Genre: YA Science Fiction
In the distance, the North America Space Transport lifted elegantly to the sky, causing ash to swirl through the air. It hovered over the burning city, reflecting the red flames on its gleaming silver fuselage, then shot away horizontally and disappeared in the gloomy haze. Her foster parents were gone. They would board the colony ship to Tanek in a few days.
Mouse turned away from the doomed city. She was stuck here with the other pathetic city-block residents of Pineridge, waiting to evacuate. Most of them were too numb to speak. They huddled at the far edge of the transport terminal, surrounded by rows of shipping containers, while the city burned on the other side of the charred passenger terminal.
Silent ash fell all around her like dead snow, blocking the sun. The stupid city had caught fire three months after she moved in with her new foster parents. Of course, they left her. In the scramble to evacuate twenty thousand city residents, the space authority reluctantly offered to relocate five-hundred people to Earth's colony planets.
A light tap on her shoulder drew her attention to the evacuation checkpoint. Nothing worked in the city anymore. Hastily assembled portable data units formed a barrier in front of her, limp cables looping through the containers to the distant evacuation sky-cars. They couldn't park them any closer.
A woman in a white environmental suit stood with a portable scanner, ready to log her identity. She couldn't avoid the scan.