Specials Uglies Book 3by Scott Westerfeld [v Scanned & Spellchecked by slaingod from dt]CONTENTS Part I BEING SPE. Contents Part ITurning Pretty New Pretty Town Best Friends Forever Shay Wipe Out Facing the Future Pretty Boring Rapids. Leviathan Pdf Scott Westerfeld is available here. You can easily download Leviathan Pdf Scott Westerfeld, Leviathan Pdf Scott Westerfeld by.
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Anytime a new Scott Westerfeld novel hits the shelves, it is cause for buzz and celebration. His Uglies series is wildly Steampunk genre, then in Leviathan, you've got a sure-fire hit. Leviathan is set in a arles-darwin-teachers-booklet. pdf. Extras. Uglies Book 4. Scott Westerfeld. Create PDF files without this message by downloading novaPDF printer (bestthing.info). Scott Westerfeld is best known as the author of the Uglies series, a number-one New York Times bestseller, and the Leviathan and Zeroes trilogies, both New.
It didn't matter what you looked like. It was how you carried yourself, how you saw yourself. Strength and reflexes were only part of it—Shay simply knew that she was special, and so she was.
Everyone else was just wallpaper, a blurred background of listless chatter, until Shay lit them up with her own private spotlight. They retreated toward the party's edge, sliding unseen past the eyes locked on Shay and her random boy. Stay sharp. Suddenly, this all made sense… The bash had been too dead, too flat to cover the Specials or their prey. But now the crowd's arms were up, waving back and forth with the beat.
Plastic cups flew through the air, everything a storm of movement. If the Smokies were planning to crash the party, this moment was what they'd been waiting for. Moving was tricky now. Tally made her way through a swarm of young girls—practically littlies—all dancing together with eyes closed.
The glitter sprayed across their uneven skin flashed in the hoverglobes' pulsing light, and they didn't shiver as Tally pushed through them; her special aura had been drowned out by the party's new energy, by Shay's dance-magic.
The ugly little bodies bouncing against hers reminded Tally how much she had changed inside. Her new bones were made from aircraft ceramics, light as bamboo and hard as diamonds. Her muscles were sheathed whips of self-repairing monofilament. The uglies felt soft and unsubstantial against her, like stuffed toys come to life, boisterous but unthreatening.
A ping sounded inside her head as Fausto boosted the skintenna network's range, and snatches of noise drifted through her ears: It was like being five people at once, as if Tally's consciousness were smeared across the party, sucking in its energy in a blend of noise and light. She took a deep breath and headed toward the edge of the clearing, seeking the darkness outside the hoverglobes' light. She could watch better from out there, keep better hold of her clarity. As she moved, Tally found it was easier to dance, going with the crowd's motion rather than forcing a path through it.
She allowed herself to be pushed randomly through the throng, like when she let high wind currents guide her hoverboard, imagining herself a bird of prey.
Closing her eyes, Tally drank the bash in through her other senses. Maybe this was what being special was really all about: A scent, distinct from the human sweat and spilled beer, sent her mind reeling back to ugly days, to running away, to the first time she'd been alone out in the wild. She smelled smoke—the clinging reek of a campfire. Her eyes opened. City uglies didn't burn trees, or even torches; they weren't allowed to. The party's only light came from the strobing hoverglobes and the half-risen moon.
The scent must have come from somewhere Outside. Tally moved in widening circles, casting her eyes over the crowd, trying to find the source of the smell.
No one stood out. Just a bunch of clueless uglies dancing their heads off, arms flailing, beer flying. No one graceful or confident or strong… Then Tally saw the girl. She was slow-dancing with some boy, whispering in his ear intently. His fingers twitched nervously across her back, their movements unconnected to the music's beat—the two looked like littlies on an awkward playdate. The girl's jacket was tied around her waist, as if she didn't mind the cold.
And along the inside of her arm lay a pattern of pale squares where sunblock patches had been stuck. This girl spent a lot of time outside. As Tally moved closer, she caught the scent of wood smoke again.
Her new and perfect eyes saw the coarseness of the girl's shirt, woven from natural fibers, lined with stitched seams and giving off another strange smell…detergent.
This garment wasn't designed to be worn and then tossed into a recycler; it had to be washed, lathered up with soap, and pounded against stones in a cold stream.
Tally saw the imperfect shape of the girl's hair—cut by hand with metal scissors. Shay's voice came back sleepily. I'm having fun. She smells like laundry. Dancing with that guy? And she's tanned. From the other side of the bash, Tachs and Ho were closing in. Until a few weeks ago, Smokies had brought only propaganda into Uglyville, but now they were smuggling something far more deadly: The nanos ate the lesions that kept pretties bubbleheaded, ramping up their violent emotions and raw appetites.
And unlike some drug that would eventually wear off, the change was permanent. The nanos were hungry, microscopic machines that grew and reproduced, more of them every day If you were unlucky, they could wind up eating the rest of your brain. One pill was all it took to lose your mind. Tally had seen it happen. Adrenaline flooded Tally's bloodstream, clarity blanking out the music and the motion of the crowd.
She'd spotted the girl first, so it was her job, her privilege to make the grab. She twisted the ring on her middle finger, felt its little stinger flicking out. One prick and the Smokey girl would be stumbling, passing out like she'd had too much to drink. She'd wake up in Special Circumstances headquarters, ready to go under the knife.
