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A Girl From Forever by Yolanda McCarthy

Read Online A Girl From Forever by Yolanda McCarthy Fantasy Book

Overview: Would you choose loyalty or love?
The secretive Forever Institute towers over London. Some say it's a cult, others call it a mafia. To seventeen-year-old Fern, Forever is simply home, run by the scientists who created her. A home she’s never been allowed to leave.
Forever gave Fern everything. A body that will never age. Psychic abilities, if she can work out how to access them. A purpose... Fern will be part of a new dawn for humanity, although she’s never been told exactly how.
Then Fern is contacted by a cryptic telepath from outside the Institute, and learns some dark truths: children are being murdered, and Fern is in danger. She must sort truth from lies, and new loves from old loyalties, if she’s to survive the conspiracy surrounding her. But her new friend has secrets of his own….


Read Online  A Girl From Forever by Yolanda McCarthy Book Chapter One Free. Find Hear Best Fantasy Books And Novel For Reading And Download.
 A Girl From Forever by Yolanda McCarthy

Read Online A Girl From Forever by Yolanda McCarthy Book Chapter One

 

Night is a predator, and it’s got me. I see nothing but empty car park, disappearing into shadows and fog. I should be able to see the perimeter walls in every direction, the gleam of the Institute’s gate ahead, perhaps a glimpse of London beyond. The November night has eaten it all.

I’m not even certain if I’m walking the right way.

I glance back. The Forever Institute stands behind me, reassuringly solid. Once a power station, now it looks more like a hospital, though too silent and still. The only signs of its past are four huge chimneys, stretching up into the night sky. I love the familiar shape of those chimneys, and the home beneath, where my classmates are sleeping. I can’t wait to tell them about this secret trip out. Yet…

I hesitate. This isn’t how I thought it would be.

Looking out from the Institute, I believed that night was a cocoon. Something to hide in, welcoming, warm. But the night air sucks away body heat as my feet crunch forward, across ground that I’ve trod every day I can remember, its tarmac made alien and strange by the sparkle of frost.

Night wakes up ancient instincts I didn’t know I had, whispering to me that in the dark, there are no adventurers. Only hunters, and prey.

I hug Geraldine’s folder to my chest, trying to trap warmth against my skin, and take another step forward, my eyes searching the mist for Rehan. Where is he? The mist is getting thicker, making my eyes sore. I try not to cough.

They’ll hear.

The air tastes wrong. It smells like a computer keyboard short-circuited.

So cold.

My pyjamas are no defence to the night. We’re seventeen, nearing graduation, you’d think they’d give us coats.

I can’t stop shivering, I need to get back inside, get more layers. But… I promised. I have to help Rehan’s sister, and I might not be able to get outside again. He said that I’m the only one who can help. A natural healer, he said. Rare. I don’t know if he’s right, but I know that I have to try. If I can help, I must.

And… I’ve waited so long to find out if I have a talent. This could be it. I’d just about given up, but Rehan says he can sense it in me.

It’s wrong of me to wish for telepathy instead, like most of my classmates, like Rehan. Healing is more important than telepathy, he said, despite the fact that without his telepathy, it would have been impossible for us to speak at all.

If I was a ’path, I could reach out and search the night for him, as he originally found me. I wouldn’t have to wait for him to contact me. Wait, and wonder what’s going on.

I hope he’s ok.

What could silence a ’path?

Rehan will be at the gate, he has to be. If it wasn’t so misty, I’d be able to see him already.

The gate can’t be more than fifty metres ahead. I speed up, jogging forward, slipping on the frost. He’ll be at the gate, with his sister. I’ll try my hardest to heal her, steal a few moments with Rehan, then sneak back inside. It’s a simple plan. Rehan was completely calm about it.

Which was strange—

There’s a huge thudding sound, and the air around me presses closer, warmer, to my skin. The mist thickens. Another boom, and the crackle of fireworks. My head jerks up, eyes automatically searching for sparkles, before I realise that it’s not fireworks, it’s gunfire. Gunfire somewhere in front of me, but also behind, and I don’t know which way to run, don’t know who is shooting, or why, and my mind is blank with the impossible reality of it all as I kneel, making myself smaller as I have been taught, fingertips melting little circles in frost, tarmac sharp and icy against knees, wet cotton poor protection.

The night is punishing me for breaking the rules, for coming outside where I don’t belong. My heart pounds at twice the usual speed, urging me to sprint away, but I don’t know what is happening, or where is safe. Instead, I tilt my face towards my chest and try to be invisible in the mist.

