This is the synopsis for The Gaven. If you don’t like things spoiled, then stop reading. If you want a sense of what the novel is about, then continue reading. In Open Office, it is three full pages long, so it should only take a few minutes to read.
Please feel free to comment on the synopsis. I enjoy constructive criticism as it only helps me to help other readers. Please forgive the formatting and the spacing for now. WordPress is not playing nice with me and my html skills aren’t as good as I wish they were.
Synopsis of The Gaven
Genre: science fiction, adventure
Word Count: 111,662
By: Irene North
Pelgrem Godschalk used to work for the underground. That is until that fateful day when the authorities caught him delivering a package. Now, he spends him time idling in re-education camp 17 just outside the city limits of Lincoln, Nebraska. Reluctantly, Pelgrem has been placed in charge of his barracks, number 84, where he spends his time deciding whether or not to play cards or sit and stare at the clouds. His best friend in the camp, Damaes, is naive, yet inquisitive. Together, they provide leadership and help to younger campers that have been given a life sentence inside the camp.
Pelgrem and Damaes belong to a special branch within the re-education camps. They are classified as unteachable and, therefore, are forced to remain in the camp for life. Pelgrem’s barracks have been split into two halves, his side being the newer lifers, while on the other side houses campers that have resided inside for more than ten years.
Wil and Joe, who have a combined total of nearly 30 years in the camp, teach Pelgrem how to survive. While pretending to not care about anything, Wil and Joe know everything about the camp, the counsellors, and who is coming and going in the camp. They know the exact time of food deliveries, shift changes, and how far the bullets travel from the watch towers.
Because Pelgrem and his friends are not able to be re-educated and placed back into society, they are segregated from the rest of the campers so that impressionable minds aren’t tainted. When Joe discovers that a camper on Pelgrem’s side, Val, is about to be eliminated, everyone takes action to provide for his escape. While Val escapes, there are severe consequences.
Food rationing and starvation is the first plan from the counsellors, who hope that the weaker members of barracks 84 will rat out the guilty parties. Next, Pelgrem and Damaes are made examples and left outside in a stockade to starve to death. Head counsellor Drake insists he’d be happy if Congress would finally pass a law allowing those that are not re-educated to be put to death. It’d be the easiest thing to do. One bullet instead of years of food, clothing, and shelter. Instead, he envisions multiple ways to torture campers for his own amusement. Fortunately, members of barracks 84 sneak food to Pelgrem and Damaes to prevent them from starving.
Suddenly, Pelgrem and Damaes are freed from the stockade. Wil and Joe inform them that the reason is because official word has come down that a new law is finally coming into effect and those that can’t be re-educated will be eliminated. The first two on the list are Pelgrem and Damaes. There is also a provision to give the lifers that have been in the camp less than ten years one last chance at re-education. Pelgrem suggests that many of the campers in barracks 84 can fake being re-educated. The campers on Wil and Joe’s side set to work teaching the rest of 84 how to pretend that they are scared to die and, thus, can now be re-educated. While they are busy helping out 84, a plan is set into motion to help Pelgrem and Damaes escape.
Wil and Joe are instrumental in helping Pelgrem and Damaes escape from the camp, but their help comes at a price. Wil entrusts Pelgrem with a data stick that is so important his instructions are intentionally vague. Wil only tells Pelgrem, “You must make sure my family gets this.”
Pelgrem agrees and takes the data stick with him. After escaping from the camp, Pelgrem and Damaes must walk into Lincoln, where Pelgrem hopes that a prearranged storage unit is still available. They discover that Pelgrem’s friend, Artemesia, has kept her word for three long years and all the provisions they need are inside the storage unit. Pelgrem and Damaes use their provisions to travel to Chicago where Pelgrem reconnects with one of his handlers, Vinnie, in the underground.
In Chicago, Pelgrem discovers that the data stick Wil gave him is meant for the underground. He contacts Artemesia and makes arrangements to meet her in New York. Pelgrem also has a plea. On the day he ran from the police after his parents died, he left his sister behind. He wants Artemesia to find her.
Pelgrem and Damaes spend several days deciphering the meaning behind the data stick and discover that there are three parts that must be combined together. The three parts are spread around the world and Pelgrem, a wanted fugitive, must find a way to travel despite the fact that there is no way for him to leave the United States.
Upon arriving in New York, Artemesia allows the two men to stay at her apartment until they can secure transportation into New York City. Artemesia has discovered that Pelgrem’s sister lives there and he insists on visiting before beginning his journey.
Everything goes wrong in the City. Damaes gets shot. Pelgrem can say little more than hello to his sister before being forced to run from the police while being shot at. Desperate, Artemesia contacts the underground and gets help for them to the leave the country. Damaes leaves Pelgrem and Artemesia behind as he is taken by the underground on a ship to save his life. Never wanting to join his quest, Artemesia becomes an innocent victim and is now also wanted for aiding Pelgrem and Damaes.
The underground provides a small submarine, on which the friends embark on their journey. They are transported to The Netherlands, where Pelgrem is aided by another member of the underground, Alkian. He takes them south to Nijmegen where they make a brief stop to find the second data stick. Alkian escorts them to Italy where Giancarlo helps them out of the country via a cargo ship.
Upon arriving in Africa, Pelgrem and Artemesia travel south to Kenya. Because they have no papers, they cannot legally leave the country and are forced to walk for five days in a hot, unlit cave in order to reach their final destination, Tanzania. Pelgrem and Artemesia spend several days in Dar es Salaam, where they are reunited with Damaes and seriously contemplate not finishing their journey. The country is welcoming. There are many opportunities for them to disappear. There are also legal routes as refugees that they could pursue to remain in Tanzania as legal citizens.
Compelled by a sense of duty to the underground and a promise to Wil, Pelgrem decides that he must continue his journey. He keeps a small bit of hope alive that he may return to Tanzania one day to live, but, first, he needs to find the third, and last, data stick. Following the final clues, Pelgrem discovers the third data stick and must travel to one more place, Dubai, where the only remaining machine in the world that can read three data sticks at once resides.
Pelgrem and Artemesia arrive in Dubai and are taken immediately to the machine and the man who can run it. The data sticks are combined and Artemesia stares at the shocking information that could destroy America and, possibly, the world. Artemesia asks, “So, Pel, What’s it going to be? Delete the system and all traces of it or use the information to effect change from within?”
Pelgrem continues to stare out the window.
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