Battle: Los Angeles meets The Handmaid’s Tale
Militia gunslinger Captain Janika Lorn’s primary duty is to blast Earth’s invaders out of orbit. However, being a fertile, healthy woman makes her a different enemy’s target. A stranger offers her a dangerous position commanding a refugee starship evacuating the planet—but if Janika snatches the opportunity to escape her government’s eugenics program, it will mean abandoning the unexpected love she’s found with her contracted partner.
My team scrutinized the stars, searching for enemy movement. Disguised in our ashy battle dress, we echoed the last moments of our ancestors who gaped in ignorant awe at their imminent annihilation. Surrounded by blackened trees and Before Days relics, we stood in their corpses’ scorch marks.
“It’s bright tonight.” My black half-mask muffled my words. “I don’t like it.”
“Over the mountains of the moon,” Dean murmured. “Down the valley of the shadow… Ride, boldly ride,’ the shade replied, ‘if you seek for El Dorado.”
I twisted around, raising a skeptical brow. “What was that?”
“You’re reciting poetry now?”
“Books again?” I shook my head. “Shit’s contraband for a reason.”
Moonlight illuminated the crumbled road. I shifted my weight, restless as we waited for the convoy to roll through. We expected fifteen scavengers. Fifteen official government-designated civilians in two armored vehicles, the VRAPs, who’d paid hefty fees to join the biggest scrap-hunt of the decade. Fifteen asses I needed to cover. Rumors said this site would be a gold mine—a treasure trove of building metals. They called it Operation El Dorado. Despite Dean frequently explaining its significance, I didn’t get it.
This was a Topside mission—another opportunity to become cinders. I didn’t care about a good haul or poetry or lore.
My mission was to keep everyone alive.