Son of a Pitch, Round 1: BENEATH GREEN
Title: BENEATH GREEN Genre: Adult Science Fiction Word Count: 64,000
Dear Exceptional Editors,
Aev, a Journeyman Architect, hides from invaders terraforming her authoritarian planet. But it’s better to die on the surface than rot underground.
Launching world-evolving mists, the terraformers turn Aev’s homogenous white world green. It’s genocide, and she’s lost everything—her family, her home. Now, in the shadows underground, she cowers. From her own desperate people. From the enemy.
To subsist, she scavenges food, water, a place of her own in the catacombs under the city. Slaughtering to survive. As her people burrow deeper, she knows the only way out is up. She has to escape the new green planet, or become a part of the terraformed world. So when her enigmatic mentor asks if she wants “off this rock,” she must trust a cutthroat with a crippled ship.
Otherwise she’ll be left to rot in the dark.
First 250 words:
She saw the stars, the planets. Crystallizing. Unmoved. Microscopic incandescent white voids in the dark sky. Shining far from her. The black-hole ships retreated. The invading fleet ebbed into the obsidian sky. She stood under the reformed surface of her planet, watching from a small entrance not collapsed by the bombs.
Hope burned in her chest. Like the ember of a fire on a damp night, barely smoking. There was much to do before the remaining occupying forces started hunting survivors.
Aev waited quietly in a darkened corner for the dust to settle and the wailing. To stop. But that might take days. When the sick in her stomach. Passed. The squeezing in her chest. Released. She rose and walked to the nearest exit out of Underground. The green mist the invaders released hovered outside. Wrapping her world.
She only knew drawing. Buildings. Bridges. Graphite and paper. Lines and geometry. She didn’t know. Death.
A thought twitched in her head. Dark. Cold. Green.
She didn’t know. Survive.
She needed food. Water.
Her shoulder still screamed red with the pain of dislocation. Something had broken when she set it. The thin bone across her chest. The collar bone. She couldn’t lift her arm.
A crowd gathered. To stare at the banks of green mist outside the door burning away the smooth white polystone, bombed into rubble. Creating layers of dust. The mist boiled in the breeze, thinning.
The stars shone above the mist.