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Thirteen year old Maia thinks she has seen it all.
She has survived an assassination attempt, she has been threatened by the chancellor, and she has faced off with saboteurs trying to bring down a nation. She lets nothing get to her anymore-not the ominous nightmares she has been having lately, not the fear of being targeted for another soul extraction, not even the memories of her dead mother's terrifying communique.
More than ever, Maia wants the Initiative to resume. She longs to visit Zagran-the undersea capital of the Jjord. She wants to ride the underwater transport lines, learn about the Jjordic energy farms and most of all-she wants to goof off with her friends.
But, around the charming city of Zagran, evil is gathering. Maia and her friends do not know it yet, the countdown to their planned extinction has already begun.
Enjoy an excerpt:
Through the darkness and the fog, Maia fell. Faster and faster, lower and lower, she plummeted into the bottomless pit until her heart went numb, until she had stopped feeling the rush. It was a murky blur of senses when she hit the surface. The water, surprisingly warm and soft as it engulfed her, spilled over the top of her head, swirling around her face and her neck, suffocating her.
She bolted upright in her bed like an uncoiled spring. The heaviness dropped away from her head forming a dappled white, black, and amber shape of Dusty the cat. Struggling with the lingering feeling of weight that crept along the fringes of her heart, Maia realized it had been a nightmare. There had been too many of them lately.
Over a week had passed since thirteen-year-old Maia had returned home to Appian after a successful run at the Alliance Initiative on Xif. Her team, Core 21, had topped the first phase. They were one of the twenty teams selected for the second phase in the undersea Jjordic capital of Zagran. Maia had intended to enjoy every moment of this brief break between the phases, and she mostly did. Except for the nights. Every night was a battle against the inevitable, and every day started in a haze of outlandish dreams from the night before. There were scores of them, but one nightmare kept coming back—the one with the fires. Time after time, Maia woke up screaming inside as the raging inferno engulfed her.
About the Author: S. G. Basu is a telecommunications engineer by profession, but she likes to call herself a dreamer. Imagination, fueled by a voracious appetite for books, has been her steady friend since childhood. She discovered her passion for writing quite by chance and there has been no stopping her since then.
Find out more about the futuristic worlds she creates, the characters that are real with their emotions and ambitions, successes and failures, at www.sgbasu.com.
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