Fixer 13, p.1
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       Fixer 13, p.1

           G. Michael Smith
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Fixer 13
Fixer 13

  The Forevers Series: book 1

  Featuring Jayne Wu

  A Novel by G. Michael Smith

  Agio Publishing House

  The Forevers Series

  Book 1: Fixer 13

  Book 2: Master Fixer

  Book 3: Impostor

  Book 4: (Coming Soon) omie 17

  Agio Publishing House, Canada

  © 2017, G. Michael Smith. All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher of this book. Some cover images © bigstock and shutterstock. Disclaimer—This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and events are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

  The Forevers, Book 1: Fixer 13 ISBN 978-1-927755-56-3 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-927755-57-0 (ebook)

  Cataloguing information available from Library and Archives Canada. Agio Publishing House is a socially-responsible enterprise, measuring success on a triple-bottom-line basis.

  Dedication:

  To my wife, Cheryl Cameron, for her love, her confidence in me, her support of my work, and for that most valuable of commodities – her time.

  To my friend Leslie Gilmour and my daughters, Ashley, Lindsay and Christian, whose support I cherish.

  Table of Contents

  Chapter 1: I Passed!

  Chapter 2: The PUT Pad and the Dumb Giant

  Chapter 3: The New Quarters and the Star

  Chapter 4: Off to School We Go

  Chapter 5: Don’t Leave the Path

  Chapter 6: Games and Waiting and TechElecMech

  Chapter 7: Theoretical TechElecMech

  Chapter 8: The Connectome Scan

  Chapter 9: Secret Heart Cupboards

  Chapter 10: Gravity Ball

  Chapter 11: Lockdown

  Chapter 12: Hi Ho, Hi Ho

  Chapter 13: Captured!

  Chapter 14: The Interview

  Chapter 15: Some Truth

  Chapter 16: A Trip to the Neuroscience Center

  Chapter 17: Tests and Scans

  Chapter 18: Biome Tech

  Chapter 19: Mini Biomes

  Chapter 20: Recruited

  Chapter 21: The ‘Sergio Partelli’

  Chapter 22: Weapons and Combat Training

  Chapter 23: GB Scouts

  Chapter 24: The Professor

  Chapter 25: The Competitions

  Chapter 26: Fakin’ It

  Chapter 27: Blood and Guts

  Chapter 28: Safe Space

  Chapter 29: Not So Safe Space

  Chapter 30: Insight

  Chapter 31: In Plain Sight

  Chapter 32: Getting Settled

  Chapter 33: Liaising in Biome 7

  Chapter 34: In the Beginning

  Chapter 35: Children of the Biome

  Chapter 36: Secret Secrets

  Chapter 37: Omie Gallery

  Chapter 38: Great Balls of Fire

  Chapter 39: Running and Hiding

  Chapter 40: Captured Again!

  Chapter 41: Greenway Safe

  Appendix 1: The Gravity Tube

  Chapter 1: I Passed!

  The end of the world was coming. This wasn’t some religious prophecy or ancient warning. It was fact. The end of the world was coming. When was not clear, but two hundred years was the initial estimation. There was really only one course of action for humanity—Get out! Leave before the meteor field—that some said was a thousand times bigger than the entire solar system—strikes and destroys everything. In fact it was likely that the entire planetary system would crumble in its wake, the remnants joining the gargantuan meteor storm on its eternal rush through space. Sol was large enough to survive, but without her family, what would be the point?

  It was Jayne Esther Wu’s 13th birthday. Rolling over onto her back, she clutched a pillow to her chest and slowly exhaled as the white glow of her room lights intensified. She was finally an adult—not yet a woman but still an adult—and, as such, she would no longer have to live in the nursery. She would no longer have go to nursery school. She would no longer spend her days playing with the other children. She would no longer have time to play at all. She would have to work.

  Today she would start her adult life with adult responsibilities. After two years, if she worked hard, she would become a full-fledged fixer—a Technical Electrical Mechanical (TEM) fixer. But two years felt like an eternity. She had heard stories of washouts, mostly girls that couldn’t hack it. They would get moved to the cleaner class or back into the nursery as a helper or child bearer.

