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March 120

Journey home from Sector 4

 

The train ran smoothly along the tracks. So smoothly that it seemed to be gliding through the air. The soft quiet of the rolling wheels had allowed Kara to relax and stay on the cusp of sleep, but her troubled mind never shut off long enough to allow her to fall into a complete slumber.

Her backpack was rested on her lap, filled with all of her personal belongings from the Sanctuary. It was so light she could hardly feel it. When she had left her home in Sector 6, she had brought nothing with her except the clothes on her back and the picture of her parents folded in her pulse. She had scratched out her father’s face a year ago. If only it was as easy to scratch him out of existence.

Everything else in her backpack were things that she had acquired in the Sanctuary.

The cabin rattled, jostling Kara to her side and making her backpack drop to floor by her boots. The recruit by her left shoved her back with disgust and sneered at her when their eyes locked. Biting down on her tongue, she bent down and grabbed her backpack. The train lurched again and she almost fell forwards and off the bench but managed to stabilize herself by clutching the boot of the recruit in front of her. She looked up and her heart thudded when she remembered who was before her. Jefferson’s big cerulean eyes watched her impassively as she straightened herself and quickly returned her backpack to her lap. He watched her a moment longer with his usual stoic, dead expression. He seemed like only the shell of the man he once was. Kara gulped and forced herself to pull her gaze off him and look out of the window.

Her heart thudded again at the bare orange bricks of the platform before them whizzing past. She had expected to look out onto barbed wire fencing and towering wrought iron gates. But they were at a station. And when she captured a glimpse of a white board on the wall with huge black letters, her eyes widened with alarm.

The train wasn’t stopping.

“Hey!” she called and jumped to her feet, her backpack tumbling to the ground once again.

“Dennings, sit down,” ordered Guard Thomson, looking drained and drab in her grey military style guard uniform.

Kara shoved her way down the centre of the cabin, kicking the other recruit’s feet aside. When she stumbled and nearly fell onto one of their laps, she clutched onto a handle suspended from the ceiling. “This is my stop!” Panic was starting to set in as the train continued to plough through the station. Her heart was crashing against her ribs so hard and fast that it was painful. The signs for Sector 6 continued to flash by the windows. “Stop the train!”

“Sit down, Dennings,” barked Guard Thomson, screwing her rat-like face into a scowl. “That’s an order.”

“But we’re supposed to be going home!” Kara was shaking from head to toe with a mixture of fear and rage. “We were told we were able to go home. We’re clean. Why aren’t we stopping?!”

She looked around wildly at the other recruits. There were eight in the cabin with her and as she scanned over them, she realised she was the only one from Sector 6. They had got on the train at the Sector 4 station, as the Sanctuary was situated there. Seven recruits had already gotten off at the Sector 5. Most of the recruits had been from the Force, only about twenty percent of the squadron had been made up of volunteers like Kara. As she made eye contact with each of the remaining recruits waiting to go home, they all quickly bowed their heads as if trying to hide from her glare.

“What the fuck is going on?” She whipped her head back to Guard Thomson. Above the guard’s head, the bare bricks disappeared and were replaced with the usual depressing view of barbed wire and overgrown brush. Her heart sank to her feet and her knees buckled from under her. It was only her grip on the handle above her head that prevented her from dropping to the floor in a heap. Guard Thomson was watching her, her brown eyes pitiful.

“Sit down, Dennings. I’m not going to ask you again,” she said, her voice softer than before.

Kara’s shoulders sagged. “But…where am I supposed to go?”

“The next stop is in Sector Seven. You can get off there.”

Fear struck Kara like a lightning bolt. She glanced back at Jefferson who had his eyes trained on the floor and a white-knuckle grip on his backpack. His strong jaw flexed when she looked to him.

“I can’t.” She looked back at Guard Thomson. “I can’t get off there.”

“You have to, Dennings.”

“But I can’t!” Kara screamed, tears burning the back of her eyes. Guard Thomson followed the lead of everyone else and looked to the floor. Realisation hit Kara hard and made her feel dizzy as her blood ran cold. “You’ve done this on purpose, haven’t you? You and your team have all gathered together and thought, hey, seeing as though we can’t kill her, we’ll just shove her in Sector Seven and let them deal with her. Feed her to the wolves.”

“The Force patrol the streets day and night, Dennings. You will be safe.”

Kara scoffed, feeling physically ill. “No I won’t. The Force won’t protect me.” She gritted her teeth. “Even after everything that I have done. I have risked my life to put right what my father has done. To clear my name.  To fix everything. But there was no point, was there? You still think of me as some nut-job, not worth anything.”

When Guard Thomson didn’t reply, Kara moved back to her space and slumped down onto the bench. With her elbows to her knees, she raked her fingers through her short black hair that was still going through the process of growing back after the nurses in the asylum had pinned her down and shaved her bald as a punishment.

