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Alfreda Bailey

Alfreda Bailey

San Ramon, California

Alfreda has written numerous poetry and short stories for fan sites and non-profit blogs. This is the first time her work has been presented for publishers to reviewed.

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About the author

As a youth, I have always been intrigue by science fiction and have read works from Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert, I have also developed a love for fantasy novels such as lord of the rings. So it was not much of a stretch for me to start writing science fiction myself 

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Prototype

Divine cybernetics just release their newest line of service bots into testing and when one innocent mother discovers the bots real purpose, they will stop at nothing to silence her

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Science Fiction & Fantasy
90,000 words
100% complete
2 publishers interested

Synopsis

Prototype answers the question, “How do we find home in a hostile world?” In this science fiction novel, the answer is clear: always in the place we least expect.

When a greedy scientist creates six new hybrid robot prototypes for a power-hungry corporation, a battle of wills ensues when the hybrid Guardians start to become aware that they are more alive than their programming and more powerful than their creators. Caught up in the battle is Gayle Robinson and her eight-year-old son David, who are trying to escape their dangerous life in the always dark, perilous slums of the Downs by joining an Uptown experiment gone very wrong.

In the midst of a power struggle between Dome 16 government and the powerful Divine Corporation, Gayle and her son turn to protection and support from an unlikely source: Gabriel, the first and most powerful prototype, created to use mind control and conditioning to program the children of the Dome to be perfect citizens. When she runs away, and Gabriel chooses his human family over his android brothers and sisters, the power struggle becomes a war that threatens the entire dome, and drives her back into the Downs to hide.

Prototype introduces the reader to a futuristic, but very human battle, populated on one side by corporate spies, narcissistic scientists, greedy CEOs, and murderous androids, and on the other, secretly rebellious police enforcers, doctors, a single mom, and a new kind of superhero, a human/android hybrid who discovers love even as he must risk his life to save his new family.

This book combines dystopian futuristic fiction with modern genetic technology, raising themes of social justice and the value of resilience and hope. The character of Gayle is based on my own mother, who was single, young and desperate. Help did not come easily from her family so we were on our own, and despite government programs and food stamps, we couch-surfed and barely got by, like Gayle and David. I dedicate this first novel to her with gratitude.

The fictional landscape of Prototype is, like the books of Octavia Butler, entertaining, complex, and character driven. Like Blade Runner, it raises questions about the soul of so-called artificial life, but with a biting critique of today’s politics and a strong female protagonist to humanize the story.

Prototype is 298 pages. It is the first of a trilogy that follows Gabriel and Gayle through their journey, exploring their meeting and the initial battle for freedom of choice beyond survival and conformity, and to save the Dome from the violence of the rogue androids. The second book, The Perfect Companion, will explore even more dangerous human manipulation by creating a new kind of intelligent hybrid pet. The third will bring their family to an uneasy peace in the devastated world of Prototype.

Outline

Prologue

            During a harrowing escape from the Dome guard patrols in The Downs, Gayle Robinson meets a strange young boy with glowing eyes that appears to save her. The next morning she packs up her son and head to Midtown to apply for a job at the prestigious company Divine Cybernetics.

Chapter one

            Adeline Baker, a naïve teacher, is assign to evaluate and report on the children of the families involved in the experimental Guardian program. She comes against the bold and brash Guardian Delilah which results in a dangerous ending.

Chapter Two

            Gayle Robinson has suffered her first tragedy when her friend Beth Johnson and Beth’s husband perish from a mysterious illness. Then she receives a note seemingly from Beth telling her to flee the Guardian program. Unbeknown to her, their assigned Guardian Gabriel is on their trial and when they meet again in the Downs she expects the worst but he protects her and helps her understand the only way to keep her and David safe is to remain with the program for six more months.

Chapter Three

            After the death of the Beth Johnson and her husband, Dr. Gregory, the creator of the guardians and his assistant are task with reassuring the remaining five families that everything is normal and will continue to proceed. When Gayle has her interview with Dr. Gregory, she sense that he is not being entirely truthful with her about what happened to Beth and starts to doubt whether she made the right decision to return to the program.

Chapter Four

            Guardian Gabriel seeks out his sister Delilah who is the current Guardian to the Johnson family, confronting her about her disappearance. She reveals a devastating secret to him and assaults him. He manages to escape with the Johnson children and contacts Divine security only to have Delilah disappear. Gayle receives a curious call from Principal O’Neil informing her that Ms. Baker her son teacher had resigned and a new teacher will be coming soon which starts her anxiety again about the Guardian Program. The mystery deepens when a stranger shows up at her door asking questions about the Beth.

