Sneak Peek: Embedded
The year is 2038 and humanity has been forced underground by The Council in their attempt to save the world from climate collapse and keep humans from self-destruction.
The Council has stripped humanity of all freedoms, controlling every aspect of their lives at every waking minute. Their goal: to eliminate the weakest individuals and make humankind the highest functioning organism to rectify the near-fatal climate situation.
Told through the eyes of Khai, an adolescent training for High Security—the most elite life pathway and only chance to see the outside world again—we experience the stark juxtaposition of life in the underground world to life before.
Khai has given up on life until Azalea appears. What she shares and the mission they embark on will change the course of their lives, and the future of the human race, forever.
Embedded is a climate fiction novel written to empower society out of learned helplessness and instill hope and action in humanity.
Below is an excerpt from my novel. You can pre-order the ebook today. Paperback copies will be made available beginning January 12, 2022.
May 27, 2038 | Day 3,319
I no longer remember what human touch feels like. Nine years and 34 days, and no end in sight. But at least it’s Day One, the day the drones bring our deliveries. You know, the normal stuff: groceries, toiletries, and anything that’s necessary to maintain the minimal level of basic human needs. And I mean minimal.
I know it doesn’t sound all that exciting, but it gives me the feeling I used to get as a child waiting for Christmas morning. I feel the giddiness in my stomach as I muse over what we are going to receive today. I feel wonder and curiosity and, most of all, I feel my imagination wander off in the direction of a grandiose life. I imagine what it would be like to pick out my own clothes and to receive a gift I can rip open that has no purpose other than pure enjoyment.
In reality, it isn’t about the physical deliveries at all, but about space for my imagination to play—for my thoughts to escape and, for just one minute, not to know what the day is going to bring. It brings a bit of color into my imaginative world of what life used to be, which has otherwise ceased to exist.
Quite honestly, my thoughts may be the opposite of what life before was like. My mom and dad used to talk about the times of the unknown before this new world began. They would ramble on about trying to plan out life, when in reality their job was to simply be present in the moment and release the idea of knowing what the future could bring. And now? Well, now we literally know what each day is going to bring and exactly what time each event will take place. There’s no unknown. There’s no color or magic or curiosity, except for the glimmering moments that waiting for the deliveries brings and, if I’m lucky, a minute that brings back a memory from the outside world.
Every week I wait by the delivery chute for this moment, hoping for something new or different. Most of the time it’s an extraordinary disappointment, but every once in a while, there’s something novel, and that is enough to give me hope each week. When I’m lucky, the drone brings in some dirt with it, leaving remnants on the deliveries—a small reminder of the world beyond the underground. As wild as it sounds, it’s the closest contact I’ve had with nature since this all began.
I can hear the drone getting closer and I see just a flicker of light peek through the chute. Sunshine. It must be nice out, but the weather doesn't matter anymore. Every day is whatever The Council has decided on.
At first, they gave us seasons—warmer days for the summer, cooler days for the winter—anything to give some sense of normalcy and time. But that didn’t last long. It was easier for The Council to give us a standard temperate climate rather than provide us with additional clothing for colder weather. By maintaining the same temperature, The Council could optimize our lives to center around work rather than freedom of choice. Now it’s all the same, no matter what day or time. It almost doesn’t make sense to have clocks anymore—day and night feel the same. Plus, it’s not like it’s our own time anyway. We rise when we are told, and each chime of the day commands us human robots what to do next.
I grab the delivery capsules and put them to the side for later. Nothing new today. I feel despondency begin to creep into my being and I try hard to push it away. I know that I have to remain hopeful in this world, and the moment I let that hope slip through my fingers is the same moment The Council wins—when my life is no longer being lived for me, but purely for them and their needs.