Book One of The Elyrian Chronicles
Twenty years ago, a solar storm ravaged the Earth's ozone layer. Of the 11 billion people on the planet, only 200 managed to seek refuge from the radiation by disappearing underground. With the bonds of oxygen obliterated, the damage to the ozone is irreversible. Every living thing exposed wilts and dies, leading to global extinction.
The year is now 2209, and what is left of humanity is trying to rebuild in Inanna, a subterranean city named after the ancient goddess of fertility and war. The designers of Inanna had known the human body would be too fragile to ever compete with the piercing gamma rays on the surface, and were secretly contracted by the American government to preserve life at ANY cost.
So began the sanctioned grafting of human DNA with the genomes of Earth’s most radiation-resistant animal species. The lines of morality are blurred in a chaotic race against time. A race to build an Ark for the salvation of life itself.
Kimber is one of 23. She, her brothers, and her sisters are the first of their kind, a brand new subspecies of humans called Auroras. Named for the colorful magnetic phenomenon of the heavens, the Auroreans come of age in a city where they are forced to answer a life-changing question: Are they Inannian citizens or are they slaves?
Join Kimber as she navigates an apocalyptic world in search for answers, truth, and ultimately, for the evidence of inhumane genetic testing that may break the yoke of bondage.
Book One of The Elyrian Chronicles
“A wind of revolution blows, the storm is on the horizon.”
―Alexis De Tocqueville
Kimberly’s eyes fluttered shut. She could feel the pressure behind her brow bones, constant and unrelenting. The sensation swelled and throbbed, threatening to take over her sight completely. Kimberly inhaled sharply and felt a solitary tear drop off her lashes. The sickness was consuming her. She steadied her breathing, trying to find refuge beyond the shapeless grey haze that her world was turning into. But it was here in Kimberly’s own mind that the demons raged the fiercest.
Kimberly had no doubt that the council was to blame for the cancer that was devouring her frontal lobe. The illness was too swift, too unnatural to be organic. It did not matter anyways. In some twisted way, Kimberly felt she deserved this. She deserved to have her sight stolen from her and her body consumed from within. She had stolen more than that from individuals much more innocent than herself, in the time of the great panic over twenty years ago.
Shadows impregnated Kimberly’s sinister thoughts, and she was taken back in time to the underground laboratories. She was placing something in a jar filled with a strange yellow fluid. What she was holding was too obscure to make out. Kimberly’s memory splintered and she shook her head in discomfort. The pressure pulsed between her temples. Kimberly felt unhinged. Disconnected. No matter how hard she tried to anchor herself on the pain of the present, her memories kept dragging her back into the darkness.
She was on a cold metal table. Or was that someone else? Kimberly’s thoughts drifted up to the surface world. Panic. Such unprecedented panic. A solar explosion had just been detected and astronomers forecasted the subsequent cloud of radiation to impact the Earth’s atmosphere in a matter of days. She recalled the footage of the hellbent flare, lashing out from the Sun’s engorged surface, looping nonstop on every media outlet. Kimberly’s consciousness drifted back down the four levels of the subterranean laboratory. She looked around in her mind’s eye, committing each atrocity of the Bureau of Race Preservation to memory.
Images that she would normally only revisit in her nightmares flooded Kimberly’s mind. She forced her eyelids to remain shut, compelling herself to stay locked in memory. She knew she had to face her past in order to brace herself for the dark days to come. It did not matter anymore if her actions had been right or wrong. All that mattered now was the safety of her daughter. Kimberly’s hands found their way onto her stomach and her eyelids fluttered again. She could feel the phantom kicking of a baby’s feet. Kimberly flushed with warmth, the tender memory igniting her courage more than any amount of anger towards the corrupt council ever could.
The freedom of her daughter, whom Kimberly had lovingly named Kimber, was at stake and though Kimber was no longer a child, Kimberly knew she would do anything to protect her. Even if it meant sacrificing everything. Kimberly knew things that no one else in the underground refugee city knew. She knew of secrets, dark truths of illegal genetic manipulation, and crimes committed not only by the council, but by her own two hands. Kimberly had sworn to keep her knowledge silent in exchange for her daughter’s safety and had prayed every night since to never have to breech her vow.
In light of the tyranny behind the recent ordinances and the impending governmental decrees though, Kimberly knew the time had come. The council, charged with the care of humanity’s last surviving city, had grown bold in the segregation of the humans and the grafted. They used fear to control and manipulate their citizens, quietly forcing Kimber and the twenty-two other Auroreans into a life of subservience. Kimberly knew she did not have much time left in this world, but before she would draw her last breath, she would see to it that the truth was exposed.
A water droplet fell from a nearby stalactite, the sound bouncing off the cavern’s walls and echoing into the distance. Everything was so still that it seemed time itself had frozen. Kimberly exhaled slowly. This was the calm before the storm. Her daughter would soon inherit the torch of freedom and be asked to weather a tempest so terrible, that the thought alone drew another tear down Kimberly’s cheek. Kimber was Inanna’s only hope. Kimberly prayed for her daughter’s safety. She prayed for her daughter’s swiftness. Above all, Kimberly prayed for her daughter’s forgiveness.