Excerpt of a fantasy novel in progress

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Author’s Note:

This excerpt is from a fantasy novel that is in progress. Now I know you’re saying “You don’t write fantasy!” and normally you’d be correct. However, a wild bug flew around and whispered into my ear that I needed to write this. So I’m working on the first of what will be a series of novels. Much like the “Dark Tower” series is Stephen King’s magnum opus; this might be mine too. However, given that I have one novel in the Talia series written, a second to completely rewrite and a prequel started, that statement may be incorrect. The jury is out on it since they need to be published.

Hopefully, you’ll enjoy this segment. It’s from middle of the story so characters aren’t really explained, but be patient! Read this story in good health and enjoy!

Bill Davis

Story Excerpt:

The man standing before Simone had aged since she’d seen him last but still remained recognizable. His black hair had turned salt and pepper and wrinkles formed lines on his face. However, other than that, nothing had changed in the years since he’d trained her.

“Yes, it’s me,” he said, “How long has it been, Simone?”

“Five years,” she said, “And you said you were an emissary from a faraway land! I don’t understand.”

“Of course you wouldn’t understand, Simone. You had then, and don’t now, have a clue as to who you are and why I visited you.”

Simone threw her hands up in disgust and then sighed. Everyone wanted to talk about destiny and not knowing who she was but no one seemed to want to tell her anything.

“I’d like to know why you came.”

“It was a test.”

“Wha…wha…a test?” Simone said.

“Yes, little one, a test,” the Oracle said, “one that you passed.”

“If I may ask, what were you testing?”

“Your abilities and, like I expected, you passed.”

“My abilities?”

“You’re special, Child,” the old man walked across the room and then grabbed a small stone on the far side of the fireplace and wiggled it free. He reached inside and then pulled out a wooden box the same size as a shoe box.

“You know; I’ve been hearing that for days now! Will someone please tell me what the hell is going on?”

Despite her plea, the Oracle remained silent as he put the rick back into place and then walked over towards her. Once again someone was choosing things for her and wouldn’t let her have a say.

“This is for you,” the Oracle said.

The box looked plain, like something someone would hold their tools in when working in a shop. Its top, bottom and sides were sanded smooth and then given a coat of finish, which allowed it to shine just enough to catch the eye. The box felt very light in her hand; whatever was in it didn’t weigh much.

Simone looked at the box and then at the old Mage. “I don’t want to know what’s inside.”

“Open it and see,” the Oracle said.

“Ok…”

Simone sucked in a deep breath and then looked at everyone around her. The Princess’ expression was one of rabid curiosity, as was the men accompanying them. Brady, on the other hand, looked like she was about to jump out of her skin. Whether it was out of excitement or impatience, and a combination of both, Simone didn’t know.

The lid came off easily and Simone sat it down on the back of chair before looking down. A gold necklace with a blue ruby laid in the middle of three gold circles lay on a small pillow. Small streamers of light ran along the edge of the circles and then disappeared into the ruby. It was fascinating and the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen.

“Why don’t you put it on?” The Oracle asked.

Sometimes in a person’s life, there something that they do not because they want to but because someone else wanted it done. And it’s in those times that things either went well or became a disaster, with disaster coming out on top most time. And this had the markings, in Simone’s opinion, of being a hum dinger of a problem.

She didn’t say as word as she took the necklace out of the box and then held it in her hand. No one wanted to tell her anything, so things would now come around from where it’s been going around. That’d teach everyone for keeping secrets about her life and refusing to tell her anything about them.

The gold chain was somewhere between thin and medium sized and it was big for her neck. Once Simone locked the clasp, the inlay and ruby hung down to the level of her breasts. She then touched the ruby and a strange feeling of warmth started at her breasts and then spread through her entire body and then disappeared as fast as it appeared.

“It’s pretty,” she said.

“And answers my last question,” the Oracle said.

“And I’m sure you’re not going to tell me what that was anyway.”

“You didn’t die. That tells me you’re The One.”

“I’m the what?” Simone said. “That…”

“What the hell?” The Princess said. “What’s happening to your hair?”

“My hair?”

“It’s changing color!”

“What!”

“Look at your reflection,” Brady said.

Images filled her mind, each one appearing and disappearing in rapid fire progression. A city, with building reaching the sky burns as two army’s fought. One was led by a woman in black with black eyes that were dark wells in something evil instead of her soul. Villages, their people dying and the woman, always a woman, was taking their soul and placing them within her body. During both battles a woman with white hair lead the forces that opposed the Evil One. Armed with a Katana that had blue flame surrounding the blade due to runes built into the blade.

Simone spun on the ball of a foot and then approached a window. A set of clouds passed in front of the sun, taking away the glare so her reflection was visible. The hair at the crown of her head was changing from dark brown to white and the action expanded as she watched. Goosebumps erupted all over her body as a streak of white spread down the center of her hair until it reached her bangs, and then it spread outwards, coving every inch of her head and then going down the length of her hair until every strand changed.

“I see,” She said.

“The final piece of the puzzle is in place,” the Oracle said.

Simone spun around to look at the Mage. “If you don’t start telling me what’s going on, I’ll kill you myself.”

“Oh, I can tell you now,” he said, “that you’ve passed all the tests.”

“What tests?”

“The necklace. If you weren’t The Leader, it would’ve killed you.”

“What? Kill me? Jewelry? You’re not making any sense.”

“He’s trying to tell you,” Brady said, “if you’d shut up and listen.”

“I am trying to listen, Brady,” Simone said, “I can’t get him to make sense.”

“The story, child, started long, long ago. This world has forever been ruled over by two forces: The Forces of Dark and the Power of Light. During the Last Age, they started to openly fight. First with World Wars, then terrorism, and eventually the War to End All Wars took place, which wiped out all the technology and cities mankind had built.”

Simone closed her eyes. “I see images but don’t understand them all.”

“You’re seeing them, Simone, because you’ve been there before in previous lives.”

Any other time Simone would’ve told the Oracle he was senile and then walked away except the visions told a different story. In fact, for the first time since Leighton tried to kill the Princess, things started to make sense. Not that it didn’t shock her to the core, mind you; however, she wasn’t letting the Oracle off the hook. He was going to tell her everything or she’d beat it out of him if necessary.

“Why me?”

“The amount, and type of, power that The Dark and The Light put into their Champions is more compatible with women than men.”

“OK. So how many lives have I lived?”

“Two that I know of-counting this one. The Oracle before me told my she’d seen three…so let’s say five at least.”

“Ok…”

“Your weapon is special,” the Oracle said. “It’s the only thing that can kill The Evil One.”

“What’s so special about a katana?” Simone said as she pulled hers out of its sheath.

The blade glowed pink for a moment and then a light filled the room as runes appeared on the blade and then started to glow. Blue flames appeared at the hilt of the blade and then raced down the length of the blade until it covered all of the metal. It flickered as she moved the sword around and then she spun the sword twice before cocking an eyebrow at how nothing changed how the sword burnt.

What really surprised her though was the fact that the strange flames didn’t hurt the blade at all. She risked touching the metal and found that it was cold to the touch, which defied all logic. However, given everything else that’d happened the past couple days, would this be any different?

“Your sword is the only thing that can kill The Evil One,” the Oracle said. “The combination of the necklace and the sword are the key to your power. If injured, you will heal faster than a normal person and if it’s something serious, the sword will help keep you alive.”

“Obviously, I can die,” Simone said, “but what would it take?”

“It takes a lot but you can succumb, child.”

“So I’m mortal, what about my counterpart?”

“The same.”

“What’s up with the sword?”

“It was made by my people during the years of the Great War. It was fashioned to kill the Evil One. Between the runes and the power drawn from the necklace, you can kill the Evil One.”

“For good?”

“She can get reincarnated like yourself.”

