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Tuesday, 21 January 2014  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

MENTOR: Fiona McLaren

MENTEE: Jordan Teos



WORD COUNT: 72,000



Amelia Earhart meets MORTAL ENGINES with an Arthurian twist. When sixteen-year-old Gwen stumbles into a plot to destroy her beloved sky city, she’s thrown overboard in a broken plane. She fights to return in time, but the more she learns, the more she questions if she’s on the right side.



“Are we ready for the Joining?” asked the man behind the desk. The soldier he addressed stood on the other side, his shadow darkening the framed awards on the wall.

“Almost. Once Doyle has the access codes, we’re ready.”

“What about the engineer?”

“Stagno will cooperate. I found the leverage I needed.”

“Good. Go to Icarus and see to Doyle.” The man’s gaze slid to the wall of honors. “This is our chance to be heroes, Bruce, and to regain CATAPULT’s glory. We can’t let it slip away.”

“We won’t.”

Soon the wind would carry her. It blew northeast, picked up a lock of Gwen’s brown hair and pushed it in front of her eyes as she surveyed the fall sky. Away from the hangar door, her bi-prop waited.

Gwen returned to it and ran her hands over the gently tapered wings of the single-seat aeroplane. The forest green metal still gleamed from the last time she’d polished it. She continued the preflight. Both fan engines revved beautifully, their blades spinning inside cylindrical metal shells suspended from each wing. The battery was fully charged and the ailerons and rudder swung cleanly.

She stopped at the tail, a finger tracing the bold, black letters spelling ‘Banrigh’, marking the plane as hers. Her perfect plane, ready to win. She climbed into the cockpit and settled on the motorcycle-style seat, breathing in deep once and exhaling. The small cockpit hugged her, and slowly her stomach unclenched. She could do this.

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