Cosmic Chaos

By CM Shelton

A defective robot sends him to the Garden of Eden. And that’s just the beginning. 

This futuristic middle grade novel will take you on an exciting, time-traveling adventure from the moon to creation and everywhere in between!

Logan gasped. He needed to be in contact with the wrist remote when the program ended or … I don’t even know what will happen to me! 

The Cosmic: Twelve-year-old Logan lives inside the Luna Biodome on the moon. Not only is the moon dust making him sick, it also sets him apart from the other kids. While Logan is inside his new robot’s interactive program, his illness disappears and mysteries occur that he can’t explain.

The Chaos: Logan meets an annoying yet undeletable program character named Amy. Their misadventures awaken him to a glitch-a secret that could return him to Earth to track down his missing mother. But only if Amy will cooperate before the moon’s lockdown and before the robot destroys him.

This science-fiction novel will grab young readers’ attention as they travel from the garden of Eden to a futuristic moon colony. Grab a copy of Cosmic Chaos today so your child can join Logan and Amy as they try to complete their mission in time!

Chapter 1

Earth

2031 A.D.

“No!” Logan locked his arms around his mom’s neck. “I won’t go without you.”

Dad pulled at Logan’s waist. “There’s no time for this.”

His mother squeezed Logan tighter. “Just give me a second,” she pleaded. She gently pulled his arms down, then wiped the volcanic ash off his face mask. “Look at me.”

He squinted at her.

 An intensity filled her eyes. “As soon as it’s safe, I’ll—”

A quake jolted the ground, and he stumbled.

Evacuation sirens blared.

As his dad flung him onto his broad shoulders, Logan’s neck whiplashed.

“We have to go, now!” his dad shouted as they raced toward the moon shuttle.

Over the chaos, his mom yelled, “I’ll come get you, Logan. I promise!”

Chapter 2

2036 A.D.

“You can’t make me,” the new boy said.

Red lights flashed on the teacher’s built-in belly screen as she hovered closer.

Logan’s heart raced at warp speed. His fingers flew across the type pad in front of him. Don’t say another word or you’ll get zapped! He hit Send.

The message appeared on the boy’s desk screen.

The new kid turned and sneered at Logan. “I’ll do what I want.”

A collective gasp came from the students.

Logan’s pale hands shook.

A stasis beam shot out from the teacher’s side, enveloping its target. “Code Red,” she announced. “Noncompliant student.”

Immobilized, the new kid floated into the air, unable to move or speak.

An electromagnetic energy beam shot down from the ceiling, crackling like a downed power line. It encircled the new kid with purplish neon volts. An electric buzz filled the room, sparking the air.

All the students dove under their desks for cover.

The new kid shot upward as the beam lifted him into the ceiling’s portal, fast as lightning. Then, he was gone.

As the energy beam shut down, a quiet hush overtook the room.

Hunkered down on the floor, Logan released his hold from the desk legs. Every muscle felt weighted down as he crawled into his chair. He looked out across the sterile room, crisscrossed with hundreds of desks.

The students, clad in their silver uniforms, crept along the stark-white floors back to their chairs as if waking from a nightmare.

At the front of the class, words flashed on the main digital screen.

CONFORM AND SUBMIT

The sound of fingers tapping on touch screens filled the room as students resumed their work. Bald heads lined the rows in perfect submission.

Logan looked up at the security cameras instead of focusing on the science diagram on his desk screen. His temples throbbed. He strained to suck in the frosty, thin air.

Two kids turned and stared as he breathed in short gasps.

Hup … hup … hup … His clumsy hands reached for the emergency oxygen mask attached to the side of his desk, nearly knocking it to the floor. With the mask finally in hand, he mashed it to his face, desperately inhaling deep breaths of pure oxygen.

In, out. In, out.

His lungs relaxed.

The student next to him scratched at her ID chip implant. The shape of a twisted star, the implant spread across the back of her left hand, the points stretched to every knuckle. It looked like a metal tattoo branded into her flesh. The swollen skin around it screamed crimson red. Painful.

He closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them, bracing himself to get his science studies finished.

Forty minutes later a message rolled across his desk screen.

STAND FOR DISMISSAL

He stood, the thought of leaving this place strengthening his very bones, as it did every day. He kept his gaze on the floor, not looking at anyone.

The other students held up their left hands, exposing their implants for scanning.

Blip, blip, blip. Like a checker at the grocery store, the teacher scanned each student, downloading the evening’s homework.

When she reached Logan, there was no blip.

Just silence.

She stopped suddenly, belly screen flashing: No identity chip implant.

His neck flooded with heat.

The teacher’s sleek, silver body reflected the glaring lights overhead. “PTD override,” her silicon voice declared. “Medical exemption. Code nine-six-four.” She stared down at him with pulsating yellow eyes, digital pupils snapping shots of his every move.

A Personal Tracking Device chip, loaded with hours of homework, ejected from her mouth.