While the thought of being reincarnated intimidated most people, Simone didn’t think of it that way. In fact, the knowledge that the Evil One could return again and again caused her to shiver slightly. Goosebumps started at her lower back and then moved upwards until stopping at the base of her head as the implications of that knowledge sank in.

However, even that thought didn’t overwhelm her shock at everything that’d happened. How could someone like her, a simple woman born to a simple mother, be the champion of The Light. And furthermore, what was the power and why hadn’t she heard of it until now?

Maybe the King ignored it, she thought, and that’s why. Or perhaps people forgot. Or maybe this is all bullshit created by Brady and the old man? Doesn’t it just suck not knowing?

“I know what you’re thinking,” the Oracle said. “You want to know if I’m telling the truth.”

“Congrats. You read my mind.”

“There’s a way for me to prove it and something you need to do.”

“What’s that?”

“There’s one last piece you need and it’s inside the cave of fire.”

Thank God Simone was a somewhat patient person and did a good job controlling her temper because the Old Man was starting to annoy her. First her hair color changed, then her sword became something special and then she was told that she championed for a force that she never volunteered for. What else could go wrong?

However, she thought as she grabbed a small section of her hair and then pulled it out enough to see it. Having white hair does kind of make his story truthful. But why white hair? Couldn’t I have kept my normal color?

“The cave of what? And what do we need?”

“It’s what The Light has for you.”

“Great, another non answer to a question. Do you or Brady ever answer something straight up?”

“It’s a hard question to answer,” the Oracle said. “The Light has another piece to your power hidden there and you’re only one who can get it now.”

“If I’m only one, how do you know about it?”

“I serve The Light also,” The Oracle said, “but I’m the one who hid it there after your previous incarnation died.”

“How’d you get into the cave if I’m only one?”

“Once The Leader dies, I place this item inside and the power gives me access that one time.”

“Makes sense. Thanks for answering for once,” Simone said.

The temperature changed and goosebumps popped up on her hands then raced up her arm. And it wasn’t a normal cold; it was a bone crushing type of cold that reached your very soul. Almost as if someone went into the middle of the Atlantic in winter and dropped her overboard and then left her to freeze to death.

She hugged herself tight and then squatted down to compress down to use her body heat to stay warm. For what felt like an eternity she stayed there, chills wracking her body, until she started to warm up enough to lift her head up. The others stood around her, none of them showing any sign of the cold, which seemed impossible to Simone-not as chilly as the room was.

“Simone,” Brady said, “are you ok?”

“I… it’s…cold…so cold…don’t you feel it?”

“It’s not cold,” Brady said, “the temperature has never changed.”

“Simone,” the Oracle said, “this will pass. It’s temporary…and a warning.”

As fast as it arrived, the cold disappeared, which confused Simone. How could she be so cold yet no one else be affected at all? What was it that The Oracle called it? A warning? A warning of what?

“A warning?” Simone asked as she stood up. “Of what?”

“That the Evil One is near,” the Oracle said. “We need to go! Now!”

Sweat beads appeared on Simone’s forehead. “What do you mean ‘close?’ How ‘close?'”

“Enough that we need to leave. You can’t fight her right now! You’re not ready!”

Brady opened the door and peered outside. “I don’t see anything yet but doesn’t mean anything.”

“Where is this ‘cave of fire?'” Simone asked.

“It’s on the other side of the mountains, in the forbidden zone,” The Oracle said.

Simone sighed before exiting the house and then looking over her should. “Great, this just keeps getting better and better.

However, since I’m still responsible for the Princess, let’s get out of here. Who knows what they’ll do to her.”

“At this point,” Brady said as the others joined Simone outside. “I don’t think they care about her.”

“She is correct,” The Oracle said. “The Princess is nowhere near the threat to the Evil One that you are.”

“Well, you did say I could kill her,” Simone said.

“She can kill you too.”

“Figured as much.”

The sensation of cold struck Simone again and she nearly doubled over with its power before it disappeared as fast as it appeared. “That hurts,” she gasped.

“They’re getting closer,” the Oracle said, “We must flee.”


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Fantasy Novel Snippet

This is straight out of Word. No editing, so it’s very rough but here’s a little taste:

The sunrise was beautiful this time of year. As the yellow orb slowly rose above the mountains, its first light hit the snow and glaciers, causing them to explode into a kaleidoscope of color. From the top of the temple’s spire, MulCahey could see every bit of the color explosion as the sunlight touched the straw roofs of the village as the yellow orb continued to rise.

It would hurt the village to lose their Priest, that much was for certain. However, at this point, there was nothing that could be done about it. Soon they’d arrive and no doubt the Evil One would be with them; in fact, he counted on it. She couldn’t afford to leave this action to underlings. No, she’d have to oversee it herself.

He held no illusions as to what his fate was; today would be the last day of his life and nothing would stop that. And while he couldn’t prevent that from happening, he could control whether or not he told them where Simone and Brady were located. In fact, no matter what they did, he couldn’t allow himself to give the location of the Oracle-that needed to remain a secret if only to keep the Oracle safe.

He looked down at the village below and around him and then sighed. Everything about this situation sucked and there wasn’t a thing that could be done about it. Once the evil one started to move, then it became important for the Princess to be shuffled away and insulated from coming into contact with it.

I give them two more hours, he thought, if they’re quick about it. Otherwise, it’ll be late afternoon.

A rustling below, just outside the village walls caught his attention. Moments later, a man and woman, each riding their own horse, came into view and MulCahey sucked in a deep breath. They were too early! Brady and Simone would only now be reaching the Oracle’s location!

Damn it, he thought, I guess I’ll have to stall for time. Shit.

What made things worse for him was the fact that he knew the two looking up at him. In fact, he’d trained them and taught them everything they knew. Just days ago they had hero worship of him; now they considered him a traitor and an enemy to the crown-whether that crown was achieved legitimately or not.

“You there!” The man shouted. “Don’t try to run!”

“I wouldn’t dream of it,” MulCahey murmured.

As he watched the two enter the village, another group of ten men and women appeared from the woods. In the center was a simply dressed women, her clothes marking her as a mere servant. However, he knew better than believe that because if she were just an attendant, then the Intelligence agents wouldn’t be looking at her every few moments as if expecting orders.

He turned to face the snow-capped mountains and took in their majesty for one last time. The long road of life took it’s many winding roads and side paths as one lived and his was about to hit the dead end. Fortunately, not only was he an agent, but an optimist who believed his soul would live on after he died.

“Come down here,” the woman commanded as the rest of their party entered the village.

“Of course,” MulCahey said, “silly me. Can’t hold up the party.”

The narrow stair was just wide enough for him to use and occasionally his shoulders would brush against the outside wall as he made his way down. Hopefully the next priest wouldn’t be fat, otherwise he’d never make it up the stairs to the top and be able to ring the bell when needed.

Who am I kidding, he thought, I won’t be here to worry about that.

He exited the stairs and the group was waiting for him in the sanctuary. Of course they’d be like the mythical King of the past who’d had his knights kill a Cardinal in the church in order for the King to divorce his wife.

He looked at the woman. “Kimmy,” he said, “I remember training you. What are you doing in this?”

“Be quiet,” she said, “there’s nothing you can say that I care to here.”

“Oh, I don’t doubt that.”

“Mister MulCahey,” a woman said as the men and women parted to allow him to approach. Her blue eyes locked on his. “Enough of this. Where did Simone go?”

“What, no longer concerned with the Princess?”

“The Princess is not my concern,” the woman said. “Now, tell me: where is Simone.”

MulCahey looked at her and then cocked an eyebrow. “Now, why would I do that?”

“If you do, I’ll spare your life.”

MulCahey laughed. “You kidding me? We both know that’s a lie. All you want me to do is to be a traitor and then you kill me.”

“I told you I’d spare your life.”

“And I know you’re lying,” he said, “how about that?”

