There are two things that keep me from enjoying this, the point of view and the quality of the writing. At first I thought this was a third-person omniscient pov, but suddenly, you introduce a drone that changes the pov in the first half to a third-person limited pov. After that the pov gets muddled. If it's a third-person limited pov, why is the drone mentioned? If it's a third-person omniscient pov, why isn't the drone mentioned at the beginning?
Honestly, the quality of your writing in this feels like a first draft. First of all, you use too many -ly adverbs. A few every so often is fine, but you're overusing them and it weakens the prose. For example:
“Colter?” The only girl in the group quietly calls.
Why do you need to say the only
girl when the girl conveys the same thing? Are you uncertain the reader will understand she's the only girl in the group? It's redundant, imo. Another thing, why quietly calls (when she's asking) instead of whispers, mutters, or murmurs? second example:
Seemingly smarter than the others, but it's still not enough.
Is seemingly really needed here if it doesn't matter if the kids are smarter or not? Ask yourself if a -ly adverb is necessary, if there might be a more accurate word than modifying a word like calls with quietly, or if you can reword a sentence to get rid of a -ly. You can't get rid of them all, but eliminating as many as you can should strengthen your writing. (See: Adverbs Are Killing Your Writing
Next, your first sentence:
The moon casts an eerie, seemingly ethereal glow upon the gently falling onslaught of white that bites at the skin of four lost souls as they brazenly make their way across the slippery, shining street.
I hate this sentence, mostly because it does a disservice to my memories of winter nights on a full moon with a fresh, undisturbed blanket of snow on the ground. The three fucking -lies in this sentence don't help either, and I doubt an onslaught would fall gently. Anyway, I think this sentence should be two independent clauses; it flows awkwardly. You can say snow and, for the sake of conciseness, icy (instead of slippery, shining). (For conciseness, see: this
At a glance, you have five instances of passive voice. The ones that stand out the most are in past tense:
They were discovered, and so was their base.
The two yards they cut through to get here were littered with raised ground and slightly visible wires, as is the front yard of this home.
In the first sentence you're telling the reader something they already know, so you can just delete it. Imo, the second sentence (were littered with) comes from the pov switching and can be fixed by sticking to one pov. In this sentence:
Him and the one who appears in charge share some muted words, before Shotgun Boy nods almost reluctantly and shoots one last glance out into the night, and the door is shut.
You can clarify who shuts the door and rearrange it like so:
and Colter shuts the door.
Passive voice usually happens when the object takes the place of the subject and vice versa (clarity is an issue too, as shown above). There are times when passive voice is okay, like this sentence:
The door is closed.
The door closed.
If you remove is to make the sentence active, it changes the meaning. The first sentence implies the current state of the door while the second implies the door closing has been witnessed in some way. Or something like that. (See: This
. Yes, the second link is fucking Grammarly, but it's an okay overview of verb tenses since they're mentioned in the comments of the first link.)
Your setting has more character than the actual characters. You tell us that Colter is panicking and bullheaded, but you don't show us that. Colter shows the most personality when he gets frustrated with making noise and makes more noise because of it, except that part where anger washes through him. Brazenly doesn't say anything about how the kids get across an icy street. If they're brazenly crossing the street, they're acting like drunk fratboys at a party. Sighs shouldn't be filled with emotions either. Instead of showing us how your characters act when they experience an emotion or how your character is a personality trait, you lazily tell us that they're angry or bullheaded. You could give the girl, for example, more personality by changing this:
“Colter?” The only girl in the group quietly calls.
To something like this:
"Colter!" The girl hisses.
She may still be a nobody, but she's not a faceless token (change only girl to only black boy/girl and think about how it sounds) and she's reacting to the situation. You could even change it to this:
The girl tugs on his shirt. "Colter?" She whispers.
Speaking of showing and telling, readers don't need to know Colter's left shoulder hits the fence unless it serves a purpose. If Colter injures his left shoulder and it prevents him from doing something plot changing, then include it. There's this too:
and turns to slowly push open the wooden gate they all face.
They all face is an unnecessary detail. I can tell you're trying to show the reader what's happening in these examples, but too much showing becomes telling. Then you don't show enough here:
Overhead, a black drone records four entirely oblivious adolescents making their way to a boarded up house through a smart middle path that cuts through two trap-filled backyards.
You don't realize how forgettable that sentence is. When I got to the end I couldn't remember the kids crossing two backyards, just a street. I checked again just to make sure I wouldn't have to yell at you for omitting an important detail. Glossing over it like that and introducing the drone to get away with it is just as bad, imo.
TL;DR: Unless this is The Exorcist, someone is possessed, or there's a serial killer, heads shouldn't spin. And fix your shit.