anti Abnormal team called the Cavalry to take down the dangerous criminals. To take down those that would use their powers to harm us.
My sister was one of them. An Abnormal. However, she can only see visions of people or objects that she touches. The day we all woke is when she woke up screaming in fear and pain. She saw what none of us saw. The world in flames. Destruction of the future. There were people in her visions. Those of supernatural abilities we now called them the Abnormal. They were the ones that caused the world's destruction but her visions were vague.
She could only get certain names or faces, but they were all blurred. However, everyday her supernatural ability gets stronger. She shared them with us and that was how we started the Cavalry. It was our last resort in hunting dangerous people with supernatural abilities.
This is my job. My duty as an agent to take them down. Me and my sister. They are dangerous. This is our story. It may be our last chance to stop them all and save the world from destruction.
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...
harry142018: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.
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...
CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...
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...
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...
salma elsamy: it's really awesome , and I really like the whole idea of the story . I also love how simple the vocabularies because English is my second language and the simplicity of the story is great for me . And I will definitely buy it if it's published.
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...