by Amanda Carlson
153 years in the future, Earth doesn’t look much like it used to.
Holly Danger’s current assignment, gleaned from a set of foggy instructions and a handful of coin stuffed into a slot, is to pick up a street kid who’s about to terminate himself off a cliff. And, as a rule, she doesn’t turn down currency. Her job as a salvager keeps her fed and clothed above the norm, which isn’t saying much.
The norm in this city is a scrape-by existence in a post-apocalyptic world, where the rain never stops, food is always scarce, and the elite have deserted the ranks in search of something better. Picking up this urchin won’t take much time, even if he’s located outside city limits. Her craft is fast, her weapons deadly, and her tech has been optimized as well as it can be for a climate clogged with iron dust.
But things take a big turn when she decides to become the boy’s guardian instead of hand him over. Outskirts have descended on the city, and their plans don’t include playing nice. When her crew is backed against a graphene wall, it’s a good thing her Gem is primed and ready to go. It’s almost as deadly as she is…