Sensing his eyes on her, she peered up to see Jefferson. He had his back rested against the interior of the train and his gaze level on her. He didn’t say anything, just watched her for a moment before looking through the window behind her head. He was wearing the same clothes as her, the Sanctuary assigned white vest and camouflaged cargo pants. His dog tag hung from his neck and rested against his hard chest. The thick muscles in his arms were coiled and tight as he sat in silence. Judging by the look on his face, he seemed cool and collected, yet his posture was always stiff as if ready from an incoming blow.

Kara felt sorry for him, which seemed like an alien emotion for her. She was seen as a disgrace to mankind -sometimes treated as if she weren’t even human at all. She was at the bottom of the pile. No one was more worse off than her. But she empathised with Jefferson. Mainly because, through no fault of her own, she was the reason why he seemed so dead inside.

Just over two hours later, the train pulled up at the Sector Seven station. Kara remained seated, her eyes wide and fearful as three of the recruits stood ready to depart, one of which was Jefferson. He didn’t look back as he slung his backpack over his shoulder and made his way down to the door at the front of the cabin. The two others fell into a queue behind him, awaiting the door to open. With her heart in her throat, Kara got to her feet. She locked eyes with Guard Thomson. She nodded firmly and Kara gulped.

“They’re going to kill me. Please. Can I get off at Sector Eight instead?” Kara asked.

Guard Thomson shook her head. “The population in Sector Seven is down. You are needed here.”

That was bullshit. Kara was one person. Like she would make any valuable difference to the gaping hole in Sector Seven’s population?

She sucked in a breath when the door slid open and the blast of clean air smacked her in the face. Jefferson stepped out first and looked down the platform, his face noticeably paling. Kara’s heart sank at the lost look in his eyes. She knew it was because he hadn’t envisioned going back home alone.

The other two recruits hopped off seconds later and, after giving Guard Thomson one last look of terror in a desperate attempt to make her take pity on her and change her mind, Kara followed.

Jefferson had already taken off down the platform. Kara managed to spot him just as he rounded a corner. The other two recruits, one male and one female, had their heads bent in conversation as they headed in the same direction. They glanced back at her with a look of pure hatred before continuing on. Kara slung her backpack onto her shoulder and just stood there for a moment, her gut twisting with unease and every nerve in her body shot.

She had just been dumped in the Sector that her father had almost completely wiped out. 


Submitted: May 04, 2015

© Copyright 2022 MissGangamash. All rights reserved.

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Comments

strattyone

I read this about 5 days ago and it really caught my interests. I would really like if you kept on writing it as it caught my eye. I would really like to see where the story goes.

Thu, May 14th, 2015 11:57pm

Author
Reply

Thank you so much! I am definitely continuing with this so I'll let you know when the next chapters up :D

Thu, May 14th, 2015 11:40pm

Vance Currie

Hi Shelly. Your writing style is easy to read, with very few distractions. I prefer to read short stories rather than novels on Booksie but I think this one has the potential to be interesting and exciting. The few novels that I follow to the end are those that make me keen to find out what happens in the next chapter. I also like humour in the stories that I read (and write). Perhaps your novel will be like that. Like I said, the story line has good potential ~ Joe

Mon, May 18th, 2015 9:20am

Author
Reply

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment :) This is the first novel I've written where the story does not develop in chronological order so it's been pretty difficult to write but I did it that way to keep the story intriguing and the development of the two main characters interesting. Most of my novels have quite a lot of humour within them, even when the subject is quite dark, like my vampire story The Progeny, but this one lacks that aspect because I wanted it to be more gritty. Kara is a very lonely character who can never seem to catch a break, I wanted this novel to focus on that rather than try to make it light-hearted by adding humour. You say this has potential and I'm hoping you stick around to see how the story progresses but if not, thank you again for reading this chapter :)

Mon, May 18th, 2015 3:02am

briannalemaster

I must say that my favorite part would have to be when you were describing the train ride as smooth, and that it felt as though it were gliding through the air. I love descriptions like that where you immediately feel like you could be there experiencing it for yourself. I like the story so far and am very interested in where you will take it.

Mon, May 18th, 2015 4:34pm

Author
Reply

Thank you :D I'm a little sceptical that you did read the whole thing seeing as though the only thing you picked out was the very first line? I'm sorry if I'm wrong and thank you for reading if you did and you're comment is genuine but experiences in the past on this site has made me wary. I hope you are interested as I'd obviously love for people to stick around and see how this progresses :)

Mon, May 18th, 2015 10:22am

ShadaStorm120

Wow, this is an interesting start and I'm very intrigued as to what happened. Why was she put in an asylum? And why did her father apparently try to completely wipe out sector seven? I like the rate this story is progressing and how it's written. It doesn't just explain everything straight away. I also really like the descriptions used. This is a very good start, and I would love to read more so please keep me updated. Well done so far.

