The following is my entry for The Writer’s Voice Contest hosted by Cupid’s Literary Connection.
Genre: Adult Science Fiction
Word Count: 130,000
Plot Summary of Empyrean:
Jahira, a NASA pilot who hasn’t stepped outside without a lifesuit in over 25 years, is learning to live off the land. The hardest part of her training is that the land is not on Earth.
Nearly three thousand daring souls travel to a planet in the habitable zone of a binary solar system to start a new life, but they are not alone.
The native inhabitants of the planet have been exiled by an ancient enemy to the third continent; a glacier-covered rock protruding from a frozen sea. Krrnarr, the one chosen to guide his people to their rightful home, embarks on a quest to find the silver mountain of the prophecies.
What Jahira and Krrnarr discover, about Empyrean and each other, will change their lives forever.
First 250 words:
Jahira opened her emerald eyes to a world so bereft of light that it was disorienting. Seeing no evidence to the contrary, she decided that her mind must be stuck in that strange state of consciousness which hovers between waking and sleeping, a time when one is unable to tell the difference between reality and a very vivid dream. Her eyes closed and she tried again. A command was deliberately sent from her brain to her eyelids, willing them to open. The thin membranes peeled apart, yet there was no change, however subtle, in the ambient shadows. Her night-dark hands blended into the indistinguishable surroundings though she held them mere inches from her face. For a brief moment she could not stop her body’s physiological response of panic. Her heartbeat increased to a pounding cadence, her breathing quickened; she could feel herself beginning to sweat, until she remembered that it was Thursday.
Relief flooded through her system, dissipating the alarm. Her heartbeat returned to its regular rhythm and her shoulders relaxed, just Thursday.
Thursday was the day that for the last several months, energy from the massive generator which powered the hardened shelter on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station was completely re-routed to the immense spacecraft called The Last Hope. In order to amass enough energy in the spacecraft’s solar coil to propel the ship beyond Earth’s atmosphere without the benefit of natural sunlight, one full day per week was dedicated to conversion and storage, leaving the shelter in darkness for twenty-four hours every Thursday.