YA, Fantasy, Adventure, Dystopian, Coming of Age
In a future so distant it looks like our past, all girls are raised in state-run orphanages to be sold off as servant wives. When fifteen year old Sevara refuses to marry, she’s kicked out and left on the streets of Plexus with nothing. Desperate to save her fellow orphans, she starts a revolution and is marked for death. Luckily, someone has been watching her.
A shapeshifting immortal gives Sevara a second chance at life, and a powerful set of gifts. But when Sevara begins a doomed love affair with the man she almost married, she must choose between protecting the city and saving the only man she’s ever loved.
Sevara had just changed out of her bathing suit into her house clothes, but hadn’t yet put on her steel-toed boots or slid her retractable bolo sticks into her shirt sleeves. She tossed her swimming suit into her locker and crossed passed the row of empty shower stalls. It was the perfect time for Minubar to attack. Sevara felt a rib crack against Minubar’s bolo stick, and just avoided the second attack to the base of the skull, a fatal blow. Sevara lunged towards Minubar’s massive frame, instead of away, as the big girl would have expected, causing the next swing to greatly overshoot. But Minubar put her knee into Sevara’s chest, knocking the wind out of her as she felt herself fly up towards the ceiling, then go crashing into the lockers on the far side of the room.
Sevara stood and shook her head to brush the stars out of her eyes. She was cornered, barefoot and weaponless, at the far end of the locker room. Minubar advanced, both bolo sticks out. Sevara desperately looked left and right for a weapon or escape, but saw none. Minubar swung with both sticks, but Tanner shouted from behind them and Minubar paused.
“I’m right behind you, Sevara,” cried Tanner.
“This is between us! Stay out of it unless you want some,” said Minubar.
Tanner had been in the orphanage long enough to know what that meant, and immediately jerked both arms forward, flicking her bolo sticks from their bamboo sheathes hidden in her sleeves. Tanner charged, attacking as if pain didn’t matter to her, as if she wanted to die there today. Minubar swing powerfully but clumsily, and Tanner got in a few solid strikes on her legs and shoulders before getting hit on the arm. Sevara heard her bone fracture. Tanner crumpled over in pain, but then leapt up when Minubar was on top of her, jabbing her elbow into Minubar’s jaw. Minubar staggered back and fell, and Tanner jumped on top of her, putting both knees into her throat and raising her good arm to finish her off.
“No!” yelled Sevara.
“She’ll just be back for you later,” said Tanner, and swung her club, but Sevara’s hand caught her wrist.
“I’ll be ready next time,” said Sevara, and Tanner jumped off. Orly appeared in the doorway to the locker room, bolo sticks out. Minubar started to hack and cough.
“You’d better be,” Minubar said, rolling onto her side and trying to prop herself up. Orly and Sevara pulled Tanner away from the locker room, and they went back to their dormitory.
“Tanner’s right,” said Orly, “we should have finished her.”
“I can’t do that,” said Sevara. Orly grabbed her by both shoulders and stared at her intently, her striking jaw line hardened and blazing eyes suddenly alive.
“We’ve missed our chance to marry,” she said earnestly. “We’re warriors now; we’ve got to start acting like it.”
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