Jadeite’s perfect world comes crashing down on her. In the futuristic world of United Society, her only problem has been how to act around the cute boy on the air shuttle. But Jadeite’s world changes when she comes across a man who looks alarmingly like her father. Clones were declared illegal years ago. When she sees her father, a robotic engineer, headed to the Dark Edge of United Society, she follows him and uncovers her father’s secret life.
Jadeite shadows her father past the boundary of United Society and into a primitive world of canyons and high deserts. She learns her father is a Ridge Runner passing between the two worlds. Even more alarming, she discovers her younger brother, Malachite, is sick and requires medicine only available from over the Ridge. After her father is arrested, Jadeite takes his place in order to save her brother’s life.
But her world turns even more precarious after she breaks up with her obsessive boyfriend, Mattie. Jadeite soon learns his threats are more than words, and she finds her life is in jeopardy.
Jadeite woke to Mattie holding a cool gel wrap to her forehead. She was propped on one of the chairs that lined the dance floor.
He offered her a drink of punch. “This will revive you. Oh, and I told the principal to tone down the heat.”
Guess Mattie’s power extended to the entire teaching staff.
“I’ll give you a break for a couple of dances, then we have to get back out there, don’t we?”
His expression made the request into a barely disguised order.
Jadeite nodded and looked away. She hated this guy, absolutely hated him.
It was after midnight when the event ended. She stifled a yawn as Mattie escorted her to the waiting shuttle.
They had driven a few minutes when Mattie lowered the partition between the front and back seats. The driver idled outside the public air-shuttle station where lights revealed a shuttle packed with passengers. The passengers, all adults, sat facing forward. None were reading, visiting, or talking via phone waves.
“Driver, take us to the bistro near the school.”
“Yes, sir.” The tinted window slid up again.
Jadeite stared at the passengers as their shuttle moved ahead. Why would people be transported at this late hour? United Society prided itself on daytime shifts for everyone. One woman looked confused, sweeping her eyes from side to side at those around her. As their private shuttle took off, Jadeite glanced back. She could have sworn a man’s face at the window was cloaked in fear.
She turned to Mattie. “Why are all those people on the transport so late at night?”
He wrapped his arm around her shoulder. “Don’t worry that pretty little head of yours. Those people are being transported to other areas in United Society.”
That’s what they’d told Electra about her parents.
As a school librarian, Lucinda Stein enjoyed sharing books with students. After writing several award-winning short stories and books, she came up with an idea for a young-adult story. The concept of a teen living in a futuristic world amid advanced technology propelled her to write this SciFi story.