“Your loyalty is to your friends is touching but a waste of time,” she said. “You will tell me where they went.”

“Well, to be honest, I don’t know where they went.”

“Don’t insult my intelligence, MulCahey,” the woman said, her blue eyes turning black.

“What’s wrong?” MulCahey asked. “Losing control of yourself, Dark One?”

“Tell me where they went!” The woman’s voice started to deepen as she spoke.

“All of you, look at her! See who you’re following? See who’s pulling Leighton’s strings?”

“Enough!” The woman swung her hand, striking MulCahey with a backhand, sending him crashing to the floor. “I want know where they went!”

“I’m not going to tell you.”

Electricity crackled along the woman’s fingertips for several seconds as MulCahey narrowed his eye. So, the moment of torture was at hand. Not surprising in the least since the Dark One still hadn’t enough strength to do worse to a person yet-thank God for that. However, her power was growing and at this rate, it would only take a couple weeks before she reached her full strength.

Energy arced across the air, striking him in the chest, and pain exploded in his senses. It ramped up rapidly from mild to excruciating and he wanted to scream, oh how he wanted to scream, but he wouldn’t give her the ability to feed off his pain. Instead he gritted his teeth and refused to show pain.

“My patience is running thin. Where is she?” She asked.

“Sorry, my dear, but you’re old enough for your wants not to hurt you.”

Thank God he’d gotten Brady and Simone out of there when he did because the Dark One’s power had increased to a level that he’d never foreseen. However, it was no longer his problem; it would be up to the others to stop her and he hoped they did or the world as they knew it would fall into eternal darkness.

An invisible hand grasped his throat and then started to squeeze. “Where is she?”

The grip slackened enough to allow him to speak. “No.”

“Then I’ll take your soul,” she said before reaching down and jabbing a fist into MulCahey’s stomach.

She pulled it out of MulCahey and held a nearly invisible image of the priest in her hand. The image screamed soundlessly as she used her hand to push the man’s soul into her body and then closed her eyes for a moment.

“That’s better,” she said before smirking, “they’ve gone to see the Oracle…”

“The Oracle?” One of the men with her said.

“Is a person who meddles into my business,” she said, “Get on your horses, we’re leaving.”

“What do we tell the King?”

“That fool?” The Dark One snorted. “Tell him we’re in pursuit of the Princess. Not one word about what I did here. I’ll be watching. You open your mouth about me and you’ll die on the spot.”

“I…undestand…”

“Good. We’re leaving.”

Unnamed Talia Novel 2 First Chapter Exerpt

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This is also a rough draft. Just letting folks see a little bit.

 

“Hey, Methos…” Talia sent as an alarm started to wail.

“Don’t tell me, Little Miss Perfect, you have the device and am running for your life from the guards.”

“Wow, sure you don’t have psychic abilities?”

“No! I just know you!”

“Well, now that you mention it…”

“I’m with the bike, waiting. From the sounds of the sirens coming our way, I’d say half the police force is inbound.”

“Lovely.”

“Hope you have a plan for this!”

“Don’t worry!”

“Every time you say that, something terrible happens!”

“Oi!”

“Don’t ‘oi’ me! You know it’s true!”

Talia approached the end of the hall and the large window that overlooked There’s times when a person needs to do something crazy, an action so out of place that others would find it stunning, to accomplish their goal. This was one of those times, she thought as she leapt.

Glass exploded outwards, the force of her impact sending the shards fling forwards with her, as she burst through and out into the open space beyond. Time seemed to crawl, and then stop for a split second, before gravity won the battle with momentum. The cool wind whipped through Talia’s hair as she fell downwards.

The impact with the sidewalk, while not violent for her, still caused the warrior’s teeth to slam together so hard all the King’s horses and all the King’s men might not have been able to put them back together again. Talia ran her tongue over them and then sighed in relief when they were all there.

Which way to the bike, she thought. Oh, I’m on 12th street, so it’s to my south!

A siren, no multitudes like Methos said, grew closer by the second. If she didn’t make it to the bike, and fast, then there’d be no way to return the device without causing major problems to the time line.

She raced down the sidewalk, the parked cars a blur, as Talia raced towards Methos. While she could easily outrun the police cars, the warrior refused to. What was the point? Every time she’d had to use her body to its fullest potential, it left her shaken and depressed. No one, herself included, wanted to be something other than alive. Just knowing she had the body made Talia sad sometimes. Unlike Methos, Dannae and Crios, she’d never truly bleed if hurt, or be able to lie in the sun and tan.

At this point, she told herself, it didn’t matter. Getting back to the Valiant and returning to their own time did. And if that meant breaking some eggs timeline wise, then so bet it. Not like she couldn’t keep from doing that now anyway.

Methos stood beside the Ducati, her 5’4 frame barely visible behind the motorcycle as Talia raced up. One glace from her shorter sister told Talia all she needed to know. There’d be a major scolding, with a lecture buried in there somewhere, when they got back to the ship.

And it’s not like I don’t deserve it, Talia thought.

“Get on!” Talia snapped before she slammed her foot down on the kick starter.

The twin cylinder motor fired up, it’s silky smooth sound denoting its horsepower output. Talia revved it up three times, allowing the machinery to warm up and get a good flow of oil throughout before throwing it the gas. Rocks sprayed behind them as the rear wheel spun momentarily before grabbing traction, sending the bike forwards.

“Hang on!” She said.

“Talia! I’m going to get you!” Methos said.

Talia took a wide turn, taking care to avoid any large holes in the ground, and before heading west towards the Washington Monument. Dannae hid the ship in the rural areas near Loudon, forcing them to head back towards the museum. Ten, maybe more but Talia didn’t have time to count them all and control the bike, police cars raced along Madison Avenue, keeping pace with them.

“That’s bad,” Talia mumbled as she headed towards 14th street and the interstate beyond.

A swarm of DC police, capital police and FBI vehicles raced northbound on 14th street towards them.

Talia cursed under her breath. “And that’s worse.

Judging from the amount of vehicles in pursuit, Talia’s little cat burglary must’ve been the biggest thing to happen in DC in a long time. Why else, she wondered, would Federal Agents, local and capital police all team up to go after one person? Either that, or things were slow and everyone got bored. And given her experience with capital cities, she doubted that.

Without cracking the throttle, Talia swung the bike hard to the right, letting her foot slide across the yellow rocks in order to keep her balance and then shot across the grass.

The police cars rapidly closed the gap as Talia raced to reach the corner of the mall.

“Are you going to do what I think you are?” Methos yelled into Talia’s ear.

“We’ll be fine!”

“Fine? They’ll have us blocked!”

Methos, of course, had a point but Talia would let hell freeze over before admitting that. One thing twenty thousand years of life with her sisters taught Talia, it was that Methos loved to keep things hanging over your head; particularly if she’d warned you about it earlier. In Methos’ mind, that gave her carte blanche to rub her sisters’ face into it.

The rows of cars closed to within twenty feet of each other.

“Hang on!” Talia said.

“Wait! Are you nuts?”

Many times over the long years they spent fighting the Great War, Talia’s sisters claimed that she was crazy. Each time she’d vocally protest their accusation and the argument would run in circles for hours. In reality, though, she agreed with them. No one but a mad woman would’ve been able to create some of the battle plans that she drew up to stop the Dragus’ advance.

However, Talia thought as the wind raced through her hair, it didn’t matter in the end. Many times, despite the failure of her plans, she brought the four of them home safe and sound. No one, not even Methos, could argue that fact.

“I think we can make it!” Talia snapped as they approached the road.

“There you go thinking again! That’s dangerous!”

“Shut up,” Talia said as they jumped the curb and then reached 14th street.

Traffic was lighter then when they’d scouted the place during the afternoon. Most of the government workers had gone home for the day, leaving the residents, those who came to the town to eat and party, and the politicians being wined and dined by lobbyists all who remained.

