Congratulation to Kat Ross on her soon to be released novel SOME FINE DAY!
What if everything you've
been taught is a lie?
Sixteen-year-old Jansin Nordqvist knows that when the world flooded
and civilization retreated deep underground, there was no one left on the
She knows that the only species to thrive there is the toads, a
primate/amphibian hybrid with a serious mean streak.
Most of all, she knows there's no place where you can hide from the
hypercanes, continent-sized storms that have raged for decades.
Turns out Jansin was wrong. On all counts…
Author's note: This is toward the end of the first
chapter. Our main character, Jansin, has never seen the sun. She lives in an
underground city-state called Raven Rock. Her dad, a general, has just arranged
for the family, plus Jan's boyfriend Jake, to go to the surface on holiday for
the very first time. She's never been inside a mole before but she knows how
they work: back end a simple pod with seats, front end a boring machine that
drills through rock and dirt and whatever else gets in its way.
Jansin doesn't know it, but this vacation is about to
go wrong in ways that will change her life forever…
"Beverage?" the attendant asks, and I thank her and take a
soda. We're an hour or so in, and the trip is actually turning out to be kind
of boring, just like Captain Dan said.
The red-headed kid is across the aisle on my left, hammering away at
a game. His parents are nursing cocktails. The mood has gone from apprehensive
to lethargic and half-drunk, by the glassy looks of some of the passengers. The
mole is very smooth, soundproofed as promised, no hint of the rock being
explosively vaporized a few feet away. Just a slight upward tilt to my seat.
I doze off, thinking about the sheep and the valley and the sun
breaking through the rainclouds. It's become my favorite daydream.
Then I feel Jake's hand on my arm. "We've stopped," he
And I realize that there's no hum under my seat anymore. It must
have just happened, because no one else seems to have noticed.
"Is that normal?"
"I have no idea."
We wait. I keep expecting Captain Dan to get on the intercom, but he
doesn't. Half the passengers are asleep, the others reading quietly or watching
the cane network. Tracking the storms is something of a national obsession.
Then a guy toward the back yells, "It's not moving. Why is it
His voice slurs a little, and there's an edge of panic there.
Uh-oh, I think.
"Now sir," an attendant says, gliding down the aisle with
a fixed smile on her face.
But the cat's out of the bag now. A low murmuring begins, as people
start to grasp what's happening. The attendant holds up her hands. She's young
and pretty and immaculately groomed.
"There's nothing to worry about. The mole ahead of us snapped a
rotor on some bedrock. It's being repaired. We expect to be moving shortly."
"What does that mean? How shortly?" The man calls out.
He's half risen from his seat. The middle-aged woman next to him, wife or
girlfriend, puts a restraining hand on his arm and he shakes it off.
The attendant knows better than to tell him to calm down, which
usually has the opposite effect on people. "Why don't I just check with
the captain and get an update?" She disappears into the forward cabin.
No one speaks for a minute. I know it's my imagination, but the
temperature in the mole seems to go up a few degrees.
"How much air do they carry on these things?" someone
I sip my soda and share a look with Jake.
"Moles have redundancies built into their redundancies,"
he says quietly. "Foolproof."
I don't really want to be the one to say it, but we're all thinking
it anyway, so I go ahead.
Jake snorts and looks away, like he's disappointed in me. But before
he does, I see a flash of fear.
It happened six years ago. I was only ten, but I remember every
detail. My parents tried to shield me, unsuccessfully, since it was all anyone
talked about for weeks.
Five moles, twenty-five passengers and crew each. Departed from
Black Dome launch station on August the nineteenth. Fair skies above, a perfect
window for an excursion to Gallia Archipelago.
Ninety-three adults, thirty-two children.
The tremors started about halfway up, the mole equivalent of
turbulence on an airplane. Ice rattling in glasses, maybe a bag or two toppling
from the overhead bins. No one's too alarmed at first. But then they get
Subterranean quake, six point six in magnitude. The epicenter was
two hundred miles away, so the moles weren't just crushed like the glorified
tin cans they are. What happened was worse.
They got trapped.
For thirty-seven days.
The military tried to send in diggers, a smaller, more maneuverable
version of moles, to reach the stranded passengers, but the rock was too
unstable to get close. Their com uplink still worked, although after a couple
of weeks, people stopped talking.
Rescuers got in eventually. They're probably still in therapy…
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