ALT D-5: Gilded

Name: Jenilyn Collings
Mentor: Heidi Schulz
Genre: MG Science Fiction
Word Count:  55,000


When twelve princesses run away and accidentally rip a hole into hyperspace, Zuku, engineering genius and the Emperor’s son, is their only hope. Unfortunately, he’s also the reason they ran away in the first place.


Zuku turned the magnetron over in his hands, thinking hard. If his calculations were correct, it would only take a little tweaking and the teleporter could transmit living objects, not just inanimate ones. It would revolutionize travel and—

The door to his room slid open.

Zuku set the magnetron down and pressed the heels of his hands to his temples. “Doesn’t anyone remember how to use a door chime anymore?”


Zuku’s annoyance fled, replaced by a cold sense of being caught by a quasar. He spun around and rose to his feet. “Father.” His voice cracked.

The Sovereign Emperor of the Unified Planetary Empire folded his arms and his public mask shifted into a frown. “What do you think you are doing?”

Zuku gestured at the table behind him and muttered something about a teleporter.

The Emperor stepped forward and looked at the pieces strewn about. “Is that by any chance the very expensive, top-of-the-line teleporter I gave you as a birthday gift? The one you begged for and promised you wouldn’t break?”

Zuku swallowed and nodded.

“I see. And I suppose this destruction of property explains why you’ve been unable to come down, and to your thirteenth birthday celebration, no less.”

Zuku smacked his forehead. “Blast it all. I completely forgot.”

The Emperor’s eyebrows lifted. “You forgot that you were officially a man now? Not exactly a good beginning, my son.”


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