The Dream Protocol: Descent
Adara Flynn Quick
Publication date: April 20th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T GET OLD. In fiery young Deirdre Callaghan’s home of Skellig City, no one has dreamt their own dream in over a thousand years. Dreams are produced by the Dream Makers and sold by the Ministry, the tyrannical rulers of the city. In Skellig City, years of life are awarded equally and the ruined are cast away beneath the city on their 35th birthday.
Unbeknownst to the Ministry, Deirdre’s handsome friend Flynn Brennan is afflicted with a terrible disease – a disease that accelerates the aging process. Knowing his fate if the Ministry should ever discover his illness, Flynn has lived his whole life hiding from their watchful eyes. When Flynn’s secret is finally discovered, Deirdre is determined to free him from the Ministry’s grasp. But to save him, she will have to reveal herself to a shadowy enemy…one that none of them even knew existed.
ExcerptIt was a rare moment on Skellig Michael. The mist-drenched rocks of the isle were illuminated by a ray of sudden sunlight. Pools of water caught in the rock crevices reflected the light skyward. For an instant, the island glistened like a thousand gems cut from the earth. For a moment, it was something beautiful: a lighthouse promising safety through the dark. And then, above the island, the clouds rushed back in. The island returned to its true form, a black shape jagged against the horizon. There was no safety to be found on Skellig Michael, where deep down in the dark and the damp it was custom to take a life before its natural end. Below the waterline of the island, thousands of feet under rock and concrete, Maeve O’Brian watched a timer tick away the last minutes of her life.
A thousand years ago, a great hole had been dug through the center of the island known as Skellig Michael. Into the hole was poured steel and concrete and the sweat of thousands to build Skellig City. When they finished their great work, the top was sealed again for the city dwellers had no need for the birds in the sky or fresh air upon their faces. The peace of their wild, natural land was denied to them. With the passing of time, the old country was lost. Anything they desired was provided in sleep by the Dream Protocol. Through the rooms and halls of the great concrete city, the dreams floated on invisible networks to the dreamers. As the decades rolled by, many more things were stolen from them. One of these was the number of years that could be lived.
On the lowest level of their underground home, the citizens had gathered to witness the Ritual of Descent for Maeve O’Brian. The rite began as it had for generations, in a room filled with the smell of bodies crushed against bodies. Too many people were forced into the small space, a reminder of limited resources in their underground home. The clothing of the crowd was another marker of their dwelling, a sign of the order that ruled the place. At the top were the Minister and his Dream Drone soldiers, all dressed in crisp red uniforms. The spider was the insignia of the corporate state, and the eight-legged creature was stitched in gold thread on the left side of each jacket. Next in the power structure were the Dream Makers, clothed in orange hooded robes with wide, flowing sleeves. Their mark was the Maker’s amulet that hung around their necks. Last in line was everyone else, dressed in worn grey clothing that had seen too many patches and repairs. The threadbare grey rags did little to ward off the cold, but the huddled mass of people provided them a welcome respite.
About the author
Irish-American author, Adara Flynn Quick, is the writer of The Dream Protocol series. Early in her career, Adara was fascinated by dreams, the unconscious, and the healing stories of many cultures. As a contemporary author, she writes young adult literature that brings ancient myths and legends into futuristic worlds. She is an accomplished visual artist and uses her background as a psychotherapist to inspire the finest and darkest moments of her characters.
Driven to distraction by her computer, Adara writes all of her stories longhand. Pen and paper are two of her favorite things. The author tortures her husband with a passion for downtempo electronica and too many pillows. She is a firm beleiver that there are never enough pillows.