Genre: YA Science Fiction
Word Count: 86,000
My Main Character would use sun or snow to battle their biggest obstacle:
Cold is impersonal, logical, direct. The nights spent shivering in the base only fuel her desire to return to her parents' warm protection. And the people who've torn her away can freeze to death a million times over, for all she cares.
An illegal experiment gives seventeen-year-old Erin enhanced eyesight. Scientists deem her "adequate enough" to ship off to a safe planet while Earth withers. And Erin plans her escape, one persuasive lie at a time.
After a botched physical exam, Erin becomes an unwilling participant in a research project meant to enhance the basic senses. Snatched from her loving parents, she now has altered vision, a team of four other unlucky bastards who've had their multiracial genetics toyed with, and a fierce need to escape the underground base where she's held captive.
But Erin finds out she has nowhere to go—Earth will become barren in less than ten years and she's one of the few selected to journey to a safe planet. The cocky scientists call her lucky. She thinks they need to get better at this lying game. Once she breaks out and runs back home, she'll tell everyone exactly what the year 2064 will bring.
Blinded by her desire for freedom, she endures intense training sessions and masters advanced weapons, while gaining the other subjects' trust. With only a speck of a rescue strategy, every ally counts, no matter how reluctant. Fortunately, her team of Mongrels benefits from the expertise of a stubborn ex-rebel who is just as determined to escape their hi-tech prison.
As the team's plan barrels ahead, a lingering doubt poisons their already shaky trust. Caught between warning her parents and saving herself, Erin must decide whether to die as a hero or live as a miserable follower.
First 250 words:
Half an hour before nine a.m., Erin had already broken a fundamental rule. The fundamental rule, according to the screaming billboards.
She forgot her mask at home.
Standing in line behind five other careless people, she dug deep into her bag one last time, her fingers searching every faux-leathery crevice, hoping the protective headgear was somewhere inside.
"Unbelievable." The stranger's whisper was almost lost in the early morning commotion. Almost. "If I had a token for every time some maggot just about infected the complex, I'd be able to afford moving into the new one in Tokyo."
"I hear the structure in Bucharest has some posh underground refreshing system," said another voice.
The subway station was full of the usual commuters dashing around, all wearing transparent masks wrapped around their heads as they clutched access cards in their hands. That didn't stop them from grimacing at the queue of people in front of the counter.
Empty-handed, Erin pulled her red sweater closer and bowed her head. It was bad enough she'd be late for class since the learning complex was more than an hour away. The blaming glances thrown her way were unnecessary—but expected. The sound of the train arriving agitated the commuters further. They quickened their steps, bumping into each other in a futile attempt to reach the doors before they closed. They had exactly one minute.
Precision was the cost for survival and everyone had to pay it.