As Sam reached for another branch, these contemplations still in his head, he felt a large hand on his arm. When he turned to look at Nathan, the young man gestured towards the hover
“Hey, little buddy – the first chance we get, you’re going to have to let me teach you how to drive one of those things; Sarah, too. We may stumble across another one, and I’d rather have you or Sarah driving it than one of those Controls. I still don’t trust them, exactly, no matter what Elliot says. And there’s always the chance we could get separated. If that happens, I don’t want you two getting stranded. If any more of the scholars’ men catch up to us, you may need to make a run for it. I wouldn’t want them nabbing you because you couldn’t get away when you had the chance.”
Sam shrugged, physically and mentally. He didn’t really like that idea, but he wasn’t about to argue with Nathan and his good intentions. Nathan had been technically eager from the start, at least as far as the hovers were concerned. He had tried to start one of the vehicles on Fervor after they had been abandoned by the adults on the island, before they had received the Directives at the Gathering forbidding it, and he had almost succeeded without the proper training. Sam, on the other hand, had never been interested in driving a hover. He also had found that even though the Languorite had stripped him of his obligations to follow the Directives, he still faced a slight wave of nausea whenever he had to travel in or even be around one of the vehicles. Conditioning, perhaps.
“We’ll learn,” Sarah agreed. “Even if we don’t really want to – right, Sam? It’s important. In fact, I think the first opportunity that Fiona has, she should teach us how to use any of the devices that she knows how to use. It’s not like we’re restricted by the Directives anymore. We’re free from them now; we have to get used to that, again.”
Just a gentle push, that was Sarah’s way, but that was all it took. Sam wanted to please her, not because he felt compelled to like he had with Francis, but because he wanted to; she deserved his cooperation.
Hopefully my flight will go well. Wish me luck!
The main source of transportation on Fervor, aside from walking, is the hovers. There are three types of hovers, but only two are mentioned in Fervor. The third is touched on in Elevation, the novel that will be following Fervor.
At the beginning of Fervor, the children in the story have only ever been exposed to the standard passenger hovers. Fuelled by the psychokinetic energies of its driver, the shorter snub-nosed vehicles are not exceptionally speedy, but are much more expeditious than travelling on foot. A journey from the shore to the central Hub, which takes days when walked, can be made in half a day in the passenger hover. None of the children have ever been taught to drive, it would seem with good reason, and there are negative consequences when those amongst them take it upon themselves to try:
―I can’t feel it, Nathan explained. ―Just like this one. He rolled up his sleeve to reveal a blistered burn on his forearm that was oozing a clear liquid. ―Or this one. He rolled up his other sleeve to expose a deep gash lined with a newly forming layer of pus. ―I tried to get a hover going, and I almost had it, too. Then it started to overheat, and, well…
It is not until Sam meets up with Elliot that he finds out about the second type of hover, and the first one he encounters is not in the best of shape:
The object that had captured Sam’s attention was a very unusual looking hover, badly damaged and lying upside-down on a series of seaweed covered rocks. Most likely, he assumed, Elliot’s hover.
The average hover was shorter and stouter, not meant for high speeds or travelling great distances. The island hovers were also fabricated from fairly light-weight and flexible metal, meant for ease of use, for regular outings, where as the one perched haphazardly on the rocks appeared to be a much sturdier construct, intended for longer journeys over greater distances and to be made at higher speeds. He wondered how fast Elliot had been able to make that hover go, when it was in proper working condition.
The other thing that Sam noticed about the magical device, even from a distance, was that it was much larger than the regular hovers on Fervor. The snub nosed vehicles that he had ridden in, in what now felt like ages past, were designed to carry four people, at most, and that had been the maximum combination of minder and children per household before the second exodus. This beast of a hover, on the other hand, looked like it could carry at least twice that.
Next week – Royce’s Hide-out
Starting this Monday, I’ll be adding A Blurb on Others’ Words segment to my blog where my partner in literary crime, Barb, and I will be reviewing other people’s books. This will be a recurring feature on Mondays. Anyone interested in having their book considered for review can contact me at email@example.com.