Entry Nickname: TRIAC Girl
Title: Prime Vector
Word count: 77,000
Genre: YA Sci-fi
Born into military service, eighteen-year-old Catita believes she’s meant to spend her life protecting her city, its citizens and the system. Like her departed mom, she wants nothing more than to join the Queen’s special operations force of highly trained commandos.
When the Queen’s secret project files are taken, Catita lands in the middle of a century-old feud to control a virus that gives its host immortality. Against her better judgment, she enlists the help of Tek Dar, an infuriating but sometimes charming renegade from the old planet, Earth. Tek’s job is simple; help Catita thread the desert lands of Mars in search for clues that will lead her back to the stolen files. But Tek has his own agenda, to save his sister’s life.
As Catita uncovers the truth about her origin and the queen she so desperately wants to serve, her view of the system she believes in begins to fall apart. Now Catita must race to recover the stolen files before the thief deciphers the encrypted information and Catita becomes the queen’s personal fountain of youth.
First 250 Words:
Tek tugs at the collar of his jacket. Something about wearing a QEC uniform makes him itchy all over. Though, he has to admit the damn thing is comfortable. It fits him like a second skin.
Out of habit, Tek crouches to blend into the shadows in the alley across the narrow street from 47 Trinity. The three-foot sconces, hanging on either side of the steel double doors, make the entrance glow in the dimming afternoon light.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Carlo asks, his deep voice resonates around them.
“There’s no going back now,” Tek responds, taking a deep breath. Then another, as the synthetic atmosphere of Mars leaves him breathless for a moment, like he just swam five kilometers back on Earth. The gentle gravitational pull makes up for the low levels of oxygen. Every step, every movement is effortless. “Wait, here. I’ll be back in twenty minutes.”
“And if you don’t?” Carlo shoots a glance over his shoulder to make sure they’re still alone.
“Head back to Resolana. Make sure you leave the city before dark,” Tek warns.
“You got it. Que no? I don’t care to find out what curfew drones think of this getup,” Carlo says. He flexes his biceps, pulling at the leathery fabric near the waist. Then adds: “Hurry, we still have to see about your dad’s payment.”
“Yeah. I just hope all this was worth the risk,” Tek sighs.
“I trust your dad,” Carlo shrugs.
Entry Nickname: Stellar Twins Kickin it Cosmic-Style
Word Count: 66k
Genre: YA Space Opera
The year is 2088. Solar flares have turned Earth to a dusty red planet, and mankind has terraformed Mars into utopia. So far, only the lucky have gone–or so it would seem.
Sixteen-year-old Joey Westen never thought she’d go to Mars. Her life of painting the walls in her lead-lined home was good enough for her, until a golden letter arrived in the mail. She and her twinbrother, Jesse, won a spot in the Emergence Program. They’ll be jetting off on the next flight to humanity’s new home, a lush paradise, and the shuttle leaves tomorrow.
Joey knows her life will never be the same, but she doesn’t know a psycho-killer is hidden onboard her Spacebus. A group of extremists has targeted the Emergence Program. They’ve managed to sabotage every shuttle to Mars thus far, a truth kept from the general public, and their sights are set on the next mission. It only took minutes in space for Joey and Jesse to realize something’s wrong, as a total ship lockdown was not in the brochure. After meeting their roommates, the Matsuda twins(notorious hackers and shady secret-keepers), they discover everybody’s lives are in danger. They didn’t travel to the deepest pits of space just to die in a high-tech tin can. These two sets of siblings will throw everything in their arsenal to survive the attacks. Sacrifice anything just to make it to their promised land.
Of all the chores, she hated this one the most. Joey pulled a helmet over her head and fastened the latch to her anti-radiation suit. So much work, every Monday, just to get the weekly post.
After flipping on her oxygen tank, she hit a red button on the wall. A buzzer sounded and the solid outer door of her home crept opened, sucking the air from the room. Almost instantly, a glare of blinding light stung her eyes. The sun’s flare raged today, no different from yesterday, and the same forecast as tomorrow.
Joey slid down her visor. A deep crimson sky reflected in the tinted lens of her old spacesuit, which still bore the tag from Goodwill. She trudged across dusty earth, a cloud of scarlet haze kicking up as she stopped. While peering through shaded glass, she imagined the land as her mother described it. The reddish tint, which covered the parched countryside before her, transformed to crisp green meadows and pools of turquoise shaded water. Heavy layers of gray smog gave way to puffy white clouds.
Her fantasy ended when a ray of sunlight beamed through her visor. She lifted her arm to block its shimmer, cast by the monstrous glass dome a mile away. A-Sector, safe from the scorched world. A few steps closer and she glimpsed people. No suits, flowing clothes, strolling along neon-lit streets people.
A beep sounded in her helmet and she looked at the O² gauge on her wrist. “Five-percent. Jesse’s gonna be salty.”