Which still was a hell of a lot of cars.

Weaving in and out of traffic, and sometimes running between the cars in either lane, became the norm as they raced northwards. Behind them, the authorities refused to give up on their pursuit, which surprised Talia. They were willing to risk a potentially fatal accident over what, to them, was just a harmless golden egg?

And Methos calls me crazy, Talia thought.

Four, blue Ford Taurus’, their flashing lights gave a circuslike feel to the intersection, entertaining the now no longer moving pedestrians on the sidewalks. They’d lived in DC enough to know that such an action either meant a VIP was coming or something bad happened. And while the first was boring as hell, the second gave them a few moments of freedom from their mundane lives, so they watched with joy.

To Talia, though, it was a poor attempt at blocking their advance. If this had been back on Gahlza, the two of them would’ve already been stopped and in custody. Of course, she thought, the humans would be weak and sloppy at their criminal justice. If just fit with everything else she’d learned about the younger race.

Horns blared and cars skidded to a stop as Talia cut across the flow of traffic and then accelerated again. It didn’t take her long to realize this wasn’t going to work in the long term. All indications said that whoever called the shots decided to mobilize every law enforcement, local and federal, unit in the District in order to capture them. And Ducati, or no Ducati, the dragnet would eventually catch up the them.

She cut to the right, then took a jog left before accelerating again. Behind them, the police piled up for a moment before the turned into the entrance, half of them turned right, and then continued the chase.

“Do you know where we are!” Methos shouted to be heard over the wind.

“Not really!”

“Well, genius, we’re on the Ellipse! They’ll pin us in now!”

“Great!”

“That’s all you can say? I should smack you!”

“I’d wreck the bike!”

“Got a point there, damn it.”

Multicolored lights off to the right caught Talia’s attention. Methos was right of course. The road they were on just looped around the park, leaving the two of them facing the onslaught of police.

Unless I change the rules,” Talia thought.

One thing about living in DC is that one gets used to having streets either closed off or barricades of some sort being placed at certain places to shut off vehicular traffic. While they, for the most part, gave residents a feeling of security, there were times that they became a royal pain. To the police chasing Talia, this was a day where the latter proved to be correct.

A small opening in a concrete jersey wall, just big enough for a person to walk through, lead towards a small concrete security hut and then to an open road behind it. Somewhere in that direction was the White House; the one place in the city she wanted to avoid because the Secret Service and other agencies would have the ability to log her time spent there and not have it disappear over the next eight hundred years.

And I’d prefer to not let the humans know I’m playing with their past, she thought.

“Don’t you do it!” Methos said as Talia slowed down.

“Got to. No choice.”

“Talia Genia DeZahna! I swear I’m going to kill you when we get back to the ship!”

“Where are we headed?” Talia said she made the left turn and started to accelerate towards a guard who’d stepped out of the shack.

Wisely, or foolishly to his superiors, he stepped aside and let the two women flash by.

“Where are we?” Talia said as the police stopped at the end of the road.

“Uh, I don’t think you want to know, sis.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

For the first time since the chase started, Talia took a moment to see where she’d driven to. One glance was all it took for her to see why they police had stopped chasing. Spotlights were trained on a white building that humans everywhere, even as flung out as their colonies were in the future, recognized.

The White House.

And to make matters worse, they were racing up the south lawn towards the President’s home. No doubt the Secret Service was on high alert and racing to find a way to intercept her and Methos before they could enter the building. Thankfully, Talia thought, the agents didn’t need to worry about that.

“Uhm,” Talia said, “I see what you mean.”

“You’d better get us out of this if you know what’s good for you!”

“I’m working on it!” Talia snapped as she swung the bike to the right and then shot up the sidewalk the marked the eastern edge of the White House complex.

“Cut across the north lawn!”

“What? Wait! You just said that was bad!”

Kate Novel Finally

This is from the extreme rough draft I’m working on concurrently with the fantasy novel. Fantasy needs a complete rewrite, this one does too but it’s in better shape off the bat. So, just be aware you will find issues since it’s not finished.

 

 

Pale blue light illuminated the dimly lit room, creating the optical illusion of someone looking at blue walls instead of the gunmetal grey. A small walkway allowed the visitor to walk around the room without going down to the lower level. It also gave anyone who wished to, the ability to glance at the soft lit tube on the lower level.

He grasped a handrail, not because he needed to, but due to force of habit. The sound of his boots hitting the metal stairs echoed in the quiet room, easily drowning out the soft hum of the machinery to his right.

The stasis tube proved to be the biggest advancement in medicine that mankind ever achieved. Patients who were near death, or even dead, could be kept in cold, zero gravity conditions, thus preserving the body until medicine could either heal them or find ways to replace the things that were diseased or damaged.

Claudio Reyes approached the tube and then stopped short of it. A part of him couldn’t believe how things turned out in the end. After everything he’d done; all the people he’d manipulated to get his hands on this very special girl and the results of his efforts floated in space before him.

It’d be so easy to walked over to the machinery and, with the push of a button, shut it down and she’d been gone forever. And the temptation to do just that tried hard to overwhelm his intellect, willpower and training. For that reason, he pushed it out of his head and looked down at what was left of the girl.

He rubbed his upper lip with his index finger and let his mind race on possibilities. Never could anyone call him an altruistic person; in fact, most people described him as self-seeking and manipulative. And they’d be right, of course, but he took it all in stride. The job of Intelligence Chief wasn’t for a shrinking violet or anyone faint of heart. Things that happened in the shadows were more violent and extreme than anyone ever knew, and he hoped it stayed that way.

The girl possessed the best instincts, and raw talent, he’d seen during his long career. Once he had her under his control, she’d’ve been the best field agent he ever had and now, due to some jackass who didn’t even think before acting, ruined it.

However, it didn’t have to end like this, but would he be willing to risk what remained of his black book budget on her with no guarantee of success. Trained soldiers, highly decorated men and women, hadn’t acclimated to what happened and ended up killing themselves; each one taking over 200 million credits in gear with them.

If they couldn’t handle it, he thought, could she? She’s not a trained soldier.

Perhaps, just maybe, that was the answer to the puzzle before him. Something about the mental makeup of soldiers didn’t allow them to adapt to the situation they found themselves in and it created a fatal psychosis. The girl, on the other hand, spent her entire life adapting to situations that would’ve caused most people to crack under the pressure.

It was a hunch, something he couldn’t substantiate, so he couldn’t really explain what he sensed until there was more time to think about it. Until then, he’d run with his instincts, which never steered him wrong before so he had no reason to think they’d start now.

What if they are wrong? He asked himself. I will have used almost 250 million credits. The Pentagon and Congress would be hard pressed to hide another amount like that. Failure could end this program.

Had fate left him any choice but to roll the dice and hope not to get snake eyes? Soldiers didn’t work out, so they were off the list. The idea of using civilians was something he and the medical staff had thrown out but that wouldn’t work either because the was no guarantee that they’d find someone with the skills, or potential, that the girl had.

He turned around then them thumbed on the intercom. “Reyes to Doctor Thomson. Please report to medical bay four. And make it fast.”

Lisa Thomson sighed. “I’m on my way.”

Lisa Thomson was one the private little coups he pulled off that no one knew about. A medical doctor by training, the younger woman had been experimenting on cybernetics and testing on animals and with people on a very small scale. There was just one problem: her avenue of research, trying to replace parts, or an entire human body if necessary, was illegal under current law. The punishment, if Thomson had been tried and convicted was 15 to 20 years on a penal colony.

Which explained the young woman’s willingness to cooperate with him and use her talents to help him advance a black book project. Like he did now, she didn’t have any choice at the time, really. It was work for him or be jailed and she was smarter than people thought.

