How do you kill someone that can’t die?
One hundred years ago in the year 2000, a brilliant young scientist invented a tiny self-aware AI robot small enough to travel through human veins and it revolutionized healthcare for all. Fifty years in my future, in 2150, a madman will succeed in perverting it in an attempt to take over the world… unless I can stop him… except, I don’t know how to stop him.
A dystopian time travel science fantasy novel featuring a kickass heroine, an awesome group of friends, a panther, a wolf and a skunk… oh yeah, and a really evil bad guy.
Targeted Age Group:: YA, NA, 15-99
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 3 – PG-13
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This is my baby. I started writing it around 21 years ago. I lost it once when my old notebook computer died. Remember those? They were the first laptops, I guess. As stubborn as ever, I hung onto it over the years, promising myself I was going to get around to it. Now I've completely reworked it from cover to cover, including giving it a fresh sparkly cover, a brand spanking new title, an updated new viewpoint, added and deleted stuff. I hope you'll like it as much as I do.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Henrietta is the ballsy girl I wished I was. Nothing scares her. She kind of introduced me to the others as the story went along. She bugged me until I agreed to tell her story and then, when my computer went belly up, she bugged me more until I rewrote it. With every new story I wrote she was like *coughahemcough* until I finally felt it was time and polished *her* story.
Later that night, after I was sure everyone else had gone to bed, I slipped out from beneath my blankets, still fully clothed. Moving quietly, I climbed out my bedroom window and borrowed Cook’s bicycle, making my way to the Pacific Science Institute despite orders to the contrary. Bypassing the gate where two guards lounged, smoking cigarettes and laughing, I hid the bike in the bushes around the corner. Cursing the silvery light of a nearly full moon in a cloudless sky, I tucked my fair hair under a dark cap, tugged it down to shield my equally fair face, and walked the fence line, searching for a place to cross over. Finally, when I was nearly ready to give up, I stumbled across a lone tree growing several feet from the smooth, featureless wood and metal barricade with branches that extended over the jagged top. Yes! Jackpot! I scaled the trunk with ease.
Hidden in the foliage and preparing to leap across the sharply spiked razor wire topping the obstruction, I paused. Was I hearing the low drone of voices approaching? I wiggled my finger in my ear, then held my breath, listening, wishing the crickets would shut up and the wind would die down so I could hear better. Would there be guards patrolling the grounds? I laughed inside my head, mocking such a stupid question. Of course, there would be guards. Where was my brain?
I grimaced at the visualized image of Marcus and Seela’s reaction had I been caught in such a rookie mistake. Seela would be heartbroken, and Marcus? He’d be pissed—and rightly so. He was the one who’d trained me. What would it say about his training abilities if I got myself captured?
I was thinking so hard I almost missed the moment when the bugs fell silent. Almost. Barely breathing, I settled back against the rough trunk and took advantage of the sudden silence, trying to make out the words I’d nearly missed over the noisy chorus of nighttime insects.
“But, Mr. Camron,“ someone protested in the distance, heading toward my position, “what you’re asking is impossible. Brainwashing the masses over a television channel was a cinematic trick used in old movies. It doesn’t actually work.“
“Then what would you suggest I do?“ the second person demanded—the illustrious Camron, I presumed—his voice a prissy nasal whine. “I must move faster. Too many people are resisting. I want to be ruler of the world and I want it now.“
The words from a Pinky and the Brain cartoon floated through my head as I listened in and I swallowed a snort of laughter. Wish in one hand, I thought at him.
“You are the master of your world,“ the first person pointed out. “No one at the Institute would dare to say a word against you. Here, you are a king. Can’t you be happy with that?”
“No, I can’t. I want more!”
“But… millions will fight against you in a battle for control of the entire world, sir. You can’t possibly convert them all.“
“Then I will kill them all.“ The barely heard declaration sent a cold arrow of fear through my heart. Shivering, I lost my balance, nearly falling from my perch in the tree.
“Who goes there?” the one I now recognized as Camron shouted, running toward the fence.
Shit! Wasting no time, I swung to the ground, heedless of the branches that caught in my clothing and scratched my face on the way down. Retracing my steps, I yanked the bicycle from its hiding place and leaped onto the seat, pedaling madly before I even had a chance to get total control of the machine.
“Halt!“ Shadowy figures hurried toward me as I flew past the gate, “Stop or we’ll shoot!“
Weaving wildly from side to side to make myself a more difficult target, I ducked low over the handlebars and pedaled as fast as I could. Gunfire and the unmistakable sounds of an electric gate swinging open encouraged me to redouble my efforts. Searching desperately for a side road, I almost missed a familiar voice calling my name.
“Hey, Henrietta! Henrietta, over here!“
To my right, I saw Marcus’ truck parked along the curb on an intersecting street, and Josh waving his arms in the air. I swerved toward them.
“Hurry, throw the bike in the back and get in,“ he urged.
After wedging the bike in the back of the truck and slamming the door behind myself, I struggled into my seat belt. My task was made more difficult as I was pressed back in my seat by the pickup’s sudden acceleration.
“How did you find me?“ I gasped, wiping stinging sweat from my eyes.
“I followed you.“
“Marcus was bitching about your run in with Camron’s goons earlier this evening. He was afraid you’d try something like this and asked me to keep an eye on you.“
“Just to keep an eye on me?” I raised both brows, incredulous, “Why not stop me?“
Making a sour face, he grinned, and said, “He was afraid one of us would end up in the hospital.“
“Oh.“ Good point.
“So, what happened?“ He glanced over at me, “I thought I heard gunshots.“
“You did,“ I giggled hysterically. “If you hadn’t been there, I don’t know what would have happened. They were opening the gates. Not even I can outrun a vehicle on a bicycle.” I glanced over my shoulder at the dark street behind us. “Are we being followed?“
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