Indestructible (Indestructible Trilogy Book 1)

BOOK: Indestructible (Indestructible Trilogy Book 1)
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Contents

Title Page

Copyright

About Indestructible

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

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About the Author

INDESTRUCTIBLE

The Indestructible Trilogy: Book One

Emma L. Adams

This book was written, produced and edited in the UK, where some spelling, grammar and word usage will vary from US English.

 

Copyright © 2016 Emma L. Adams

All rights reserved.

 

Cover design by Deranged Doctor Design

Editing by Laura Kingsley

 

 

About Indestructible

 

Two years ago, the fiends invaded, with a devastating explosion that split the world in two. Even now, energy blasts strike without warning, destroying everything in their paths. The fiends hunt anyone unlucky enough to escape.

 

My name is Leah. An energy blast killed my group. It should have killed me, too. Instead, I woke up alone in the wilderness, stalked by the fiends.

 

My only hope is the red-cloaked strangers who call themselves the Pyros. They can do the impossible and make flames shoot from their hands. Right now, my one chance for safety -- and revenge -- is with them.

 

But they’re keeping secrets from me. Like those skeletons hidden under their base. And the reasons I developed a psychic link with someone who can’t stand the sight of me -- after he saved my life.

 

If I don’t uncover the truth about why the world ended the first time, my new safe haven might go up in smoke…

 

 

To keep up to date with Emma’s new releases and get a free short story, sign up to her
author newsletter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

It begins with a flare, and a tremor that rocks the earth.

Screams ring in my ears, drowned out by the explosion. I throw myself flat, eyes squeezed shut against the glaring light. I always thought I’d stand and stare my own death in the face, but right now, I don’t have time to do anything but curl in on myself and wait for it to end.

Time passes. Maybe a minute. Maybe longer. The ground remains firm beneath me, as I lie in a foetal position, hands pressed to my face, but I’m not dead.

I’m not dead.

My eyes flicker open. Ashes drift past my face, fluttering against my skin. For a moment, ashes are all I see. Ashes… and a mile-wide stretch of burned ground.

The camp’s gone.

I’m not dead.

The two thoughts mingle in confusion, then collide. My eyes open properly as I shift onto my side. Hard ground scrapes against bare skin—my clothes must have burned right off me.

My hands are slightly reddened, grazed where they scraped against rock as I flung myself to the ground. But I’m unhurt. Somehow. I felt that blast vibrate through my bones, shatter everything around me. I smelled the burning and heard the screams.

The screams.

Oh God. Oh my God.

They’re gone.

I sit up, properly, stirring a dervish of ashes. The ground is bare. No bodies, not even a trace.

Oh, God.
I press the heels of my hands to my eyes, like if I shut out the sight, it’ll bring them back. Opal. Randy. Zeph. Shuddering breaths rack my body. My hands are damp when I move them back. I’m actually crying, for the first time since my sister died.

The same sight awaits as before, wavering before my eyes—dead ground. No life. I stir through ashes with both hands, fighting back a scream. How could I have survived? I should have been vaporised along with the others. My teeth chatter against each other, and some part of my brain tells me I’m going into shock.

I brush away the tears with the back of my hand, trying to steady my breathing. The smell of burning lingers, but the ringing in my ears has already faded to a dull buzzing sound.

Get up, Leah. You need to get up. Get to shelter.

The voice of common sense, the one that’s kept me alive this long—it’s right. Impossible, or not, I’m alive. And I need to get as far away from the Burned Spot as possible.

Yet I can’t bring myself to walk away. My throat tightens as I stare around the campsite. There’s no way to tell if anyone escaped, but they can’t have. It happened too quickly. Only the rocks we sat on are mostly intact. Red-grey, barren ground stretches endlessly in every direction. Maybe this is the afterlife. For all I know, it looks the same as our world does now. But I’m breathing, my ankle’s throbbing where I twisted it when I fell, and the panic rising in my chest feels all too real.

Now there’s nothing to hide behind, I’m an easy target. I need to move. There’s no sign of any settlements around, but we were heading west. There were rumours of a town over that way, and right now, rumours are all I have left to go by.
They’d tell you to run. Randy would tell you to run.

A heat haze blurs the road ahead, a path cleared where thick pines once clustered. I liked the forest, liked the shelter, but even that didn’t survive the explosion. My feet kick up dust dervishes, stinging already as rocks dig into my heels. I wrap my arms around myself as heat seeps from the air, goose bumps rising on my arms. My scalp prickles. The blast burned most of my hair away. My back feels bare without my backpack, and my parched throat reminds me that even my water-flask is gone. The one Opal gave me.

Opal’s dead now.

No tears come to my eyes this time, but my throat feels like I’ve swallowed glass fragments. I won’t survive long without water. Even if I’m made of different stuff to normal people.

Pyro.

The word rings through my head, like the echo of an energy blast. I’ve heard it before, but not for a while.

