Genre: YA Sci-fi/thriller
75 word pitch:
Jen loathes spending six weeks beneath 10,000 tons of ocean in the first-of-its-kind Paradise Atlantis resort when her dad would rather work on nano-suns than focus on his family.
Worse, pressure sickness meds give Jen scary side effects. Effects like blackouts occuring at the same time a saboteur strikes.
When sabotage escalates to murder, Jen's conscience forces her to pursue the truth. She's either a killer or putting herself next on the list of victims.
First 500 words:
Being submerged beneath ten thousand tons of ocean water might kill me. But being trapped for six weeks in a dressed up and glorified fish tank definitely will. The others in the shuttle pod don’t get it. They actually want to be here. Maybe I would too if it was Mom here and healthy instead of the wench.
The doors shut with a final sounding clang that reverberates through my head, making me wince. I have the sudden urge to throw myself at them and beg to be let out. I need one last gulp of fresh air.
But the crystal blue waters close over the 360-degree wall of windows, drowning my last view of the sky. All around me employees and their family members gather as close to the glass as they can get, too eager to sit. They remind me of the school of silver herring that swirls by to the right, all following each other’s lead.
I reach for my phone to see if Mom texted, when I remember the last argument I had with Dad and how I wouldn’t be allowed cell contact. In fact, I wasn’t going to be allowed any contact with the surface unless approved by Bennett Systems. Like I was going to let them see my personal correspondence.
The shuttle is a sphere, so no matter which direction I look, I find either the twin shuttle pod filled with yet more excited tourists or fish that stare back, wondering what the hell we’re doing in their space. Of course the one spot without windows is plastered with giant posters depicting our ultimate destination, Paradise Atlantis Resort.
“Welcome!” A way too chipper voice screeches in my ears. It’s like wipers on a dry windshield.
Marisol Thompson, VP of Bennett Systems – or BS as I like to call them – stands strategically framed by the giant poster decorating the doors. She’s dressed in her Stewardess Barbie uniform. The big red bow around her neck is worse than her voice, and that coupled with the piped in pine-scented air-freshener makes me nauseas.
“This is the beginning of the adventure of your lifetime. You are among the lucky few handpicked to christen the vacation destination of the future. In just one short hour we will reach Paradise Atlantis. Please make yourselves comfortable. Beverages will be served shortly. Restrooms are located on either side of the entry portal. I’d like to invite you to relax, enjoy the view, and settle in for the best six weeks of your life.”
I wonder if she’s a robot. It wouldn’t be that far fetched considering BS is the leader in cutting edge tech. Plus, she barely blinks and her skin is as smooth and plastic as the Barbie she’s dressed like. Either way, it’s hard to believe someone like her programmed BS’s Artificial Intelligence that’s now a household feature.
“You’re going to be in heaven when we get there, Jen,” Dad says, grabbing my hand. “Just relax and enjoy the ride.”