Two years ago, I finished the first draft of Cross Navigation. It went through an editor, a rewrite, and another rewrite of the novel’s plan. In the end, I decided to put the project on hold indefinitely for another project I was working on on the side.
I ended up writing it during Nanowrimo last year, and I’m quite glad to say that it has been a more enjoyable writing journey with this project instead.
Therefore, I’d like to share a teaser (the first 500 words) with all of you here. I hope you’d like the premise.
The Flavour Chronicles #1: The Saccharine Vote
Replica (noun) –
Singapore was the nation that developed “Replica”, a meal replacement cube to feed the masses and increase work efficiency in light of the global crop failure and international famine.
Central House National History, 2035
PART ONE: RAIHANA
Year 2035, Central House – Master Control Server
“Come on, come on!” Reza muttered under his breath.
His fingers trembled as they hovered over the keyboard, shaking a little more than the 10 degree blasts from the air-conditioner can account for. Shoulders jerking up with every sound, he fought his senses to focus on the download bar inching towards its finishing line.
“Rai will cover me,” he mumbled under his breath. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have heard anything; but I’ve been stuck in the vents with nothing but the mild whirring of the servers and my own breathing to entertain myself since we infiltrated the building. The faint rhythm of my brother’s typing tapped against the back of my mind while I kept the white glow of the server screen in my sights.
The glow continued to frame the corner of the server.
Then, a familiar beep. And a swish of a sliding door.
“After all the OT we pulled last week, you’d think they’ll at least give us a break…” the whine of a disgruntled technician echoed close.
“Hmph, you’re one to talk,” his partner said, “You copped out three of the five nights!”
The footsteps from the technicians grew louder.
I gripped the weapon in my pocket. Reza exhaled.
The footsteps stopped.
“Did you hear that?” the non-whiner said.
The glow flickered and I heard the faintest click of a thumb drive leaving its port before I heard Reza grabbing his bag. I watched him hug his bag close and made for the nearest server box and waited.
I crawled down to the hatch nearest to him and waited.
“I thought I heard something.”
“It’s just the AC, let’s just get this over and done with.”
“No!” then the non-whiner paused, “There’s someone else here, I saw something.”
Reza counted the rows before his escape – three server boxes. The footsteps grew louder. He inched to the next server box, back firmly against the machines.
Darn it, what happened to ‘Raihana will cover me’?!
“Shit!” the non-whiner said, “Did one of you forget to log off?”
“This box is restricted,” whiner replied, “No one’s supposed to have access.”
My eyes widened as I watched Reza at the corner. He lifted his foot gingerly, placing his sole in the middle of the web of wires standing between him and a clear passage out. Spotlights from the technicians’ torches waved around the walls, narrowly missing his silhouette as he skipped past the wires and crashed into the floor.
I rolled my eyes and jumped.
Stay tuned for more work-in-progress posts to come!
My adventures with in urban speculative fiction.