That thought made Tally's skin crawl—that the girl would soon be a bubblehead: And monumentally clueless. But at least she'd be better off than poor Zane. Tally cupped her fingers around the needle, careful not to stab some random ugly in the crowd. A few steps closer, and she reached out with her other hand, pulling the boy away. His eyes widened, a grin breaking out on his face. You two want to dance? Her hands went through its sleeves and into the pockets, and Tally heard the rustle of a plastic bag.
The expression brought another flash of heat into Tally's cheeks. The boy was smirking at her, amused, like Tally was average and anyone's to think about—like she wasn't special.
The uglifying smart plastic on her face began to burn. This stupid boy thought Tally was here for his entertainment. He needed to find out otherwise. Tally decided on a new plan. She stabbed a button on her crash bracelet. Its signal spread through the smart plastic on her face and hands at the speed of sound, the clever molecules unhooking from each other, her ugly mask exploding in a puff of dust to reveal the cruel beauty underneath.
She blinked her eyes hard, popping out the contacts and exposing her wolfen, coal black irises to the winter cold. She felt her tooth-caps loosen, and spat them at the boy's feet, returning his smile with unveiled fangs. The whole transformation had taken less than a second, barely time for his expression to crumble. She smiled. And you"—she turned to the Smokey—"take your hands out of your pockets.
Tally felt the sudden rush of eyes drawn to her cruel features, sensed the crowd's dazzlement at the pulsing tattoos that webbed her flesh in scintillating black lace. She finished the arrest script: Tally reached out … …just as the girl shot into the air like a stretched-taut rubber band let go from the bottom. Tally's hand passed through empty space. She stared upward, open-mouthed. The girl was still climbing. Somehow, the bungee jacket's battery had been rigged to throw her into the air from a standstill.
But wouldn't she just fall straight back down? Tally spotted movement in the dark sky. From the edge of the forest, two hoverboards zoomed over the bash, one ridden by a Smokey dressed in crude skins, the other empty.
At the top of the girl's arc, he reached out, hardly slowing as he pulled her from midair onto the riderless board. A shudder went through Tally as she recognized the Smokey boy's jacket, leather and handmade. In a searing flash from a hoverglobe, her special vision caught the line of a scar running through one of his eyebrows. David, she thought. Heads up! She felt her crash bracelet register a tug from her own board, and bent her knees, timing the jump for its arrival.
The crowd was pulling away from her, shocked by her cruel-pretty face and the girl's sudden ascent—but the boy who'd been dancing with the Smokey grabbed for her. Help them get away! The boy pulled his hand back, stared at it with a stupid expression for a moment, then crumpled.
By the time he hit the ground, Tally was in the air. With two hands on the grippy edge of her hoverboard, she kicked her feet up onto its riding surface, her weight shifting to bring it around.
Westerfeld, Scott - Uglies 01 - Uglies
Shay was already on board. David was one of the Smokies' leaders—the best prize the Cutters could have hoped for on this cold night. Tally could hardly believe he had dared come into the city, but she was going to make sure he would never leave again. She weaved among the flashing hoverglobes, soaring out over the forest. Her eyes adjusted swiftly to the darkness, and she spotted the two Smokies no more than a hundred meters ahead. They were riding low, tipped forward like surfers on a steep wave.
They had a head start, but Tally's hoverboard was special too—the best the city could manufacture. She coaxed it onward, brushing the tips of the wind-tossed trees with its leading edge, smashing them into sudden plumes of ice. Tally hadn't forgotten that it was David's mother who had invented the nanos, the machines that had left Zane's brain the way it was. Or that it was David who'd lured Shay into the wild all those months ago, had seduced first her and then Tally, doing everything he could to destroy their friendship.
Specials didn't forget their enemies. Not ever. Her Cutter board had lifting fans front and back, spinning blades that would keep it flying past the edge of the city. But the Smokies' old-fashioned hoverboards would fall like stones once the magnetic grid ran out.
That's what they got for living Outside: At some point the two Smokies would have to make a dash for the river and its trail of metal deposits. Want me to call back to camp for reinforcements? We don't want any regular Specials taking credit. Somehow, the old guilt never completely faded. No calls, Fausto, no matter what. This boy is ours. Back in the Smoke, Shay and David had been together. But then Tally had arrived and David had decided he liked her better, and the jealousy and neediness that went with being an ugly made a mess of things as usual.
Even after the Smoke had been destroyed— even when Shay and Tally were clueless bubbleheads— Shay's anger at that betrayal had never completely disappeared. Now that they were Specials, ancient dramas weren't supposed to matter anymore. But seeing David had somehow disturbed Tally's iciness, making her suspect that Shay's anger might still be buried deep inside too. Maybe capturing him would end the trouble between them, once and for all.
Tally took a deep breath and leaned forward, urging her hoverboard faster. The edge of the city was growing closer. Below, the greenbelt changed abruptly into suburbia, the rows of boring houses where middle pretties raised their littlies. The two Smokies dropped to street level, zipping around sharp corners, knees bent and arms out wide. Tally angled into the first hard turn of the chase, a smile growing on her face as her body flexed and twisted.
This was how the Smokies usually got away. Regular Specials in their lame hovercars could only move fast in a straight line. But Cutters were special Specials: The others were still long seconds behind.
It was lucky that middle pretties were never out this late—if anyone stumbled into the chase, one glancing blow from a hoverboard would turn them into paste. The tight spaces didn't slow Tally's quarry.
She remembered from her own Smokey days how good David was at this, as if he'd been born on a hoverboard. And the girl probably had plenty of practice in the alleys of the Rusty Ruins, the ancient ghost city from which the Smokies launched their incursions into the city. But Tally was special now. David's reflexes were nothing compared with hers, and all his practice couldn't make up for the fact that he was random: But Tally had been made for this—or remade, anyway—built for tracking down the city's enemies and bringing them to justice.
