Breakthrough
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Breakthrough

By: blueberry chocolate Ongoing

Language: English
12

Chapters: 12 views: 152

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Climate change has devastated Earth. Haedon and his best friend Kyara live on the Surface, where people battle heat, floods and disease daily. Rich and powerful people have moved underground for safety. Haedon and Kyara embark on a quest underground to find Haedon's remaining relative.

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12 chapters
Prologue
It is the year 2179. Scientists have warned of the consequences of global warming for decades but governments have largely ignored the threat. Things came to a head in the late 2080s, when the surface of the Earth was scorched. Tropical countries turned into deserts, while deserts became fiery pits of hell. Temperate countries turned into their tropical cousins, and the North and South Poles were the only places where one could continue to live comfortably, without fear of radiation from the sun. In the early 2090s, rich governments finally got their act together and began building extensive underground cities which affluent citizens and powerful personalities could migrate to. Politicians, business tycoons and celebrities alike jostled for the right to live and work underground. Less privileged citizens and people from poorer countries continue to live on the Surface, where they battle heat, floods and disease on a daily basis. The only bright spot (pun fully intended) was that hum
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Chapter 1
Haedon crouched behind a sturdy cactus, taking care to stay away from its spiky protrusions while keeping a beady eye on the grey fox a few metres away from him. In his hand, he gripped a sharp dagger tightly. The dagger was a present from Aunt Savyla on his sixteenth birthday a few months ago. On the Surface, once children turned sixteen, they were viewed as adults and considered as independent individuals expected to fend for themselves. The dagger was Aunt Savyla’s coming-of-age present for Haedon. It’s for you to protect yourself, she told him. I won’t always be around. Haedon had been practising with the dagger at home, throwing it at a wooden board salvaged from a dump site. He had also attempted stabbing objects such as cupboards and doors, to Aunt Savyla’s chagrin. Once, while escaping from a rabid dog, he had struck at the canine, and managed to get in a few nicks. Haedon was at the Commons. Situated adjacent to his town, it was a vast expanse of desert scrub that stretched
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Chapter 2
The next day, Aunt Savyla woke up before the day dawned. It was pitch dark but looking at the sky, she could see a plethora of stars sparkling in the gloom. Aunt Savyla comforted herself with the fact that since the universe was capable of such beauty in the heavens, there was hope for the future, no matter how dismal and ugly the present condition of planet Earth. In the bathroom, Aunt Savyla brushed her teeth and washed her face. This would be the longest period that she would be away from Haedon. She had spoken to Kyara’s parents the day before, and asked for their help in keeping an eye out for him. However, she could not help feeling concerned, in view of the cases of disturbances in recent weeks. She looked sternly at herself in the mirror. Admonishing herself, she thought, ‘Get a grip on yourself, woman. Haedon’s already sixteen and well capable of taking care of himself. And if he isn’t ready, no time like the present for him to learn.’ Exiting the bathroom, she heard sounds
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Chapter 3
A few days after Aunt Savyla had departed for Lystrashire, Haedon started to get sick of hardtack. It was a fuss-free meal (even a child could prepare a meal with it) but it was tasteless and unappetising and. Also, Haedon’s jaws were starting to ache from all the chewing. They ached even when he wasn’t actually eating the damn things. Aunt Savyla was a marvellous cook and was able to rustle up delicious meals from just rice, raisins, dates, and tomatoes. He debated making a trip to the market where he could purchase fresh provisions, but he could not summon up the energy to walk there. It was more than an hour’s journey and he had never been very good at haggling anyway. He decided that he would make do with hardtack for one more day. One day, Haedon and Kyara came home from school to find Aunt Savyla’s dilapidated vehicle at the car park next to their apartment block. “Look, Kyara! That’s Aunt Sav’s vehicle. She must be home!” said Haedon excitedly. Haedon walked up to the vehic
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Chapter 4
“Well,” said the doctor. “In such cases, the doctor, that’s me in case it wasn’t obvious, makes the call on whether to save the patient. The patient is old, so there’s no point in saving her life. Even after she’s cured, and it’s not certain that she can be cured, since Marchupo is a very rare disease, who’s to say whether she’ll be too weak to work? In any case, she can’t contribute fully or for long to the Queen. So, I’ve made up my mind and my decision is to terminate her. I can give you half an hour with her before we begin the termination process. Remember, just half an hour and no longer. I don’t want to miss the last shuttle back Underground,” he grumbled. “She’s in the Emergency area at the moment. Don’t say we don’t have a heart here in this hospital.” And on that horrendous proclamation, he turned on his heels and marched swiftly out of the room, his white doctor’s coat flapping. Wiping his tears away fiercely, Haedon flew to Emergency, with Kyara in tow. He stopped short w
