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Commonwealth: A Novel of Utopia, part 1, chapter 11

Author’s Note: This is an excerpt from my novel Commonwealth. The rest of today’s installment is free, but only on my Patreon site. If you want to read the next part today, it’s already up on Patreon as well. You can sign up for as little as $1/month, or $2 for exclusive author’s notes and behind-the-scenes material. There’s also a table of contents for all published chapters.

Vision cleared. Will Anton’s penthouse was a huge open cube. On three sides, it had no walls except floor-to-ceiling glass. New York City spread out beyond and below, mazed in smog, a smoky black-and-white sketch. To the east and west, the towers of other billionaires rose from the clouds like islands in an archipelago.

The fourth wall was solid, paneled with wood and trimmed in silver. In the center was the foyer she had emerged from, as well as several heavy vault doors she presumed were for storage.

Spread throughout the space, hung on cables and connected by glass staircases, were floating platforms like exploded rooms. One was a work area where scribble-covered whiteboards surrounded a computer workstation; one was a sleeping alcove curtained in black velvet; one was a kitchen with polished counters, freestanding cabinets and fridge, a wine rack.

Will Anton sat, awaiting her, on a rectangular white couch that occupied a raised dais at the center of the great space.

He wore a black shirt open at the collar and navy-blue jeans. His chin was shadowed with stubble. He looked tired; the lines on his face had deepened, the circles under his eyes had darkened. But as she emerged from the elevator, he smiled at her with a relaxed, arrogant confidence. It was the look of a predator that had discovered a prey creature in its own den.

“Welcome, Rae,” he said, impeccably courteous, completely sure of himself. “I’m glad you’ve come. I knew it was only a matter of time.”

“Will,” Rae said neutrally. “Thank you for seeing me.”

She took a deep breath.

“I know what you’re planning, and if you don’t help me, I’m going to expose you to the world.”

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DAYLIGHT ATHEISM Adam Lee is an atheist author and speaker from New York City. His previously published books include "Daylight Atheism," "Meta: On God, the Big Questions, and the Just City," and most...