Clementine lives five-hundred feet below the cities she would’ve given anything to be in. Stories about ice-skating between pine trees in Chicago, sunbathing the golden shores of Malibu, and afternoon coffee in busy New York, fuel our girl. For us, all it would take is a plane ticket and some turbulence. For Clementine Hawk?
Maybe her life.
Her 'world' is a subterranean megacity, build once as a safe-haven the second the world fell to ruin. Her sky is the vertical space between the steel floor and cave ceiling, her ocean the moss-infested lake between stalagmites and stalactites. Her only escape? A technology coined ‘DIVE’: Direct Interface Virtual Environment.
Between the time she finishes fern porridge with Dad, until the dreaded hour she’s forced to sleep for her morning class, Clementine can fully immerse her very mind into a fantasy world—playing an online game with the surviving human population, and for a while, believing it enough to actually live.
But that one, solemn comfort is torn when Hensen Clarke—a once renowned biologist, responsible for the tech giving humans immortality a hundred years ago—alters her physiology—making the city she grew up in unbreathable only to her. The worst part? He used the very game she gave her heart for to do it, and she has no idea why.
Knowing she’d die residing in her old world, Clementine is forced to betray loved ones and friends alike, all to walk the eternal wasteland that now only she could: Earth. Although the uninhabitable atmosphere could no longer kill her, Clementine quickly realizes there’s plenty other things that can… Try the other people not so fortunate to escape Earth’s last days to start—if you could call them ‘people.’
Labelled a fugitive and an anarchist, Clementine takes on not only the hostile world outside, but realizes the corruption of her former world—and more importantly—how the masquerading of liberty can be the strongest chains holding down democracy. The question becomes whether or not she’s willing to save those that wrongly condemned her, by helping them realize one truth:
The cost of eternal life, was the death of everything else.
PROJECT: DIVE is a 115,204-word dystopian novel, serving to put a face into the not too distant future we don’t like to think about. The life of Clementine Hawk is a horror story—not because it has girls with bad hair coming our your television set—but rather the fact that her story might one day be an everyday reality.