MENTOR: Michelle Painchaud

MENTEE: Ashley DeYoung



WORD COUNT: 80,000



16-year-old Cassandra Vicars knows two things – the lizard alien Serokans who’ve taken over Earth and turned it into a human meat factory have to be stopped, and she’s the best Alliance soldier for the job.



The trick to getting anywhere you aren’t supposed to be is acting like you actually belong there. Especially in the middle of a Serokan raid. I nearly made it out of the Cadet quarters when I ran straight into Gear. Literally. Bounced right off him.

“Cass!” He grabbed my shoulders to steady me, “We’re preparing to evac and the Captain wants you on the bridge.”

“I’ll just bet he does.” I’m already breaking a dozen regs, what’s one more?

“Yeah, let’s go…” He paused as he realized I was in contraband armor. “Cassandra Vicars what’re you doing? You know you’re supposed to report to the Captain!” And I would. I simply planned to take a more circuitous route than he intended when he gave that order. But first to ditch Gear, he would never go along with my insane plan.

“On my way.” We were a dozen or so feet down the corridor when I stopped and smacked my helmet theatrically. “I forgot my tablet!”

Gear rolled his eyes in annoyance. “Leave it.”

I planted my feet in the center of the corridor, forcing everyone else to detour around me. “Right. If you expect me to sit quietly on the bridge then I’m going to need a distraction.”

Since that statement had the ring of truth, it worked. We returned to my quarters and I promptly sealed him in the moment his feet passed the threshold. I heard him kick the door. “You know this won’t hold me!”

“Long enough.”

1 comment to PW-18 (YA): AURORA

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