Here's an excerpt from Colony: A Space Opera. I'll drop the full novel later this year. You can read the novella free at smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/159250
Swatting away clouds of mutant flies, a young white man with brown hair raggedly cropped short, made his way across the barren, debris littered landscape of New Long Beach. Condemned buildings dotted the city like skeletal fingers.
Jonathon’s face, arms and hands were caked with soil. It gave him some protection from the polluted air. Later, when the temperature dipped, he’d put on his hood and homemade gloves. Even so, the corners of his mouth and cheeks were dotted with tiny sores. He had a cough too he couldn’t get rid of.
He stopped at the rationing station, brushing past the two armed guards outside, and got in line. The station was little more than a warehouse with shelves of products. Grocery stores were still in existence, but were located inside domes and thus inaccessible to the indigent.
When it was his turn, he held his hand under the scanner and the chip embedded in his palm glowed bright green. The chip indicated that this was his third, and last, allotted visit for the month.
He was given two cans of potted meat, seeds, flour, lard and three one-litter bottles of water. Jonathon requested cloth, pressed plastic (for filters) and a face mask. The clerk frowned at him, but loaded the requested items in his bag. Except for the face mask.
“We’re out,” the man snapped. “I don’t know when we’ll get
Jonathon took the items and loaded his homemade backpack
without comment. I don't know why I still bother to ask. Habit I guess.
He left and continued east, toward the dilapidated building he
called “home,” passing a police hub, a squat, one-story building, on the way. Two black-garbed officers stood outside talking. They fell silent as he passed.
Jonathon averted his face from their frigid, hard stares, put his head down and walked faster.
He'd once seen a man beat another one to death a few feet away from a police hub, while the officers laughed and made bets on who would survive. Police were, by and large, corrupt sadists hired to protect the wealthy and those who served them, and best to be avoided.
A huge dog blocked his path—the biggest dog he’d ever seen. Damn thing must weight 200 pounds!
It had brown-black mane and the rest of its body was a mottled gray. The canine drew it gums back from its teeth, growling, the muscles bunching in its shoulders as it prepared to attack.
Jonathon stood perfectly still and stared into the animal’s yellow-green eyes. For another dog, in another place and time, this might have been enough. But this was a mutated animal that had quite possibly acquired a taste for human flesh.
Jonathon wrapped his hand around the laser pistol in his
pocket. As hard as it was to find food it was incredibly easy to find weapons. He taken this one from a man who tried to rob him.
The dog leaped.
In the next moment it collapsed with half its head missing.
He followed the crack of the laser rifle. A woman stood a yard
to his left, holding the rifle. He waved at her, intending to thank her.
Another shot exploded at his feet.
“Hey!” he shouted, looking at her incredulously. “What the hell
are you doing?”
Suddenly, he realized why the woman had shot at him and was overcome with disgust. She shot the dog for food. She thinks I might take it. He backed away and took off running.
Copyright Valjeanne Jeffers 2013 all rights reserved.