Radioactive #1

Love and Armageddon

by Rachel Anne Jones

Love and Armageddon by Rachel Anne Jones

To do list
- epic road trip
- infiltrate missile silo
- rescue Lady Margaret
- get the heck out of Dodge

Amy’s summer plans for reading to her heart’s content are forgotten when she receives a finger-on-ice in the mail pointing at the guilty party, a greedy cult leader holding her aunt, Lady Margaret, captive in a doomsday missile silo.

Amy gathers a small army and dashes to the rescue; but is she too late?






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I hug the door handle of the off-road vehicle as it flies down the runway at 100 mph with an 11-year-old at the wheel and ask myself—have we all gone insane? Why did I ever think it was a good idea to put my fate in the hands of a preteen boy, even if he is the son of an astrophysicist and knows a buttload about hand grenades, weaponry, and survival?

Handsome Hank sits by my side. His big hand covers almost half my leg like it has so many times before, but things are different between us now—I think. I shove Hank’s hand away just as Austin, my hotter than Hades, stubborn as a jackass, step-brother, who sits on my other side, glares openly at Hank, the hulking lumberjack, over my head. I can’t believe they’re still fighting when we’re seconds away from death. “Keep your filthy hands off my step-sister, Hank!”

I glance over at Jenni, my best friend. She looks like she’s about to lose her lunch. Her face is as white as a sheet, and that’s saying something. Ordinarily Jenni has a perfect olive complexion, and nothing rattles her, not debate club finals, or the ACT that determines her choice of colleges and the not-so-distance future—if she still has one.

“What’s the plan, Simon?” Hulking Hank asks the preteen boy wonder with complete and total confidence like it’s insanely normal that Simon should know how to stop a conscienceless cult leader from flying away in a helicopter with everyone’s money and dreams.

Simon clutches the steering wheel. He stares straight ahead, completely zeroed in on his destiny. He shows no signs of slowing down. “I’m bringing down that whirlybird.”

I choke on his words. Jenni’s eyes are wider than I thought possible. “You can’t do that, Simon! You can’t run into the helicopter with all of us in here.”

Simon glances in the rearview mirror as the chopper grows bigger than life before our very eyes. “Just watch me.”

Jenni flies over the seat and wraps an arm around Simon’s neck. He swerves slightly to the side and everyone flies across the seat, except for Jenni who clings to Simon as he tries to shake her. His jaw is open, and his teeth are bared. His foot comes off the gas. The chopper’s blades start spinning.

“Faster, Simon! We’re going to lose him!” Hank yells in my ear. His voice bounces around the car.

Jenni’s half-sitting on Austin, who has an arm around her waist. “Jenni, let go of him before you kill us all!” Austin yells. Austin jerks Jenni backwards. She holds onto Simon so tight his head slams into the back of the driver’s seat.

His foot comes off the gas again, and the car swerves wildly to the side. “Ouch. Let go of me, Jen-ni!” Simon cries as he jerks hard on the arm around his neck, but her terror is stronger than his.

I jam a hand in Jenni’s armpit and squeeze her arm as hard as I can. She jerks her arm down in reflex. Simon jumps forward in the seat and stomps on the gas once more. He aims for the hovering helicopter.

“Damn it, Simon! He’s getting away,” Hank screams like a madman.

Simon doesn’t even flinch. “I know. We don’t have time to grab the oozy in the trunk.”

Austin whips around backwards. “Are you serious? There’s an oozy back there?!”

Simon eyes Austin in the mirror. “We have to be prepared.”

I stare in wide-eyed incredulity at Simon. “For what?”

Simon’s face is expressionless. His lips form a flat line. “For Armageddon.”


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