Update and Excerpt from Chapter 9

*Update* Good news! Reset has hit the 75,000 word mark! That means she’s about three-quarters finished. I’m kind of surprised/amazed by how fast it’s coming. It’s only been five months since I started writing Reset. With that kind of pacing, I could finish it in six. But then of course, I’ll probably spend another six months editing the thing. But for now, let’s just appreciate the fact that we’ve made it this far!

To celebrate, I’m sharing another excerpt! This one is taken from chapter 9. Enjoy!

Excerpt from chapter 9 of Reset, by Baylie Karperien

“Oh my gosh—did you see?” Vita exclaims, putting her face right up to the fence. “Look down there!”

Everyone looks.

The ground cuts off about five feet away from the fence. Beyond that, there is only sky and space and cloud, a swirling cloud of fog dazzled with sunlight.

“Are we in the sky?” I say, half-whispering.

“No,” Marshall laughs. “That’s the canyon below us. I mean, the river’s right down there. You can sort of see it through the fog. In a couple hours, that fog will be cleared, and you’ll be able to see it. Some days, the river takes on a green, emerald-like hue. It’s quite lovely, I mean, if you like that sort of thing.”

“It’s beautiful,” Wren whispers.

I snap my head to look at her. That’s the first thing she’s said since all of this happened. Karlsen is right beside her, staring at her. She’s still gazing down into the fog. Karlsen’s eyes seem to glisten, and he wraps his arms around her, pulling her into a sloppy bear hug.

“I love you,” he says to Wren, whose tiny form has disappeared within his hug.

“I love you too,” she mumbles, muffled beneath him. Everyone seems to crowd around, watching, wanting to say something, but not knowing what to say. And then Vita moves forward, and she attaches herself onto their hug, and then Eivor is following her, and Anker, and before I know it, I’m connected too, and all of us are, a hard protective shell around Wren, a human shield, a warm embrace, a loving family. All of us are connected to each other, and for the first time I realize that these people, they are all that I have left. They are every friend, every family, every acquaintance I have ever had, they are my last little bit of reality in a world of make-believe.

And then we hear it.

The siren.

A screaming, piercing noise, desperate and wailing, calls to us from the facility. Our hug dissolves, and we all stand, frozen in our places.

“Holy—everyone get back inside. Now!” Marshall yells, his face erupting in panic. We don’t move, unsure of what’s going on, of what to do, or where to go, when he turns back to us. “I said NOW!” he screams, his voice rising above the piercing cry of the siren.

“What is it?” I yell, and then I hear the noise. A sort of humming, almost like a truck or a Light Transit would make, except this is different, somehow. The noise rises steadily, until the sound become a roar, ripping into my brain and splitting apart my eardrums and pushing me to the ground. No, not the sound, the air. A burst of air is forcing me to the ground, and I can’t move, I can’t get up, I’m paralyzed with fear and I’m on the ground, my mouth in the dirt. I push myself up to my knees, force myself to resist it, but I want to sink into the ground, dive into the ground and bury myself in the rock. My skin is burning and my head is splitting and I see it, a form, a huge, massive, terrifying flying thing in the air. It’s floating up there, it’s sitting on a bed of air like a comfy sofa cushion. I can only see its belly, dark and terrible and man made. A terrible darkness, blocking out the sun.

Someone pulls me to my feet. It’s Marshall, he’s talking to me, but I can’t hear a word, and I realize that I hear nothing, only the terrible hum of the flying thing. He’s pulling on me, but I can’t move, I can’t go, and he’s lifting me up, he’s taking me out from under it, away from the terrible, terrible thing. Maybe I will be okay, maybe I am safe, and then everything changes. I hear a new sound begin, but then all the sound in the world stops and all that’s left is a sickening ringing that resonates in my eardrums. The ground is shaking, shaking, ripping apart, the world is falling apart, Marshall is falling, I am falling. I am on the ground again. I pull myself up. I find Marshall. I grab his hand and force him up. And then the ground shakes again, and it is an explosion, an explosion, they are dropping bombs on us from inside the belly of that terrible, terrible thing in the sky.

People are all around me, the ground is shaking and the people are pulling at us, smothering us, pulling us inside, and I see Hue’s face and he’s alright and I know that I’m alright. He is screaming at me, but I can’t hear a sound, I put my hands to my ears and my hair is all sticky, all sticky and bloody and red. And then, somehow, I am inside, I am running, somehow. Somehow, I am going downstairs, I am going down under the ground, down to the living floor below the ground, where the earth shakes but the building is safe, safe, safe. The building does not shake when the earth does.