Rainwalkers by Matt Ritter
English | 2019 |Sci / Fi | ePUB | 1.2 Mb
Rainwalkers: RAINWALKERS is a story set in the not-so-distant future in a crumbling version of John Steinbeck’s Salinas Valley, after the breakup of the United States. A once rich and prosperous agricultural land is now a war-torn nation-state known only as The Valley. To combat chronic droughts, scientists seeded clouds with genetically engineered bacteria that created regular rains but unintentionally made the rains lethal to humans. Anyone caught in the rain dies within seconds, yet there are rumors of people who survive… known as rainwalkers.
In a land of forced labor camps and waning oil fields, poverty-stricken agricultural communities support the metropolis of Salinas City and the authoritarian Valley Administration in their unending war against neighboring nations. In desperation, the Valley Administration intensifies their search for rainwalkers, who are believed to be powerful weapons in the border wars, by forcing children housed at Valley schools into the rain to be screened for resistance.
War hero Willie Taft lives a quiet agrarian life until the Administration abducts him and his wife, separating them from their daughter. Although his wife is killed during their escape, Willie continues his journey to rescue their daughter. He faces mortal challenges from the Administration military force, the sociopath bounty hunter on his trail, and the ever-present toxic rain. Time is running out as he fights his way through the Valley back to his daughter’s school before she is forcefully screened with other children in the deadly rain.
“The front room was warm and lit in sepia tone by a single lamp. At one end, was the door to a well-lit kitchen in which sat an old wooden table, from where the couple had just risen.
“Come sit with us in the kitchen,” the old man said to Will.
The woman went to the stove while the man brought a third chair from the living room. She put a full glass of buttermilk in front of him. He looked up at her, thanked her with a nod, and drank half the glass in two gulps. The cold buttermilk tasted so good that his eyes were still closed when he set the glass back onto the table.
“Thank you,” he said under his breath.
“Name’s Grover, and this is Rose.”
“Pleased to meet you. I’m Will; Will Taft.”
“That’s a serious looking cut on your face, son. Fresh, too. How’d you come by that?”
Will hesitated a moment. “I was coming up from the creek a ways back and hit a willow branch.”
The old man eyed him carefully, then said, “Fine if you don’t want to tell, but ain’t no tree ever cut a man like that.”