For saving the wild from destruction. She accelerated into a hard bank, clipping the corner of a darkened house, smashing its rain gutter flat. David was so close that she heard the squeak of his grippy shoes shifting on his board.
In another few seconds, she could jump off and grab him, tumbling until her crash bracelets halted them with a shoulder-wrenching spin. Of course, at this speed, even her special body would feel some hurt, and a normal human might break in a hundred random ways… Tally clenched her fists, but let her board fade back a bit.
She'd have to make her move in an open space. She didn't want to kill David, after all. Just see him tamed, turned into a bubblehead, pretty and clueless and out of her life once and for all. At the next sharp turn, he dared a quick glance over his shoulder, and Tally caught a glimpse of recognition on his face.
Her new cruel-pretty features must be quite the icy shock. Just stay close. At top speed, the chase soon reached the factory belt. They all climbed to avoid the automated delivery trucks rumbling through the darkness, orange underlights reading the road markings to find their destinations.
The other three Cutters spread out behind her, cutting off any chance of the Smokies doubling back. With a glance upward at the stars and a lightning calculation, Tally saw that the two were still headed away from the river, zooming toward certain capture at the city's edge.
He's just a random, Tally-wa. Not the brave boy you remember. Why did they keep acting like David still meant something to her?
He was just some ugly random. And, anyway, it did show some bravery, sneaking into the city like this…even if it was pretty stupid. The Trails were a big preserve on the other side of Crumblyville, the sort of place middle pretties went hiking to pretend they were out in nature. It looked wild, but you could still get picked up by a hovercar when you got tired.
Maybe they thought they could disappear on foot. Didn't David realize that Cutters could fly past the edge of the city? That they could see in the dark? Here in the factory belt, she could yank David off his board without killing him. The grid ends, no matter which way they go from here. Shay had been special longer than any of them. Her mind was so icy that she'd practically made herself into a Special—brain-wise, anyway—breaking out of bubbleheadness with nothing but a sharp knife against her own skin.
And Shay was the one who'd made the deal with Dr. Cable, the arrangement that allowed the Cutters to destroy the New Smoke any way they wanted. So Shay was the Boss, and obeying wasn't really that bad. It was icier than thinking, which could get you all tangled up. The neat estates of Crumblyville appeared below. Bare gardens flashed past, waiting for late pretties to plant spring flowers.
David and his accomplice dropped to just above ground level, staying low to give their lifters every bit of download on the grid. Tally saw their fingers brush as they hopped a low fence, and wondered if the two of them were together.
Probably David had found some new Smokey girl's life to wreck. That was his thing: And he always had his favorites. First Shay, then Tally… Tally shook her head to clear it, reminding herself that the social life of Smokies was of no interest to a Special. Leaning forward, she coaxed her board faster. The black expanse of the Trails was just ahead.
This chase was almost over. The two plunged into the darkness, disappearing into dense trees. Tally climbed to skim the forest canopy, watching for signs of their passage in the sharp light of the moon. In the distance beyond the Trails, the true wilds lay, the utter blackness of Outside.
A shiver played across the treetops, the Smokies' two hoverboards streaking like a gust of wind through the forest…. Then she was among the tree trunks, zipping through the forest, knees bent, eyes wide open. The other three Cutters had caught up with her, arrayed a hundred meters apart, cruel-pretty faces fiendish in the flickering moonlight.
Ahead, at the border between the Trails and the true wilderness, the two Smokies were already descending, their boards' magnetic lifters running out of metal. Their skidding descent echoed through the brush, followed by the sounds of running feet.
The lifting fans of Tally's hoverboard kicked in beneath her, a low thrum drifting through the trees like the growl of some hibernating beast. The Cutters slowed, dropping to a few meters' altitude, scanning the dark horizon for movement. A shiver of pleasure ran down Tally's spine.
The chase had become a game of hide-and-seek. But not exactly a fair game. She made a finger gesture, and the chips in her hands and brain responded, laying an infrared channel over Tally's vision. The world was transformed—the snow-patched ground turning a cold blue, the trees emitting soft green halos—every object illuminated by its own heat. A few small mammals stood out, red and pulsing, heads twitching, as if they instinctively knew that something dangerous was nearby Not far away, a hovering Fausto glowed, his feverish Special-body bright yellow, and Tally's own hands seemed to course with orange flames.
But in the now-purple darkness ahead of her, nothing of human size appeared. Tally frowned, flicking back and forth between infrared and normal vision. She stepped from the riding surface as it stilled, and the late winter cold leeched up through her grippy shoes. She wriggled her toes and listened to the forest, watching her breath curl out in front of her face, waiting for the whine of the other boards to peter out. As the silence deepened, her ears caught a soft sound pattering all around her—the wind rattling pine needles in their tiny sheaths of ice.
A few birds disturbed the air, and hungry squirrels who'd woken up from a long winter's sleep scrabbled for buried nuts. The breathing of the other Cutters came through on the skintennas' ghostly channel, separate from the rest of the world.
But nothing that sounded like a human moved on the forest floor. Tally smiled. At least David was making this interesting, standing perfectly still like this. But even with sneak suits hiding their body heat, the Smokies couldn't remain motionless forever.
Besides, she could feel him out there. He was close. Tally silenced her skintenna feed, switching off the noise of the other Cutters, leaving herself in a hushed, infrared world.
