Here’s an except from my young adult fantasy novel Sevara: Dawn of Hope – on Amazon now: http://amzn.com/B0115CWE2S
“You’re to come with me,” Jack said, and Sevara was thrown into a government sedan with Jack, a wall of shock troopers on either side of them. Jack banged on the roof, and the car moved away. The Minister and the shock troopers had melted into the city as quickly as they had appeared. Jack banged the roof, and the hookman grabbed a balloon wire. They car drove off, and Jack looked out the window in silence. He didn’t seem concerned with Sevara, or the possibility that she might open the door and jump out. His mind was completely somewhere else, and Sevara was itching to know where. Each of his biceps was the size of a honey melon, and his elbows rested on his tree trunk-sized thighs. He was covered in tiny scars from forty years of battle, scars that had healed as well as they could and became part of the landscape of his face and body. Foreign tattoos peeked out from the edges of his black leather suit. He unzipped his jacket and took off his gloves robotically. To her, it looked like his mind was in one world while his body was on automatic, performing the tasks that needed to get done.
“You’re not married,” Sevara said. He had no marriage rings or symbols of any kind. It was very strange for a man his age and position not to have a wife, if not more than one.
“Any children?” she asked again, hoping for something. It was an odd question, since he apparently had no wife. But anything could happen in Plexus. After a long time, he looked at her, then looked away.
“I have a son.”
“Really, how old?”
“He’s not mine. I found him.”
“You found him? How wonderful. Umm,” Sevara wanted to ask more, but he was a wall, and she didn’t know if he’d ignore her questions or explode in anger. But he spoke as if he was completely disconnected from his body, calling in from a distant land, or from a dream.
“He’s sick. I want to make him better. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but he’s very sick.”
Sevara looked down at Jack’s left hand. It was bright red, as if painted or dipped in berry wine. She looked closer and saw that it must be a large birthmark covering his entire hand, but as she stared at it, Jack instinctively folded his arms and hid it from view. And she could get nothing more from him for a long time. She began to tire of riding in silence, so she began to sing.
“iladis manus tu, iladim manus ti,” Sevara sung softly, repeating the line of the aboriginal Uzgen song again and again. Jack turned and looked at her curiously.
“What does it mean?”
“You will be remembered, for I will remember you.”
“Yeah, I know that, but what does it mean?”
“It means that only when we are about to die will we see our mistakes clearly for what they really are. But death is not an escape, for all that was done will be remembered by the sun and the earth.”
“Yeah, but you’ll be dead,” Jack said coldly.
“But the light of the sun spirit shows you all your wrongs, and that last second of life will feel to you like an eternity,” Sevara said, “according to the Uzgen.” Jack didn’t utter another word.
The sedan zigzagged through the streets of Plexus, the hookman grabbing one balloon rope and then another. The zeppelins above quietly churned and droned, powering the entire city.
They finally arrived at the base of the central hub itself. The whole building turned, and the doors moved as well. Jack and Sevara had to wait until an opening aligned with the doorway in front of them, and then quickly walked through. The huge structure moved on slowly, creaking and churning like a giant grain mill. Once inside, she saw the complex workings of the building. It was hollow inside save for one massive central shaft, and had a network of beams and supports to keep it upright. They walked towards the main shaft, which stood still against the rotating shell of the building itself, and got inside an elevator basket. The operator looked at Jack briefly, then quickly looked away and smiled at Sevara. Not many girls came to the hub.
“Is this your first time? How nice! Please keep your hands inside the basket as we ascend. This is the central hub. It’s powered by a large river that runs underneath the city. There are eight arms that extend out of the hub, and the whole thing makes fifteen rotations per day. The arms are held up by zeppelins, and the ropes that hang down power everything in the city – factories, trucks, cars, boats, postal, everything. It’s an incredible feat.”
“But very noisy,” said Sevara, and the man seemed upset that she’d criticized it. They reached the top, and Sevara was overwhelmed by the complexity of what she saw. The round roof turned with the building, and its wood and metal arms shot out in all directions. The arms were held up by the zeppelins, but they were so far away they seemed like tiny toys bobbing up and down in a sea of clouds.
“Get in,” said Jack, and Sevara was ushered over to a swift aero mobile. It was a wooden and leather two-man vessel she’d only seen on the reflection screens, and her heart raced as she wiggled into the tiny compartment. A pilot slid into the other seat.
A few operators rolled the craft onto one of the arm beams, and it locked into place. Sevara looked over at the pilot. He was about twenty-five years old, had blond hair, and wore an all-leather flight suit. He adjusted his gloves and goggles, then rotated some cranks on the craft’s side panel. Jack walked over and bent down to look in the window of the pilot’s seat.
“From the Minister,” said Jack, handing a letter to the pilot. It was sealed with a wax stamp, and the pilot pried it open, read it, and handed it back with a nod. He then took a look at Sevara, then back at the controls.
Jack made sure the door was securely shut before walking away. The operators on either side of the craft adjusted the airstrip and then pulled a lever. Somewhere, a weight dropped and a chord tightened, and the craft went racing along the wooden track in the direction of the distant zeppelin. They didn’t go far before the craft was in the air by itself, zooming over the city.
Sevara squealed with delight and marveled at the speed of and agility of their ship. They circled above the central hub several times and gained incredible altitude before turning away and heading straight out towards the desert. She wondered what it would be like, working in a hospital. Maybe she would learn enough to be of real help to the girls at the front. She decided she’d wait a little before trying to escape.
You can check out the whole novel on Amazon right now. There’s a paperback and a digital version for your Kindle: http://amzn.com/B0115CWE2S