A Breath Before Sunrise is an expansion of the short story The Observer, which is from my first book Extinction Chronicles. This novella tells the tale of the events prior to The Observer and revolves around the characters Bear, Bird, and Fox.
Bear is a Collector tasked with bringing back Observers from the surface of a war-ravaged world. A mysterious enemy destroyed the planet and humanity had no choice but to burrow into the safety provided by the vast underground of the Earth. After spending a year on the surface and discovering a life humanity lived before the war, Bear begins to think for himself and develops and understanding of free will. Feeling a disgust for the patriarchal world of the underground Bear becomes defiant and decides to remain on the surface. The Elders send up two close friends of Bear to bring him back. Caught up in in a battle between light and darkness, the trio learns that our adult life mirrors our memories.