Monday, May 19, 2014

Team Mónica #3 RESET TO ZERO (YA)

YA Sci-Fi
85,000 words


In a juvenile prison on the brink of a lockdown, pushed to her limits as the Warden’s prizefighter, seventeen-year-old Seren becomes desperate enough to place her trust in a borderline sociopath with an escape plan.

Forgotten by her parents and incarcerated under Overpopulation Laws, Seren struggles to preserve the remnants of herself, a normal girl. She fights in duels to gain freedom, but when the Warden denies her parole, she can’t hold on. Alec—an inmate known for his psychological tactics in the arena—is her last chance. He plans to cause a prison-wide blackout, and needs Seren’s help because they share a mutation that allows them to see in complete darkness. Despite their connection, she’d sooner uppercut Alec than trust him. As he reveals to her the labyrinth-like secrets of the underground penitentiary, she gains confidence in the plan and their relationship up until she realizes he manipulated her into helping him as a means to an end.

With lockdown approaching, Seren has no choice but to remain prison break partners, and accept that somewhere in Alec’s twisted mind, he cares for her. Before they can initiate the plan, he’s taken to an invasive research center interested in his not-quite human traits, and she’s next. On her own, Seren races to find a way to save Alec, and the other inmates, in order to free herself from more than just the prison.

If I stared at the battle doors long enough, the dents and gashes distorted. Like everything in this place, these doors were damaged beyond repair. Day-shift guards flanked either side of me with their magnetic pulse rifles slung. Taking in breaths of rust and sweat, I added up my honor points. I needed seventy-nine more, and after that . . . Parole. I suppressed a tingle in my chest.
Speakers crackled with static as the Warden announced forty-five seconds until the duel began. My hand twitched, and I fought back memories of sitting in his office for breaking rules of fighting—defending myself—outside the gauntlet.
When the Day guards stepped closer, my muscles tensed. Not all inmates willingly participated in this spectacle.
“Back off.”
“Relax, 383,” the guard at my left said, allowing me an inch more space. “Just doing our job.”
I prickled at the alert of twenty seconds. A shadow swelled and flickered, triggering my pulse to race. I stumbled backward. The Days grabbed for me, but I evaded them and put my hands up—the standard all-good sign in the prison.
“383, get back to the door. What the hell’s wrong with you?”
“Nothing’s wrong with me. You guys need to relax.”
The Days frowned, deep lines of deciding whether or not to shoot, keeping their rifles pointed in my direction, but the older of the two nodded.  
At the zero-second mark, the ground shuttered, and a crack of light appeared. The battle doors, grinding through a worn track, released me into solid brightness.


  1. I love that this is set in a prison - and I love the premise.
    Good Luck!! Go TeamMonicaFTW!

  2. I'd love to see this!

  3. I'd love to read more of this! --Renee Nyen