Fire Will Fall

by Carol Plum-Ucci

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780547550077
  • ISBN-10: 0547550073
  • Pages: 492
  • Publication Date: 05/23/2011
  • Carton Quantity: 24

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About the Book
About the Author
Excerpts
Reviews
  • About the Book
    ShadowStrike poisoned the water of Trinity Falls two months ago. Now the Trinity Four, the teens most affected by the poison, have been isolated in a remote mansion, under twenty-four-hour medical care while scientists on four continents rush to discover a cure. Meanwhile, U.S. operatives scour the world for the bioterrorists responsible for this heinous crime, as two teen virtual spies, also infected, hunt for the criminals on the Internet. The danger remains real—for ShadowStrike has every reason to pursue the Trinity Four, and their evil plan will unleash a new designer virus that’s even deadlier than the first.

  • About the Author
  • Excerpts

    one

    Scott Eberman
    Friday, May 3, 2002
    7:05 P.M.
    Trinity Falls, New Jersey

    I don't believe in omens. So when the rain fell in
    buckets against the living room window as I waited for our ride,
    I kept telling myself it wasn’t a shadow of things to come; I was
    not leaving Trinity Falls forever. I’d be back by fall. We were all
    coming back.
     The limo pulled up to the curb a minute later, and I dashed
    out my front door. My head was soaked two steps later. A door
    at the far back of the endless car opened, and a girl’s hand beckoned
    like crazy. I dove through the door, and Rain Steckerman
    quickly tugged at one of my soaked sleeves so I could yank my
    arm out.
     The driver slammed the car door, but through the glaze I
    noticed the door to my house was wide open and my two bags
    stood just inside. Nobody else was in there. This is what can
    happen when nine of the fifty-two pills you’re taking list memory
    loss as a side effect.
     “Let the limo driver get them!” Rain said quickly, drowning
    my curses. “Be rich and famous—just for this forty-five-minute
    drive.”
     I watched the driver run up the walk, grab the two swollen
    garbage bags, and shut the door. I don’t own luggage—that’s
    how rich I am. As for the famous part—I’m not a rock star or
    anything you’d want to be. I’m just a guy who lives in a small
    South Jersey town that found itself in a horror flick two months
    back.
     Some unheard-of international terror cell decided our
    town of mostly professional, well-educated Americans would
    be a good place to conduct an experiment. They poisoned the
    water, hoping to kill every person within the five-block area off
    one main water vein. They only killed two, so some people like
    to say they failed miserably. I don’t agree with that. I was halfway
    through paramedic training this spring when my brother
    and I and Rain and Cora Holman were diagnosed as “Stage
    Four Toxic.” We never know whether we’ll wake up feeling okay
    or like we have some butt-kicking flu. Nearly a hundred Stage
    Twos and Threes were diagnosed in Trinity, and even the Stage
    Threes responded surprisingly well to antiviral medication.
    Stage Four is another term for “a real challenge to cure, though
    doctors on four continents are trying.” There is no Stage Five.
     I slid my arms back into my soaked sleeves and intentionally
    waited until the driver got around to the trunk and popped it.
     “He forgot to turn offthe light.” I dashed from the limo,
    and the rainfall drowned out the end of Rain’s “Wait! My dad
    can take care of—”
     I threw open the door, ran upstairs into the bathroom for
    a bath towel, and shoved it under my jacket as I took two stairs
    at a time down, hurrying. I reached for the living room light
    but stopped to survey the room before switching it off. Mom
    had moved us here from Las Vegas thirteen years ago, when
    I was six. So many kids had sat on this worn-out gray couch.
    We’d watched so many football games, baseball games, hockey
    games being won or lost here, over so many bags of Doritos
    and microwave popcorn. My paramedic squad had stood in the
    kitchen shooting the bull on so many non-busy nights. I had
    been in training, and my squad loved Mom’s mint iced tea.
     Mom’s chair . . . I moved over to it, knew it still smelled
    like Mom because I’d stuck my nose to it a couple of times and
    caught my brother, Owen, doing it, too. My mom had drunk
