However, the world outside their city sized prison is too busy to care. They form a desperate friendship with an unlucky Zoo guide, caught in the wrong place at the right time. Together they face the forces of a corrupt government, a sensationalist media, and an apathetic public.
And they only have a week left to live.
Suspenseful, political and awash with colourful characters and epic set pieces.
Stem the sequel to sci-fi hit Pollen, builds to a finale that pits hero against hero.
Henry Underhill, a graduate of the CSKU Academy for Advanced Engineering, and yet most days he felt like a chump. He clapped his hands together; he winced at the sting and watched the spit of sweat fly off in all directions.
This was his first class ticket to be free of Rita. Her name ebbed into him, like water through a crack in the sea wall. The dismal feeling pulled him toward a dark sinkhole at the centre of his living room. He liked the idea of his sinkhole; it was full of things that couldn't hurt him, things he was the master of, books to read, games to win. No Rita. No heart-pounding chaos.
He sighed. He loved the heart-pounding chaos.
He took a big gulp of water and a final look around his apartment. Tidy, nothing embarrassing, but enough knick-knacks to spark conversation.
He flicked his holoprojectors on and the room lit up. A beautiful blue light filled his home, and then overlaid a waiting room in a fancy hotel in perfectly replicated 3D.
“Just ask questions,” Henry said to himself.
His brother had done this a thousand times and had been coaching Henry for weeks.
“Don't compare anyone to Rita.”
The waiting room turned green.
“Welcome, Henry Underhill,” the host of the waiting room said.
No projection, a bodiless but pleasant voice.
“Your premium membership enables you access to the best Life-Swipe has to offer. We have matched you with several women based on your biometric data and preference settings. Relax, enjoy the dates, and remember: you've got five minutes per date. If you don’t like, swipe! Have fun, Henry.”
Henry’s room then split. Half, his room; the other half of the room lit up with a stranger’s living room. Neat and tidy too, bookshelves, paintings on the wall. Henry relaxed.
“Oh, hi,” said the projection of a woman beamed into the room.
Curly red hair, cool green eyes with a big bright necklace; she looked like she was ready for a night at the opera. He saw from her quick facts file she was two months older than him, and liked the same music.
“So. Five minutes,” she said softly.
“Yeah, what can you do in five minutes?” Henry laughed weakly.
“I beg your pardon?”
“I mean, you know, five minutes is no time at all. You have to get right into it, don't you?”
“Right into what?”
“Oh sure! Sorry, for a second I thought you'd come to the wrong kinda dating site.”
“I hope not. So let's get down to it!”
“Seriously? You want that kinda date? I'm not that person.”
“What? I'm confused. I’m not here for a sex ...”
“Right,” said Henry. “Fucked that up then.”
“Sorry Henry,” said the host voice as the projection flicked back to the waiting room. “Would you like feedback?”
“Sure,” he said nervously.
“Your feedback is, ‘I think he was after a sex line’.”
About Aaron D. Lamb:
He has trekked extensively around the wilderness of Norway and Finland, ran a cabaret show in London's Soho for four years, ran an ultra marathon and has lived in Eastern Cambodia.
He now lives in Australia with his wife in a little flat with a fantastic garden and enjoys a beer in the evening and cooking interesting dinners!