Tue, May 19th, 2015 12:54am

Author
Reply

Thank you! This was actually from a dream I had haha. I woke up like, 'wow! Lightbulb!' and then a novel was booorrrrn. It is a novel that needs readers to clock on to what's happening, it doesn't spell everything out for you. It's a new writing style for me so I need as much feedback as I can get :P I hope you do like where I go with it and I'll definitely keep you updated :) Thanks for reading!

Tue, May 19th, 2015 1:04pm

ShadowLight120

This was a very interesting story to read, I feel sorry for Kara and Jefferson, I am very intrigued to see what will happen in the next chapter, you really kept my interest throughout, even the title of the story is awesome, so please keep me updated, thanks for telling me of your story, it's really worth the time.

Tue, May 19th, 2015 6:54am

Author
Reply

Thank you! They are two lost souls :'( Bless them both. I'm really glad you like it ^_^ I'm sort of branching out with my styles so I'm always a little anxious to how my new stuff will be received. I'll let you know when the next chapters up :D

Tue, May 19th, 2015 1:10pm

Becca Swan

This is really good and I can't wait to read more! :)

Tue, May 19th, 2015 9:30pm

Author
Reply

I was kinda hoping for a little more feedback but if your comment is genuine hopefully they'll be more feedback as the story develops. Thanks for reading :)

Wed, May 20th, 2015 2:01pm

Adya Dutta

Oh my... I wasn't really expecting this much with the 1st chapter itself. It's very very well written and you brought numerous curious facts so easily with the flow. It went on smoothly with no interruptions. It was really great. Thanks for the invite. Love..

Tue, May 19th, 2015 9:37pm

Author
Reply

Yeah, there's a lot going on haha. This isn't in chronological order so they'll be chapters focusing on the events leading up to this point, that's why there's quite a few hints as to what has already happened. Thanks for reading and commenting, glad you liked it :D

Wed, May 20th, 2015 2:02pm

Kaori Kumai

Good story! I can't wait to read more, it's very interesting!

Wed, May 20th, 2015 1:30pm

Author
Reply

If this comment is genuine then thank you :D

Wed, May 20th, 2015 2:04pm

SuzonneH

A like.

Wed, May 20th, 2015 6:35pm

Author
Reply

Thanks?

Wed, May 20th, 2015 2:05pm

P3anut

I don't understand why the guards wouldn't let her off at the one stop. Had she boarded the wrong train? Or were they failing to do their job correctly? The fact that they treated her like that is just horrible. Doesn't she have enough reason to sue those guards or something? Or would the court not do anything simply because of her father? People need to learn that we are not our parents, that we are different people. My dad is a network engineer, but I want to be some sort of writer, whether it be screen-writing or novels. I am not my dad, and Kara is not her father. Do Kara and Jefferson know each other? Or is this book in a third person - omniscient point of view? I don't think I've read a book like that before, but I could be wrong. Nonetheless, the chapter was nice. It felt rather fast, but it was really interesting. I may just read ahead... Nice job. You really need to keep up the amazing work.

Wed, May 20th, 2015 9:29pm

Author
Reply

This book isn't in chronological order, the chapters are going to be split in two different time frames, one leading up to this chapter, and the other from this chapter. It'll make sense why she's not allowed off the train, don't worry :P And yes Kara and Jefferson know each other but you don't know what there relationship is yet. It's going to be one of those novels that all ties up at the end. This is the first and only book. The fast pacing was to show Kara's fear, like her fast heartbeat. Thanks for reading and commenting :D

Wed, May 20th, 2015 11:46pm

thisisaly

I love this introduction; it's intriguing and shows a lot about the character's recent past and the world she lives in without really going into detail. I already have a ton of questions, and this makes me want to keep reading to answer them. I also like the diction you use and the way you describe everything: the train ride, the people, etc.
I'm interested to know more about Jefferson, too.
Anyway, you did a really great job and this is only the first chapter. I hope you decide to do more:)

Thu, May 21st, 2015 12:49am

Author
Reply

Thank you so much! I'm glad you like it ^_^ Yeah, I didn't want the first chapter to be too info-dumpy and instead to just centre around Kara but I'm glad you got a sense of the world as well. I've already written a few chapters for this, I'm just trying to grab readers before I continue uploading :P I hope you keep reading to find out the answers to all your questions :D

