Authors: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #Science Fiction, #Girls & Women
“I still don’t see why you’re here.” His eyes traveled up to her face and he watched her reaction. “Even if you guys are fighting, why should anyone’s version matter to you but his?”
“I like to make up my own mind,” Waverly said with a dry smile.
“Well, then you and I have something in common.”
The nausea had come back, hovered at the back of her throat. She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t want to betray Kieran, but was he really the Kieran she’d loved? Or had he turned into something dangerous?
“So, Seth,” Waverly said, her voice careful and even, “you don’t like Kieran’s politics. What do you think can be done about it?”
“Don’t ask me. I tried and failed.”
“It’s your own fault if you did.”
Her mouth popped open with surprise. This was the last thing Waverly expected to hear him say.
“I’m too rough with people. Too much like my dad,” Seth said softly. He wouldn’t look at Waverly, though she stared right at him. “Kieran is kind. That’s why he won.” Seth leaned his forehead on his knee, mouth pointed to the floor so that Waverly almost missed hearing him whisper, “I’m not a good person.”
Waverly searched for a comforting word, but everything she thought of to say would have been a lie.
“I’ll tell you one thing,” Seth said, raising his eyes to hers. “Kieran can’t become some two-bit cult leader. We can’t let him destroy himself that way, or this ship.”
This was precisely what she wanted to hear, and that’s what worried her.
“Just get me out of here, okay?” Seth said. He grasped one of the iron bars and pulled himself closer to her. “We can save Kieran from himself. I’ll show you I can do better.”
“I don’t need you to show me anything,” she said softly.
They looked at each other through the iron bars.
Suddenly the floor under her lurched. Waverly fell to her side, feeling as though her world were sliding. She looked at Seth, who was wide-eyed and clinging to the bars of his cell.
“It’s happening again,” Waverly groaned, and rested her forehead on the cold metal floor. “They’ve come back.”
“No,” Seth said calmly. “We’re changing direction, and speeding up, I think.”
Waverly lifted her head and looked at Seth, who was pale. She’d never seen him look afraid before.
“Why would we—”
“We’re going after them,” he said, sounding eerily calm. “But Kieran is crazy if he thinks we can catch up to them.”
“Then what can we do?” Waverly said. “We can’t just abandon our parents.”
“We’re going to have to make a deal of some kind,” Seth said.
Waverly laid her head down on the floor again, stared at the minute scratches and nicks in the steel. She tasted the bitter word as she whispered it: “A deal…”
“Yes,” Seth said quietly. “We’re going to have to be brave.”
The theories of Sacvan Bercovitch, Ph.D., described in his remarkable book
The Puritan Origins of the American Self,
shaped the major themes in
. I owe a debt of gratitude for many nice turns of phrase to my friend and mentor, Stephanie Spinner. Also many thanks to DJ and Jane Boushehri, Laura Resau, Todd Mitchell, Victoria Hanley, Catherine Stine, and the Slow Sanders for their enthusiasm, support, and wisdom. Dad, Mike, and Mom, thanks for the years of encouragement. Rich, thanks for all your help with the physics, for the years of fun, and for going to work with numbers every day so that I can do my work with words every day. I thank Jennifer Weis and the whole team at St. Martin’s Press for showing me such a warm welcome. Last but not least, I must thank Kathleen Anderson, the wizard who has made all this possible.
Also by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Zen and Xander Undone
This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
. Copyright © 2011 by Amy Kathleen Ryan. All rights reserved. For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.
First Edition: September 2011
First St. Martin’s Griffin eBook Edition: August 2011
Stay tuned for the next thrilling installment in
The Sky Chasers!
Available Summer 2012