Grond: The Raven by Yuri Hamaganov (Blog Tour Excerpt & #Giveaway)

GROND: The Raven High
by Yuri Hamaganov
YA SciFi
ebook, 177 Pages
February 28th 2017


In the year 2086, Earth is exhausted. The seas have been emptied, the bedrock and soil stripped of their resources, and the superheated atmosphere churns with terrible storms. Those who can afford to do so live in the limbo of virtual reality, and the billions who suffer in poverty have no work, no clean water, and no security from the chaos.

The only hope for those trapped on a dying Earth are the Changed—the seven bioengineered post-humans who work in their separate manufacturing facilities orbiting high above the planet. Raised from birth for their work and fully matured at ten years old, their genius provides the nanomaterials that have begun to cleanse Earth of the pollutants that have wiped out almost the entire ecosphere. 

But for Olga Voronov, youngest of the Changed, the isolation and endless toil are not the greatest of her challenges. Down on Earth there are those who resent and fear her talents—and would prefer that humanity not be given the second chance that only she could make possible …

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“Fifteen seconds,” the computer sounded.
Olga visualized a hailstorm of debris. Small splinters from the Texan Bill’s bow, metal and lunar ceramics measuring from a pinhead to the span of her palm. They were not heavy, but they moved at a velocity to pierce a tank’s armor plate.
“We’re in the effective fire zone!” Arina shouted.
A series of silent flashes in emptiness ensued. The High House’s first volley found its targets, evaporating a dozen of the biggest fragments. The short pause for a new target acquisition, recharging, and cooling seemed an eternity to Olga. The second volley took out another twelve fragments. The third volley was followed by a fourth and fifth. Lasers fired point blank, and powderized fragments plumed almost directly beside the ship.
Olga perceived the first strike at the factory as a light prickling in her backbone. She both saw and felt a fragment the size of a coin strike through a dozen pipes. In a split second the girl’s brain issued the relevant order to cut off the damaged compartment’s valves, disconnect the cables, switch off the power supply, and order the repair robots to stand down for further instructions. She knew there were many more strikes ahead.
“Here they come!”
The debris swarm crashed into the High House at a speed of twelve kilometers per second. They crashed through the outside columns, clearing their way through an endless network of pipes and cables before gradually slowing down and deviating from the straight path. The strikes in the vacuum were perfectly soundless. You could only see sparks soar up from the impacts before flickering to nothing in the void. But Olga felt every impact via the neuro-interface. Arina Rodionovna watched Olga twitched as if struck by a violent spasm.
“What happened?”
“That fragment weighed a kilo!” the girl answered. “How did the lasers miss it?”
“Are you hurt?”
“It’s not pain. Just an unpleasant sensation, like the shock of cold water.”
“How many contacts have you registered?”
“One hundred and seventeen. They keep coming.”
“What’s the damage?”
“Better not ask!”
Answering Arina’s questions didn’t distract Olga from her work. She continued to seal up the damaged sectors of the conveyor, cutting them off from unaffected areas, sealing broken pipes before the reagent could leak out, and de-energizing the places where leaks had already occurred. She realized that these entire sectors were beyond repair and would have to be replaced. That would put the factory out of operation for at least a month. Much more concerning was the damage to several dozen of valves, destroying hundreds of meters of wiring.
“Just another second and a half and we’ll come out of the swarm,” Arina said.
The last seven fragments struck the station, bringing the final total to two hundred and two impacts. The plant continued in its orbit. But it was no longer the ideally tuned tool it had been five minutes before. Now it was a heavily damaged machine in peril of becoming a heap of space junk unless Olga Voronov quickly amended the situation.

About the Author

Yuri Hamaganov lives in Moscow. He created the eight-volume GROND series as a present for himself when he was twelve years old. This was the story he had always dreamed of exploring, and when he realized that nobody had written it for him, he set out to do it himself.

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