Wed, May 20th, 2015 11:48pm

Moonglow

You definitely got me intrigued. I'm guessing they wouldn't let her off another stop has punishment for what her father did, since its seems like the population hates her because of him. You also have my interested in this Jefferson character, on his story too. I was sitting here wondering if he'll become her protector there in sector 8. This story has alot of potential. I like dark reads. Paranormal reads are my favorite if the writer can pull it off. I'm writing about other things right now and when I feel like I'm good enough at writing I plan to write some e dark-paranormal stories. I would love it if you would check out my writings and return the favor, I normally don't read other writers stories anymore unless they keep reading mine. I rather spend my time supporting the supporters. My writing are on booksiesilk though. So hopefully I'll see your comments on mine too! I really did enjoy the start to your story. ;)

Thu, May 21st, 2015 9:06pm

Author
Reply

Thank you for reading! This isn't paranormal per say but it is rather dark. I do usually return the favour but I don't really read stuff on BooksieSilk so I don't think I'd really have much to say and critique... But I can give it a shot because you took the time to read this. I'm glad you liked it ^_^

Fri, May 22nd, 2015 11:29am

earlofmarl

You have a great writing style, it flows well. You start to build your character but dont give everything away, which is good. Would love to know about how you published on amazon and how that is going. ~EoM

Thu, May 21st, 2015 9:22pm

Author
Reply

Thanks so much for reading ^_^

Fri, May 22nd, 2015 11:30am

Adrian Hunt

Hi Shelley, thank you for inviting me to read????. Your writing style flows very well and I don't find your descriptions of environment etc to be forced, as is easy to do. Rather, they seem to happen in the best way - without the reader really noticing! I love that I know that there is pretty much solid desolation between sectors, yet I can't recall a specific line that told me that. It means I can be brought easily into the environment and witness the important stuff - Kara's isolation amongst the others for example. If you're after critique, I would only advise that you split the opening paragraph at 'so light she could hardly feel it', just because it gives the line more significance which I think would illustrate Kara's misfortune quite nicely. I would also say that while there's nothing really wrong with it, 'sector' is a very overused word in sci-fi and there may be some benefit in using something more original. Minor points, really. Good work - I look forward to seeing this progress ????

Thu, May 21st, 2015 11:23pm

Author
Reply

Thanks so much for the feedback! I love how people pick up on different stuff. If you have another word I could use instead of 'Sector' you're welcome to share :P The only other word I could think of was 'District' but then it just seems like I'm copying The Hunger Games =/ I hope you like where I take the story!

Fri, May 22nd, 2015 11:34am

Chris Green

I liked the way you turned the story round with the last sentence. Perfect place to start the next but one chapter. You have created a cliffhanger so ideally in this kind of narrative chapter 2 will cover something else and keep the reader waiting and then they have to read chapter 3, then they are hooked. I think thats how it works. Just an idea. Nice writing.
regards
Chris

Fri, May 22nd, 2015 10:50am

Author
Reply

This novel isn't going to be in chronological order so you're right in the way that each chapter is sort of going to be on it's own. Like pieces of a puzzle. So you never know what the next chapter will be about! It's the first time I've tried this idea so fingers crossed it all works out in the end haha. Thanks for reading! :D

Fri, May 22nd, 2015 11:38am

Smiley113

Its going great till now... can't wait to read more!!! :)

Fri, May 22nd, 2015 12:53pm

Author
Reply

Thank you!

Fri, May 22nd, 2015 11:39am

girl with an imagination

your a wonderful writer! cant wait to read more!

Fri, May 22nd, 2015 1:42pm

Author
Reply

Thanks! :D

Fri, May 22nd, 2015 11:39am

Eclipse101

This was an interesting start and you have an amazing writing style. Good job!

Fri, May 22nd, 2015 7:05pm

Author
Reply

If this is a genuine comment, thank you! ^_^

Fri, May 22nd, 2015 12:10pm

Brookklynn

Holy Shmoly!!! This is GOOD!!! I loved it, i hooked on it and i could not stop reading. Now, i'm just a tad bit confused tho. Is Guard whoever, a male or a female? Just wondering. Loved it so freaking much. Or and update or i will spam u. :) Loves, Brookk

Sat, May 23rd, 2015 1:43pm

Author
Reply

Thank you! So glad you liked it ^_^ Guard Thomson is a woman, she's referred to as a 'she'. I will be updating soon! :D

Sat, May 23rd, 2015 8:53am

PeytonWritesBooks

This was really good writing. Sorry about not reading it sooner. After I left my comment on your page I got some bad news, family issues, so I couldn't read it. But, now I have....can I say wow. You described everything perfectly. I really enjoyed reading it. You have a good insight on Kara and what kind of person she is. Keep me updated!

Sat, May 23rd, 2015 3:09pm

Author
Reply

Thank you for reading! Glad you liked it! I'll let you know when I update ^_^

Sat, May 23rd, 2015 8:54am

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