WIP: The Abassi Expedition

This is also a Synopsis-In-Progress:

Alice Hadley has grown up in the colony of New London with her engineer father and followed in his footsteps, becoming oddly adept at repair though she fails at becoming an inventor. Though, she grew up knowing her father had been one of few men that had been outside the barrier and lived, she had no desire to leave for her father’s stories were always sad–especially when he spoke of the love he lost to the Wilds. Alice was taken in by Mrs. Blackmore and taught some womanly ways, but she much preferred playing with her childhood friends, William and Morris.

William Blackmore III grew up lucky–his father was a wealthy survivor of the Blackmore Expedition that was the most recent attempt to reach Xīn de Kāishǐ, New London’s sister colony, and raised his son on the adventure and excitement of his trip in the Wilds. With that fire for adventure burning inside him, William finds a way to get another expedition started: the money of Lord Abassi.

Morris Sterling lost his father on the Blackmore Expedition and was raised by his mother and welcomed into the Blackmore family like another son. Through he grew up with William, he didn’t gain his burning desire for adventure but wants simply to find his place in the colony.

Though only William truly wants to leave on the journey, all three childhood friends join the expedition crew, each for their own reason and with their own secrets, and leave for an adventure of a lifetime.

In November, I was invited to do “The Next Big Thing Blog Hop” which forced me to write about my book. Check it out here: The Next Big Thing Blog Hop.

In January, I gave everyone a quick peep at my MS, check it out here: Peep Show of The Abassi Expedition.

Below is the prologue which as since been cut from my MS but I hope it does a little to bring you into the story!

The Abassi Expedition
by Melanie Sokol

Prologue

A bright moon danced across the waves of the sea, playing among the stars of the glowing nebula.

“The Život tell a story,” Nada said as she leaned into the man seated beside her. Even in his distraction, Nicholas reached an arm around her waist and drew her in. “Ida, the moon you can see in the east during the winter, she is a huge moon, and many years ago, a great king came to visit the north. Ida fell in love with him and so every summer, Ida started to visit him in the south. She became a roving queen of the sky.”

The bundled infant started to fuss, interrupting Nada’s story, but Nada silenced her with by jiggling her gently. “But, the king was mortal and he died. Because his people so loved him, they raised him up into the sky and he saw all. He noticed that in the summers, the Život suffered with harvesting crops. So he gave Ida a child. That is Luka who hangs here now. He is small and young so the Život rejoice and our crops grow strong when Ida leaves to visit her love.”

Nicholas met her eyes and smiled. His face as covered in a short beard, his hair had grown out from when they first met, and his once light skin glowed brown even in the night from his time spent outdoors over the last few months. He reached a thick hand out to caress her cheek and pull her into a kiss.

Warmth spread throughout Nada’s body and she leaned into the kiss. He broke away to kiss her cheek and neck, his hot breath rained down on her neck and ear as he let out the same heavy breaths she did. “Come with me,” he whispered.

He leaned back and returned his gaze to the ocean stretched before them.

Nada’s free hand rose to pull a bit of hair into her fingers. Spinning the strand in her thin fingers, she chose silence over more arguments.

“In the colony,” Nicholas said, breaking the silence. “We have a lake that is small, but still my father used to take me and would tell me about Earth-that-was. ‘It was all water!’ he would say.” He looked back to the bay and the reflection of Luka in the green water. “He would dream for me, ’Can you imagine, Nicholas? Seeing water that went on for days? It wouldn’t end outside some humming barrier, but go on forever. So rough it was that it would kill men!’”

Turning to her, his eyes found hers, the light blue circles shining in the night. He looked down at the bundle in her arms. “I want for her to see water that doesn’t end! Water that is so strong that it can kill men. I do not want to take her to that small lake and only say, ‘Imagine.’”

“One day, my love,” Nada said as she too looked down at their child, “one day Alice will see this water and she will know.” She caressed the infant’s face. “But she is not like our people, she is not strong enough to make it with us.”

Nicholas bounded to his feet and turned to her, his brow wrinkled hiding his bright eyes and smile. “You tell me to take her—to take her and grow her in a cage. Every day, I will limit her.”

Nada broke his gaze, “You grew up in that cage and I love you.”

“It’s still a cage,” Nicholas contested before dropping down beside her again, separated by empty space.

Leaning his elbows on this knees, one of this hands went to his mouth. His teeth worked at his tiny nails. His anger meant nothing, Nada knew. The decision stuck, regardless of feeling. That was the way of the Život.

“Every summer, Nicholas, I come here, we come. Like Ida, I will visit my king.”

He closed the space between them and pulled her into another kiss and broke it, leaving her burning inside. “It’s not enough,” he said. “It’s not enough.”

Nada returned to silence while Nicholas settled in, his arm slipping around her while he watched the sea. He didn’t have long now to watch it before he returned to the colony.

“Come, my love, let’s walk back to the camp. I am sure dinner is ready,” Nada said before standing. Nicholas took the baby into his arms and they walked through the small bushland that separated the camp from the bay.

Nada looked back at Luka and begged him to grow strong so he could pull her daughter back to her one day.

They climbed to the top of a dune of sand and stopped. Fire danced over the tops of the tents, destroying everything that came into its path. Nada stared at the fire kicking and stomping through her home, her chest pulled tight to her core.

“Take the baby,” Nicholas ordered as he pushed the bundle back into her arms. Her hands came up, brushing against his before he slipped away from her. He took a few steps away and turned back. “Meet me at your mother’s tent, it is far from the flames. I will help stop it. Be ready to run, Nada.”

Nada didn’t move, the fire still claimed all of her attention.

Nicholas walked back to her and pulled her into a kiss. “I love you, Nada. Go to safety, the hunters will protect you.”

Nada let his eyes bring her back and nodded. “Be safe,” she said as Nicholas ran off towards the flames.

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