- Author: Frank Kennedy
Book online «The Impossible Future: Complete set Frank Kennedy (freenovel24 .TXT) 📖». Author Frank Kennedy
The complete set
Dedicated to all those who like to keep life interesting.
c. 2018, 2019, 2020 by Frank Kennedy
All rights reserved
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
BOOK 1: The Last Everything
Part One: From the Darkness
Part Two: Into the Light
Part Three: Beyond the Edge
BOOK 2: The Risen Gods
Part One: Strangers
Part Two: Brothers and sisters
Part Three: Families
BOOK 3: The Reversing Tide
Part One: Misdirection
Part Two: Attrition
Part Three: Realignment
BOOK 4: The Promised Few
Part One: Michael
Part Two: Samantha
Part Three: James
Part Four: The Impossible Future
Part Five: Requiem
BONUS: In the Shadow of the Rings
The Last Everything
The Impossible Future: Book One
c. 2018 by Frank Kennedy
All rights reserved
Lake Vernon, Alabama
3 years ago
M ARLENA SHERIDAN BROUGHT ONE SON and one monster to this version of Earth because the fool she married sought adventure.
“No-no,” Tom argued. “They aren’t cave dwellers; their homes have environmental controls. Communication tech is rudimental, but they show progress. True, they slaughter livestock, disregard their poor, and pollute their oceans. How is this different from most of our colonies?”
Her fate might have been worse. They could have been ordered to 19th-century Ukraine on another Earth disguised as Cossacks or sent to a fold in the jungles of Indonesia Prime. She visited there once – a day trip from the Ark Carrier Oasis – and returned with a virus. She vowed never to set foot on a colony world again.
Not that this Earth knew anything about colonies. She scoffed at their scientific limitations: A few trips to the moon, a shell of a space station, robot crawlers on Mars.
And seven billion planet-wrecking people in need of culling.
Tom often talked her down. “Remember what is at stake,” he said. “Keep the boys in line until recovery day. Our sacrifice saves the future.”
Marlena needed to hear those words every month, even as the calendars flipped, and their escape grew closer. Twelve years behind, a thousand unending days ahead.
She watched the young one – her monster – from a cushioned wicker chair on the lake house deck. The boy and his best friend were cannonballing off the end of the dock.
“Jamie seems happy today,” Tom said from a matching chair. “He and Michael appear to be each other’s tonic.”
Marlena bemoaned her husband’s dreadful judgment.
“They’re criminals, Tom.”
He nodded. “Yes, they do have fun together. They are fourteen years old, Marlena. Teenagers.”
She dunked a slice of lemon in her sweet tea. “Teenagers. Criminals. One and the same on this world. Honestly, Tom. Look at them.”
Jamie and Michael clung to the bottom of a ladder, their shoulders above the water. After a moment of inaudible back-and-forth, they burst into manic laughter. Jamie gazed back, catching Marlena’s eyes.
“They’re conspiring,” she said. “The next prank, the next theft, the next joy ride. They think we’re blind to it all. Smug, self-indulgent criminals. As I have told you many times: One word to the Coopers, and Michael will be gone. One less variable.”
Tom adjusted his sun hat. “No, Marlena. This is where we draw the line. Michael may not be the best influence but imagine Jamie without him. He’s had more bad days this year than ever. Confrontations at school, the bullies, the depression. Benjamin hasn’t been able to get through to him and frankly, that worries me. Jamie admires his brother, but he only listens to his peers now. I never see him with anyone other than Michael. We need to keep him whole for three more years. Then none of this will matter.”
Grace Huggins joined them on the deck carrying a tray of cream cheese and pimentos on crackers. She forced a curt smile.
“You two,” she said. “Still having this debate, are you?”
“Every day,” Marlena rolled her eyes. “I’m not sure playing the role of passive parents has served us well. If the Mentor program had done its job, Jamie might not be so fragile. He’d have purpose. He’d value each day.”
“It is a quandary,” Grace said, taking a seat. “And you are certain the Mentor is still silent?”
Marlena studied Jamie as he climbed onto the dock. A lean, strapping boy, surging past six feet tall in the past few months. A runner’s body, his rarely-brushed blond hair falling below his shoulders.
“There was a moment at breakfast two years ago,” she said. “He hadn’t touched his food. He was staring at me. His eyes were glassy, as if in a trance. I expected him to reveal what Mentor told him. But the moment passed. He picked up his spoon and ate. The moment never repeated. But he suspected something was off about me.”
Tom stirred uneasily and leaned forward. “We’ll be more vigilant. I’ll speak to Ignatius. He’ll keep a closer watch. He’s done a button-up job of shielding our little thieves from handcuffs so far. When the Mentor does decide to kick in, the rest will take care of itself. In the meantime, I think the boy could use a little love from his mother. Just a thought.”
Marlena plucked an ice cube from her tea and flicked it at Tom.
“His mother is not here, Tom, and it wouldn’t matter if she was.” Marlena leaned toward Grace. “He expected me to love Jamie by now. I’ve seen what short-term love does to a person. The idiots on this Earth attach themselves to dogs and cats, few of which live past fifteen. They give their whole hearts to these animals. They grieve when the predictable arrives then buy replacements to repeat the cycle. I refuse to grieve that boy when