Name: Elisa Stryker
Twitter Handle: @elisa_stryker
YA or MG: YA
Twitter Pitch (140 characters max): Teen immunologist intern must choose between saving a friend or using him as a lab rat for a cure against a deadly virus #YA #F
1st 250 words of opening: Over fifty people died this year thanks to the Konadai Virus, and it’s only June. Last summer, we lost thirty people. Although there’s little hope for a cure insight, that hasn’t stopped my research team colleagues. We work full time trying to solve the greatest mystery of Caara Island. There’s a firm belief amongst us that if it can be created, it can be destroyed. I’m sure the gods said the same thing about us.
The analyzer, a machine used to quickly evaluate up to twenty test samples, beeps and lights up. A list of results prints out of the front of the machine riddled with red marks. Anette, my mentor and one of the top researchers in the city, glides over to the long, glass-top metal table using her desk chair. One of the plastic wheels clicks as it rotates. A low sigh exits her mouth. She looks back at me and shakes her head.
Another failed test.
“Do we have anymore Konadai samples?” Anette pushes away from the analyzer toward the small, sterilized refrigerator.
“No, that was the last batch we had.” I jot down a few notes. “We should have some of the first and second stage samples left over.”
Anette lets out another sigh. She removes the latex gloves from her hands and scratches at the hairnet covering her short dark hair. “No, Hiromi, I need full blown infection samples. We’ll work on the first stage next week.”
Synopsis (200 word max): For months, seventeen-year-old Hiromi has worked as an immunology intern to find a cure for a deadly virus. With every test to find a cure comes the inevitable result, failure. Hiromi and her mentor are running low on infection samples and hope for saving the city.
In order to gather more samples, Hiromi reaches out to her childhood friend, Kenji, a private in the city guard and a skilled fire magic user. Although his military squad is stuck on gate patrol, Kenji reluctantly agrees to help. Within days, Hiromi gets a chance to join Kenji and his squad on a mission to investigate a horde of infected. The mission goes south and one of Kenji’s friends is bitten—but he doesn’t show signs of infection. It’s the breakthrough Hiromi’s been searching for, but Kenji refuses to let his friend be turned into a lab rat even if it is for a good cause.
Hiromi and Kenji are at each other’s throats. With her friendship shattered and the virus claiming more victims, Hiromi is forced to choose between betraying her life-long friend and sacrificing an innocent life to save the city or surrendering a chance for a cure to rekindle a friendship.
Feedback tips (any areas where you specifically want people to focus?): Character emotion and pacing. Not sure if that can be done in the first 250 words, but it’s my biggest concern.