The thought of homework sent negative particles spinning through Logan’s stomach. His hands grew clammy as he reached for the chip.

The teacher moved on to the remaining students. Blip, blip, blip.

He clutched the oxygen mask with both hands, dragging in more air, two, three times, steadying himself against his desk.

A headache pressed into his skull.

Logan smacked the tank to get the last of the oxygen, then dropped it onto his desk. The teacher would replace it by the next morning. With the exit rush over, he took slow, deliberate steps to the doors, careful not to make his headache worse.

The doors hissed open, and he stepped out of the classroom and onto the conveyor belt. Students pressed into him as they crowded out of class, riding along through the main hall. The noise level rivaled that of a rocket race with kids cheering for their favorite pilot.

The hammering in Logan’s head steadily grew worse. He covered his ears, concentrating on getting out of this place. Fast.

“Hey, wait up,” someone called.

A touch fell on Logan’s slouching shoulders. He turned to face a boy about his age, but much taller.

“It’s okay to talk out here, right?”

Logan nodded, then cringed at the throbbing. He strained his eyes to get a better look at this kid. Ears poked out of his head like hovercraft wings ready for flight. A silver earring dangled to his shoulder. A round, red tattoo on his neck indicated time spent at Juvi Hall on Venus. Logan had never seen this guy before.

“I’m Jet,” the kid said over the noisy chaos. “Pretty dumb what Warner did today, huh?”

“Who’s Warner?” Logan asked.

“He came over from Neptune with me last night.”

Logan arched a weary eyebrow. “Humans haven’t colonized Neptune yet.”

Jet didn’t seem to hear. His eyes shifted sideways before jutting his chin out. “Warner always was a troublemaker.” A snorty laugh came from his pierced nose as he gave Logan a playful push. “You watch. He’ll talk in class again tomorrow.”

Logan stumbled backward. “I doubt it.” He worked to steady himself. “Once he recovers from his nerves being zapped, he’ll be drugged. And if that won’t keep him compliant, they’ll double the dosage each day until he’s pretty much a zombie.”

Jet’s mouth dropped open. “Really. I guess they’re pretty strict around here.” His eyes wandered, examining the security guards. “I sit right behind you in class.” His lips curled back as he looked Logan over. “What’s up with all the weird breathing sounds you make?”

Logan flinched and looked away. “Well …” Embarrassment heated his face as he attempted to give an explanation. “I just—”

The conveyor belt came to an abrupt end and Jet leaped off. “See ya tomorrow!”

Logan blinked for a moment. “Sure.” He stepped off as Hovercraft Ears rushed away to his next destination. At least Logan didn’t have to explain. He pressed his lips together, then headed toward the docking station.

His pod hovered in the disabled zone. A drab coating of gray moon dust covered the rusted yellow paint.

Climbing in, he lifted his face for iris recognition.

“Good afternoon, Logan,” the navigational unit stated.

“Take me to Troy’s house.”

The door clamped shut.

The monotone female voice sounded again. “Destination, home.”

“What?” Logan shouted. He immediately regretted yelling. The pod is supposed to take me to Troy’s house. Logan eased into the hard seat to cradle his aching head.

The pod released from its dock, creating a rattling and hissing sound.

A vise seemed to tighten on his skull. He stared out the window, waiting for the soothing motion of gliding through space to relax him. The pod maneuvered past the massive security gates, leaving the school fortress behind, and slipped into commuter traffic in a tunnel headed straight for the Luna Biodome. The wrong direction.

He sat forward, pressing buttons to change the GPS coding. He didn’t like what he found. “Aw, come on, this can’t be.”

His headache began to lift.

“Dad,” he called out. His strained voice sounded how he felt—small and miserable.

A screen dropped down in front of the window.

PLEASE HOLD

All the air in Logan’s lungs escaped like gas from a deflating balloon. He grabbed an emergency oxygen mask and pressed it over his mouth and nose. He sucked in deep, desperate breaths. In, out. In, out.

His dad’s face appeared on the 3-D projection screen. “Make it quick, Logan, I’m in the middle of a meeting.” His authoritative voice filled the cockpit.

Logan pulled the mask down, just enough to talk. “You promised I could go to Troy’s house after school today for Air Rocket rides,” his voice quavered, “but the pod won’t take me there. You programmed it to take me home.”

His dad pointed a finger at him. “I received a notice this morning from your teacher.” Accusation weighed heavily in his voice. “She said your PTD chip was returned empty.”

Logan shrank back, gripping the seat. “It’s not my fault.” He glared down at the floor. And you know it.

“Now, Logan.” His dad heaved a deep sigh. “I understand Maggie’s been having issues lately, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do your homework.”

Logan’s head popped up. “But—”

His dad held up a hand to silence him. “We’ll discuss this later. I have to go.”

The screen clicked off. Hot flames scorched Logan’s gut. If Maggie messes up again, I’ll end up just like that new kid, Warner. Fried to a crisp.

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