GENRE: YA International Thriller
Teenagers Tana and Obax live at a secret research institute in the Andes, but today have ventured to a nearby mountain village on an errand. The institute usually gets a monthly supply drop by plane, which Tana believes she is witnessing from the village.
I glance up in time to see the plane bank in an arc overhead and double back toward the Institute. Strange; it must have missed its drop target the first time. As it cuts around the promontory and disappears, I try to recall whether I’ve ever seen a supply plane fly over twice before. I’ve watched a fair few of them do their drops from the Obs window, and I can’t remember ever seeing one circle back like this.
Also, I realize with a jolt, I’ve never seen a silver one before. Our supply planes have always been black.
Something isn’t right.
I break into a sprint toward the boulders, shouting for Obax. I try to listen for the sound of her calling back, but all I can hear now is the plane’s drone and the whistle of the wind—and then, moments later, a different kind of whistle.
The ground shudders underneath me as the bomb hits, the boom of the explosion echoing over and over through the mountains. My feet stumble and I find myself on my knees in the damp pasture, looking up at the too-blue sky as a thick plume of fire and smoke rises over the crests of the hills. The hills that, until today, have kept our home so well hidden from outsiders.
“NO!” I feel the scream burst from my throat, but I can’t hear it.