You take a sip of your coffee and turned your eyes towards the map you stole yesterday, grinning. With this map you would have the proof you need to tell the world about this amazing vessel and the things it can do. You had to be careful, though. Tasha and Dalton could never know you had stolen it. You had raced with fear yesterday afternoon when Rudy and Trish's boat had jumped through the portal behind you. Dalton and Tasha had a strict rule when it came to the boat. Only passengers and employees were allowed on board. Instead of confronting their uninvited guest, they opened another portal, jumped the ship and then fired upon gateway holding the portal in place, ensuring Rudy and Trish's vessel couldn't jump through. After the commotion was over, Dalton and Tasha had called a ship wide meeting. They had asked if anyone had given reason for Rudy and Trish to follow them. You had no idea what would happen if Dalton and Tasha ever learned the truth and you didn't want to find out. Dalton and Tasha dismissed the meeting. They told everyone to go to bed. When you awoke this morning, you found the temperature had dropped significantly. Fog had enveloped the seas so thick you couldn't see anything. It had to be the work of Tasha. She was a ROTC cadet and the military presence on the ship had doubled over night.
"Good morning, everyone," Tasha's voice came over the speaker. You laid your coffee down, grabbed the map, rolled it up and hid deep in your backpack. "I hope you all enjoyed your rest. This morning we will be meeting a friend of mine. She lives on secret island and is a convict."
You're eyes open wide. Convict? Tasha was sending you on tour with a convict?
|Artist :Kitt Lapeña|
Yes, I’m a convict. I was banished to the Fringe District two years ago, and if you newbies plan on staying alive around here, you’re gonna want to hear what I have to say.
Firstly, get familiar with the geography of this place:
Don’t stray too far West. There’s a freshwater lake near the Eastern edge of the woods—don’t go any farther than that. The Lurkers roam beyond the lake and they’re faster, stronger and more vicious than any of you. They’re human, yes, but they’re … primal. They don’t speak—at least, they don’t use English—they’re uncivilized and they’re cannibals. Not to mention, the West coast of the island—the Buffer Zone—faces the Unknown Territories. Those regions haven’t ever been explored, and there’s no telling what could be out there. Stay well away.
Another area you might want to avoid is South Town. It’s mostly slums, and it’s so dirty you could contract cholera just by looking at it. South Town is where you end up when you’ve got nowhere else to go, or you’re hiding from your bookie. It’s a good place to disappear, since it’s overcrowded and Police Division Agents don’t like to patrol there.
If you’re looking for work, your best bet is Mid Town. That’s where most of the businesses are. Whether you want to pull pints or test mattresses, you’ll find someone willing to take you on. If you’re strong and have experience working with animals, you can try your hand in a butcher shop. And by that, I mean one of the bars where they hold pit fights—not a place where you buy meat. Butcher shops are one of the few forms of live ‘entertainment’ that you’ll find here. Besides the whorehouses, of course.
|Artist: Kitt Lapeña|
Every night, two Chimera are thrown into a pit and forced to fight each other while the establishment’s patrons place bets. It’s a fight to the death, and the loser becomes dinner.
Keira Michelle is a British ex-pat, now living in British Columbia, Canada. She is the author of a 10-book series of post-apocalyptic, dystopian science fiction books, all centering on the lead character of Ella 'Silver' Cross. The first book in this series, Acheron, was released Nov 2011. The next book, Inamorato (the sixth book in the series), is due to be released later this year.