    enough poisoned water to move beyond Stage Four. I banged
    the chair lightly with my fist instead of reaching for one last
    deep inhale. It’s a smell you don’t forget.
     “Sorry!” I hollered as I raced back to the limo. The driver
    held the door for me again. His rain poncho didn’t cover his
    extra-polite smile, which reminded me of a melting wax face in
    a horror movie.
     Rain didn’t look so thrilled with me now. She sidled up
    to Cora, whose mom died the day before mine did. Cora was
    wearing a sweater with a scarf around her neck, despite that it
    was seventy degrees outside. The limo was long, with most of
    the seating in one row from back to front, so Cora and Rain
    were facing sideways. My brother, Owen, sat sideways also, but
    up close to the front with his head on the backrest and his eyes
    shut, though I could see him shaking his head slowly back and
    forth over my actions.
     The three of them had just been released from St. Ann’s
    ten minutes ago. I’d gotten permission to be released earlier,
    having had a symptom-free day. I had come home to close up
    the house, get some more pictures of Mom, and pick up whatever
    I’d missed during our eight weeks in St. Ann’s. The three of
    them were graduating seniors, and even though there was only
    two years’ difference in our ages, I was eons more mature. Mom
    always said I was born thirty. I’m not sure the nurses would
    have let them come home by themselves.
     The driver pulled away as I unfolded the towel, and I made
    certain not to give my house a last, longing look. Instead, I
    watched Cora while I pulled offthe soaked jacket and threw
    the towel over my neck. She was reading get-well cards. The
    four of us had gotten more than fifteen thousand cards from
    Americans who watched the news or read Time, Newsweek, or
    People magazines. We tried to read all the cards and letters, but
    Cora was way ahead of the rest of us. She’d give us a heads-up
    sometimes if it was a name we all knew, like John Mayer or former
    vice president Al Gore or Brittany Murphy. She’d wave the
    card, and we’d pass it around. We got telegrams from dignitaries
    of over a hundred countries. All of that kept us going.
     But with no remarkable improvements in our conditions
    yet and being moved to a more permanent locale, our foursome
    was getting harder to buoy. Right now, Cora was reading
    tensely, waiting for Rain to explode on me so she could pretend
    not to notice.
     “Hope your little campaign of refusing help from others
    is worth it,” Rain lectured on cue. In other words, her dad
    certainly would have noticed the lights being on in our house
    while on his way home tonight and would have turned them off
    and locked the door. “Now you’ll wake up with the Throat from
    Hell tomorrow.”
     “Tomorrow is not important,” I stated, wiping offthe back
    of my neck and my hair with the towel. “It’s always today, and
    today, I’m having a four-star day. Besides. Acting like an ass has
    therapeutic value once in a while.”
     Rain slowly reached out her hand, and I gave her skin. That’s
    the good thing about Rain—she can sympathize with just about
    anyone. Four-star day meant it had been a symptom-free day, at
    least for me. I glanced at Cora again. She said nothing, but her
    sweater and scarf were telltale: four-star wasn’t for her.
     Rain moved to a little refrigerator under the TV, saying,
    “What’s your pleasure? Coke? Diet Coke? Sprite? Or water?”
     “Whatever.”
     “C’mon, don’t be a party pooper. Club soda . . .” She made
    a big deal out of filling a plastic cup from a silver ice bucket
    and pouring Perrier over the top, though her eyes were glassy
    enough to reflect the little overhead light. Tears or fever?

  • Reviews

    "This sequel to the outstanding Streams of Babel (2008) more than lives up to its predecessor's standard. A taut read, it's hard to put down, with characters readers will care about and plenty of momentum. Humor is deftly woven into both character development and dialogue, lightening the mood at just the right spots. A must-read, all-too-contemporary page-turner."--Kirkus, starred review

    "Sexual tension and fragile relationships are part of the story as much as the terrorist hunt is, and the two couples’ fears about their own possible impending mortality will captivate a high-school audience."--Booklist
     
     

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