AVAILABLE: Saturday, October 17th
Sequel to The Divide Book 1: Unity
The revolution has begun, and 18-year-old Malaki Cheyenne is spying on the U.S. government.
In the midst of training on a rebel military base, Malaki can’t decide whether she wants to be in infantry or intelligence. She is also torn between her feelings for three girls, including Serenity Blackwater, who left on a refugee plane to The Nation of California Islands. Malaki is impatient at being low-ranked, but raises her status by creating a program to deactivate U.S. military drones. The base gets attacked after the government finds out members have allied themselves with the revolutionary Human Equality Organization. Malaki is captured and taken to a detainment center, where the same man who tortured Serenity last year says he’s going to convert Malaki from Gay to Normal. Malaki is beaten and starved, and forced to undergo experimental injections which are supposed to change her mind and body so she fits into the mold of what the government says is “normal.”
The rebels who survived the raid at the military base are imprisoned in the crumbling remains of an old Gay Community, living under the watch of guards with no means of contacting the outside world. Meanwhile, Serenity and the other California refugees are under nuclear assault, waiting out the attack in underground bunkers.
Malaki learns secrets about government which will end The Divide, if only she can get out of prison ... and if she doesn’t go insane from brutal torture. Will Malaki be able to free herself from her captors? Will any of her friends survive this war?
I sighed and Akasha gripped my arm as we walk into a dimly lit hall.
“It’s going to be all right,” she said.
I turned to her and held both her hands in my own. “I’m glad you’re always there for me.”
Akasha smiled her best smile. “I’ve been right here all along.”
“I know. Girlfriends come and go ... but me and you ... I want this to last forever.”
General Takeo strode around the corner and I jumped back and saluted. Sol Harvey, the president of our Community’s rebel group, was another one of the people who had just left on refugee that plane. Even though he wasn’t happy with me either, I wished he was still here to stick up for me. None of Serenity’s plans to make that illegal broadcast would have been carried out if I hadn’t broken into the room that held all the most powerful computers on base.
“Private Cheyenne,” Takeo snapped.
I couldn’t help but break protocol. “General, I’m so sorry. I was only trying to serve the revolution and carry out Serenity’s wish. Have I compromised our security?”
Takeo pressed her mouth into a firm line. I hoped I wasn’t imagining her eyes were glinting as though she was trying not to smile. “We’ll deal with that later. The next round of refugees are on their way. We’re going to need you and Akasha to help with orientation. The new arrivals are all experienced HEO members, medical personnel, soldiers, and intelligence officers. The plane should be here any minute.”
She turned on her heel and stepped away, and I leaned against a nearby wall, wiping sweat from my face.
“We got away with everything,” I said in disbelief.
“Let’s go,” Akasha said. “Maybe now I’ll get to start the more hardcore medical training.”
I frowned. “I don’t know what they’re going to have me do; soldier work or computers. I’d rather fight, but obviously no one knows computers like me ... except Serenity.”
“Serenity’s gone, and you’re the best we’ve got.” Akasha’s voice was uncharacteristically harsh. She turned away, and I shrugged and followed.
A plane landed as we walked back into the giant, brightly lit lobby. Soon, people of all ages with wrinkled clothes and uncombed hair straggled in with their carry-on bags.
I nudged Akasha. “Check her out.”
A girl even taller than me walked in the midst of the new crowd. She had a black ponytail, chiseled features on her light brown face, and a camouflage back pack. This girl didn’t look much older than us ... but her narrowed eyes made me think of maturity and experience.
“She’s hot,” I whispered.
As if the girl heard me, she looked my way. I could feel the blush on my cheeks as she walked right to me. I glanced at Akasha out of the corner of my eye.
“You’re Malaki Cheyenne,” the girl said, and held out her hand.
“Uh ... yeah, I am.”
“I’ve heard all about you ... and you must be Akasha Amaya. We saw your friend Serenity’s broadcast on the way here. Luckily you didn’t screw everything up for the rest of us. Must be pretty good. I’ve been handling the computers around D.C. area for the past three years. General Takeo messaged me earlier and said we’d be working together. I’m Destiny Ryu, Private First Class.”
“Nice ... I mean, yeah, I haven’t gotten my next orders, yet. I just got back from a rescue mission to save prisoners from a detainment center.” I racked my brain for something else to say. “So, do you need help getting to your quarters? Akasha and I are supposed to orient the new arrivals.”
Destiny turned and a short blonde with dreadlocks in the distance waved. “Looks like we’re all set. See you around, though.” I glimpsed Destiny’s Mark as she walked over to the blonde. The tattooed black “G” on her forearm -- mandatory for all of us banned to live in a gay community -- was encircled by a chain of cursive letter “b’s.”
“Bisexual,” Akasha pointed out.
I smiled. “I like a challenge.”