Chapter Five

            The remaining five guardians are called back to Divine Cybernetics HQ, Gabriel is the last to arrive and is disappointed when his creator, Father, is nowhere to be found. However, comfort comes in the form of his sister, Guardian Olivia, which brings back snatches of memories of his childhood that he thought was lost. Dr. Vera Cote meets with CEO of Divine Cybernetics, Catherine Miles, who express exasperation of the setback that came with the death of the Beth and her husband. She is cruelly admonished by the CEO by this program and large cost and warns Dr, Cote that the program must succeed. Gayle encounters Mrs., Peterson and her daughter another test family and learns more interesting things about the program.

Chapter Six

            Guardian Delilah has escape to the haven of Dr. Gregory, her creator. She is as unstable as ever which concerns him even more than the bad news she tells about how Guardian Gabriel assaulted her. He is trying to understand the reason why the sudden violence when he is interrupted by Dr. Cote at his door. She angrily accuses him to malicious intent involving the Guardian program and demands he tells her what the Guardians really are, but Delilah viciously attacks her leaving her for dead.

Chapter Seven

            The morning after the disastrous misunderstanding between Gabriel and Gayle, he receives a surprise visit from Guardian Olivia, however, it is not happy reunion forcing him to make a heartbreaking decision. Gayle receives a phone call from a representative from Divine Cybernetics stating the Guardian Program will abruptly end.

Audience

Prototype is for the adult market, those science fiction lovers that are searching for new voices and new adventures. 

Promotion

I am currently starting a blog website that will advertise different aspects of my book and also display images of the characters to help with the visualization of my world. I am hoping that people who see it will be drawn to read the book.

Competition

There are many science fiction writers out there and many with unique voices and exciting stories that people want to read about. I know many have stories on dystonia societies and the government takeover of lives. I want to give a unique perspective and my book also address present problems such as immigration, poverty and abnormal family dynamics.

2 publishers interested Express interest
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PROLOGUE

The guard whistles pierced the surrounding air. The high-pitched sound irritated the drums of her ears, forcing her to stop. She pressed her small form against the rough, damp wall of the building. Gayle Robinson looked up into the impenetrable blackness of the sky. Daylight came and went too soon. Her face twisted in disgust at the controllers, who could not even allow the citizens of the Downs a few minutes of light. If they did, maybe there would be less insanity and the streets would be a little safer. Maybe David would play awhile outdoors.

Once the warning whistles ceased, fading away into the night, she pushed away from the wall. She took in her surroundings, noting the crumbling, abandoned buildings along the avenue. Most were built of thick red bricks that had become blackened because of the repeated burning of coal in the fireplaces due to the lack of heat. She took a cautious step forward, careful to avoid the jagged holes in the decaying cobbled streets, then transitioned to running, hugging her carpetbag against her chest. The cleanse team will start again with their genocide. Her eyes stayed alert, watching for the guards and a hiding place. Then the perfect place stood before her - a tall, imposing, three-story building. Unlike the surrounding buildings, its glass windows remained intact and all the doors were shut tight with double chains hanging on the outside.

            Gayle took a deep breath and made her way across the open expanse of the avenue until the roar of an engine caught her attention and she twisted her head around, seeing the familiar malicious, iron grill of the cleanse guard truck turn the corner. Then a blinding white spotlight pointed at her feet and the whistle sounded again. She rushed toward the double doors of the building, trying to yank them open, hoping the chains were just props to discourage more criminal residents of the Downs. Screaming, she sprinted around the corner of the building, running down the narrow alley separating the building from its smaller neighbor. An open window appeared in her sight. Below it, there were stacks of crates. They appeared unsteady, but she took the risk, climbing up an unstable mountain of crates and slipping through the window. She scrambled, squeezing herself through the narrow square opening. She lost her grip and landed on her back with a sickening thud. She let out a throaty cry as the pain ripped through her body.

Then she heard the shouts of the guards and the jiggle of the chain on the door. Her eyes widened when she heard the heavy door slam open, followed by the thunderous choir of combat boots against the stone flooring. The whirling charge of weapons reached her ears. She struggled into an upright position, listening to the intruders. Her eyes adjusted easily to the surrounding darkness. Thanks to the constant darkness in her lifetime, her night vision was keener than other humans. She saw their shadows lingering around the front door. She looked around, seeing that the first floor was almost gutted except for a crumbling set of stairs.

“I am certain they ran in here,” a male voice spoke. His voice was filled with overblown confidence and arrogance.

Gayle gathered the last of her strength and ran to the nearby stairwell, scrambling up the crumbling steps on hands and feet. Her breath grew more labored as she progressed to the second floor. Her hopes dwindled when she reached the second floor and found almost no walls. What had appeared to be walls were in crumbles and in ruins. The small amount of furniture included a broken desk and some small metal cots. Her brow furrowed as she regarded the scene. What the hell is this place? Below, she heard the guards moving around and spreading out. The heavy boots echoed and almost caused the building to shake.