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Chapter 5
The next few days passed in a blur for Haedon. He had no recollection of eating, showering or indeed, getting out of bed, although he figured he must have done so. He spent most of his time in tears, reminiscing over the time that he had spent with Aunt Savyla and regretting his defiant behaviour towards her. Why hadn’t he been more filial and polite? Why had he yelled at her time and again when she nagged him to study harder? It was for his good, surely. It was too late now. He would never again hear the firm yet gentle voice encouraging him onwards. Throughout his funk, Haedon was dimly aware of Kyara, a comforting presence that helped to keep him from tilting over the edge. After a week of seeing Haedon in tearful mourning, Kyara decided that it was time for Haedon to snap out of it. Kyara squeezed some toothpaste onto Haedon’s toothbrush and brought it to him in bed, along with a mug of water. She helped him to sit upright and handed him the toothbrush. As Haedon started to brus
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Chapter 6
The lift doors glided open and Haedon and Kyara found themselves in a squalid vestibule. The glass walls were streaked with dirt and it was hard to look through them. An artificial plant stood sentry in a corner, while food remnants and waste packaging were the only other decorations. The place stank of musty neglect and Kyara wrinkled her nose in disgust.“I can’t imagine the Authorities travelling back and forth between the Surface and Underground using such a filthy border crossing,” remarked Kyara.“I remember Aunt Sav telling me that the Authorities used the border crossing in the city centre,” said Haedon. “The one we used is meant for workers. Since it’s almost impossible to get passes to the Underground, the border is hardly used, which is probably why it’s not well-maintained.”Kyara nodded. “In any case, let’s get out of here,” she urged, tugging at Haedon’s sleeve and pointing at the exit sign.Walking hesitantly to the exit, Haedon pushed open the doors which opened with a
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Chapter 7
At the entrance of their room, Kyara noticed that it was Room Number 13. “Let’s hope it’s not a bad omen,” she gulped.“The app is very laggy,” complained Haedon, jabbing at his phone. “Oh, it’s working now,” he said as the door became unlocked.Haedon stepped over the threshold and surveyed the motel room. Carpeted with a grey furry material that looked like it would be more at home on the back of a rat, the room was microscopic and contained, as advertised, two single beds, but barely any other furniture save for a small wardrobe. A door at the side probably led to the bathroom, Haedon surmised.Peeking into the room from the entrance, Kyara spotted dust balls in the corners of the room. She sniffed the air tentatively. “I don’t think they’ve cleaned this room since humans moved underground,” she declared.“Oh, do stop grumbling,” Haedon said. “You wanted a room, and we’ve got a room now.”“Sorry, my bad,” said Kyara contritely.Haedon noticed that Kyara had not moved from her posit
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Chapter 8
Haedon and Kyara spent the better part of the next few days cooped up in the squalid motel room, strategising over how to gain entry into Queen Imperiala’s palace.Haedon was all for marching up to the entrance and demanding access but Kyara poured scorn on the preposterous idea.“That’s such a silly suggestion, it doesn’t even deserve to be called a plan,” she said. “I don’t think you’ll be allowed to get within spitting distance of the palace.While Kyara sat on her bed in deep thought, Haedon’s stomach rumbled. Time for a snack, he thought delightedly. He rummaged in the string bag where they kept their provisions. Food always helped him to think better. Disappointingly, he came up empty-handed.“Kyara,” Haedon began, “we seem to have run out of food. Can I take a look in your bag to see if you’ve got any food?”Getting no response from Kyara, who continued to stare into space, Haedon waved his hand impatiently in front of the girl’s face.“Did you say something?” asked Kyara, comi
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Chapter 9
Haedon pulled their basket off the checkout counter with an apologetic smile at the cashier. “We’ve changed our mind,” he said to her. “Wait, what? We have?” asked Kyara in confusion. Scanning the area around them furtively, and keeping his and Kyara’s back to the security cameras around them, Haedon dumped the basket in a nearby aisle and pushed Kyara towards the exit. “Keep walking,” hissed Haedon as they left the supermarket. “I really needed the conditioner,” wailed Kyara. “My hair gets super frizzy if I don’t condition it regularly.” Putting a finger on his lips, Haedon led the two of them back to the motel room without a word, the only sound being their footsteps pounding the ground. “What was that all about?” Kyara burst out the minute they stepped into the room. Mutely, Haedon showed Kyara the message, whose jaw dropped when she read it. Then, she frowned and read the message again. “Fraud Investigation Office,” she mused. “Has your account been hacked so they’re doing
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