True Calling (True Calling #1)
By Siobhan Davis
Genre: Dystopian/Science Fiction/Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: August 1, 2014
Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17-year-old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray.
As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone.
Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant, ‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.
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He runs quickly and quietly through the dense woodland; his breathing is shallow yet steady. Beads of sweat glisten on the translucent skin of his forehead. His intense brown eyes drink in the surroundings of the forest as they flash by. The muscles flex in his arms and legs as he runs, and the sun reflects the contours of his body, showcasing his strong physique.
I wake with a start; I can feel the blood pumping ferociously through my veins and hear a ringing in my ears. My heart is pounding so loudly that I’m sure it will wake Mom, Dad, Lily, and Deacon. Taking deep breaths, I slowly inhale and exhale, in an attempt to calm my beating heart.
This is the tenth night in a row that I’ve dreamt of him: Zane. I’m surprised we’ve retained the ability to dream, that they hadn’t programmed it into the Vita. I’ve no idea what the dreams mean, or if they mean anything at all. No doubt, I’ll spend the rest of today thinking of him, instead of concentrating on my classes and maneuvers.
A slight movement in the corner of my eye catches my attention. The Medicet has entered the room so quietly that it startles me, and my heart pounds again in response. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to these medical drones, sophisticated robots that work with assigned doctors, to provide the high-quality medical care essential to ensure the continuation of the human race. It’s just one of the many changes that we’ve had to get accustomed to on Novo. Obediently holding out my arm, I instantly feel relaxed as the Medicet administers the shot; my previous anxiety over the dream a distant memory. I drift into unconsciousness.
When I wake again, I reach out to the panel over my bedside locker, pressing the top right-hand button. Groaning, I scowl at the screen as 5.30 a.m. registers on the commiboard in the corner of the room. It’s too early, but I know there’s no point in trying to go back to sleep. Yanking off the covers, I swing my legs over the side of the bed. I rise slowly and stretch my arms out over my head, gently twisting my neck from side to side. As I move, I can feel the slight metal edge of the Vita, resting at the base of my neck just above my spinal cord. I remember how difficult it was to get used to the sensation of it at first, but now, it’s practically seamless, it’s become an accepted part of my body. It’s only my daily morning stretch that reminds me of its existence. I think back to the day it was inserted—the day we had to vacate Earth. Sighing loudly, I still can’t believe the events of the last two years. It still feels like it was something straight out of a Hollywood movie.
Shaking myself from my melancholy, I pull off my pajamas and head straight for the shower. As I stand under the steaming hot water, my mind wanders back to Zane. Is he a figment of my imagination? A memory fighting to be restored? Or is there something else at play here? Except Dr. Victus says it’s impossible; the whole point of the nostalgia elixir was to make the transition from Earth to Novo as easy as possible. Its sole function to wipe our memories of those left behind.
So who is Zane? And why am I dreaming of him? I visualize him as I’ve seen him in my sleep. Chocolate brown eyes, short dark hair, average height. On his right upper arm is an apparent tattoo, but it’s too indistinct in my dreams to decipher. He’s clearly athletic and very fit. My heart quickens as I recall the images of him showering and dressing, and I feel a natural stirring throughout my body. There’s no one else in the room, but I still blush furiously—I have to stop this! Maybe I am going crazy, and it’s my minds way of saying ‘enough!’ Stepping out of the shower, I throw on my jogging pants and top and lace my sneakers tight. Swiftly drying my hair, I tie it into a loose bun before heading out of my room.
I tiptoe down the stairs as quietly as I can, no point in disturbing my family this early. As I enter our living space, I see that my father is already up and dressed for work. I look at him with pride, so handsome, so strong in his uniform. My father is the center of my universe. Period. He’s standing at the far end of the large circular glass wall that spans the entire structure of our home, overlooking the man-made lake, staring pensively at the calm water outside. “Hey, Dad, why are you up so early? Penny for your thoughts?” I ask. My father turns around, a frown quickly forming on his face.
“Ariana, I could ask you the same thing.”
“Weird dreams again,” I say by way of explanation. “What’s your excuse?”
“We’re piloting the latest model stealth-craft this morning. We thought it least disruptive to the citizens of Novo if we conducted our tests early.” Striding forward, he grabs a file from the table-top. “Are you going out for a run?”
“Yes, I thought it might help clear my head.”
“Well, make sure to stick to the running track and keep safe.”
I inwardly laugh; Novo is about the safest place you could live. All citizens have been carefully chosen from Earth based on a variety of specific assessments, including personal characteristics, medical status, age and possession of—at least one—desired talent from the requisite ‘skills list.’ No one is older than forty-five; apparently, there’s no place in the new world order for the elderly or the sick. I’m fairly certain they didn’t do any recruiting in prisons either, and the intense personality screening ruled out any supposed ‘undesirables.’
There’s also the Magna Superiore: an invisible forcefield that surrounds Novo; shaped like a dome, it acts as a protective shield. No one can enter or exit without permission. It’s practically invisible to the naked eye except where it glints in parts and reminds us of its existence. Dad says it’s to protect us from unknown enemies. I think it’s further evidence of the extent to which the authorities desire to control everyone and everything in Novo.
My father has always been very protective of his family because of all the things he’s seen as a Command Major Sergeant in the Army. He’s now a Level 1 Commander, which is a position of high seniority and great responsibility; I see it weighing on his shoulders, as if the stress is a real living thing. My sixth sense goes into overdrive again as I get the feeling there’s more to this than meets the eye. I wonder what has him so preoccupied lately. There’s no point asking him though; he has a natural ability to easily deflect any uncomfortable topics. I know he’ll confide in me when he feels the time is right.
About the Author:
Siobhan Davis is the author of YA science fiction romance series True Calling.
A self-diagnosed ‘teenager forever’—at least when it comes to books, music and movies; Siobhan is totally addicted to teen fiction and superhero/blockbuster movies. Siobhan loves baking, crime novels, shoes, bags, make-up, anti-wrinkle cream, anything pink, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and Robert Pattinson (definitely Team Edward).
Siobhan has forged a successful corporate career, in Human Resources, over the last twenty years.
A member of the IWI writers group, Siobhan resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons.
Contact Siobhan at: www.siobhandavis.com
You can find and contact Siobhan here:
Website/ Author blog/ Book website/ Facebook/ Twitter/ Google +/ Goodreads
Sample chapters, quotes, reviews and book excerpts are all available to download from the authors website
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