Into the fire! The first Earth Girl prequel novella featuring Jarra.
2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. While everyone else uses interstellar portals to travel between hundreds of colony worlds, 17-year-old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, abandoned by her parents to be raised a ward of Hospital Earth, she lives a regimented life in one of their impersonal residences.
Tortured by the knowledge the stars are forever out of her reach, Jarra dreams of learning to fly a plane so she can at least make the skies of Earth her own. She gets her chance to become a qualified pilot, but learning to fly turns out to be far more difficult and dangerous than she imagined, sending her into a literal trial by fire.
Jarra and her Next Step friends are feeling on edge. This is their last year there and then they must face decisions and adult responsibilities. But first, Jarra has the opportunity to learn to fly that summer at New York Fringe Dig site, while her history club is on site, if she can learn enough science and math to pass the Training License test but she only has two weeks to get it.
Her professional pilot trainer is Gradin, who reluctantly agrees to teach her.