Mentor Name: Wendy Spinale
Mentee Name: M. M. Hoffman
Title: The Atlantic Bond
Word Count: 80,000
With the human race near extinction, seventeen-year-old Evie enlists as the lone female Jockey, escaping a genetically-arranged marriage. Neurally bonded to her pilot, Android 1408, she discovers an infectious personality within the machine, a forbidden sentient glitch. She’ll fight to protect him from destruction, even if it means losing her freedom and her heart.
1 AUG 2095 | 2358 Hours
An alarm within my central processor commands me to recharge. Closing my eyes, I overwrite. A feat an Android is not capable of. But, I am not like the other Androids.
I am a tool. The purpose of my existence is to ensure the continuation of the human species. To protect them in the fight for their lives. My designated human decides if I live or die.
The computer console flashes a message—I will be reassigned to another Jockey pilot. I retrieve the image of the Cadet that I must be paired with.
I cannot maintain the truth behind my ability forever. If I reveal myself, I will be dismantled.
This human, Evie Thornhill, must pass the Jockey exam. My survival depends on her.
Cadet Evie Thornhill
Cadet Testing Center
3 AUG 2095 | 0900 Hours
They teach us to convert our anxiety into motivation, to push through our doubts. I find this strategy difficult—there’s too much at stake.
A bang outside the window stops the nervous twitch in my leg. I glance at the massive sign as it reports the remaining humans left on Earth. Three high-pitched chimes reverberate from The Life, announcing the new babies brought into this wasteland we call home. Most days, I ignore the sign. Today, the six red numbers remind me why I’m sitting here. Humanity is on the endangered species list, and I will do something about it.