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THIRST: Chapter Twenty-Four. . . Will Eli and friends make it to Dr. Bayles before Enforcers catch them?

What we were doing was insane. I knew that. But the alternative was to spend six months in rehab—likely longer now that we were about to bust into the Champion’s residence with guns.

A couple blocks away, Dad pulled off the road and around to the side of the pickup bed. “What’s the plan? We can’t exactly waltz into Champion House on a good day, and two guns isn’t going to be enough power to face off with all the Enforcers who work there.”

“If you drive around back, I can lure him out,” Hannah said.

“How?” I asked.

THIRST: Chapter Twenty-Three. . . Arrested again. What will happen to Eli now?

I had fasted before only a couple times in my life. The 30-Hour Famine was a favorite of my youth pastor. But going out food for a full week?

It sucked.

The week in rehab crawled by. Each day I desperately anticipated my small glass of water. Carelle Lawler’s obnoxious sessions didn’t help. When I was finally released, I felt like I could drink an entire lake and eat a herd of cattle.

I was released into the lobby of the rehab facility and bade to use a computer there to contact a ride. I sent everyone I knew a message on the Grid, and still it was another twenty minutes before Dad stopped the truck out front to pick me up. When he heard how Tracy had starved me, he nearly drove the truck to the Champion compound to give the man a piece of his mind.

THIRST: Chapter Twenty-Two. . . Plans to escape go awry

I spent the next few days working with my dad on our map of the town. We had been monitoring the Enforcer shifts at the different gates and had stumbled onto a pattern. Four Enforcers were on patrol at each gate with the exception of the night hours of midnight to six a.m. and the 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. lunch hours.

Night was our best option, though we still hadn’t agreed on whether we’d take the northern or southern gate.

“The south gate will put us on the road back to Durango,” Dad said.

“Yeah, but it will also take us through Crested Butte and past a more populated area. That leaves us open to the possibility of trouble from outsiders. If we go north, we can drive around the top edge of the mountain, set up a camp, and start looking at creeks that pour into the East River. Could be we find one with safe water and can live right in the shadow of the compound without them even knowing it.”

“They’d know,” Dad said.

Broken Trust Cover Reveal

Pardon this interruption of THIRST chapters for a special announcement.

Calling all Spencer fans!

You’ve all been waiting SO PATIENTLY for Broken Trust, the third full-length novel in the Mission League series. I had planned for Broken Trust to release last year. Then life happened. Major. I’ve noticed that life doesn’t really care about my plans. It does what it wants.

Spencer waited patiently at first. Then he started to get mad. “Tell my story, Jill!” he said. “You promised!”

“But, Spencer. Life happened,” I told him.

“So? You left me with a torn ACL. Therapy is only supposed to take 9-10 months. This is getting ridiculous.”

THIRST: Chapter Twenty-One . . . Is the HydroFlu back?

Two days after Hannah told me about the resurgence of the HydroFlu, Zaq and I went to the market to grab some supplies. We found the place packed.

“You know what’s going on?” I asked the clerk as we checked out.

“Someone died from the HydroFlu,” he said. “I guess it happened over at the hospital, but it’s kind of freaked everyone out. People are using all their credits to stock up.”

Zaq grabbed a handful of candy bars beside the register and tossed them on the pile. At my raised eyebrows, he said, “What? I’m stocking up.”

As I drove the truck out of town, the traffic was thick. People everywhere carrying bags.

“This is bad,” Zaq said. “We’ve got to get out of this place before it implodes.”

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