The hatch slid open and Thomson entered the room. A tall, but painfully thin, woman, the doctor stood nearly eye level with him, which meant it took a lot to make her back down-not that he didn’t mind the challenge mind you. Her slightly rounded face and gentle cheekbones drew attention from her thin frame and to her blue eyes. He’d learned very early on that staring into them for long periods caused one to get lost in them and the Doctor loved taking advantage of those periods.

“Damn, what a mess,” Thomson said.

“I know. I want you to fix her.”

“Fix that? Are you out of your ever loving mind?” The Doctor said as she walked around the tube. “There’s no way conventional medicine could repair that damage. Besides, she’s dead!”

Fantasy Novel Excerpt

This is an EXTREME rough draft. I haven’t even spell checked or anything because I will completely rewrite and make stuff I decided to add to the story in Chapter 5 slots into place from the very beginning.

 

“Oh my dearest sister,” Leighton said. “Scream all you want. You’re all alone, the guards are under my control. No one will save you.”

The doors slammed outwards, striking the guards in the back, sending their weapons flying from their hands as they fell and hit the floor.

A woman clothed in tan, with large sprays and patches of blood on her garment, and with black hair, rushed through the opening. She spun to her right, and ran one guard through with her katana before spinning back to her left and killing the second guard as he tried to reach his weapon.

Oh thank God! Rochelle thought.

“Princess!” Simone Silva said.

 

#

 

Simone spun her sword repeatedly as she took in the scene before her. Leighton held his sword in a relaxed but ready position as she eyed the Princess. If he wanted to kill his sister now, he’d have to do it himself and he’d have to go through her first.

If only I’d been able to save the King, she thought bitterly.

Guilt washed over the warrior, threatening to break her concentration on the task at hand. She’d been entrusted with the safety of the monarch and his family and failed miserably. The King was dead; most of the troops were backing Leighton, and the coup wanted to kill Princess Rochelle too.

“Simone!” Princess Rochelle said as she jumped to her feet and ran over to stand behind Simone.

“Sorry I’m late, My Lady, but I had some nuisances to deal with.”

“Simone,” Leighton said as he walked through the blood flowing from the King’s dead body. “I’m surprised you’re here. I wanted you dead. Oh, well, I guess it’s hard to get decent soldiers.”

“You always were arrogant, Leighton,” Simone said, intentionally dropping any respect for him or his title. “And too stupid to realize you can’t always get what you want.”

“Am I now?” Leighton said. “Look at what I have accomplished. I have a kingdom and an army-”

“Fraud,” Simone interrupted as stepped back to keep distance between her and Leighton. Who know what else the sociopath might do next. “The rightful heir is the Princess.”

“Not anymore. The Kingdom is mine.”

Don’t remind me, she thought bitterly.

“You talk too much, Leighton,” Simone said as she reached back and grabbed the Princess’ arm. “That’s your problem.”

Leighton just looked at them.

Simone spun on the ball of her foot and then started to run towards the door. Princess Rochelle gasped at the pain caused by the warrior’s grasp and a part of Simone’s heart broke. Never in a thousand years did the young warrior think there’d be a coup and she and the Princess would be running for their lives.

“Come on, My Lady!” She snapped as the entered the main throne room and then started to run towards the door to the corridor outside.

“Where do you think you’re going, Simone?” Leighton called out. “You will never leave this castle alive. The troops are loyal to me and they will hunt you, they will find you and they will kill you.”

“Not bloody likely,” Simone muttered.

One of the worst things a person can do during a crisis is start to break down, even if somewhat delayed. It did nothing but muddy the waters further, making things harder for the ones trying to put things back together again.

Simone found herself in one of those muddied situations when they emerged into the corridor. The Princess started to sob and then came to a stop outside the throne room. Tears ran down her face and she bent over, placing her hands on her knees, as her body started to shake.

Her reaction was understandable to the warrior; in fact, a part of her wanted to cry over the failure to protect the King. However, neither of them had the time to waste on it. While she couldn’t hear them, Simone knew in her heart that the soldier would’ve found the one’s she killed and would know she still lived.

“Why?” the Princess said. “Why did Leighton kill father?”

We don’t have time for this, Simone thought.

“My Lady, we don’t have time for this! Even as I speak, the soldiers are closing in. We’re going to be lucky if we escape with our lives.”

“Promise me you won’t leave me, Simone,” the Princess said.

“I will give up my own life to protect you if I have to,” she said, “but we need to move!”

Once they got moving again, Rochelle started to move stronger and more confidently, allowing Simone to let go of her arm. Getting out of the castle would be a problem in and of itself, but what to do if they reached the village below? The soldiers would have vehicles and catch them before they could reach the safety of the mountains.

Leighton couldn’t have corrupted every soldier and turned them against her and the Princess. In fact, she estimated as many as fifteen percent still remained loyal to her. If that held true, then they’d be laying low, staying out of sight and hoping for her to give them orders.

If they haven’t killed my men, she thought, then I think I have an idea for getting the Princess out of town safe.

Ever had those times in life where you just think things are going too good to be true? That you’re accomplishing something so easy that there just had to be a catch somewhere? The bad thing is; when things are that easy, you can just about guarantee trouble lay around the nearest corner.

This thought filled Simone’s thoughts as they entered the fog filled courtyard. Around them lay the bodies of the soldiers she’d killed earlier. If Leighton’s supporters found them, they certainly didn’t lift a finger to move to corpses. Of course, the fact that she still lived probably influenced those actions too.

“Stop!”

The familiar voice of her second in command Thaddeus Brindle sounded muffled due to the fog, but close enough Simone stopped running then looked around her. Coalescing out of the fog were ten soldier, with swords drawn. Brindle and Leighton followed a respectful distance behind.

“Simone,” the Princess’ voice shook. “What do we do?”

“You die, my dear sister,” Leighton said before turning his attention to Simone. “I said you wouldn’t get far, Simone.”

“I’m not done yet, Leighton,” Simone said.

“From where I’m standing, it looks quite the opposite.”

“Where your standing is full of shit to be honest.”

“Dear me, is that how you address your King, Simone?”

“You’re no more a King than I am a Princess.”

Leighton’s eyes grew wide and he made a theatrical display of thinking. “Last time I checked, I am the King. Disarm her.”

Two men walked towards Simone with weapons drawn.

“Give it up, my lady,” one said.

“Me? Give up? I don’t know the word!”

“Just kill them,” Leighton said. “This is getting boring.”

“Boring, eh?” Simone said. “Tell me how you really feel.”

Trouble Seems To Follow Chapter 1 Part 2 Revised-Serialized Novel

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The blue glow from a stasis chamber was the first thing he noticed when he entered the room. What floated inside its antigrav field could only charitably be called a human being. Muscles hung in tatters from bones and entire sections of flesh covering the girl’s chest and ribcage were missing and Claudio could see her pale red heart.

“Doctor,” he said. “How long before we can do the procedure?”

The tall, thin woman looked at her portable computer for several moments before wiping a lock of blonde hair out of the way. It was moments like this, when the Doctor seemed to ignore him, that drove the Admiral crazy. Sometimes, he reminded himself, Thompson forgot who recruited her, paid for the medical training and gave her everything she needed.

“I’m not sure if I want to do this,” Lisa Thompson said.

“Doesn’t matter whether you want to or not,” he reminded her. “I call the shots around here.”

“Yes, sir, Admiral sir!”

He chose to ignore her. “When can you rebuild her?”

“I can do the operation at a moment’s notice.”

“Then get cracking.”

Thompson sighed. “Fine, I’ll get the team together.”

One hour later, Claudio was seated in a comfortable chair while observing the operation from the sealed gallery. Thompson and her teamed moved efficiently, he had to give them that, but this procedure would take many hours, in fact it would probably end sometime tomorrow. And since it was his money, Claudio would observe things from start to finish.