********

“Somebody is here,” the boy whispered.

Dr. Gregory glanced up from the rows of numbers on the screen. He frowned over at the small blond boy seated on a plush chair in the corner, impeccably dressed in a gray jumpsuit. The boy’s attention was focused on one of the security monitors. The man looked at the monitor and saw Dome security guards enter his building.  He groaned, debating whether warning them away would be worth interrupting his current calculations.

“Leave that alone, boy, and get back to your studies. We have another six months before I can present you to those predators,” he mumbled, deciding to let it be. They will be gone soon anyway, probably looking for another poor soul to clean away.

“But Father, look,” the boy pointed to the edge of the screen where a young, dark-haired woman crouched behind a half wall. Her form was visibly shaking.

He banged on the table with his fist. “I told you never to say!”

The boy glanced at him with glimmering blue eyes, and with an all-too-calm voice spoke: “You need to ask them to leave.”

The soldiers above made an even louder racket, causing him to pay attention this time. There were always people coming in the building, refugees from the storms that appeared to rip only through the Downs, or criminals fleeing from the few guards that policed the small, destitute metropolis. He ignored it all, finding peace in the chaos.

“They will kill her,” the boy said.

He watched as the five Dome guardsmen spread out through the second floor and now approached the stairs. “I know they will, boy.”

“Her life has meaning as all life does. It will be a waste to just end it so soon.”

“What are you saying?”

“Spare her.” The boy’s eyes glowed. “Spare her.”

Dr. Gregory felt his head implode. He saw himself reaching for his phone. He pressed a button on the screen. The phone rang until a gruff voice answered, “Chief Cleander here.”

“Chief Cleander, this is Dr. Gregory. I own a building in the Downs and I am in current residence. I see that your men think it is some playground and I wish them to leave immediately.”

“Okay, Doctor. I sincerely apologize for the interruption. I will call my captain to see what’s going on and ensure that they leave your property.”

********

“They went up here,” a guard spoke. Gayle listened as the sound of the phone echoed. “Hello, sir. We were not aware of this. My most sincere apologies. I will, right away.”

She heard the man growl, then he barked orders for his men to retreat to the first floor. The footsteps retreated into the night. She waited for a moment before allowing herself to breathe. Her head leaned back against the wall and her eyes closed.

They are gone now.” Gayle’s eyes opened and she let out a silent yelp. A small boy of about ten stood before her.

“Where did you come from?”

“In Midtown, you will go to St. Francis. You will find salvation and help,” the boy said. Then his eyes glowed.

“Wait. What?” she started.

“Do it.”

Then darkness overtook her.  Gayle awoke the next morning feeling strange. She peered around her and recognized the old wooden dresser that her grandfather had carved himself, the heavy black drapes her grandmother made years ago, and the many small, black-and-white portraits of her family from four generations of living in the Downs.

“Gayle!” The deep baritone of Alfred called out to her from the living room.

She sprinted from the bed and ran barefoot into the living room. David squeezed past Alfred, barreling into her. His small arms encircled her waist in a tight embrace.

“Why didn’t you come back to the hideaway, Mommy?” David shouted up at her.

“I don't know,” she whispered.

Alfred cleared his throat. “They stopped the cleanse for now, but girl, you have to stop taking this risk. Richard would never approve.”

She wanted to laugh at his comment. Richard would not only have approved, he’d stand right on the front line goading the Dome security with his bare rear end, making stupid one-line jokes.

“Alfred, have you ever heard of St. Francis in Midtown?”

“It’s a church of some sort as I recall,” he shrugged his shoulders. “These days, they act as some kind of employment agency, but Gayle… Why do you ask?”

“I’ve been thinking.” She ran a shaking hand through her curls. “I can’t continue living like this, for David’s sake. Last night was a close call. Maybe if I try to find a legit occupation things will get better.”

Alfred’s bushy brows went up into his hairline. “Gayle, they only hire for Divine Cybernetics. That company is even more evil than the Dome council.”

“I don’t know why I have this feeling, but I have to go there.”

********

“What is that for?” Gabriel watched Dr. Gregory rush around the lab. His stiff white coat was open and it fluttered around his small, slender frame. When he did not receive an answer right away, he remained silent, just watching his father.

"I cannot believe she wants to move the date up," his father shouted out loud.  He stood stiff in the middle of the lab.

"We are not ready," Gabriel spoke up, remembering part of what had his father upset. He wished to settle the elder man’s issues, but he was afraid to push too much.

His father never responded, but continued in a frustrated monologue. "Miles would never have demanded this of me. He would have honored our agreement."

