|What you wrote in BLACK
Suggestions, questions, and things I DON'T like in blue.
Things I LIKE in orange
STATIC comments in green that are neither a like or dislike and could be a general observation without any suggestion to change anything.
Christina thus far had volunteered to squat for hours on end, for as long as she could bear the position, all so her companions could be as comfortable as possible....If I were in the cage, I feel we'd all take turns overlapping our legs so everyone could stretch out (would keep everyone warmer, too.)
With their blood flowing minimally because of inactivity, they felt colder much faster.....I'm a survivalist, so if I were in the cage and I was cold, I'd run in place to get my blood moving to keep me warm.
Her cellmates weren’t as fortunate, having to ‘go’ while they were confined in the cage....don't forget, girlies also have periods and I'm certain a few of the girls in that group would be on theirs.
He charged the charging handle of his assault rifle.....so this means he's been walking around with this gun with no bullet in the chamber. I don't know who this military is, but the American military - when in combat - walks around with a bullet in the chamber with the selector switch on safe. That way when we need to shoot, it's a matter of flipping the selector switch to "fire" (1 sec) as opposed to charging the handle first (2-3 seconds.) Also, Christina clearly knows who this enemy is, so why doesn't she come out and say so?
Christina clenched and unclenched her hands slowly. She knew she could quickly disarm this guy, take his rifle, and kill him where he stood in less than two seconds. She wanted to do it....okay, why wait?
trying to hide the tears that were starting to come....it's always a good idea to avoid using "starting" words. Unless they ARE actually starting an action, it's best not to use that word at all. For example, this line could be changed to: trying to hide the tears.
LOGISTICS: Christina burst out of the cage to confront the guard, leaving the cage open. Sarah then left the cage to come up behind Christina and comfort her. Why didn't anyone stop Sarah from leaving the cage? If I were the guard, I'd tell Sarah to stay in the cage and then scream at Christina to get back in it, and once they were inside, I'd close the door and then address Christina's question about Barbara.
A door she hadn’t immediately seen was in front of her opened....how convenient the door opens as soon as her eyes do. The timing is not realistic. Also, how long was she blacked out? I can't imagine she'd be blacked out by a choke-hold for more than a minute. Also, why the dramatics with her being choked-out? What was the driving reason for doing that instead of zip-tying her wrists?
A dull boom groaned into the room from somewhere outside, some distance away. Christina looked up at the ceiling, mentally calculating how far the explosion was.....another convenience I'm not a fan of, being saved at just the right time simply by intervention from an unrelated, unexpected outside source.
This is Lance Corporal Adam Troy.....so far this looks like the American Marines.
I really wish I knew what military this was, because it if IS the American Marines, Lance Corporals are not issued pistols. Rifles only.
she was suddenly aware of how weak she felt now. Her head swam in dizziness and disorientation for a moment as her hunger mounted....she was hanging for a long time. Since this is not a normal position for the body, she would have lost all feeling to her hands, arms, and shoulders. They would either be numb or very tingle, or extremely burning. It hurts a lot.
bright red.....this makes me think there's a bright bulb on the site by use of your word "bright". Night sites should not be bright, only noticeable.
FINAL COMMENT: I have 2 major issues right now: WHO is this enemy military? It doesn't sound like their identity is secret, because Christina recognized them and just didn't bother telling the reader which super irritates me. Second, what the heck is this enemy military's purpose? Since their purpose hasn't been explained, right now I'm using my imagination as to what that purpose is which is this:
ENEMY MILITARY: Hey, I know, let's go invade our Canadian allies and rape all of their women.
ENEMY MILITARY: Ya, that's a great idea. Let's do it.
Because that is ALL I saw. Granted, Christina wouldn't know what the enemy military WAS doing, but when Troy told her what he did to Barbara, and then started on the same path to do the same to Christina, I firmly believe the military was there just to rape the women, which is not a stable plot line and is very off-putting. And why segregate the men and women prisoners? With LGBT being a norm in 2020 (the year of your story), I know there would be men who were raped, too. Now, if the rapings were the by-product of why the military was there, that's more believable, but that comes back to I need to know why the military is there.
Long rant, sorry, but I really am irritated right now because of those two questions.
On a good note, you have amazing writing style, good emotions, good setting, good characterization.
Review done by JM Robison, Fantasy Author https://www.jmrobison.com
My writing advice and suggestions come from 16 years of writing, 9 completed novels, and 4 published novels contracted with Tirgearr Publishing https://tirpub.com/jmrobison. But I am only one reader. Get advice from others as well, as they may feel differently. I don't know everything, after all. Take the advice you like and trash the rest. Only you can tell this story. Never stop writing.
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