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Earth Girl

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Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2018 год
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      Earth Girl
Janet Edwards

A sensational YA science fiction debut. Jarra is stuck on Earth while the rest of humanity portals around the universe. But can she prove to the norms that she’s more than just an Earth Girl?

2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. While everyone else portals between worlds, 18-year-old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, she has been abandoned by her parents. She can’t travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She’s an ‘ape’, a ‘throwback’, but this is one ape girl who won’t give in.

Jarra invents a fake background for herself – as a normal child of Military parents – and joins a class of norms that is on Earth to excavate the ruins of the old cities. When an ancient skyscraper collapses, burying another research team, Jarra’s role in their rescue puts her in the spotlight. No hiding at back of class now. To make life more complicated, she finds herself falling in love with one of her classmates – a norm from another planet. Somehow, she has to keep the deception going.

A freak solar storm strikes the atmosphere, and the class is ordered to portal off-world for safety – no problem for a real child of military parents, but fatal for Jarra. The storm is so bad that the crews of the orbiting solar arrays have to escape to planet below: the first landing from space in 600 years. And one is on collision course with their shelter.

JANET EDWARDS

Earth Girl

Table of Contents

Title Page (#uc18034e7-02a2-5dd0-9db2-0bc29af861cd)

Chapter 1 (#u63652be0-a661-5596-a851-18e22d209857)

Chapter 2 (#u48d1a5d4-6d91-5d18-91be-9f4beb9204f8)

Chapter 3 (#u90fcff2a-4380-5724-a985-f21de80383d7)

Chapter 4 (#uef1e8d00-2e12-5506-85f0-d2d03d1c851c)

Chapter 5 (#u583fc136-ad2f-5587-bcfd-79559108e400)

Chapter 6 (#u65176622-17f6-5a11-9eba-ac49b0ff5ac5)

Chapter 7 (#u0218d59d-da4d-55ae-8283-3df43aa26dc4)

Chapter 8 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 9 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 10 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 11 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 12 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 13 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 14 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 15 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 16 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 17 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 18 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 19 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 20 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 21 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 22 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 23 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 24 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 25 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 26 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 27 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 28 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 29 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 30 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 31 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 32 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 33 (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter 34 (#litres_trial_promo)

Read an extract from Earth Star (#litres_trial_promo)

Acknowledgements (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Author (#litres_trial_promo)

Copyright (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)

1

It was on Wallam-Crane day that I finally decided what I was going to do for my degree course Foundation year. I’d had a mail about it from Issette that morning. It showed her jumping up and down on her bed in her sleep suit, waving a pillow, and singing: ‘Make your mind up, Jarra! Do it! Do it! Make up, make up, make up your mind girl!’ She was singing it to the tune of the new song by Zen Arrath. Issette is totally powered on him, but I don’t think much of his legs.

Issette is my best friend. We’re both 17 and we’d been in Nursery together, and had neighbouring rooms all through Home and Next Step. She’d put in her application for the Medical Foundation course months ago. Issette is organized and reliable. I’m not. Most of my other friends had made their decisions too, except for Keon who was planning to do absolutely nothing. He’d been doing that all through school and I had to admit he was good at it.

I didn’t fancy being another Keon, so I had to decide what to do, and I had to do it fast. The deadline for applying for courses was the day after the holiday.

Wallam-Crane day is a holiday on Earth, just like on all the other worlds, but in the circumstances we don’t have celebration parties the way they do. Thaddeus Wallam-Crane invented the portal and gave humanity the stars, but we on Earth are the one in a thousand who missed out when he created the ticket to the universe.

One of my private fantasies is inventing a time machine and travelling back in time nearly six hundred and fifty years to 15 November 2142. I would then strangle Wallam-Crane at birth. If it wasn’t for him, I’d be normal instead of labelled a nean, a throwback. Yes, I’m one of them. The polite people would call me Handicapped, but you can call me ape girl if you like. The name doesn’t change anything. My immune system can’t survive anywhere other than Earth. I’m in prison, and it’s a life sentence.

If you’re still scanning this, I expect it’s just out of shock that an ape girl can write. ‘Amaz! Totally zan!’ you will cry to your friends in disbelief, but you know that I’m just the same as you really. It could have been you here on Earth, and me travelling between worlds, if only the dice had fallen differently. When you have a baby, it could turn out like I did, and have to be portalled to Earth in minutes or it dies.

My psychologist says you people are scared of us. He says that’s why you call us names and have your little superstitions. We see it all on the vids. Portalling between worlds late in pregnancy turns the baby into a nean. Don’t eat Karanth jelly when you’re pregnant or the baby will be an ape. The latest scare is plastered all over the newzies, and everyone throws out their Karanth jelly, and it makes no difference at all.

It’s all rubbish. The best scientists have been researching this for hundreds of years and they still don’t have a clue. Every other handicap can be screened out or fixed, but not this one. Whether you eat Karanth jelly or not, it can get your baby just the same way it got me. Maybe they’ll find a cure one day, but with my luck I bet I’m dead by then. I expect I’ll die the day beforehand, so fate can enjoy a last big laugh at my expense.

My psychologist also says I still have a lot of unresolved bitterness and anger. He’s right. You’ve probably already noticed it. I was feeling especially bitter on 15 November 2788. I was due to meet Candace in half an hour and tell her my decision on my course, my career, my whole future life. I still hadn’t made up my mind, and really needed to do some hard thinking. Naturally, I was avoiding doing that by watching the vid.

The vid info channels were all packed with special anniversary programmes. Half of them were showing that old footage of the first experiment that everyone has seen a thousand times. Wallam-Crane smirks at the camera and says: ‘One small step for a man, one giant leap for humanity.’ Do you know he stole that line from the first moon landing? Do you even know that they went to the moon by rocket long before they portalled there? Probably not. Well, that’s a fascinating bit of pre-history for you, totally free of education tax.

The rest of the info channels were either showing bits about the first interstellar portals, or the Exodus century that emptied Earth. I switched to the vid ent channels, but they were all showing vid stars getting drunk or powered at huge parties. I spotted the male lead out of that new vid series Defenders. Arrack San Domex. Now there’s a man with good legs. I’m a big fan of those scenes where he’s looking sexy and heroic in his tight-fitting Military uniform, saving humanity from the mythical menacing aliens that we still haven’t discovered. I stopped a moment to listen.
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