Edge of Extinction

Edge of Extinction
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The beasts are back…Dinosaurs have reclaimed the earth, driving humans underground and only a band of teens can save the world. JURASSIC PARK meets INDIANA JONES In this thrilling new action-adventure series.Two hundred years ago, the first dinosaur was successfully cloned. Soon after, the human race realized they’d made a colossal mistake…The dregs of humanity have been driven into hiding, living in underground Compounds.Thirteen year old Sky Mundy’s father was part of the inner circle of Compound leaders until five years ago he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Sky to try and track him down. Along with her best friend Shawn, she steps out into the world above, a world of rampaging dinosaurs, but also a full of surprises, where Sky is about to learn that just about everything she’s been taught has been a lie, and the dinosaurs might not be the most dangerous predators out thereNow Sky not only has to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance – she also has to save the world.

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First published in Great Britain by HarperCollins Children’s Books in 2016

HarperCollins Children’s Books is a division of HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd,

HarperCollins Publishers

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF

The HarperCollins Children’s Books website address is

www.harpercollins.co.uk

EDGE OF EXTINCTION

Text copyright © Laura Martin 2016

Cover illustration © Fred Gambino

Cover design © HarperCollins Publishers 2016

Laura Martin asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

A catalogue copy of this book is available from the British Library.

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins.

Source ISBN: 9780008152895

Ebook Edition © 2016 ISBN: 9780008152901

Version: 2016-04-13

For all the kids with their nose in a book.

You are my favourite kind of dreamer.

I needed two minutes. Just enough time to get to the maildrop and back, but I had to time it perfectly. Dying wasn’t an option today, just like it hadn’t been an option the last ten times I’d done this. I’d thought it would get easier after the first time. It hadn’t.

I gritted my teeth and scanned the holoscreen again. The mail was due to arrive in less than a minute, and although the forest above me looked harmless, I knew better. The shadows between the trees were too silent, too watchful. I hit the refresh button. The drill was simple – refresh the screen, scan for a full minute, refresh again and scan the opposite direction. I imagined it was similar to what parents used to teach their kids about crossing the street, back when there were still streets to cross and cars to drive on them.

The thumping whirr of the plane crackled out of the holoscreen’s speakers and I glanced at my watch. 6:59 a.m. Right on time. My nerves tingled with a dizzying mix of excitement and terror as I watched the small black aeroplane come into view on the holoscreen. It whipped the surrounding forest into a frenzy as it glided just above tree level. I bounced on the balls of my feet, rolling my head back and forth to stretch out my neck as I gave myself a mental pep talk. Be smart. Be aware. Be fast, I commanded myself. Every second counted. A small hatch at the bottom of the plane opened and a large bundle fell the remaining thirty feet to the maildrop’s landing pad. The plane quickly regained altitude and zipped away over the trees towards the other side of the compound, where it would pick up the outgoing mail.

With one last look to confirm the coast was clear, I clambered up the ladder, unlatched the thick metal plate that served as the compound’s entrance, and launched myself from the hatch. It was like entering another world. After the silence of the tunnel, the buzz of insects was almost deafening. My feet dug into soft, damp earth as I ran, and the humidity made the air heavy in my lungs. I felt alive. I felt exposed.

The maildrop was located one hundred yards to my left and I reached it just as the lid was starting to close. The maildrops had been designed back when our founding fathers had believed that the human race would be able to live at least part of their lives topside. They’d been wrong. The drops had all been re-engineered over fifty years ago so that no one had to risk their life venturing aboveground. But there was a thirty-second delay before the mail shot underground to be sorted and searched. Thirty seconds was all that I needed.

There were at least forty packages and letters, and I pawed through them looking for the marines’ official seal. My breath caught in my throat when I finally spotted a large bundle with the black circle and golden ark on the side. Jackpot. I grabbed the package by each end and ripped it right down the middle, hoping the marines would think it had broken open when the plane dropped it. Inside I found a jumble of uniforms, regulation grey socks and port-screen batteries. I was starting to worry that this whole trip was going to be a bust when I saw the small black box. I scooped it up, feeling an almost painful surge of hope in my chest.

The tiny devices were used to pass information and messages between the compounds. This one’s rubberised case was roughly the size of a deck of cards and was made to protect the data plugs on the inside from the jarring airdrop. I was already pushing it on time, but I jerked the scan plug out of my pocket and jammed it into the side of the box anyway. Maybe this time the box would have something.



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