The residents of Impervious are the remnant—survivors of the War of Annihilation. And though the city is chockfull of pleasures to tantalize and entertain, a beast lurks in its corners haunting the residents with its presence. The Beast—a mysterious and terminal illness―has killed off most of Generations One, Two and Three. And as Gen-Four prepares to take the stage a provocative, yet questionable, new method to avoid an untimely death becomes a cultural rage.
But Fran is counter-cultural. And living off the grid in true rebel fashion, her life is far from opulent. Scurrying through dark tunnels, searching for hot meals and ditching the holographic security team encompass most of her day. However, she views it as a healthy trade-off. Unaccountability means The Council can’t steal her sliver of hope―a belief that she’ll see The Epoch arrive before the beast can pull her into its fetid embrace.
After losing her mother and then her Rebel mentor, however, she grasps painfully onto the splintered sliver, until a new hope is born. First through Pete. And then through a miraculous discovery.
But the question still haunts her…
Can she outrun The Beast?
An (Almost) Agora Tour with Pete
“Hey, thanks, Pete, for agreeing to take us on a tour of the Agora. What an interesting place this is, can you tell me where we’re standing, and thus where our tour begins?”
“No problem-o. My old stomping grounds, right?” Pete waggles a brow before opening his arms in a grand gesture. “Welcome to The Agora, where the food is plenty and the entertainment never sleeps!”
“Wow, this certainly is fascinating.”
I laugh at his grandeur and then turn in a slow circle to pan the landscape. Gaming stands are dotted here and there and crowds of teens in spandex and glitter cheer on various avatars. The air is charged with techy-sounding music (with way too much bass in my humble opinion.)
“Wow, and loud! How do you hear anything over the music and all the craziness?”
Pete shrugs. “I’dunno. I just do. Come on, follow me.”
He pushes his way through a small crowd and I follow--although rather tentatively, as I notice several pairs of thick-lined-eyes scanning me up and down. Apparently, this crowd isn’t too impressed by my mom-jeans. Pete sidles up to a low counter and places his elbows on the smooth acrylic surface. A holograph pixelates behind the bar and greets us – the first welcoming face besides Pete’s I’ve since arriving in the Agora.
“Welcome to the lunch hut! What can I serve you today?!”
While recoiling from the extreme-pleasantness oozing from the eyes and mouth of the ghostly figure, I gaze up at a translucent screen with menu items scrolling past. Unfortunately, it moves too fast and all I catch is ‘coffee’… which works just for me.
“I would like a coffee pl--.”
Before I finish my sentence, a bright light flashes, nearly blinding me, followed by a computer- sounding voice.
“Oh, Man. I hadn’t thought of that. Come on.” Pete grabs my hand. We plow through a throng of residents and get caught up in a people- current. I squeal and then hold my breath as I feel a prickly sensation move up and down my body. Pete gives me a yank and finally we’re spit from the flow of pedestrians into an area lined with potted palm- trees.
“Come on, we’re going to have hit the air vents.”
My heart screeches to a halt. I designed these vents. I know what awaits. And I’m sure they’re no place for my fresh mani/pedi. I back up a little.
“Hey, I think I’ll just go now.” I smile and a small twitch erupts on the upper left side of my mouth.
Pete scrambles inside the vent. “Are you sure? I could show you The Ranch.”
I place a hand over my twitchy lip.
“No that’s fine. But thank you, Pete. I think I’ll just hang out on the other side of this story.”
Pete gives me a thumbs-up. “Suit yourself and Sayonara!”
I stand up a little straighter and step back out of Impervious.
About Heather Letto:
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