Kneeling, she closed her eyes, placing one bare palm on the hard, frozen ground. Her special hands had chips in them that caught the slightest vibration, and Tally let her whole body listen for stray sounds. There was something in the air … a hum at the edge of hearing, more an itch in her ears than a real noise.
It was one of those ghostly presences she could hear now, like the buzz of her own nervous system or the sizzle of fluorescent lights.
So many sounds that were inaudible to uglies and bubbleheads reached a Special's ears, as strange and unexpected as the whorls and ridges of human skin under a microscope. But what exactly was it? The sound ebbed and flowed with the breeze, like the notes that sang out from the high tension lines stretching from the city's solar arrays. Maybe it was some kind of trap, a wire strung between two trees. Or was it a razor-sharp knife angled so that it caught the wind?
Tally kept her eyes closed, listening harder, and frowned. More sounds had joined the first, ringing from all directions now.
Three, four, then five high-pitched notes began to ring, their combined volume no louder than a hummingbird at a hundred meters. She opened her eyes, and as they refocused in the gloom, Tally suddenly saw them: Then she saw how they were standing—legs braced apart, one arm pulled back, the other outstretched—and realized what the sounds were… Bowstrings stretched taut and ready to fire.
She rebooted it just as the first arrow flew. Tally rolled to the ground, flattening herself on a bed of icy, fallen needles. Something whistled past, close enough to ruffle her hair. Twenty meters away, one of the arrows connected, and an electric buzz shot through her hearing like a network overload, choking off a grunt from Tachs.
Then an arrow struck Fausto, and Tally heard him gasp before his feed went silent. She scrambled for cover behind the nearest tree, hearing two bodies thudding against the hard ground.
They've definitely got sneak suits. Her voice was calm. Tally looked down at her hands, glowing fiercely in infrared, and swallowed. She threw herself to one side as the arrow struck the tree, letting out a buzz like a shock-stick and covering the trunk in a web of flickering light. She scrambled away, rolling to a spot where two trees' branches wound around each other. Squeezing into a narrow crook between them, she said, "What's the plan now, Boss?
They got in the first whack, but they're still just random. The sound of more bowstrings sent Tally to the ground, but the arrows whipped off into the distance where Shay had retreated.
Jittering shadows flickered through the forest, followed by the sounds of electrical discharge. Tally swallowed, trying to listen through the frantic pounding of her heart, cursing the fact that the Cutters hadn't bothered to bring sneak suits, or throwing weapons, or hardly anything Tally could use right now.
All she had was her cutting knife, fingernails, special reflexes, and muscles. The embarrassing thing was, she'd gotten turned around somehow.
Was she really hidden behind these trees? Or was an attacker looking straight at her, calmly notching another arrow to take her down? Tally glanced up to try to read the stars, but branches broke the sky into unreadable patterns. She waited, trying to take slow, steadying breaths. If they hadn't fired at her again, she must be out of sight. But should she run?
Or sit tight? Pressed between the trees, Tally felt naked. The Smokies had never fought this way before; they always ran away and hid when Specials showed up. Her Cutter training was all about tracking and capturing; no one had ever mentioned invisible attackers. She glimpsed Shay's hot-yellow form slipping deeper into the Trails, moving farther away, leaving her alone. Don't you dare embarrass me in front of Dr. Just stay where you are, and I'll swing around from the side.
Maybe we can pull off a little ambush of our own. But how's that going to work? I mean, they're invisible and were not even—" "Patience, Tally-wa. And a little quiet, please. She listened for the hum of drawn bowstrings. A wavering pitch sounded not far behind her, a bow pulled taut, its arrow notched and ready to fly.
Then another pitch joined in, and a third…but were they aimed at her? She counted a slow ten, waiting for the snap of a loosed arrow. But no sound came. She must be hidden here. But she'd counted five Smokies in all. If three had their bows drawn, where were the other two? Then, even softer than Shay's calm and steady breathing, her ears caught the sound of footsteps moving through the pine needles.
But they were too careful, too quiet for a city-born random. Only someone who'd grown up in the wild could move that softly. Tally stood slowly, sliding her back up the tree trunk, eyes opening. The footsteps grew closer, coming up on her right. She eased herself sideways, keeping the trees' bulk between herself and the sound.
Daring a quick glance upward, Tally wondered if the branches were thick enough to shield her body heat from infrared optics.
But there was no way she could climb without David hearing. He was close…Maybe if she darted out and stung him before the other Smokies loosed their arrows. After all, they were just uglies, cocky randoms who no longer had the advantage of surprise. Tally gave her stinger ring a twist, flipping out a freshly charged needle. The Smokies wanted to get hold of a Special Circumstances hoverboard.
Tally forced her eyes closed again, listening hard. She heard more footsteps, louder and clumsier than David's— the fifth Smokey searching for another of the Cutters' boards. It was time to make her move. She opened her eyes… A sickening sound rumbled through the forest: Tally was already in motion, streaking toward the noise, realizing with a sick feeling that the lifting fans were loud enough to drown out the snap of bowstrings. The board rose before her, a hot-yellow figure on it sagging in the arms of a black silhouette.
Two more steps and she could jump…"Tally, duck! Another shot past as Tally rolled to her feet, blindly hoping that more weren't on the way. The board was three meters up and climbing slowly, wavering under its double load. She jumped straight up, the furious wind of the fans blowing straight down on her. At the last moment Tally imagined her fingers thrusting into the lifting fans—chopped into a spray of blood and gristle— and her nerve faltered.