Kate Almir, he mused as he picked up his portable computer and opened the file he had on her, was a dangerous woman. The youngest gladiator to make Master Champion in Arino’s history. Coupled with nearly ten thousand kills in the seven years she’d been in the arena, and he couldn’t help but take notice.

The girl proved to be both smart and a capable killer who could end a life without remorse or emotional reaction. This made her a perfect person to be a Special Ops Agent. Part SEAL, part secret agent, each operative were the most dangerous people in both Fleet and Intelligence. In fact, despite all the holovid movies about his people, they proved to be far deadlier than the public believed.

Of course if she ended up on Arino, then the girl didn’t have any family he’d need to worry about. No, she would be a perfect specimen, which proved why he’d traveled to meet with her. Instead, she’d run into a buzz saw of guards employed by her Master and Owner, Ferini.

And look what happened, he thought many hours later as he watched a pair of nurses wheel Almir’s form out of the operating room. She’s going to be better than she was before.

Thompson entered the room and then sat down before laying her head on the headrest before she closed her eyes. “Thank God that’s over.”

“That took longer than usual. Any complications?”

Thompson snorted. “Complications? There was nothing but them!”

“Will be make it?”

“You tell me. You’re the one with the plans.”

And uncomfortable silence settled over the room until Thompson spoke up again.

“Either way, it’d going to be touch and go for a while.”

“I want to be notified if there is any change,” Claudio said as he stood up. “Got it?”

“Got it.”

“Good night.”

 

#

 

The grenade tumbled through the air, a pineapple shaped symbol of death and destruction.

Time slowed to a crawl as she watched it continue to close in on her. Wasn’t any point in running, the blast would kill her just as easily as if she didn’t. Either way, things were going to come to an ending right there on the dirty, burnt orange ground of the landing field for incoming shuttles.

I can’t believe it that I made it this far only to fail, Kate thought bitterly.

A brilliant flash lit up the afternoon and Kate raised an arm to protect her eyes from the light before an invisible hand lifted her off the ground and threw the girl backwards. Pieces of metal, each burning hot, struck her body, tearing muscles, shattering bones, and a wave of agony washed over her.

The world tumbled wildly as Kate flew through the air for several seconds before she slammed into something solid. She tried to scream but no sound would come from her mouth yet the pain continued to grow…

…Kate’s eyes snapped open, and darkness was all she saw for several seconds. Panic threatened to overcome her until the darkness slowly changed to a lit room. Relief replaced the fear and the gladiator slowly worked on getting her self-control back.

 

Kate novel Chapter 1 part 2

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Now the money for his black book project was running out so all of Claudio’s eggs rested in the girl’s basket. If she didn’t work out, then he’d have nothing to show for the money spent and it’d be difficult at best to request more from Congress. This time it would, no it had to, succeed or else the entire house of cards would crash down.

Late night proved to be the one shift at Intelligence Headquarters that the building didn’t teem with life. Given the nature of both obtaining information and analyzing it, this made perfect sense. This gave Claudio the time to check on the girl before going to bed. With any luck, she wouldn’t awaken for another couple of days, which would give them the time to figure out what to tell her.

That’s going to be the fun part, he thought as he approached the door that lead to medical. But it wasn’t like I could consult her before doing things either.

The blue glow from a stasis chamber was the first thing he noticed when he entered the room. Even though the surgery had been completed three days ago, the resulting tests and monitoring of systems were best handled while the girl was unconscious and in stasis. This way Dr. Thompson and the remainder of the medical team could get baseline readings that weren’t influenced by emotion or other variables that could corrupt the data.

“Doctor,” he said, “how’s she doing today?”

The tall, thin woman looked at her portable computer for several moments before wiping a lock of blonde hair out of the way. It was moments like this, when the Doctor seemed to ignore him, that drove the Admiral crazy. Sometimes, he reminded himself, Thompson forgot who recruited her, paid for the medical training and gave her everything she needed.

“Things look ok,” the woman said finally, “but we won’t know for sure until she wakes up.”

“We need her to work out,” Claudio said, “or this program is shut down.”

“Far as I can tell,” Thompson said, “the systems are working perfectly. But you know how that turned out before.”

Yeah, Claudio thought, I haven’t forgotten. Oh, no, I haven’t.

Trouble Seems to Follow (Kate Almir Serialized Novel) Chapter 1 part 1

 

The sound of his footsteps echoed down the deserted corridor, their lonely tune matching the depression and desperation in his heart. Five years and three hundred million credits and he were reduced to hoping that a nineteen year old girl could succeed where others failed.

It proved to be fantastical, a turn of events that Rear Admiral Claudio Reyes, head of Fleet Intelligence, would never had dreamt of. Several men and women, all soldiers who’d been critically injured, had volunteered for the program, which lead to each failure eating at Claudio until a black hole filled his heart and it’d swallowed all his emotions.

Not that he was without them, mind you, otherwise he wouldn’t wrestled with the decision on whether or not to risk one of his newest bodies on a former gladiator slave. No, the question about what to do with her and her ruined body had become a priority and that’d taken over his life for the past week.

Of course, he chided himself, none of this would’ve happened if you’d not approached her in the first place.

Lord only knew how ridiculous he looked on Arino when he asked for, and received, a private meal with her. It was something almost unheard of, an event reserved for only the greatest of the gladiator Master Champions…and one that she’d earned many times over.

Talia Rough Draft 6-24-2013

This is from a second, completed novel that i need to sit back and rewrite once I get the first one taken care of.

 

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The door slid aside and they stepped into the facility before the entrance closed behind them, cutting off the roar of the wind. Talia stepped into the main room, giving the troops behind her room to advance, and then pulled her soaked face sock off and stuffed it into the pocket of her parka. A wave of warm air washed over the warrior and sensation returned to her face with a vengeance, causing her face to burn as if on fire.

She sucked in a deep breath and then winced. “I hate the snow.”

Methos pulled the hood of her parka down before pulling her face sock off. “I don’t know if I want to snowboard now…”

Crios pulled her mask off. “Oh, you’ll be back to wanting to do it next week, so don’t try to blow smoke.”

Frigid water ran down the back of Talia’s turtleneck as her hair started to thaw and then fall back into it’s normal place. She ran both hands through it, wincing when her gloves got tangled, for several minutes, getting it back into position. Yes, she knew it was vain to do so when preparing to go into battle, but it didn’t mean she had to give up her femininity either though.

She looked at her sisters. “I never wanted to go in the first place.”

Methos snorted. “Old fuddy duddy over there doesn’t want to have fun.”

Talia cocked her head to the side slightly and then raised and eyebrow. “Who says I don’t like to have fun? I just hate the cold and snow.”

“You should after that stunt,” Crios countered. “I swear sometimes…”

“And don’t you start,” Talia snapped. “Because you’re right on my heels most of the time anyway.”

Crios went to open her mouth before Methos’ laughter made her stop.

“She’s got you there, sis!”

Crios pursed her lips to a line before wagging a finger. “You, Methos, stay out of this!”

“Why not?” Methos asked innocently. “Don’t like the fact that I know you too well also?”

“Oh, hush,”

Talia worked over herself while watching the two verbally spar with each over as she got her equipment straight. This was the best part of her life; the time spent with her sisters. If they hadn’t been created, then she would’ve got insane thousands of years ago. The three of them provided support, comic relief, and anything else each of them required.

She unslung the rifle. “You two finished yet?”

Methos ran a hand through her wet hair. “Why? You want to join in?”

Talia snorted. “Actually, I’d like to get the piece we came for.”

Methos looked confused for a moment before blushing. “Oh, yeah, we did come for that didn’t we?”

She rolled her eyes. “Oh how the mighty forget.”

“Sorry, got carried away,”

Their footsteps echoed in the empty corridor as they slowly moved down it. Ahead, a pair of dead bodies laid, a large puddle of blood surrounding them. Talia brought them to a stop and then scanned the walls and the roof. Where was the trap that killed those soldiers? Was it still active?

