Title: Regress: the Alliance Chronicles, Book 1
Author: SF Benson
Genre: Upper YA Dystopian
The United States has fallen.
Creativity is banned.
A government-mandated vaccine.
It’s 2025 and the country is run by a group of scientists and technologists. Tru Shepard, a soon-to-be seventeen-year-old, wants to avoid the vaccine that will steal her creativity. Without self-expression, Tru would rather die.
And then she runs into a guy from her past. Zared Aoki has his own secrets. He wants Tru’s help exposing the plans of the government. In exchange, he’ll help her avoid the vaccine.
That’s all the time Tru has.
Lies and secrets make up her world. Is she ready to learn the truth?
Regress: the Alliance Chronicles, Book One is a teen and young adult dystopian full of suspense.
“I pledge allegiance to the faithful and knowledgeable leaders of the great American Republic, to follow their laws always and fulfill my duties as an American.”
—Pledge of Allegiance, 2020
Someone once compared living in New Detroit to having a religion—a fanciful idea about a hopeful life in the presence of tragedy. Illogical. Irrational. Life here needed more than hope. It required a blind eye, shutting out the ever-present insanity on our streets, blocking the scars from our wars. It took fortitude.
Living among the disturbed, the poor, and the downtrodden took a special strength. Those who felt sympathy for people like Mrs. Emery, Ko’s next-door neighbor, made themselves an easy pawn for the city’s predators. It was a constant struggle—do the right thing or the safe thing. Mrs. Emery suffered with a similar struggle—being kind and considerate or existing in her own world.
Gazing out the window at the old woman in a dingy yellow nightgown running in her front yard made me feel less human. The imaginary cats she fed chased after her again. Hope couldn’t help her. People wouldn’t help her. Life and I had issues with Mrs. Emery, but unlike Life, I regretted mine. I let the thin grayish curtain fall back in place and faced Ko.
“Weren’t you supposed to help me pack?” My best friend dragged a faded olive-green duffel bag from under her twin bed.
I sat on an overstuffed pink chair. “When was the last time your mom checked on Mrs. Emery?”
“I think it was yesterday. Why?”
I swung my long legs over the chair arm. “No reason.”
Ko tucked her chin-length chestnut hair behind her ear. “So, you’re no longer pissed with her?”
“Don’t know.” Mrs. Emery crossed a line, and I still didn’t know how I felt about it.
Ko placed a stack of folded clothes into the bag. “Mrs. Emery can’t help herself. She had our six. We’re lucky she’s around.”
I popped a stick of gum into my mouth. “If you say so.”
“And what does that mean?”
“She didn’t have to rat us out.”
Ko exhaled. “We shouldn’t have been sneaking out in the first place.”
“It was just a few times.” I blew a bubble and watched it deflate. My issue with Mrs. Emery stemmed from my strong dislike of people stifling me.
“Doesn’t matter.” Ko rubbed her brow. “Who’s gonna watch your back when I’m gone?”
“After you’re gone, I won’t need anyone. Sneaking out won’t be on my agenda.”
On the surface, Ko and I didn’t seem to have a lot in common outside of our mixed heritage. Her Japanese and Latina background gave her deep brown eyes and a curvy dainty figure. My Portuguese and Jamaican background produced a tall girl with unruly raven hair and smoky eyes. Males appreciated Ko’s shape. They didn’t look twice at my boyish frame.
We were opposites. My weaknesses were her strengths and vice versa.
I was the yin to her yang. She obeyed the rules like a zealot. I rewrote them. She preferred obedient, predictable guys. I had a thing for willful, independent ones. If we were angels, my rank would be among the fallen while she did the Lord’s work.
Nevertheless, Ko was my protector, and I loved her. We met when my family moved to New Jefferson. She was my ever-present guardian helping me dodge the bullets of life. We weren’t trying to create mayhem by sneaking out. We were trying to hook up with some guys from the center. Mrs. Emery stopped us in the driveway.
“Tru, I’m just saying to watch your back.” Ko fidgeted with a pair of white socks before sitting on the bed. She focused on the floor. “I know about your Underground trips.”
I stopped chomping on my gum, and my mouth fell open. I never told Ko about my forays to the warehouse district where banned music groups played. My frequenting the area pushed the boundaries any sensible person would follow. The drone police were planning regular raids on the area. Law-abiding citizens would stay away. Not me.
“How do you know?”
“It doesn’t matter how I know. The New Order is shutting it down. There will be arrests. They’re tracking movement in the district.”
SF Benson, a Michigan native, resides in Georgia with her husband and daughter. She has always wanted to be a writer, but she’s had a variety of positions ‘feeding’ her creative brain. SF is an avid bookworm who appreciates a well-written book regardless of genre. She writes stories that explore ‘what if’. Her stories tend to feature strong, diverse protagonists in dystopian, science fiction or paranormal worlds.
Find SF online at:
Facebook Alliance Chronicles page: https://www.facebook.com/jointhealliance/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/SFBenson/e/B01DI9Z58Q/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1