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Agartha's Castaway - Book 8


To:
My brilliant editor, Autumn J. Conley.
Chapter 1
Casey's hands felt clammy, and a dull, painful panic tugged at her insides. “You have to
stop this ship from blowing up. Hack into the system or something.”
“I can't.” Thorn shook his head as he studied the control panel and tapped some of the
buttons.
For a moment, she watched him close his eyes, as though he was already defeated. “There
has to be something you can do,” she insisted.
He opened his eyes, throwing daggers, and pounded on the glass. “Look, I don't know why
this is happening…or what to do! It was never my intention to impose a death sentence on my
brother, myself, and everyone else aboard this ship. That was why I wouldn't agree to just drop
off a bomb like General Ashtar asked me to.”
“Why would anyone install a self-destruct mechanism onboard anyway?” whispered Jack.
Thorn's jaw set as he snapped the glass back in place. “I'm sure the kidnapped scientists
who built this weapon had something to do with this. This is something the rebels couldn't
possibly have foreseen.”
Casey shook her head. They had deactivated the weapon as they were supposed to, and now
they had this to deal with as a reward for their efforts. Earth was safe, but they were in grave
danger. Why now, when we’re so close to escaping this nightmare?
“We've got to tell Mike,” said Jack.
A shiver slid down her spine, and she hoped he wasn't captured. She couldn't fathom
rescuing one friend, only to lose another in the end. She looked down at her radar device and saw
that there was still time. They could hunt for Mike, rescue her parents, make it back to the scout
ship, and cruise on out of there before the entire mothership became a fireball, blazing through
space. It wouldn't be easy, but it could be done.
Soldiers pounded on the door, and at the sound of their impatient knocking, Casey's heart
leapt into her throat. She pulled out her gun from the holster as the rebels burst in. The soldiers
aimed their weapons at her, and her skin prickled. No! This can’t be happening. She still had to
find her parents and Mike.
“Drop it!” one of the soldiers shouted.
For a moment, she hesitated, unsure as to whether or not to follow their request. Holding a
gun, she might face a chance of survival, but she knew the moment she gave up her weapon,
they'd be screwed. From the corner of her eye, Casey watched Thorn and Jack set down their
guns. “What are you doing?” she hissed.
“Do as they say,” instructed Thorn.
“No.” She shook her head vehemently. They could give up if they wanted to, but she was
going to keep on fighting, or die trying. Her parents had protected her for her entire life, and now
it was her turn to protect them.
“Now's not the time to play superhero,” said Jack. “In case you haven't noticed, you're not
Wonder Woman.”
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