Back-burner Books



Do or Die 1: For What It’s Worth (Sci-Fi)

Chapter One

The hardest thing I ever had to do was admit I had feelings for another guy. And not just any other guy, but the brother of the man who has come to be my best friend. Most people won’t find that alarming until I tell you Jonah isn’t as smart as most people. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, it’s just at an early age he was diagnosed as mildly retarded. I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with him—it just takes him a little longer to grasp the concept of things. Let me tell you a bit about the man I’m in love with—or more so the story on how I fell in love.

* * *

Galactic year: seventy-one-eighty-three.

  Franklin Maitland hated being the new person in town. He wondered how long it would take for him to make friends. He wished his company had picked someone else to move earth side. He’d been quite happy living back on the entry station with the rest of his colleagues, family, and friends—scratch that—Franklin didn’t have friends. The only good thing to come out of it was Rayne Williamson the guy who had sat at the desk opposite him for the last three years was going with him. Stranger still was Rayne had actually volunteered for the job. Why anyone would want to come live among the dregs of life was beyond him.

  Yet when their boss pointedly announced he was going, he’d immediately asked why and was told because out of their whole unit he was the toughest son-of-a-bitch to ever grace the known universe. He was, and they all knew it. But still he hated moving to a new place and having to feel out the lay of the land. Straight up there would be too many variables to have to contend with.

  The first thing was making his new home safe and cutting off all access to unwanted visitors. The second thing on his list was to work out what Rayne’s agenda was. He got the feeling that his colleague’s reasons for coming here were personal, but if they were going to get them killed or get in the way of what they was here to do than he needed to know and have a back-up plan in case everything went down the shit chute.

  Grunting Franklin decided to bluntly ask. “What’s your deal, Rayne? Why did you volunteer for this mission?”

  Rayne stared at him in what he thought maybe surprise, he didn’t think he was going to get an answer the final his companion sighed. “I wanted this mission because I’m trying to find someone. My brother.”

  Mulling the admission over for a while Franklin had to wonder why Rayne’s supposed brother lived Earth bound when he knew for a fact that the whole Williamson family lived in the inner sanctum of the New Earth. He must have looked doubtful because Rayne continued.

  “Jonah, was abandoned by my parents when it was made known he wasn’t perfect and never was going to be. When we were boys Jonah, who’s two years older than me had an accident when he first joined the academy. I’m not sure exactly what happened to him. My parents refused to talk about it. All I know for certain is that Jonah ended up in hospital for six months in a coma and when he finally woke he wasn’t the same. When the doctor said he would probably never get any better my parents shipped him a facility on Earth. I guess they didn’t want the taint of who he now was to reflect on them in anyway.”

  “When was this?” It had to be before Franklin had been transferred to Western New Earth.

  He had lived in the station which ringed the planet. To the universe it looked like Earth had rings like Venus. It wasn’t until travellers got closer that they realised the rings were in fact man made and now housed most of the world’s inhabitants. Everett Levinson the architect who when the Earth was officially classed as dying from over population had envisioned them was a true genius. Franklin himself had been born on the station. More precise he had been born in the Northern quadrant of New Earth into a middle class family. He fought his way to the top of his peers to be given the chance to attend the Policing Force and make a better life for himself. He never had the brains or the money to afford placement at the academy. The truth be told he never wanted to be a pilot. He never wanted to protect the station on which they lived. His main focus was on keeping the everyday people safe and out of trouble. He didn’t need fame and fortune. He was happy with the life he’d chosen for himself. Yet he had to wonder why Rayne hadn’t applied for the academy. His mind came back to the present when Rayne spoke.

  “Seventeen years ago. Jonah was fifteen when he was accepted into the academy and he was gone before he reached his sixteenth year. My parents never wanted anything more to do with him, but he’s still my brother. I love him as much now as I ever have. We remained in contact despite what our parents wanted. Then about three weeks ago all contact stopped. It’s like he’s just disappeared off the face of the Earth.”

  Rayne shook his head and the sadness in the man’s eyes touched something inside of Franklin. “Do you think he’s in trouble?”

  “That the thing, I just don’t know. He’s never done more than a few days without contacting me before. My gut is telling me he needs my help so when this mission came up…” Rayne shrugged, “I just need to find out what happened to him. Jonah is too sweet to be left on his own.”

  “Seventeen years is a long time, and he seems to have done okay.” Franklin thought maybe Rayne was worrying for nothing.

  With a frown Rayne sat up and dug a picture out of his pocket and held it out to Franklin. He bit back the gasp which threatened to come out when he gazed upon one of the most beautiful and innocent looking people he’d ever seen. Blond hair surrounded a face, which was dominated by large bottle green eyes. The smile only complimented the man’s looks further. There was only one word for it Jonah Williamson was simply stunning.

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