"What is an agreement?" Gabriel asked.

"But no…, not that ice queen. What am I supposed to show her? I have nothing. I have...," Dr. Gregory finally turned to look at Gabriel. "I have you."

"What is an agreement? I need the definition."

“Later. Later, child. I am trying to think. That ice queen moved the presentation to tonight, and with all the Dome council members. How the hell she could get involved with them, I’ll never know.” Dr. Gregory paced. “Yes, we can market you as... Well, what would those vampires want?”

CHAPTER ONE

Adeline Baker took in the expressionless faces of her eight students from her position at the front of the class. The dead silence caused her mind and eyes to wander around the open and airy classroom. She inhaled, turning her head to glance out the tall, floor-to-ceiling windows lining one wall. The pastoral scenery of the small, rolling, neatly manicured hills calmed her a little to start the lesson for the day. But what would it be? On the opposite side of the room were six large, rectangular digital frames, programmed to alternate between images of many wild animals. Most were long dead, like the large ancient cats with their majestic golden manes and the tall, long-necked giraffes.

When she first applied for the program, Principal O’Neil advised her that the classroom would be small, only containing eight children. They were the children of the guardian program, and their curriculum needed to be extremely special. Although she never fully understood the program, the excitement of taking part in a Divine Cybernetics experiment led her to ignore the warnings whispered by her colleagues at Uptown Prep. Especially Marguerite, who stated that Divine was trying to create super soldiers out of the commoners’ brood. Another even remarked that she believed they wanted to create mindless creatures. Adeline found it all ridiculous rumors. “What did they really know?” she thought. They only taught the children of the more affluent employees of Divine Cybernetics and the wealthy politicians.

“Okay, everyone, we will do fractions today. So, who can tell me how much of this pie we have now?” She glanced over her shoulder at the students. Their stony faces watched her.

Her lips pressed into a thin line. She hated being the only warm body in the room, and secretly despised the absence of activity. It bothered her that children who should be hyper and lively behaved like motionless statues, and her fear of repercussions from her bosses caused her to silently accept this. Inhaling, she half turned to the board, raising her laser to the digital screen.

“Fractions are necessary when we need to take a portion of an item and divide it up.” Her voice struggled to sound bubbly and bright. She pointed toward the image displayed on the board.

Her fingers fluttered across the screen causing an image of an apple pie to appear. Mathematics had never been an easy subject to teach, but with fun images, she hoped to motivate the students to be more lively. These were her thoughts last night, but trying to bring her theory into fruition made her feel silly.

Adeline glanced down at her small digital pad, searching her mind for another image that would bring the class alive, but she never had a chance. The door of her classroom slid open. She twirled around and sucked in her breath, seeing the brightly-colored, round figure of Uptown Prep’s bubbly principal, Paula O’Neil, tumble through the door. A striking couple followed immediately behind the rotund, bright-faced woman. At first glance, she wondered if they were related to each other as they shared the same fair hair and elegant, beautiful features. Their eyes fixed on her as well, instantly causing her to have a full body shiver.

Paula briefly leaned in to whisper something to the couple, who then remained near the entrance as the principal proceeded toward her. Adeline swallowed hard, hoping this would not be the day for another observation.

“Good morning, Principal Paula,” she called out, allowing her gaze to rake over the still faces of the children. “Children, let us welcome Principal Paula to our classroom.”

“Good morning, Principal Paula,” the children chimed in unison, with stiff postures facing forward.

The principal gave the children a bright smile. “Good morning, class. I apologize for the interruption, but we have something very special planned for you today.” She gestured toward the tall couple. “There will be a field trip to the Grand Preservation Park in Midtown. Guardians Delilah and Gabriel will accompany you with Ms. Baker.”

Adeline immediately felt a moment of dread. She met none of the guardians associated with the program. How was she to act? What should she say to them? She realized that Paula was regarding her. She forced a smile on her face despite all the anxiety welling up inside her.

Paula faced the class again. “Now, I believe Guardian Delilah belongs to Zane and Lily. Why don’t you two come forward to properly introduce your guardian to the class?”

Adeline watched the dark-haired brother and his sister slide out of their chairs. They made their way slowly toward the front of the class where the guardians stood stiffly. The principal neared her and whispered, “I need to speak with you outside for a moment.”

She nodded. The principal shuffled away and hurried down one aisle. She briefly looked back at the guardians and the children, then followed the principal out of the classroom. Once they stood outside the classroom together, Paula paced, then stopped and faced Adeline with a worried look. “I don’t want this sudden development to alarm you. Divine Cybernetics practically owns this school. They plan nothing in advance.”

“What about permission from the parents?”

“Their parents practically signed their children over to the company,” Paula said. Then 


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