In 2024 an alien ship crashes in the middle of Los Angeles, ironically crushing a theatre where a movie premiere about an alien invasion is in full swing. Hundreds die and worldwide panic ensues. Who are the aliens, where did they come from, and are there more of them on the way?
In 2026, a worldwide meeting is held. The aliens are peaceful. Calling themselves the Kindred, they have come to Earth seeking asylum. Their planet is dying. In exchange for a place to live on our world, the only other planet known to them to support life, they will share their technology with the human race, healing our toxic waters, soil and air and curing all known diseases. They only ask to share the rule of the planet.
Nearly a century later, these massive, bug-like creatures (Ender’s Game, anyone?) have ruled peacefully alongside their human counterparts in the “WorldGov” council. Enter Malek, our hero.
Malek is nearly thirteen, and about to take a very important test. This test, a neural scan, will determine his role in life: that of a Worker, forced to labor in whatever menial job assigned to him, an Assistant, who can receive additional education but also has his career selected for him, or one of the Chosen, allowed to pursue the path he chooses, receiving the best education possible to allow him to achieve his goals. (A tinge of Divergent, perhaps? Even a little bit like Matched.)
But Malek has a secret, and fears that during his scan it will be revealed. Born with brain damage, he can only speak and move thanks to a special “Suit” that connects directly to his central nervous system via nanowire, invisible to the human eye. He must hide his secret because those who have physical or mental disabilities of any kind are automatically forced to become Workers.
So my story progresses. Malek discovers that all is not well in Kindred-land. A rebellion of sorts is in the works. (Hunger Games, anyone?) Add to that the fact that his father, Valerius, has been selected as one of the lucky few humans to receive a “Kindred Body,” grown in a lab from his own DNA and virtually indestructible. Valerius has his brain removed and placed into his new Kindred Body. However, when Daddy comes home, he isn’t quite himself. (Wait for it….Invasion of the Body Snatchers!!!)
Honestly, my third round of NaNoWriMo was a good experience. I easily met my word count goal, enjoyed the characters I created, and found myself thinking about types of plot, inciting incidents, the emotional growth of characters, etc. etc. etc. However, somewhere in the middle of this whole deal, I realized what I’d already known: I can’t do sci-fi. At least, not unless I channel a whole bunch of writers who have already filled our libraries and theatres with well-known stories. Oh my heavens, I even had rebels who lived in a home carved out of a massive rock formation in the middle of the Arizona desert (The Host, y’all.) Okay, it was only two rebels, and their house was awesome, not cave-like at all, but still…
So, near the end, I got a little slap-stick. My aliens (that whole “bug-like” thing was a government lie) had evolved from plant life on their world. Hence, they were willowy (pun intended) tree-like, Little Green Men. (Ta Daaaa!!!!) Malek befriends one of them and has to help save him from the evil humans. (E. T.!)
Ah, well. Lessons learned. I only regret I wasn’t able to work in that classic line from Scooby Doo. My evil antagonist, cornered and defeated, would snarl: “It was only the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on humanity, and I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids.” Maybe next time. J