Cut From Stone
by Brendan O’Meara
Publication date: September 29th 2022
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
The world is fresh from humanity splitting in half – the BlankZone in the East and the Federation in the West. As an inevitable attack from the BlankZone looms, the Federation makes swift, mysterious, and unexpected moves to prepare.
James, a 17-year-old living in the Federation, is drafted by the military. He learns he has been selected to join a group of skilled teens who will be transformed into elite human weapons. Follow James and his friends as they mature from teenagers to lethal warriors. Together, they will face life altering events as they navigate a new existence dedicated to protecting their friends, families, and humanity at all costs.
The screen was broken into multiple squares focused on Northern Africa. Instead of the differentiated plains of grass, earth, and water with settlements sprinkled throughout, there was a sprawling web of interconnected buildings, roads, and a brand-new infrastructure spanning the width of the continent and trailing off the screen to the south.
They completely took over.
They weren’t practice. They were their base, James thought in terror of the army that required an entire continent to operate.
As the images filtered in, the web of settlements grew throughout the landmass. There were entire squares filled with what looked like long, lean barracks neighboring full towns of armories, each covering the same square mileage as a major city.
Harbors along the coasts were filled with ships and docks, while airfields were strewn throughout the flatlands displaying gleaming rows of chrome weaponry perfectly arrayed, wing to wing.
“How the hell did they pull this off?” asked Stacie. “It’s just… wham, an entire continent disappeared and in its place… this.”
“We have no clue. We’re having trouble determining exactly when all of this happened, but it must have been months ago.” Months?! James’s mind was spinning, thinking of the physical demands and resources it would take to build infrastructure of this magnitude. They were looking at a decades long project at the least. If whoever ran the BlankZone accomplished all of this in a matter of months, what else were they capable of?
He kept scanning the area when he noticed clouds were blocking some of the images. He moved closer and realized they were moving in an odd pattern, flowing over the land, and petering out along the southwest coast. He looked around trying to find where they started, but the originator was offscreen.
Is that smoke? He wondered what source of fire could be so widespread it caused clouds on such a grand scale. His mind drifted to pictures of volcanos he studied in high school.
“How did we get these?” James asked, trying to wrap his mind around the enormous scale of the base.
“Same as before. A break in their satellite protection and constant attempts to hack through,” Croyton replied. “Different this time though.”
“How so?” asked Stacie from the other end of the line. “They meant us to see these shots.”
“A warning,” James said quietly.
“A threat,” Croyton replied stonily. “They want us to know what they’re capable of, how easily they can assert control without blinking an eye. The ships were a warning. This…” He shook his head, unblinking. “This tells us how ready they are.”
Raised in White Plains, New York, Brendan O’Meara formed a love of stories and books from a young age. He has spent his free time over the last decade crafting his debut novel, Cut From Stone, book one in the Crafting Humanity series.
It began in Philadelphia where he attended college daydreaming about a dystopian reality. With a vivid imagination (as described by his middle school teachers) and a passion for adventure, Brendan’s novels will transport you to a different life and capture you from cover to cover.
Brendan lives in Washington, DC with his daughter, wife, and two dogs. You will find him on the weekends drinking a beer watching the Packers and Notre Dame football games. He is an avid reader with a specific interest in sci-fi, anything dystopian, fantasy, history, and all levels of fiction.
Brendan would love to hear from you, feel free to contact him any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, visit craftinghumanity.com and sign up for our email lists for news, updates, and information on the rest of the Crafting Humanity series. We will not spam you!
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