Title: FORWARD REMORSE
Category: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Word Count: 83,000
Seventeen-year-old Hugo Morse is a model citizen of the 32nd century. He’s earnest and dutiful, if a tad uptight about timeship laws. Having grown up running interference between his little sisters and their demanding fleet captain mother, he’s more parent than brother, but he burns for independence on solid ground.
So, when he’s stranded in dead space controlled by a rogue AI named MAHM who’s abducted aliens from the deep past, the criminal implications make him dizzy. MAHM orders him to mentor her alien team and revive their planets, despite the grave risks to the timeline he comes from. If he doesn’t cooperate, she could space him, or, worse, erase his future and family.
Hugo tries to slow MAHM’s plans, but the aliens prove annoyingly likable. As they push back against his delays, they creep into his heart like cheerful weeds and spark his caretaker complex. He builds his own AI in secret, planning to use it to free them all from MAHM, but her time meddling attracts a worse enemy.
Moravien Tigg, a mad scientist princess from the past, will stop at nothing to get time travel for herself. Driven by a prophecy that she will save her species, she hunts Hugo across space. They clash and sparks fly, especially once a paradox casts them as reluctant allies.
Caught between the laws of time travel and his contrary heart, Hugo’s options narrow. Before MAHM or Tigg decide without him, he must choose between the utopian future he remembers and an uncertain past that already remembers him.
First 250 Words
“Harden your heart, time traveler, for the present depends on a static past.” That’s what the copper-etched warning above the nearby docking port reads, as if any of the Syndicate’s quadrillion citizens passing beneath might forget. I never will.
It’s too much pressure to dwell on, especially for my little sisters, Lorel and Nora, who stare at me with eager brown eyes. As soon as we see Earth in the forward viewing lounge of Luna Station, they push me onto a bench and drop their news bomb like luggage at my feet. They want to stay behind and party with their class while I journey to join Mother at our new colony.
At only thirteen, they’re about to achieve their first real freedom—a holiday with friends. Friends who are real people, not historical figures I program as study companions. A good brother should make them sweat this choice. Just a little.
I focus over their glossy black hair, pretending not to see hands flying to their hips. “Tell me the plan.”
“Claim human error,” Nora says in a rush. “You tell that to Uncle Bak, and convince him to tell Mother, and everything will—Why are you taking a picture?”
I lower my handheld. “Evidence for the family scrapbook. I’ll call this page ‘Nora’s descent into criminally dangerous thinking.’”
Her frown curves exactly like Mother’s. “You wouldn’t.”
“Or maybe ‘When my baby sisters pulled me to the dark side.’” I wiggle my eyebrows.
She smacks the device from my hands, but I catch it before it hits the polycrete.
==End of Sample==
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