Title: CLOUD ONE
Genre: YA Sci-Fi, Own Voices
Word Count: 75,000
My MC and MA (main antagonist) are dressed as:
Tyler Durden from Fight Club! It's no surprise that Wen and Luan both donned the red leather jacket (pleather for Wen), Hawaiian shirt, and silver-framed sunglasses of the infamous Brad Pitt character. Despite being test tube twins, Wen and Luan couldn't be more different. While Wen is understanding, kind, and has a strong sense of justice, Luan is simply... out for blood and revenge!
As a soar in genetic enhancement procedures spawned a global ethical controversy, the practice soon became illegal under international law. Enhanced humans were hunted down and segregated, but some still hide within regular society.
Seventeen-year-old WEN has been dying to escape the orphanage and crime-ridden lower city, so when her best friend is adopted into the most powerful family in Upper Beijing, Wen tags along as her chambermaid. But as soon as they dock at the port of entry, a hitman assassinates Wen’s friend. In shock and in dread of being sent back to the lower city, Wen takes the dead girl’s place with the adoptive family.
Frozen by her fear of being exposed, Wen struggles to adapt to Upper Beijing’s technologically advanced society. But when a fire burns down her old orphanage and leaves her sisters scattered, Wen vows to find them and bring them to safety. Her dangerous search in the city’s underground leads her to an “enhanced” named LUAN. In his hidden lab, he reveals that Wen was part of a second wave of genetic experimentations and injects her with a substance that gradually turns on the dormant genes inside her, like those for higher intelligence, added strength, and night vision.
Wen’s effort to keep her identity secret crumbles as she battles the changes to her body and to her personality. But she will have to risk exposure — and losing her sisters — in order to stop Luan from exacting a deadly revenge on the society that is persecuting his people.
First 250 words:
After the rain, the wheat field reeked of pig manure and earthworms. As I laid low on the moist soil, a cold wetness saturated my belly. My eyes scanned the door that was guarded by a security camera, three rusted locks, and a barrel-chested man named Fatty. I ran my fingers along the deformed scar above my left brow, the one he’d given me four months ago when Sister Lan and I had requested to see Mister about lowering the orphanage’s rent. The abandoned theater we’d converted into a greenhouse collapsed during the snowstorm, and none of our roses, chrysanthemums, or violets survived. Without our flowers to trade we had nothing. We couldn’t pay. Sister Lan and I had touched our foreheads to the ground and begged, but our pleas were met with scoffs and Fatty’s steel-toed boot when I raised my voice at Mister in protest. Though, in Mister’s defense, I did call him a rotting pig’s head. Back at the orphanage, Sister Lan dabbed the blood off my face and sewed up the cut, but she wasn’t a doctor, and it healed ugly. That’s why I let my bangs grow so long – to hide behind them.
Fatty yawned, broke out a pack of cigarettes from his shirt pocket, and searched for a lighter. In his distraction, I snuck through the wheat field and into the vegetable garden, where I yanked my sack open and tossed in cabbage, carrots, and onions, all while frequently looking over my shoulders.