The Como Chronicles #1
and the Army of Powers
by Kate O'Leary
Twell lives in the new world of Como, and has always neglected her telekinetic gifts, desiring to be 'normal.' Her biggest drama in life is having to be genetically partnered with a boy she doesn't know or love by her next birthday. Unfortunately she loves her best friend, who loves the girl she hates most, and Twell is left frustrated & heartbroken.When Twell is requested alongside several other teens to develop her skills for the protection of Como, she reluctantly agrees to the training, and finds herself thrown into all sorts of mental and physical challenges. Handsome, charismatic Jonaz, is gifted with the power of healing. According to Twell he's an infuriating prat who delights in provoking her. But first impressions have always been her downfall. When Como is attacked, life as Twell knows it is changed forever, with devastating consequences. With no choice but to fight, Twell risks her life to protect those who have survived, coming up against unexpected dangers she could never anticipate. Will she survive, and if so will she be matched to a stranger when the one she is growing to love is destined to another?
BUY THE BOOK
I wove expertly through the skyways traffic towards Caran High, while our distant sun struggled slowly into the hazy, white sky. It cast a soft, shimmering glow over the city of Caran, and the morning air felt cool as usual, the sun too far away to bring much warmth.
“Move it, air waster!” I cussed the pod in front of me, which was practically hovering, and making me even later to school. I’d taken too long to decide what to wear, and now my chest was tightening with the mortal fear of missing out on any juicy gossip I’d missed over the break. As I passed the huge audio Billboard on the main air lane, my pod’s speakers automatically transmitted the latest pressing announcement from the Governing Body,
“Are you wasting water? Remember, restrictions are YOUR responsibility. A thoughtful Comian equals a better world for all.”
Oops. It was like that message was designed exclusively for me. I’d totally taken too long in the shower again. I glanced from my right window over the expanse of endless plains skirting the city. As dull as it looked, the appearance of barren lifelessness was actually a trick of nature; cleverly hiding Como’s best secret for survival. Our underground aqueducts were the main reason the first generation decided to inhabit here, after the warming.
The intruding message effectively delivered the dose of guilt their messages always did, followed by an increasingly familiar sensation of resentment that I couldn’t even get away from their constant presence in the privacy of my own pod.
I pressed my foot down hard on the accelerator in annoyance and darted nimbly around the geriatric driver, making sure they copped my inconvenienced glare as I passed. Directly below me, the pale, moon-rock paved streets whipped by, designed for anyone enthusiastic enough to travel by foot, or solar scooter. The rest of us busy or lazy Comians simply preferred the skyways. Particularly me, as my guardian Shay, had just presented me with my first solar-powered pod. No more public airbus to school, which was so not socially acceptable anymore, especially for a final year student. I would have died of embarrassment if I’d had to keep taking that bus.
That was the first reason Shay had given it to me, simply a reward for making it through four years of upper schooling, and managing not to get myself into too much trouble. Solar-night black and sleek, it tapered in a teardrop shape from front to back, for speed. Inside, the fit-out was silver and white, and could carry three friends and me. It was second generation, one owner before me, but I didn’t mind at all. To me it was the most exciting thing I’d ever been given. The second reason was linked to my impending one hundred and eightieth birthday in a year, or ten moons time. This reason was also much, much worse, but I really preferred not to think about that right now.
As I overtook more traffic, pushing the boundaries of Como’s air speed limits, I glanced into my rear-view mirror to scrutinize my appearance. A pale, oval face with challenging aubergine eyes stared sceptically back, her bottom lip slightly fuller than the top, probably due to too many years of sticking it out in a strop. My fringe was brushed to the side, because I could never decide whether to grow it out into the rest of my long and perpetually tangled hair.
“You look okay,” I told my reflection rather grudgingly.
I finally reached Caran High and circled over the pod landing, looking for a good place to land. Just as I found a spot and aimed for it, a bright flash whizzed past me, so close I swerved sharply in fright.
“What on Como!?” I slammed on the brakes and jerked to a stop mid-air, staring in disbelief as a silver pod zipped into the spot I was clearly lining up for. Huffing indignantly, I looked down to see which student here would be so rude. When I recognized him, I narrowed my eyes and hissed with distaste. Jonaz, that arrogant, self -absorbed jerk took my space. Jonaz Maven...so annoyingly good-looking and stereotypically popular, that when every other silly, hormone-addled girl in the school wasn’t carrying on about him, he was probably advertising himself. In fact, he had a posse of brainwashed fans with him right now. Three, perfect looking, wanna-be groupie girls, and some chunky, block-headed guy. They were all laughing at how fabulous they were, totally oblivious to me still seething, mid-air.
“That’s it!” Swiftly I flew down so that I was positioned just behind the sleek, latest-model pod his toffy parents probably bought him, just for school days. Hovering there, I concentrated on glaring at the back of his stupid, perfect head and took my focus to the outcome.
The humming built slowly in my mind, tingling, as I concentrated. I soon felt the connection. There was a screech of metal; then a shower of sparks as his pod was forced out of the park, grinding across the landing on its belly. I laughed as I saw his eyes pop open in surprise in his rear mirror.
Sailing smoothly into the space, I got out, brushing myself off theatrically. Now normally, I would never use my powers in public; I really did prefer to appear as normal as the next Comian. But when my temper took over, it was too often a case of act now, regret later. At that particular moment the confusion on their faces combined with their soundless shrieking inside the pod, was a hilarious and satisfying pantomime. Jonaz however, recovered himself quickly, taking another spot that he easily could have taken in the first place. Getting out he sauntered past me, carelessly pushing back his dark hair as his posse trailed after him.
“If you want my attention Twell, we can always go back to my place after school you know.” His mocking, black eyes flicked over me suggestively, despite the impossibility of his ridiculous remark. He flashed his perfect teeth in a provoking sort of smile that made me grind my teeth. So he knew I’d done it... hmmm... that wasn’t quite so funny.
“No thanks, Jonaz, I’m not looking to join a harem this year,” I snapped. “Particularly when on offer from an up-himself, skeezy, little twot like you.”
Jonaz stopped, and his handsome face absolutely lit up. Throwing back his head he roared with glee.
“Surely you don’t blame me for being so ridiculously good-looking and desirable? I’m just young and having fun Twell, maybe you should try it some time.” The girls around him giggled automatically in unison. His mate snickered, smacking Jonaz encouragingly on the back. It was painful to watch. Despite none of them actually understanding what had just happened, they clearly knew their roles as Jonaz Maven’s loyal sidekicks. Amusing, yet pathetic at the same time.
It really was nauseating beyond reason, watching Jonaz preening away in front of me. He seemed to be enjoying our exchange; one muscled arm reaching up to ruffle his wavy hair again, as he grinned away at me. Any minute now he was going to break into a strut, I was sure of it.
“Look,” I huffed impatiently, “can we just get to the part where I tell you to get lost, and you flounce off like the tiresome prat that you are?” His smile faltered for a second, he seemed genuinely confused at my lack of desire to throw myself at him.
“Sheesh, girl, what did I do to you?”
“Apart from that rude display of park stealing you just demonstrated, nothing.” I sailed past him, nose in air, toward the school grounds. “Just witnessing the sobbing, heartbroken casualties of your ever-increasing ego, is enough bad publicity for me.” I hurried on, eager to have the last word but his deep delighted laughter caught up with me.
“I’m just misunderstood!” he called out. “Deep down you know that I’m a gem in the rough!” His coarse laughter grated against my retreating back as I hurried away.