Her fingertips caught the riding surface's edge, barely clinging, and her added weight began to pull the board slowly earthward. In her peripheral vision, Tally saw an arrow flying toward her, and twisted wildly in midair to dodge it.
It shot past, but her fingers had lost their grip. One hand slipped, then the other… As Tally fell, the growl of a second hoverboard ripped the air. They were stealing another one.
Shay's cry shot through the noise: Tally laced her fingers together and cupped her hands waist-high, ready to throw Shay up at the board, which was straining to climb again. Another missile streaked toward Tally from the darkness. But if she ducked, Shay would take the arrow in midleap.
Her teeth clenched, waiting for the agony of a shock-stick slamming into her spine. But the board's rotor-wash eased the arrow downward like an invisible hand. It struck between Tally's feet, exploding into a brilliant spiderweb on the icy ground. She tasted electricity in the damp air, and tiny and invisible fingers played across her skin, but her feet were insulated by the soles of her grippy shoes. Then Shay's weight landed in her cupped hands, and Tally grunted, flinging upward with all her strength.
Shay screamed as she soared into the air. Tally threw herself to one side, imagining more arrows in flight, her feet skipping across the still-buzzing shockstick. She spun around and fell backward to the ground. Another arrow shot past her in a blur, missing her face by centimeters… She glanced up: Shay had landed on the hoverboard, setting it teeter-tottering wildly. The lifting fans shrieked at its triple load.
Shay raised a stinger hand, but David's dark silhouette shoved Tachs toward her, forcing her to catch his limp form. She danced at the board's edge, trying to keep them both from tumbling off. Then David lashed out, catching Shay in the shoulder with a handheld shock-stick. Another web of sparks lit the night sky. Tally rose to her feet, running back toward the struggle.
The Smokies were not fighting fair! Above her, a bright yellow form was tumbling from the board, headfirst…Tally leaped forward, stretching out her hands. The dead weight thudded into her arms—the special bones as hard as a sack of baseball bats—and sent her sprawling to the ground. Tally glanced up. Then her ears caught the snap of a bowstring, and she threw herself to the ground again.
The arrow missed wildly—whoever had fired it was running. Sneak-suited forms were everywhere, and more boards were buzzing to life all around her, the Smokies lifting into the air. She twisted her crash bracelet, but there was no responding tug. They were back in the heart of the ruins, in the shadow of the tallest building around. She was staring up at it with a puzzled expression on her face.
Yeah, here it is. She was tired, and it was a long way back to town. And she had cleanup duty tomorrow at her dorm. But Tally followed Shay through the gap. Arguing would probably take longer. They rose straight into the air, the boards using the metal skeleton of the building to climb. It was creepy being inside, looking out of the empty windows at the ragged shapes of other buildings. Like being a Rusty ghost watching as its city crumbled over the centuries.
The roof was missing, and they emerged to a spectacular view. The clouds had all disappeared, and moonlight brought the ruins into sharp relief, the buildings like rows of broken teeth.
From up here, the water shone like a pale band of silver in the moonlight. Shay pulled something from her shoulder pack and tore it in half. The world burst into flame. It crackled to full strength in the silence of the ruins, casting flickering shadows through the interior of the ruin. Finally, the sparkler ran out. Tally blinked, trying to clear the spots from before her eyes. Her night vision ruined, she could hardly see anything except the moon in the sky.
She swallowed, realizing that the sparkler would have been seen from anywhere in the valley. Maybe even out to sea. The dark buildings below were filled with phantom flickers of light, echoes of the sparkler burned into her eyes. Suddenly very aware of how blind she was, Tally felt a drop of cold sweat creep down her spine. She decided again that this was all a joke. He lives pretty far away.
But he might be close by. He comes here sometimes. Tally wrapped herself in her jacket. Standing still, she began to realize how cold it had become.
She wondered how late it was.
The almost full moon was descending in the sky, so it had to be past midnight, Tally remembered from astronomy. That was one thing about being outside the city: It made all that nature stuff they taught in school seem a lot more useful.
She remembered now how rainwater fell on the mountains, and soaked into the ground before bubbling up full of minerals. Then it made its way back to the sea, cutting rivers and canyons into the earth over the centuries.
If you lived out here, you could ride your hoverboard along the rivers, like in the really old days before the Rusties, when the not-as-crazy pre-Rusties traveled around in small boats made from trees. Her night vision gradually returned, and she scanned the horizon. Tally hoped not. Shay turned back to the horizon, chewing on a fingernail.
We can go, if you want.
It was all really incredible. But I think one more cool thing would kill me. But remember not to tell anyone about David. You can trust me, Shay.
I do trust you, Tally. Tally took one last look around, taking in the ruins splayed out below them, the dark woods, the pearly strip of river stretching toward the glowing sea. She wondered if there was anyone out there, really, or if David was just some story that uglies made up to scare one another. She seemed genuinely disappointed that no one had answered her signal, as if meeting David would have been even better than showing off the rapids, the ruins, and the roller coaster.
Whether he was real or not, Tally thought, David was very real to Shay. They left through the gap in the wall and flew to the outskirts of the ruins, then followed the vein of iron up out of the valley.
At the ridge, the boards started to stutter, and they stepped off. The hoverboard had become something more solid, something that obeyed its own rules, and that could be dangerous, too. Tally figured that Shay was right about one thing: Being in the city all the time made everything fake, in a way.
Like the buildings and bridges held up by hoverstruts, or jumping off a rooftop with a bungee jacket on, nothing was quite real there. She was glad Shay had taken her out to the ruins. Close to the river the boards lightened up, and the two of them jumped on gratefully.
