Earths in Space: We Must Evolve excerpt #2

Launch week for Earths in Space: We Must Evolve has arrived! earths-in-space-v2-front-coverThe ebook’s preorder pages will magically transform into order pages on Friday, and the paperback edition already went live. It’s not absolutely necessary to read the first book, but I certainly won’t stop you. The following excerpt spoils nothing about Vol. 1.

*****

The vice president destroyed civilization, but he didn’t mean to. He simply neglected to seal his containment suit properly. Oh, and the whole initiative kind of was his idea in the first place.

Zanna Fuentes was his deputy press secretary, but now she had a new job—ambassador to the next Earth.

She stared at the massive vessel that would bring her there, along with nearly five hundred other survivors. It sat in the cavernous bunker beneath the Department of Scientific Advancement, where a bunch of paranoids had constructed it in secret a decade earlier. The body was an obese cylinder capped by hemispheres on both ends. The technicians dotted the grainy yellow hull as little more than specks from Zanna’s vantage point in the observation room.

That thing was going to be her home for many thousands of years. It was her future, her entire civilization’s future.

A military official joined her up there, his hands clasped behind his back and his posture too perfect, as if he had practiced for innumerable hours until his neck and shoulders froze in that position. He faced the same direction she did, though he focused on the recently refortified glass rather than through it, to inspect it for cracks. It was clean.

Content to see no one else had tried to take advantage of the quarter-mile drop, he asked, “How are you holding up?”

Zanna brushed aside the thick bangs to touch her forehead, just to make sure. “No symptoms yet.” Her slightly labored breathing concerned her, but that may have resulted from her professional skirt and blouse—too constrictive. Not helping. Thousands of years, in these uncomfortable clothes. What had she been thinking? At least her petite frame would reduce the risk of a claustrophobic reaction. Her youth and diminutive nature often came in handy in her line of work, contributing to an air of innocence that fostered people’s trust.

“I meant otherwise…with all the loss.”

Zanna watched the distant technicians conduct their final inspections. She hoped they hadn’t messed anything up, but she had no way of knowing.

“I’m just trying to focus on the future,” she said, becoming aware of her clammy hands. “What else can I do? If I—no, we’re going to have a new life on a new Earth. That’s all.”

How primitive was that Earth compared to their own? At least they were giving it plenty of time to catch up.

Zanna realized she didn’t know the man’s name, and she wondered if she should bother asking. “How do we know this ship won’t miss?” she asked instead. “If everything’s in constant motion and we’re all asleep, we could crash into an asteroid or end up in a sun and—”

“Our launch schedule takes the Earth’s orbit into account, as well as the other planets in its solar system. By the time we reach the inner asteroid belt, pilots will be reawakened. It’s all been mapped out to the microsecond. No worries, ma’am.”

“No, I just—I know we’ve got more than five hundred people still out there…”

“We’re taking care of those details. Are you comfortable with your assignment?”

“Of course. I’m happy to do my part.”

“Good, because we’re running low on diplomats.”

The fat vessel gave Zanna a chill, which she found appropriate. Thousands of years confined within. Tens of thousands.

“Is this all really happening?” she asked. “Have I just gone crazy?”

“I’m afraid you’re perfectly sane, ma’am. The dead are rising, and they’re hungry.”

She pried her gaze away from the vessel and faced him. “I’m sorry—I never caught your name.”

He shook her hand. A nice firm grip. A ray of friendliness slipped through his stoic demeanor. “Major Bob Moran.”

Zanna smiled, which required more effort than it used to. “Nice to meet you, Major Moran. I’m sure we’ve got a great life ahead of us on our new Earth.”

*****

Don’t forget…Preordering is fun.