Not mist. Smoke.

The gunfire stops, and the silence is strangely ominous. Who was firing, and where are they now? Floodlights blaze from somewhere behind me, the light reflecting on grey billowing clouds, and a siren begins to wail.

Then I hear Geraldine. She bellows through the intercom, ordering students to remain calm. She doesn’t have to tell them to remain in their rooms, it would never occur to them to do otherwise, even without the locks.

I could never have got out without Rehan’s guidance, would never have wanted to.

It’s a security drill, Geraldine says. My mouth drops open. I don’t know what’s happening, but it’s clear that this is no drill.

Geraldine lies.

The enormity of this thought sits with me. If I wasn’t already crouched down, I would have slumped to my knees. My world is built on Geraldine’s words.

She lies to us.

I need to discuss this with Rehan. Even more than before, I’m desperate to finally meet him. Turn the voice and image in my head into a boy I can see and touch. I wonder if he looks different in real life.

The smoke thins. I blink hard, again and again, as if my eyelids can force the air to clear faster. Fragments of car park reappear around me. Fifty metres ahead, less perhaps, I can just make out the bars of the black gate, the silver F that twines around its bars, and the huge wall that separates the Forever Institute from the rest of London. A wall with a shadow on it, where no shadow should be. I squint at it. What—

A gust of wind rushes through the car park. The last of the smoke rolls back like a stage curtain, to reveal that the shadow is no shadow, it’s a gap in Forever’s wall. Figures pour in through the gap from outside. A dozen? Two dozen? They keep coming until there must be at least forty invaders, and I’m just about to get to my feet and run when I hear gunfire again. This time, I can see where it’s coming from. The intruders’ guns flash in the night as they shoot at the Institute’s security team, behind me. Security fire back, ducking and weaving as they move closer to the attackers, to me.

Trying to stay small, I risk a glance around. People are being hit, falling, on both sides.

I’m hot, too hot, adrenaline surging fire through my blood. Panting, little puffs that hang in the air like question marks. Are these people from KHH? Or some other group, perhaps one that wants to steal Forever’s serum, instead of wanting to destroy it? Terrorists or thieves, it makes little difference: my plan is ruined.

I can’t believe the bad luck that brought them to attack us tonight, when I’m sneaking out to meet Rehan for the first time. I can’t believe how bad Security seem to be. I guess they’ve never had much to do before, KHH’s other attacks were all on travelling scientists, never on the Institute itself. Forever is impregnable.

Was.

There’s shouting, but no one seems to be shooting anymore. The intruders are all lying on the ground. It’s over.

I tense, pressing my fingers into the tarmac, getting ready to sprint back home, as a searchlight sweeps slowly across the perimeter wall, and I see him.

Rehan is standing set away from everyone, just outside the gap in the wall, looking to the side, at something I can’t see. Waiting for me, still, despite all the madness around us.

It’s the first time I’ve seen him, really seen him. With my eyes, not just an image he’s sent to my mind. He’s taller than I imagined, older somehow, but it’s definitely him. Thick dark hair cut too short, high cheekbones, shoulders hunched against the weather in the same over-sized jacket he wore in the image he sent to me.

I feel a surge of affection, and slight envy. Rehan has a coat, and I’m kneeling on frosty tarmac in my pyjamas.

The searchlight moves away. I stand, and pick up the folder I was carrying. Security start to walk away from the main building, towards me, towards the gap in the wall, towards Rehan. I can’t see their faces, it’s too light behind them, but there’s no mistaking that they work for Forever.

I should go to them, go back inside.

I look back. Rehan is just standing there, waiting as if he’ll wait all night. He’s not safe.

Rehan must know that Forever’s Security despise his kind. Vol. I did, too, before I knew him. I don’t know what they’ll do to him if they catch him, don’t want to know.

Not safe, because he’s waiting for me.

I said I’d help him.

He’s in danger.

Because, despite everything, he’s still waiting for me.

Geraldine lies. If I go home now, I may never know what happened to him.

Without making a conscious decision, I start to run, away from Forever. I don’t look down as I reach the area of the car park where the intruders fell, I don’t think about the slumped shapes on the ground as I dash past them, I don’t look back. Icy air and smoke burn in my lungs as I move faster and faster, feet smacking over tarmac as I sprint towards the gap in the wall, towards Rehan.

