Genre: YA sci-fi thriller
Word Count: 66,000
Two-hundred and fifty-eight teenagers are sent from a dying Earth to a terraformed Mars as part of the Emergence Program, mankind’s last hope before solar flares finish off their planet and species. Among the fourteen sets of twins are sixteen-year-old Joey and her brother, Jesse.
Joey thought she’d be an old lady before stepping foot on Mars but there she was, jetting off to humanity’s new home with her brother. It takes only minutes in space for Joey and Jesse to realize something’s wrong, as a total ship lockdown was not in the brochure. With their roommates, the Matsuda twins (notorious hackers and shady secret-keepers), they stumble onto an extremist plot to sabotage the Emergence Program: no other shuttles made the trek to Mars, their lush paradise waits empty, and the terrorist responsible is loose onboard their ship. With only a handful of crew and a shuttle of rowdy teens, this critical mission warps into a spring break massacre.
Joey and Jesse didn’t travel to the deepest pits of space and leave their mother behind to be picked off in a high-tech tin can. It’s fight or flight, and they’re already flying at a million miles an hour. When pushed to the limits, they’ll lie, hack, even kill to survive the voyage and make it to their promised land.
Joey stared out the window of a large airtight van. Her forehead thumped against the glass when the nose of a spaceship peeked above maroon-crested hills. The paper in her hand crinkled. She loosened her grip, smoothing the crease from the official seal of the Unified Nations of Earth.
Once her eyes had glimpsed those words, Selected, Terraformed Mars, New home, the bottom had dropped from her stomach. Now it all felt real. No more tiny lead-lined home, school time at the kitchen table, mom. She turned toward Jesse, her brother’s smirk brighter than an X1 flare.
“You’re a crappy twin. I’m freaking out right now, you should be too.”
Jesse rolled his stare her way. “Fraternal twins don’t work like that.”
“That’s not true.” She read the letter again, making sure both their names were listed for the umpteenth time.
“I can’t believe this is happening.” Jesse squirmed and then frowned before his perma-smile returned. “No one from G-Sector ever goes anywhere.”
“Did you see the look on mom’s face when we left?”
“I know. Buzzkill.”
“What’s she gonna do without us?”
“Finally be able to feed herself.” Jesse snickered.
Joey shook her head, folding the letter. “Maybe she’ll win the next lottery, meet up with us on Mars.”
“Yeah, I don’t think so.”
Jesse leaned close, keeping his voice low. “Didn’t you hear what that kid behind us was saying?”
“He said there are no random drawings.” Jesse eyed the soldier stationed at the front of the van. “That everyone is selected for a specific purpose.”