  Jayne knew she would hate working in the cleaner class and she was too young to bear children. Some of her friends wanted to work as helpers but, as far as she was concerned, being a helper would suck. All they ever did was look after old people and babies. Yech! She wouldn’t wash out! She was going to be a TEM fixer and that was that.

  A shiver of excitement ran with the thought of leaving the nursery and becoming part of the great adventure—the saving of the human race. She pushed her blanket aside and the cool air brought goose bumps to her arms. She’d dreamed, for as long as she could remember, what it would be like out there in the real world. She wanted to make a difference and somehow she was sure she would.

  Jayne swung her feet to the floor, scanning the room for anything she’d missed. Her knapsack sat beside the door, accompanied by two boxes of her stuff, mostly book keys with holographic projections of equipment she’d been studying in preparation for the TEM Aptitude Exam. She had passed despite the fact that most kids her age had to go to INTER (Intermediate Technical Educational Reassessment) or Internment, as it was commonly known, for at least two years. She smiled. There would be no INTER for her. She had passed on her first try and had felt a thrill of accomplishment when she received the notice on her VID (Visual Identity Designator) pad stating:

  ID—Wu F 302875106592253

  Name—Wu, Jayne Esther

  Class—Fixer

  Sub Class—Technician—Electronic Mechanic Apprentice

  Exam Result—PASS

  Report to HUB 169 entrance M,

  Friday January 13, 2113 at 13:00 hours.

  Jayne smiled again. She had passed. The notices never gave an actual score, just PASS or NOT PASS. She had passed. Her head swam with a warm joy as she remembered how she had spent that first day packing her worldly goods. It hadn’t actually taken that long because she didn’t own much. Just two boxes and her knapsack.

  Jumping out of bed, Jayne headed out of her cubicle to the showers. On the way, she stopped at the sink array and scanned her palm. The sink was programmed to promptly dispense 100 ml of drinking water into a container. With surprise, Jayne looked down at her glass which was filled to the brim with clear cold water. The glass had a capacity of at least 400 ml. The dispenser had given her way too much. She smiled at her luck. The dispenser had behaved strangely before, but usually it dispensed less than the standard amount, not more. She looked at the glass and smiled again. She knew that today was the start of something exciting.

  Furtively, Jayne looked up and down the sink-lined hallway. No one else was up yet. She had the space to herself. She took another sip of water and then poured half of the remainder into her cupped hand and splashed it over her face, focusing on her sleep-crusted eyes. She rubbed it all over and quickly dried her face with the tail of her nightshirt. Gulping down the remainder, Jayne replaced the glass and headed to the showers.

  She heard th
e flop of sandals on the tile floor. She turned to see a young boy dressed in a nightshirt standing in front of her. He was sniffing and rubbing tears from his face. Jayne recognized him. It was little Ajax. Ajax’s cubicle was across from Jayne’s. Jayne was his informal mentor. He had arrived the previous year—an orphan from the Wilderlands. Jayne had helped him learn a new language and had helped him cope with his new life without parents. Jayne had never known parents herself but she knew what loneliness felt like.

  “Ajax, it is too early to be up,” said Jayne softly.

  “I gon’ta miss you, Jaywu. Please not go,” he sniffed. Jaywu was what he called her when they first met and it had stuck.

  Jayne had said her goodbyes the night before. “I have to, Ajax. I’m too old to stay. I have to go to a new and bigger school.”

  She spun him around and led him back to his cubical. She hugged him and he climbed back into his bed. Jayne resumed her trip to the showers.

  The showers used water, but it wasn’t drinkable. To use them, a person stood with arms and legs outstretched and a mixture of water and soap would spray every square cm of skin, hitting you at such high pressure that it stung. After about 10 seconds of cleaning time, a second stinging mist would blast your skin and rinse away the soap. This was followed by gusting air and ending with an ultraviolet bacteria wash. The whole process took about one minute. When you stepped out of the shower you were as ‘clean as an omie’s whistle.’ Omie is slang for a biome dweller.

  Jayne Esther Wu stepped out of the shower, slipped on her nightshirt and skipped happily back to her nursery cubicle for the last time.

 

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