Shay groaned as they got their footing. Tally turned to take one last look back. With the clouds gone, she could just see the ruins from here. She blinked. There seemed to be the barest flicker coming from over where the roller coaster had been. Maybe it was just a trick of the light, a reflection of moonlight from some exposed piece of unrusted metal.
In any case, they were too far away. Mentioning it to Shay would only make her anxious to go back. There was no way Tally was making the hike again.
And it probably was nothing. Race you!
What dorks. She remembered how intimidating the building had seemed. Now the dorm seemed so small and claustrophobic. Painfully childish, with its bright colors and padded stairs. So boring during the day and easy to escape at night. The new uglies all stuck together in a tight group, afraid to stray too far from their guide. Shay pulled her head back in through the window.
It was almost time for a new batch to take their place. Tally watched the last few uglies make their way inside, gawky and nervous, unkempt and uncoordinated.
Category: Health & Fitness
Twelve was definitely the turning point, when you changed from a cute littlie into an oversize, under-educated ugly. It was a stage of life she was glad to be leaving behind.
She pointed at the collar of the bungee jacket. You fall, it catches you. No tricks necessary. Shay pulled an oversize basketball jersey over the bungee jacket. It suits you. She hated being called Stick Insect, or Pig-Eyes, or any of the other things uglies called one another. It was crazy talk, of course. Shay and Tally lay on their stomachs on the top floor of the stacks, where the dusty old paper books were stored, peering through the guardrails down at the group. They waited for the tour leader to quiet the chattering uglies.
What are they going to do if we get caught? Over the summer, as the last few seniors turned sixteen and pretty, the tricks had grown worse and worse.
She was anxious to leave it all behind, but not without a big finish. Thinking of Peris, Tally stuck on a big plastic nose. Then she giggled at the nasal twang the fake nose gave her voice. I checked it out first.
Well, readthis! She snatched it away and swung back, catching Shay solidly on her upraised forearms. Shay rolled back at the impact, spinning over the railing. The new uglies screamed in unison, scattering away from the flailing body plummeting toward them.
A second later the bungee jacket activated, and Shay bobbed back up in midair, laughing maniacally at the top of her lungs. Tally dropped the book and dashed for the stairs, leaping a flight at a time until she reached the back exit of the dorm. It does catch your attention. She wiped off an eyebrow, then looked up sharply. We will be for two more weeks. Swimming was a great trick.
It hid your body-heat signature, involved changing clothes, and was a perfect excuse for not wearing your interface ring. The river washed away all crimes. A minute later they splashed out into the water, sinking the disguises. The bungee jacket would go back to the art school basement that night. I like your eyes, too. You justknow it. They look…wonderful. They look like themselves. David again. But so is being ugly. Your parents, your teachers, everyone over sixteen. You just got programmed into thinking anything else is ugly.
In the old days it was all random—some peoplekind of pretty, most people ugly all their lives. No losers. They were allowed in public, but most of them preferred to hide. Uglies might look goofy, but at least they were young.
Old uglies were really unbelievable. Are you worried about the operation not working? This again. The last thing I want is to become some empty-headed new pretty, having one big party all day. They do all the same stuff we do: Breaking the rules is fun! Well, I want to be happy, and looking like a real person is the first step.
Tally floated in silence, looking up at the sky, barely able to see the clouds through her anger. She wanted to be pretty, wanted to see Peris again. She was sick of this whole ugly business, and just wanted it to end. A minute later, she heard Shay swimming for shore. But now that the operation was only a week away, time seemed to be moving too fast. Sometimes, Tally wished that they could do the operation gradually. Get her squinty eyes fixed first, then her lips, and cross the river in stages.
All the other uglies looked at her enviously, but no one saw much point in making friends. Probably it was better to get the operation over with all at once. Half the time, she wished the doctors would just kidnap her in the middle of the night and do it.
She could imagine a lot worse things than waking up pretty one morning. They said at school that they could make the operation work on fifteen-year-olds now. Waiting until sixteen was just a stupid old tradition. But it was a tradition nobody questioned, except the occasional ugly. So Tally had a week to go, alone, waiting. Tally had tried to write a ping, but working it all out on-screen just made her angry again.
And even if Shay still hated her, there was always Peris and all their old friends, waiting across the river for her with their big eyes and wonderful smiles. Still, Tally spent a lot of time wondering what Shay was going to look like pretty, her skin-and-bones body all filled out, her already full lips perfected, and the ragged fingernails gone forever. Or maybe one of the newer colors—violet, silver, or gold. She peered into the darkness and saw a form scuttling toward her across the roof tiles.
A smile broke onto her face. Come in, stupid!
You made me think. It sucked. It looked bright and tempting, as if all the hesitation had drained out of her. The open window was exciting again. Do some major trick. She was wearing serious trick-wear: She grinned. Her footsteps squeaked, and Tally smiled when she saw that Shay was wearing grippy shoes. Flying alone was all the hard work and only half the fun. Shay dumped the contents of the knapsack out onto the bed, and pointed. Water purifier. Water purifier? Are we going all the way to the sea or something?
You just drop one of these into the purifier and add water. Any kind of water. She stared out the window, at New Pretty Town, where the fireworks were starting. And you can leave whenever you want, go anywhere you want. Ruins, the forest, the sea. And…you never have to get the operation. Tally opened her eyes. We can grow up any way we want. She felt like speech was impossible, but knew she had to say something. She forced words from her dry throat. All the times you talked that way, I thought you were just being stupid.