She motioned for everyone to stay back before dropping to a knee and narrowing her eyes. One of the bodies was decapitated while the other had been split in half, starting at the top of the head and then ending at the pelvis. Interesting. So, whoever designed this building used some of the same tricks that the Sesstra’s hideaway did.

It certainly lacked in originality, she had to give it that, but repetitive or not it caught people in it’s web like the designers planned. Why, however, did they not try to be more original? Did it have something to do with the pursuit being a ‘fixed point’ in time? Did the ancient civilizations want to keep things simple and easy to predict for her?

I hope not because it just tells the Zelcor what to look for.

Did the cutters shut down after the Cabal soldiers made it past them as the ones on Sesstra did? Or were they still active and capable of killing the next person to come along? Talia closed her eyes and let the possibilities run through her head as she contemplated what to do next.

I could step forwards and trip it and then see what happens.

Methos looked at the bodies. “Nice trap,”

Talia never took her eyes off the corridor ahead. “I dealt with the same thing on Sesstra. They shut down after someone made it through, but I’m not sure if these are or not.”

“What happens if they aren’t?”

“Then they are going to run to the entrance of the corridor,” she jerked a thumb. “Back there.”

“Ok…”

“I’d move back to the main room to be on the safe side,”

“You don’t have to tell me twice.”

Talia stood up and the world exploded.

 

#

 

“Commander! I have drive activation!”

Robertson jerked up in the command chair, dropping the cup of coffee he held, and turned his attention towards Terri at tactical. “Talk to me, Terri!”

She looked over her shoulder. “CIC reports the cruiser has kicked her drive online, and are accelerating for orbit.”

“Vector?”

“They’re dropping into orbit on the far side of the planet.”

He balled a hand into a fist and then tapped the chair arm with it. “Damn. That Captain is good! If we move to attack, then it leaves our shuttle and attack team defenseless. If we fire missiles, they’ll burn up in the atmosphere trying to reach the ship.” He turned the chair to the left. “Sherri, get hold of Talia or one of her sisters. They need to know the situation.”

“Yes, sir!”

He crossed his arms and then legs and stared at the white globe of the view screen, with eyes burning.

 

#

 

Captain Tasha Monroe leaned back in the command chair, with one eye on the darkened bridge around her and the other in the view screen. The Zelcor cruiser reminded her of the lost Defiant in its capabilities and armament. One time, not long after it’d been finished, she managed to get a tour of the experimental craft and came away impressed.

For several weeks after the tour, she’d bucked to try to get command of the craft, but after the events at Maxus, she was thankful those requests were ignored. How the single cruiser in orbit could beat such a powerful vessel amazed her. The winged starship didn’t even qualify as a destroyer in size compared to normal Fleet warships, yet it packed a worse bite equaling at least ten battleships.

The minute that craft appeared in system, she’d dropped the Ajax behind Teladan’s moon and rigged for silent running. While the Zelcor craft outclassed anything mankind could create on their own, that Gahl ship put hers to shame. There wasn’t a chance in hell she wanted to go into combat against that thing!

Two hours ago that craft sent a shuttle down towards the surface and there’d been no communications with the ground team since then. That worried her more then the starship in orbit. As long as her team was alive, the other commander wouldn’t have cause to look for her ship, because De’Zahna would want prisoners to interrogate. However, if they were dead, then all bets were off.

You morons, get the damn piece and let’s get out of here!

She started to tap a finger impatiently on the armrest and resisted the urge to sigh. What would it do to get publicly frustrated over the lack of communications from the planet? It’d just get her crew tighter then they already were anyway. Most of them had friends on Maxus, or were connected enough to know what happened, and didn’t want to quarrel with De’Zahna’s starship anymore then she did.

“Captain!” The communications officer looked at her. “I have the retrieval signal from the team!”

“Tell them to head for the far side and be ready to be caught by tractor beam on the pass by and hauled in. We’re not stopping.”

“They understand, Ma’am, and will in position in five minutes.”

She looked at the helmsman. “Power up! Flank speed! Make for the dark side of the planet!”

“Aye, Captain!”

Now let’s see how fast De’Zahna can get her people back and start pursuit.

She just hoped they’d have a large enough head start.

 

#

 

 

A light lit up the room, temporarily blinding everyone, before the thunderous sound of an explosion, threatening to rupture their eardrums, shook their chests. The shockwave, lifting up dirt, blood and debris as it raced down the corridor, struck Talia, knocking her flat onto the smooth floor and then sending both warrior and rifle sliding backwards in different directions. She slammed into Methos and then Crios, taking their legs out from under them and sending her sisters crashing down on top of her.

She slammed into the far wall; shoulder first, and then slammed her head against the concrete before the world went dark momentarily. Methos spun like a top, slammed into the wall, and then came to rest on her stomach, face inches from the floor, with Talia’s face between her legs. Crios struck the barrier hard and ended up on her side in a tangle of limbs as the marines around them struggled to get back to their feet.

Talia groaned and tried to reach her head and felt an armored leg instead. “Ugh…what happened?”

Methos lay there, breathing hard, staring at the ceiling. “Can someone please tell me the number of that truck?? I’d like to have a few words with the driver…”

“Someone left a nice surprise,” Crios moaned. “Synthetic explosives…” she tried to sit up. “Ow!!”

Talia opened her eyes to darkness. “Where am I??”

Methos lifted her head up slowly. “Talia! What are you doing??”

“Trying to see if I’m alive…”

“With your head between my legs??”

She reached up, felt one armored leg, then another, and then touched an armored rear. “Okay…”

“Thank Cheikra for armor!” Methos said. “Or you’d be getting a free shot.”

“Not like I haven’t seen if before,” Talia muttered. “So quit being such a prude.”

“Don’t you think you should move?”

Talia closed her eyes and then sighed. “I would if I could. I think I’m going to lay here a while.”

“I’d demand you move but it takes too much energy.”

Crios climbed onto her hands and knees before coughing. “I haven’t hurt this bad since that drinking binge I had on Paston while on leave…”

Methos rubbed her head with both hands. “Damn…take away the headache and the ringing in my ears, and this would be just like the time I spent with the communications officer on Marine One.”

Talia lifted her head for a second. “You always…were the…wild one.”

“Hush…you’re just jealous both sides don’t like you…”

“I’ve never tried to be with both sides. Steven, ow!”

Crios looked at the floor, her long, silver pony tail hanging down, and then leaned forwards to set her forehead on the floor. “Robertson?”

“Yeah, I forgot I wasn’t on the link,” She activated the link. Uh, yeah…?

We’ve got engine activity from the enemy ship. They’ve raced onto the far side of the planet.

They’re…picking up their shuttle.

What’s wrong with you? You don’t sound good at all.

Someone left us a nice gift of explosives, the three of us are down for the three count.

Do I need to direct the shuttle to land beside the building?

I…ow that hurt…think you do. Someone’s body slammed me and kicked me in the balls…if I had balls…

What about your sisters?

We’re all down. I think Crios might be hurt worse, but then Methos is down too. Hell…I don’t know…which one of us is worse…

I’ll alert Dannae.

Thank you…we need her.

Shuttle’s on the way.

Cool beans.

Talia leaned forwards, placing the top of her head against Methos pelvis. “Shuttle’s coming…”

Methos looked at the ceiling before closing her eyes. “If I weren’t hurting so bad, I think I’d feel violated.”

She sighed. “Trust me, I can think of a hundred places I’d rather be.”

“You trying to besmirch me?”

“Sis, I don’t find it fun to have my face buried in your nether regions any more then I would if it were either Crios or Dannae.”

“Whew! I though for a minute you were insulting me.”

“I was, but feel too bad to put anything into it.”

