Excerpt: Blood Crown by Ali Cross


BCbloodcBlood Crown
By: Ali Cross
Publisher: Novel Ninjutsu
Published: Feb. 20, 2014
Genre: Sci-Fi YA

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Androids have claimed power over what remains of the human race. They rule without remorse. They are the Mind and humans exist only to serve them.

But it wasn’t always so.

Before the android uprising, select droids, called Servants, were pivotal in engineering a new human race with nanotechnology enhanced DNA. The Blood Crown theorum was to be humanity’s crowning glory and the key to their survival in deep space.

But Serantha, Daughter of the West, was the last female to receive Gifts from her Servant and when the Mind mutinied, she was hidden away, and presumed dead.

Without Serantha there is no hope of the Blood Crown being realized so Nicolai, Son of the East, abandons his crown to join the rebel forces. He might not provide the future for his people he had once dreamed of, but he will not go down without a fight.

When Nicolai discovers Sera among a small compliment of kitchen staff, everything changes–but Sera’s Gifts were never completed and she is ill-equipped to face a legion of androids determined to wipe her, and every other human, out of existence.

Their only hope is the Blood Crown–but even if Serantha and Nicolai can realize their potential it may be too late to save mankind.

 

ExcerptSet-up from Ali: Sera has spent the last couple days imprisoned, and now she is returning to work–which is basically life, 24/7 in the kitchen of the mostly defunct ship. She doesn’t belong, and she never has.

 

“Girl!” scruff-faced Cook says, reaching down a wiry hand. I think she means to help me to my feet—but she grabs the box of now-bruised tomatoes beside me instead.

Girl. Probably the worst thing you can call a person—well, next to person. Humankind is pretty much at the bottom of the refuse pile. It’s the andies who matter, the andies who’ve made my life—and all the humans’—as bleak and dark as a black hole. I long to hear my name, but girl is all anyone calls me—if they call me anything at all. My name is Sera.

I shoot apologetic glances at Sher and Tam as they return to their sink, and take my place beside Minn. The same sink and the same companion I’ve had for the last nine years. Minn says nothing as I pull the hose down and take a plate from the pile beside me.

No, Where have you been? No, Are you all right?

I didn’t expect anything more, but it would have been nice. With a minute turn of my head I catch a glimpse of Sher and Tam at their sink—their heads bent together in the ritual of gossip and stories.

Minn presses her lips together and I return to my work.

With me gone, she would have had to work twice as hard—completing my work as well as her own. She has every reason to wish me to hurry, to focus on the task at hand. Never mind that our ship is virtually empty, the dishes pile up like magic. I grimace at the clean plate in my hand as I scrub at imaginary caked-on food.

The backs of my eyes burn. I want to believe it’s from the sting of the cleansing air as it whooshes out of the hose and tears at the plate—but I know otherwise.

“I’m sorry,” I say. I can’t even hear my own words over the whine of the air—but I want them to be out there, floating in the air over Minn’s head. Maybe somehow she will know.

That I never meant to cause her harm.

That I don’t know why I am different.

That I’m sorry she’s been stuck with me all this long time.

The girl with no parents. The girl with no past. The girl who doesn’t belong.
 


 

authorali

Ali Cross is the sensei of Novel Ninjutsu where she holds a black belt in awesome. She lives in Utah with her kickin’ husband, two sparring sons, one ninja cat, one sumo dog and four zen turtles.

Ali is the award-winning author of young and new adult fiction and moonlights as Alex Cross when she can write wild middle grade adventures set in the faraway places of her imagination.

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