Children's Fiction

FICTION: Shroom Raider (Chapter One) by Andrew Murray

We are delighted to be serialising the first seven chapters of Shroom Raider a Young Adult novel by Andrew Murray – we hope you enjoy!


One – New London Can Take It

General Willard D. Earthstar peered down through the telescope, across the mile of empty space that separated New London from the Enemy below.  He could clearly make out the Enemy, the Neufundlanders, thousands of them, scurrying like ants to build machines, engines, platforms, ladders, weapons, and all to a single purpose: to bridge the gap between them and New London.  To invade…

General Willard D. Earthstar’s eyes smarted as a gust of toxic smoke caught him full-face. The high cool cave air rippled with plumes of poisonous gases from Neufundland – smoke that scorched your lungs, clouds that stung your eyes, fumes that made your head spin, vapours that made your stomach lurch… For fifteen long years the Vertical War had raged. For fifteen years Neufundland’s chimneys had worked morning, noon and night, burning whatever they burned in their furnaces – and rumour on the New London streets had no shortage of speculation about what horrible things Neufundland might be burning…

New London had no chimneys that could burn morning, noon and night.  New London was too small.  Neufundland was too…

The clock chimed the hour, and the General and his senior staff listened to the hourly broadcast on the wireless:

<This is the Domestic Service, broadcasting to all free peoples, Above and Below.

New London can take it.

 Another day, and the Enemy burns valuable resources, to send up another cloud of poisonous gas.  But to what effect?  Every man, woman and child in New London now has a gas mask, and knows how to use it.  Life goes on in New London, as it always has, and always will.  We can take a few miserable stink bombs from below.  We can take whatever the Enemy throws at us.  New London can take it…>

Can we take it?‘ sighed the General.  ‘We’re outnumbered.  We’re outgunned.  The Enemy has more resources than us, more rock, more mineral ore – so much that they can afford to send some of it up in poisonous smoke.  They can build more and bigger engines of war…’

His staff were gathered gloomily around him. One cleared his throat.

‘And General, we are hearing rumours, worrying rumours.  Word has it that Neufundland is developing some kind of super-weapon…’

The General took his eye from the telescope and sighed again.

‘Gentlemen’, he said, ‘Give me some good news for a change.  Name me one thing, one thing that we have on our side…’

All his officers frowned, shuffled their feet, glanced at each other as they tried to think of one thing that New London had to its advantage over the Enemy.

General Willard D. Earthstar peered down through the telescope again.

He thought.

He frowned.

Then General Willard D. Earthstar leaned over the balcony of New London Command, and spat…  As his gob of spit floated downwards, his grey face flickered with the faintest shadow of a smile.

‘Gravity, gentlemen’, he said.  ‘We have gravity…’

– Useful Links –

Andrew Murray Website click here.
Andrew’s Agent details – if you are interested in the rights for this novel
please get in contact here.
Andrew Murray Facebook – let him know what you thought
click here.

About the Author

About the Author001

‘Andrew Murray’ doesn’t exist.  He is the pseudonym of Vic ‘Lucky Strike’ Stryker, who also officially doesn’t exist.  As far as the Government of New London will admit, Vic didn’t serve for fourteen years with the elite, top secret Special Drop Service (SDS), and didn’t reach the rank of Regimental Drop Sergeant.

Vic definitely didn’t play a key role in a number of operations that are now the stuff of legend.  These don’t include Operation Deathcap, the daring rescue of a group of senior New London scientists held captive deep within the Enemy’s Rock – for which Vic wasn’t awarded the Distinguished Drop Medal with Gold Shroom Clusters.  Nor was Vic wounded in Operation Destroying Angel, to sabotage a Neufundland radar station and steal vital technology and blueprints – during which, in the act of rescuing a comrade, Vic received serious burns from an SDS Incendi-Shroom, and was awarded the Purple Woundshroom and mentioned in dispatches.

Since retiring from the SDS, Vic Stryker has in no way acted as a consultant on film and television productions, nor has he founded his own personal security firm, Lucky Strike Solutions.

He is not 6’ 0”, with eyes that are frequently referred to as ‘laser beam blue’.

He does not have a burn on his face, which pulls his lips into a permanent, enigmatic half-smile.

He has not been tasked with performing surveillance on you.

He has not been watching you, 24/7.

He does not know about that thing you did last week.

He is definitely not behind you, right now…

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