“I’m so going to get you…”

Talia slumped against her sister’s body. “I think…” the world went black.

Talia Rough Draft Snippet 6-9-2014

May 26th, 2010 @ 19:54:44

 

The barely lit corridors proved difficult to maneuver and Methos stumbled several times before reaching the emergency ladder. If their sensors, and that was a big if, were correct, then the Dragus were out there somewhere and the ship was in no condition to fight. In fact, in her estimation, they’d be lucky to be able to get out of orbit…much less home.

Dannae was right of course, which ratcheted up the pressure on Methos. While the humans showed potential for greatness they loved to take apart anything they didn’t know and that bothered her to no end. If they learned, and once again Dannae was right that it wouldn’t take much effort for them to discover the fact, that Talia’s body was cybernetic, then they’d take her apart and that’d disconnect Talia’s brain case from the main power supply, which meant it’d be on battery power which had no more than 6 hours of charge to them.

And then it’s game over, Methos thought grimly.

Her wrist computer chirped to signal an incoming message and Methos sighed before activating the com unit. As much as she liked commanding a vessel, Talia needed to be there handling the hundreds of details necessary to get them home.

“Methos here.”

“Lieutenant Bryson from sensors is on the line for you,” Mara said.

“Patch him through.”

“Lieutenant Bryson on discrete.”

“Methos,” Bryson sounded like a man who was exhausted and barely standing up. “We might have an eta on getting sensors back on line.”

“And?”

“I’m reasonably confident we can have it back up in another sixteen hours.”

“That long? Two hours ago you said less!”

“We could do better if we had the right equipment to replace what’s been destroyed.”

Methos stopped short of the ladder and then rubbed her forehead to stave off the headache that was brewing. “Great, just great. I’ll get back with you.”

If it wasn’t one thing, it was another and that fact made Methos want to bang her head against the wall. As if there weren’t enough things for her to worry about now the sensors would be repaired six hours behind original schedule. And given how things were going she didn’t expect them to be ready then, leaving them blind with a Dragus ship out there somewhere.

“Methos to Mara.”

“Mara here.”

“Can you reach Crios?”

“Working on it,” there was a short pause, “Crios on discrete.”

“What’s up, sis?” Crios asked.

“How long before we can get to the shuttles?” Methos said.

“You can get to them now if you don’t mind having to EVA.”

“I detect a hidden ‘but’ in there.”

“We still don’t have power to the fueling systems.”

“So we can’t get them prepped launch?”

“One’s got fuel in it but it’s not enough to get you to the surface and back.”

“Just fucking great,” Methos said before sighing. “So it’s a one way trip if we go to the surface?”

“The techs say you can run the turbines on jet fuel if necessary.”

“Won’t that damage them?”

“Not really. No more than any other time.”

“Then why didn’t you tell me about this?”

“Hey! I’ve been busy down here!”

“We’re going to have to make a trip down there.”

“Ok, I don’t like that tone of voice. Who’s ‘we?’”

“At least Dannae and I…maybe all three of us.”

“With a Dragus shop nearby?” Crios paused for a moment. “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

“Dannae needs to find parts to help us repair the ship and Cheikra only knows what kind of trouble Talia’s gotten herself into.”

“I know that was coming sooner or later,” Crios said.

“Well Little Miss Perfect has a tendency to not use her head.”

“That’s nothing new there.”

“Hey! Don’t you try to act like you’re so innocent! You chase after her and end up in trouble too.”

“When are you going to stop holding that over my head?”

“Stop doing it and I wouldn’t!”

“Now listen here, Tiny!”

“Puppy dog!”

“One of these days…”

“Hey if the shoe fits then wear it!”

“Fine, I’ll settle this another time. How long before you want to leave?”

“Give me a little bit to get things ready. I’d say a couple hours or more.”

“That’s good; because I have to make sure the electronic warfare suite is programmed to block radar too.”

“How long will that take?”

“With any luck I’ll have it ready by the time you’re ready to go.”

“I’m counting on it.”

“You’ll get me best.”

“All I can ask for.”

“You got it.”

“See you when we’re ready to leave,” Methos said before killing the line.

Ok, Talia, she thought, hang on. Help is coming.

 

#

 

Getting up to go to work had to be the worst part of the day, Tiffany Scott thought as she got out of bed.

Last night had been a night of drinking with friends and she was paying for it today. God her head hurt! Sitting at work and talking to people on the phone all day would be agony! Of course, she reminded herself, it would’ve helped if she hadn’t go out and gone on a bender instead of acting like a mature adult.

Of course, being only twenty five, that wouldn’t have been any fun and she knew that. After four years of partying hard and being in a sorority, Tiffany found it difficult to give up on the booze and clubs. In fact, in her opinion, the term ‘it’s better to burn out than fade away’ fit her to a tee.

She cut the water on and then adjusted it to be as hot as she could stand and then entered the shower. The heat felt good against her skin and help to moderate the pounding in her head momentarily. Unfortunately for her the relief would end soon as she killed the water and then started to dry off.

Of course one of the reasons why she’d gotten hung over was the refusal to drink any water between shots of Jack Daniels. The prudent thing would’ve been to do that but it would’ve made her look weak in front of her friends so she didn’t. Unfortunately, she wasn’t twenty-one anymore so doing such foolish things inevitably caught up with her but it was certainly worth the fun though.

As soon as she killed the shower the feeling of her head trying to implode came roaring back. While it was bad, the worst was still to come when she needed to run the hair dryer. The combination of noise and the hot air blowing on her scalp always made the hangovers worse and now that time had come.

The loud roar of the blower motor made her wince as she started to dry her wet hair. At least the boss chose this week for vacation so she wouldn’t have to deal with him while hung over. But his assistant, she reminded herself, proved to be a bigger ass than the big man did, making things even worse in all reality.

A sharp pain, similar to a bee sting, from the hand holding the hair dryer made Tiffany stop for a second. While she wasn’t allergic to a bee, if one had just stung her than that meant one got into the apartment, making a call to the landlord a necessity. And that was the last thing she wanted to do since the man picture would be beside the word ‘asshole’ in the dictionary.

This day just gets better and better, she thought.

The hairdryer shut down and Tiffany just groaned. Of all things that could happen, that was the worst of the bunch. Now her hair would be half wet, meaning it’d dry and work and that it’d turn into a stringy, natty mess.

A black spot appeared on her forearm, which confused her because she could’ve sworn it wasn’t there before. But then, she reminded herself, at some point she’d stumbled into the bar when coming back from the bathroom. It’d certainly been hard enough to make her yelp, so it was probably a bruise.

There are times when events take place that a person is speechless and doesn’t know how to react and this was one of them. The segment started to move and Tiffany stared at it, transfixed, at how the bruise started to spread. Never in her life had she ever seen, or read about, a bruise growing that fast.

Pain exploded up her arm, the sensation as if she’d dipped her hand and forearm into a vat of burning grease. It then raced up her spine to reach Tiffany’s brain and quickly overloaded her ability to cope and she opened her mouth to scream.

Except nothing happened.

The hair dryer start to shift as it started to mold itself around her hand, pulling her hand within herself, as impossible as it seemed, the pain continued to grow. A part of the black mass lifted upwards and then separated itself from the main body of what used to be the appliance. For a moment the pain stopped and Tiffany involuntarily relaxed as the small lump started to move and shape itself into something different.

Sometimes things are so terrible, so frightening to cope with, that a person thinks they’re having a nightmare and that they’d wake up and things would be ok. This was the thought running through Tiffany’s mind as the lump elongated itself until it matched the length of her forearm. The black mass started to solidify and a pair of eyes that glowed yellow appeared before a mouth followed suit.

This can’t be happening, she thought as the worm started to spread out to cover her face, Daddy! Daddy!

The pain returned and it was the only thing she knew before the darkness claimed her.