One time, we spent a few days in a town that had escaped the worst of the attacks, because it lay in the shadow of a mountain. The leader—presumably chosen by the people—didn’t trust us, and we stayed only long enough to stock up on supplies. But the night before we left, another group of strangers came to the town. They were all dressed in red coats, like they were part of some kind of weird cult. Their hoods were pulled low, and everyone avoided them even though they were polite and left as soon as they had what they’d come for. Whispers followed them, and somehow made it to our group.

Pyros. They could summon fire from the depths of the earth, and walk away from an energy blast like it was nothing. That was all I managed to get out of Zeph before Randy yelled at him to be quiet. No one ever spoke about it again. We had better things to worry about, like surviving, avoiding the fiends. Running, always moving.

But I listened to their late-night conversations when they thought I was asleep, even when I first joined the camp after Mum and Dad died. I saw Randy polishing his gun, always sitting guard, pretending to watch out for the fiends. Like a gun would do any good against one of those monstrosities.

Randy’s dead, too.

I still can’t seem to accept it. My feet drag, like I’m hoping if I walk slowly enough, they’ll catch up to me. Like I’ll find Opal running alongside me, talking even though we weren’t supposed to.

In just a few seconds, the blast took everyone, obliterated them without a trace. I’m alone.

The ground scrapes against my bare feet; the air is chilly and biting. I’m going to catch a cold if I don’t find shelter. But I’ve reached the edge of the Burned Spot. Weeds and grass start to appear amongst the parched soil, shrubs poking out the ground. I’m heading the right way. I make out the shapes of mountains, white tips stark against the burnished sky. Even at night, it’s blood-red, the moon shining like a pale eye. The red sky is so beautiful, it’s easy to forget it’s another sign the world as we knew it has ended.

My pace kicks up as I see the house. Abandoned, of course. Solar panels on the roof and neat little windows. The door is slightly open, but not like it’s been kicked in.

The river nearby is my first stop. I scoop water in my hands, gasping as the cool water pours down my throat. Then I wash the grit and sand from my face. I try to avoid looking at my reflection in the sluggishly-moving water, but get the blurred impression of a stranger. Without the dark, curly hair that used to bounce past my shoulders, my sunburnt face is thrown into focus. I run my hands over my scalp, shuddering. The skin on my hands stays a burnished red colour even after washing them. But I’m still alive, still breathing, unharmed by the explosion.

And alone, with no one to tell me
why.

It’s been two years since Lissa died. Two years since I told myself I’d never cry for another person again. But I can’t wrap my head around the idea that Randy and the others are gone. Even Opal. It’s like if I run far enough, I’ll find them again, out of range of the explosion, with answers. But that’s stupid. Of course it is. You’d have to run faster than a human can to outrace an energy blast.

The door creaks slowly inwards as I enter the hallway. I’m lucky. This house was vacated fairly recently. The smells of decay and neglect haven’t descended yet. I spot a throw over a chair in the living room and snatch it up, wrapping it around myself as I search for anything to salvage. My skin prickles. Something’s not right. The dust has barely settled on the mantelpiece and the tall oak bookshelves. Did the people who lived here run when they saw the explosion in the distance? That seems a likely explanation, but something about the silence bothers me all the same.

First, clothes. I step out into the hallway again and jog up the stairs. I’m beyond feeling guilty for stealing, but the sight of the outfits in the wardrobe in the master bedroom—I’m guessing this house must have belonged to a couple—makes my chest tighten. They’re so… pristine. Just normal clothes. Well, what used to count as normal. How can so little have changed in here when two years have altered the outside world beyond recognition?

Lissa would have loved this. My sister cried when we couldn’t get nice clothes anymore, when the big shopping centres shut down—the ones that survived, that is. She didn’t really understand what was happening. Well, how do you explain to a seven-year-old when you have no clue what’s going on yourself?

I pick out the most worn-looking jeans and plainest T-shirt, which are a touch too big, but good enough. I even find a pair of lace-up running shoes, and a cap to cover my bald head. Maybe my hair will have grown back by the time I find somewhere to settle. If I find somewhere that accepts strangers.

But if this couple lasted so long out here on their own, logic suggests there’s a larger settlement nearby. Unless they were just really, really prepared. I’ve been with the camp so long I almost forgot some people took their chances and stayed put. A lot of people stocked up when the energy blasts began and all the news reports started coming in about whole cities losing power overnight, and raided the supermarkets and bought solar panels just in case the blackouts came. Which they did, of course. Not that a sustainable power supply did any good against the fiends.

How did this place escape?

“This isn’t right,” I mutter, pulling the hat low over my face. At least it’ll protect me from sunburn. I take a jacket for the cold. It’s black and made of a velvety material I haven’t seen in years. It’s the only coat in the room that doesn’t absolutely swamp me. I make a quick trip to the bathroom, averting my eyes from my reflection in the mirror over the sink as I splash more water over my face. My skin still stings, like a mild burn. I almost laugh at that. A mild burn, when everyone else was obliterated.

A sob heaves my chest, and I brace my arms against the sink.
Get hold of yourself!

BOOK: Indestructible (Indestructible Trilogy Book 1)
9.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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