The Grower's Gift (Progeny of Time #1)

Free The Grower's Gift (Progeny of Time #1) by Vanna Smythe

Book: The Grower's Gift (Progeny of Time #1) by Vanna Smythe Read Free Book Online
Authors: Vanna Smythe
safe. But they needed to move fast, and he wasn't sure keeping her safe was even in his power, not with everyone on the craft knowing she was headed for his mother's facility.
    "This is for your own good. I'm not gifting you to anyone," he said.
    "Let's do as he says, Maya," Giles urged.  
    "Fine, but tomorrow you let us go."
    Ty turned back to Rober. "So?"
    Rober eyed Maya and Giles, then locked his eyes on Ty's. "Alright, but I'm collecting that favor now. Be at the boathouse by six o'clock tomorrow. Come alone and don't tell anyone where you're going."
    The boathouse? What does he want, a date?  
    "I'll try. I doubt the conference about Nova 18 will be over by six," Ty protested.  
    "I'm hoping your father will start the trials by then, actually. That should draw a crowd. Make some excuse and be there at six."
    "Alight," Ty relented. "Just make sure Lana doesn't know where they are."
    Ty turned back to Maya. "I'll come and get you in the morning."
    She ignored him and followed Rober and Giles from the craft.
    It was for the best. That odd spark of longing she ignited came because she was so natural. The girls his age in the Ring were all the result of careful tinkering with the gene pool, and the scientists had yet to figure out how to replicate all of nature's diversity and life in a laboratory.
      The pull Maya had on him would fade as quickly as it came. He'd make the arrangements for her transport back out the Ring before the talks started tomorrow, put her and her friend on a craft himself and make sure the pilot didn't stop until Maya was back in her sorry little town. Safe.
    ~
    The hovercraft was parked in a vast black chamber lit by white strip lights. The entire hall was bigger than any Maya had ever seen and filled with hundreds of crafts identical to the one they'd just exited. There wasn't a single person around. Flying drones zoomed around above them. Two of them, a row of red lights flashing along their circular bodies, flew towards the hovercraft and attached themselves under the wings. The red lights started flashing then turned different colors.
    "Come on!" Rober called to her from farther down the chamber.  
    She jumped off the ladder and ran to him.  
    He walked very fast and led them through a series of hallways. Each time they reached a wall, he pressed his snake tattoo against a panel, and doors appeared. By the time they reached the elevator with a door that rippled open like water, Maya was panting, still getting over the strangeness of the place. None of her lessons at school had prepared her for structures and technology like this.
    The elevator door rippled shut after them and Rober pressed a complicated sequence of keys on a wall panel before holding his tattoo against the glass.
    The elevator shot up with such force it glued Maya against the side, certain her stomach was now lodged in her throat. Giles was retching beside her.
    "Oh, sorry," Rober muttered and adjusted some setting on the panel. The sickening centrifugal force lessened. "I'm so used to it, I forgot how it might affect you."
    "Where are we going?" Maya asked, seizing the opportunity to speak.
    "To my place."
    "I have to get to the school for the gifted as soon as possible. Can you take us there instead?" Maya pleaded.
    "Oh, so that's why," Rober muttered to himself. He shook his head. "Can't do that. Besides, it's closed now."
    The elevator came to a silent stop and the doors rippled open to reveal a wide hallway lined with dark oak panels, a carpet of red, white and black wool covering the floor. The lighting along the walls was shaped like candles.  
    Rober led them to a large wooden door that glistened like water in the half-light.
    Maya's entire house could fit into the room on the other side of it.  
    Enough sofas to sit twenty people dominated the center of the room. The huge windows beyond the sofa looked onto a lush green meadow, extending towards gentle rolling hills.  
    Maya gasped at the beauty, then pivoted to

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