Peris always said the same stuff. But when you said I was afraid of growing up, you really made me think. Not all of them wound up pretty. Like I want us to. But the intense look on her face held firm. She was dead serious. We had it all planned, about a week before the first of us turned sixteen.
It was all set up. That was four months ago. A couple of the others stayed and turned pretty instead. I probably would have too, except I met you. After you said I was afraid to grow up, I realized you were right. Then she shook her head.
How come you nevertold me any of this before? But not that way. And how do you get there, walk? Hoverboards, like always. David does it all the time, as far as the ruins. Like the Rusties? Burning trees for heat and burying their junk everywhere? Tally watched the fireworks, feeling a thousand times worse than she had before Shay had appeared at the window.
Finally, Shay said the words Tally had been thinking. I want those perfect eyes and lips, and for everyone to look at me and gasp. Rabbits, I think, and deer. Thanks for the image, Shay. Not what some surgical committee thinks I should. That you can beat evolution by being smart or interesting? Tally guessed that winters at the Smoke were cold and miserable. If it sucks. She could think of a lot of horrible reasons to explain why no one had come back.
No matter what? Get it? Only you could figure it out, in case someone finds it. You know, if you ever want to follow me. She managed to nod. She jumped onto her board and snapped her fingers, securing her knapsack over both shoulders.
Tally tried to imagine her growing old, wrinkled, gradually ruined, all without ever having been truly beautiful. Never learning how to dress properly, or how to act at a formal dance. Never having anyone look into her eyes and be simply overwhelmed.
Pretty, I mean. Operation When the day came, Tally waited for the car alone. Tomorrow, when the operation was all over, her parents would be waiting outside the hospital, along with Peris and her other older friends. That was the tradition. But it seemed strange that there was no one to see her off on this end. No one said good-bye except a few uglies passing by. They looked so young to her now, especially the just-arrived new class, who gawked at her like she was an old pile of dinosaur bones.
September was a crappy month to be born. It was a new ugly, awkwardly exploding into unfamiliar height, tugging at his dorm uniform like it was already too tight. What could this half-littlie, half-ugly understand, anyway? She thought about what Shay had said about the operation. Should she tell this new ugly that sometime this afternoon, her body was going to be opened up, the bones ground down to the right shape, some of them stretched or padded, her nose cartilage and cheekbones stripped out and replaced with programmable plastic, skin sanded off and reseeded like a soccer field in spring?
That her eyes would be laser-cut for a lifetime of perfect vision, reflective implants inserted under the iris to add sparkling gold flecks to their indifferent brown? Her muscles all trimmed up with a night of electrocize and all her baby fat sucked out for good? As the details of the operation buzzed around in her head, she could imagine why Shay had run away.
It did seem like a lot to go through just to look a certain way. If only people were smarter, evolved enough to treat everyone the same even if they looked different.
Looked ugly. If only Tally had come up with the right argument to make her stay. The imaginary conversations were back, but much worse than they had been after Peris had left. All those times out in the ruins, Shay had made her points about uglies and pretties, the city and the outside, what was fake and what was real.
But Tally had never once realized her friend might actually run away, giving up a life of beauty, glamour, elegance. Any thing. Tally looked the new ugly in the eye. Two weeks of killer sunburn is worth a lifetime of being gorgeous. The driver was a middle pretty, radiating confidence and authority.
Something about the middle pretty made it hard to be flippant. He was wisdom personified, his manner so serious and formal that Tally found herself wishing she had dressed up. Not taking much. Everyone knew that new pretties wound up recycling most of the stuff they brought over the river, anyway.
The big hospital was on the bottom end of New Pretty Town. It was where everyone went for serious operations: The river was sparkling under a cloudless sky, and Tally allowed herself to be swept away by the beauty of New Pretty Town. It was so much more vibrant than the Rusty Ruins, Tally suddenly saw. Not as dark and mysterious, perhaps, but more alive. It was time to stop sulking about Shay. Life was going to be one big party from now on, full of beautiful people.
Like Tally Youngblood. She looked up into his clear, soft eyes, wanting him to stay. No one else was in the waiting room. Tally settled back and counted the tiles on the ceiling. It was too late for second thoughts now. Tally wished there was a window to look out onto New Pretty Town. She was so close now. She imagined tomorrow night, her first night pretty, dressed in new and wonderful clothes her dorm uniforms all shoved down the recycler , looking out from the top of the highest party tower she could find.
She would watch as lights-out fell across the river, bedtime for Uglyville, and know that she still had all night with Peris and her new friends, all the beautiful people she would meet. She sighed. Sixteen years. Nothing happened for a long hour. Tally drummed her fingers, wondering if they always kept uglies waiting this long. Then the man came. He looked strange, unlike any pretty Tally had ever seen.
He was definitely of middle age, but whoever had done his operation had botched it. He was beautiful, without a doubt, but it was a terrible beauty. Instead of wise and confident, the man looked cold, commanding, intimidating, like some regal animal of prey. When he walked up, Tally started to ask what was going on, but a glance from him silenced her. She had never met an adult who affected her this way. She always felt respect when face-to-face with a middle or late pretty. But in the presence of this cruelly beautiful man, respect was saturated with fear.
Come with me. Special Circumstances This hovercar was larger, but not as comfortable. The strange-looking man flew with an aggressive impatience, dropping like a rock to cut between flight lanes, banking as steeply as a hoverboard with every turn. Tally had never been airsick before, but now she clutched the seat restraints, her knuckles white and eyes fixed on the solid ground below.
