by Leslie Lee Sanders
A standalone of the Refuge Inc. series
Genre/tags: sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, dystopian, gay, LGBTQ
Tasked with a deadly mission, Damien and Patrick must return to the surface and discover healthy plant life that survived the toxic devastation that wiped out all life after a cataclysmic asteroid impact.
However, they quickly learn that it’s not just the contaminated air they should fear, but also those responsible for organizing the operation, as all things point to a deliberate suicide mission.
Finding a living plant may not only ensure a future for the thousands of subterranean survivors but may be the key they need to return to their home beneath the surface.
OPENING PAGE EXCERPT:
There’s no such thing as happy ever after, no such thing as second chances, and no such thing as coming back from where I was going.
I followed Patrick into the shaft leading to the lift, leaving our escort and life as it was behind me. The mechanical door at my back hissed before it locked for what I knew would be forever–or until the next agitator made trouble in the facility and found him or herself facing the rarely seen but much talked about dreaded door.
With every weighty footstep toward the enclosed lift, my living-breathing life became more of a shadow of a memory. It was apparent in each anxiety-induced shallow breath that escaped my lips. Although they wanted me to believe going miles above to the surface was my choice, there was no such thing as having a voice in the matter.
Up, up, up the lift took us. I glanced through my thick Plexiglas visor and across from me into Patrick’s. A single light shone from above us. The light located inside of his helmet illuminated his face, allowing me to search his eyes for a hint of fear.
“You think we’ll be surprised at the conditions up there?” Shaky and wary, his voice came through my headset.
I forced a chuckle. “I enjoy surprises.”
His nerves caused his snicker to come through rattled and apprehensive. “If my wife was still here she would’ve slapped the shit out of me for even entertaining the thought of going up.”
That was the difference between his wife and mine. Em would’ve known that I would never entertain such a thought. Just recalling her smarts and wit brought a smile to my face. If possible, I would return to previous times and relive the moments where I had gathered her and our son in my arms.
No one had to tell me I was once a lucky man, but like all good things, even luck runs out.
The lift slowed, sounding off a metallic clanking that penetrated my headset despite the noise of our hasty breaths. The sudden change in momentum knocked us off balance. Patrick’s heavily suited body and his oxygen-nutrient backpack slammed against me.
“Shit.” His oversized gloved hands gripped the sides of his helmet as he readjusted it. “They didn’t warn us about this fuck of a lift.”
“Surprise.” My lack of enthusiasm dribbled from my lips.
Resurfaced (Refuge Inc.)