Genre: YA science fiction
Word Count: 104,000
When Naia Imrie, daughter of the world’s foremost neurotechnologist, witnesses her father’s murder, she believes his death is revenge for inventing the ports, revolutionary implants that transform human brains into computers.
And now his killers are after her.
Naia heeds her father’s dying words and flees to EnvisiTech, the powerful company responsible for marketing port technology. But Evan, the secretive leader of the anti-port resistance, kidnaps her. He claims EnvisiTech is corrupt and that her father was involved in a twisted plot to control humanity. The resistance insists the ports are harmful, causing devastating physical symptoms and opening the door for memory tampering and mind manipulation. As if these accusations aren’t sinister enough, the situation compounds with the emergence of DELETE, an enigmatic terrorist group that infects port users with a fatal digital virus.
While struggling to come to terms with her father’s death and true motivations, Naia must determine whom to trust. But it isn’t as simple as choosing a side. An unexpected discovery reveals her father’s legacy: the means to take down the enemy, which makes her both the ultimate threat and the ultimate target. She must find her place in the fight and face her growing feelings for Evan, whose real identity could be one of the greatest obstacles of all.
In a world where it’s possible to inload anything into your brain, it’s hard to discern the truth, and with tangled connections everywhere—synaptic, electronic, between people and sides—making the wrong connection could be deadly.
Perhaps something interrupts the stillness of the hall, a faint sound surfacing through the music in my head, or a slight stirring of air. Maybe it’s the shiver that tingles up my spine and all the way to the nerve endings in my fingertips, or the simple fact that the door is ajar. Whatever it is that alerts me, I know something’s wrong.
The kind of wrong that changes everything.
Stop, I command, and the song blaring between my ears immediately cuts out, the drumming of my heart replacing the beat of the music. I flatten a cautious palm against the door and swing it open wider, revealing the room beyond.
Against the backdrop of our trashed apartment, my father kneels on the carpet, shaking hands elevated in surrender, eyes wide behind his broken glasses. A masked thug holds a gun to his forehead.
Dad’s gaze darts in my direction. Horror-stricken at seeing me framed in the doorway, he defies the weapon and risks a warning. “EnvisiTech! Run, Naia!”
The thug’s head whips around, catching sight of me through the eye holes in his mask. There’s no mistaking the message reflected there: You’re next.
My fight or flight response kicks in, my body instinctively deciding on flight, feet moving of their own accord. Behind me, I hear my father bargaining with his attacker, pleading with him to leave me alone. I’m not banking on it. I tear down the hall toward the elevator, and the sharp sound of a single gunshot reverberates through the air.