She caught one last glimpse of New Pretty Town receding behind them. They headed downriver, across Uglyville, over the greenbelt and farther out to the transport ring, where the factories stuck their heads aboveground.
Beside a huge, misshapen hill, the car descended into a complex of rectangular buildings, as squat as ugly dorms and painted the color of dried grass. They landed with a painful bump, and the man led her into one of the buildings, and down into a murk of yellow-brown hallways. Tally had never seen so much space painted in such putrid colors, as if the building were designed to make its occupants vaguely nauseated. There were more people like the man.
They were all dressed in formals, raw silks in black and gray, and their faces had the same cold, hawkish look. There were a few normal people as well, but they faded into insignificance next to the predatory forms moving gracefully through the halls.
Tally wondered if this was someplace where people were taken when their operations went wrong, when beauty turned cruel. Then why was she here? What if these terrible pretties had been made this way intentionally? When they had measured her yesterday, had they determined that she would never fit the vulnerable, doe-eyed pretty mold?
The man stopped outside a metal door, and Tally halted behind him. She felt like a littlie again, jerked along by a minder on an invisible string. Four years of tricks and independence gone. The door flashed his eye and opened, and he pointed for her to go in. Tally smiled, silently declaring a small victory that she had made him speak again, but she did as she was told.
Cable smiled. Her nose was aquiline, her teeth sharp, her eyes a nonreflective gray. Her voice had the same slow, neutral cadence as a bedtime book. But it hardly made Tally sleepy. An edge was hidden in the voice, like a piece of metal slowly marking glass. Cable will do.
Someone missing. Only her top teeth showed when she did. Cable asked her a lot of questions. Just this summer. We were in different dorms. They were all older than her.
How much did this woman know about her? Like Peris and me. Cable would know if she did, Tally was sure. She was in enough trouble already. We just hung out. Because…it hurt being alone. We were just into playing tricks. How do you mean? A lot of people do. Cable sat back. She folded her hands and nodded. It feeds you, educates you, keeps you safe. It makes you pretty. It gives youngsters room to play tricks, to develop their creativity and independence. But occasionally bad things come fromoutside the city.
Sometimes there are threats from the environment that must be faced. Cable nodded. And sometimes those few people who live outside the cities can make trouble. Outside the cities? Shay had been telling the truth—places like the Smoke really existed. Did you ever meet anyone in the ruins? Someone not from this city? Not from any city? I never did. Cable frowned, her eyes darting downward for a second, checking something.
When they returned to Tally, they had grown even colder. Tally smiled again, certain now that Dr. Cable knew when she was telling the truth. The room must be reading her heartbeat, her sweat, her pupil dilation.
What do you think, little sister? Make it elegant. It seems an elegant scar is trickier than none at all. I should have gotten to her quicker, or spotted the assassin before he had time to open fire at all.
When Dr. Orteg is done, he gives me a troubled look—he has to cut me now. The same scar exactly. He picks up a bottle of medspray. Everyone looks at me. But Rafi seems pleased. I love it when Rafi and I think the same way, even after all that work to make us opposites. Orteg shakes his head.
Her wallscreen is set to mirror us. We keep the lights low, because my head is throbbing. I wanted to feel it the same way she did—the sharpness of breaking skin, the warm trickle of my own blood.
When we touch our scars, it will be with the same memory of pain. Our mother was a natural pretty. And now this scar. Like Beauty and the Beast had daughters, and raised them in the wild. I just sat there screaming. But here alone with me, her voice has gone quiet and serious. I recite what our father always says: The sound of the knife churning through the assassin, the taste of his blood in the air.
But how did it feel to you? Her lips barely move, mouthing the shadow of a word—Anyone? Because I know exactly who she means. I dare to give her the barest nod. Even him. A smile settling on her face at last, Rafi looks away into the mirror. Those identical faces with identical scars. Pretending there was only one of us? None of it seemed real. Beneath the tingle of medspray, a dull ache beats in time with my heartbeat.
More than a body double. How those years of training, all that work and pain, flowing through me now like lightning. She turns away for a moment. In a world full of social and military tech, power struggles, dictatorships, surveillance, intrigue and the ever-present threat of treachery, Frey is sent on a potentially deadly mission. Impostors is the first book in a new quartet - a thrilling return to the world of the New York Times bestselling Uglies series.
Frey was raised to take a bullet. She's the body double for her twin sister Rafia - the precious heir of the first family of Shreve - and her existence is a closely guarded secret. So while Rafi was schooled in poise and diplomacy, Frey was drilled in weapons and combat.
Her purpose: When Frey is sent in Rafi's place as collateral in a precarious business deal, she becomes the perfect impostor - as elegant and charming as her sister. But Col Palafox, the son of a rival leader, is getting close enough to spot the killer inside her. As layers of deceit peel away, can Frey become her own person, and risk everything in a rebellion? Master storyteller Scott Westerfeld returns with a brilliant new series set in the world of his bestselling Uglies series.
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Related Interests Nature. Popular in Nature. Bembie Purwono.
Marko Petkovic. Santhosh Nb. Azmi Fauzi. Dutta's Textbook of Gynecology-6th Ed Jaypee Safwan Shaikh. Fawad Uddin. Bay Nald Lara. Usman Khokhar.As the contract starts to disintegrate, Frey has to decide if she can believe him with the reality. No losers. And sometimes those few people who live outside the cities can make trouble. Make him all shaky like you, probably," Shay said. Tally climbed carefully to the corner of the dorm where it was brushed by an old sycamore tree.
After you said I was afraid to grow up, I realized you were right. Her first strike against the pretty regime.