I’m there in seconds, hands grabbing dust and rubble, broken concrete sharp in my palms as I haul myself up to the gap in the wall.

There’s a moment, barely even a moment, when I reach the gap, gasping for breath but tasting smoke and concrete dust, and out of the corner of my eye I see the huge concrete block that is Forever. It stands proud in the smoke, its four tall chimneys black against the sky, window after window glowing with reassuring warm lights. Then I climb through, and Forever is gone.

I never thought that my first time outside the Institute would be like this… Stumbling and clawing my way out in dirt and confusion.

Scrambling down the other side of the rubble, eyes struggling to adjust to the dark, I search the shadow for Rehan’s face. He’s moved further away, and I become dimly aware that the person standing by his side is a man, not a sister. I’m close enough to see Rehan’s expression. It’s… Not what I expected.

His face is blank. Cold. A coldness that was hidden by distance and smoke before. Where’s my Rehan?

Minutes ago he was whispering in my mind, teaching me how to disable the electronic lock on my door, how to find and switch off the emergency generators so that when he cut the main cable, we could get close to the perimeter wall – all so that he could help me to get out, so that I could help his sister. Be together.

I’ve told him things I’ve never said to anyone else.

Perhaps he doesn’t recognise me, we showed each other pictures in my mind but maybe mine didn’t work and he was too polite to say, knowing how much I long to be a ’path, how much I hate that I’m not, how ashamed I was of being untalented until he discovered that I might be able to heal...

Even as he turns away, and I scream his name, it’s only when his companion lunges forward, dragging me away from the rubble and throwing a bag over my head, that I accept the truth.

I’ve made a very bad mistake.

 
* * *

Bag still over my head, I’m seized by both elbows, lifted off the ground, and hauled away. Years of self-defence classes evaporate, my legs flailing uselessly in surprise. Then I’m pushed upwards, over something metal, falling forwards onto knees and knuckles. It hurts. Geraldine’s folder slides out of my grip, skidding away across the floor, as a door clangs shut behind me.

I reach up and pull the bag off my head, eyes stinging with dust from the bag. It’s very dark in here, but enough light enters around the door to see that I’m in a large rectangular box, made of grimy metal. The ceiling is so low that it touches the top of my hair.

The place smells of petrol and neglect.

I’m shaking violently – with cold? Fear? Adrenaline? My mind a total blank, I push against the door, but it’s locked. I bang on the door, shout, but there’s no reaction, so I crouch, feeling my way along the wall.

The metal is like ice.

More gunfire outside, then a massive explosion, and the box sways as I cover my ringing ears. My foot knocks into a pile of junk – coiled rope, a few cans I don’t recognise, and a blanket. I pick u the blanket, drape it over my shoulders. It helps a little.

I have two options, give in to the sensation that’s chewing my insides, or ignore it. I’m going to ignore it if it kills me.

Self-defence class never covered any of this, and my enemy right now is a locked door, not a man. The hip-and-shoulder throw is useless here. I try to remember class theory, but all I remember is the message: never let them take you to a second location. It should have been ‘never sneak off to meet a stranger.’

He didn’t feel like a stranger.

Don’t think about him.

He didn’t even look at me.

Maybe he didn’t recognise me, maybe this was a mistake…

You’ve been naïve. Don’t be stupid as well.

My chest is tight with panic and broken illusions. I am ashamed and I am afraid.

Do something.

I pick up one of the cans, weigh it in one hand. Could I hit someone over the head with it? It’s pretty light, I can’t imagine it’d do anything other than make someone angry. I practice awkwardly, but I can’t see it working, so I drop the can.

That leaves the rope. I’ve handled a garrotte in self-defence class, but it was made from wire, not rope. Still, rope is a better bet than a can. More importantly, it’s the only other thing in here, apart from the blanket, and the romance book I stole from Geraldine’s desk, resting pointlessly in her folder at my feet.

The book was supposed to provide me with an excuse, in case I was found outside of my room. We’re not allowed unauthorised reading material – but neither are the teachers, and I figured that Geraldine wouldn’t want to explain the romance books hidden under her desk, any more than I’d want to explain being out of my room after bedtime.

I pick up the rope, testing it between my hands. Something starts to uncurl within me, from a deeper place than fear. Something that wants to scream and smash, that wants revenge.

Somewhere outside, doors slam. The box holding me shakes. Then an engine roars and I lose my footing, falling backwards as the box jerks forward.

I’m in a vehicle –

Something hard hits the back of my head.


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