Title: THE CITADEL
Genre: YA Dystopia
Word Count: 74,000
Fourteen-year-old Quinn is brain-washed. He’s 99% positive that the Citadel is perfect, that it knows what’s best for its citizens. But that 1% nagging, constant uncertainty is the source of stomach upset that would usually be reserved for old, sick people. As he struggles to either resolve or ignore his doubt and accept the Citadel’s flawlessness, Quinn makes discoveries that would cause even the devil to hide in his grave.
As a spy-in-training, Quinn must prove his reliability by reporting citizens that speak against the Citadel—the government of Sulta. As a prodigy, his efficiency is noticed: once he turns in the names of dissidents, they vanish. Quinn has no idea where they disappear to or what happens to them, but he becomes determined to find out.
When he begins to ask too many questions about the fate of his former friends, neighbors and acquaintances, Quinn becomes a danger to Sulta’s leaders who will not have their power questioned. Now Quinn must use those same abilities to unravel the Citadel’s mysteries before it is too late—before he vanishes into thin air as the Citadel’s newest target.
Two dark-suited men slowly walked along the sidewalk. The gloom of the fog provided perfect cover for the job they needed to complete. They did not speak to each other. Official business always made them a bit jumpy, but they were prepared to do their job, and they did it well. They had done it hundreds of times before. This time would be no different.
A pretty eighteen-year-old girl woke to the sound of her alarm. It was just before dawn. She looked out the second floor bedroom window and saw nothing but darkness and fog. “Today is going to be a good day,” she thought to herself. She left her bed and began getting ready for the day.
The two men continued down the sidewalk in silence. Finally, one of them put his hand out to stop the other from walking and said quietly, “This one’s it.” They gazed at the front of the house that had one solitary light in the upstairs bedroom. They saw a girl moving around getting ready for the day.
The girl hummed gently to herself as she prepared for work. She changed from her pajamas into a flattering yellow dress. Looking into the mirror, she gave herself a nod of approval. “He will think it’s perfect,” she said to herself and did a little twirl. She checked her watch and realized she needed to hurry. She had to meet him in twenty minutes. The girl switched off the light and left her room.