Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Demon Maelstrom, Excerpt #2

Dear Readers,

Here is the second excerpt from The Demon Maelstrom, the second book in the SubVersion Trilogy. I hope you enjoy, and I hope it keeps you guessing! Stay tuned for more news and content about the book, and as always, Let There Be Life!

Adam leaned back in his chair with a frown, and Anna noticed that he would not meet her gaze. He sat silently for a long moment, turned to look out the window in the far wall, then pulled his electronic cigarette out of his jacket pocket. He clicked it on and took a long draw. “You put a great amount of faith in the word of a convicted criminal such as Captain Marcus,” he replied, vapor leaking from his nostrils and lips as he spoke. “And a lot less faith in my decision-making. It was a simple determination. The opportunity of a lifetime presented itself, and it was far too good to pass up.”

Why wasn't I told about this?” Anna asked indignantly, her ire rising.

Adam pursed his lips and shifted position. “Just because you are the Party Secretary-in-waiting doesn't mean that you are told everything. This was a classified operation, only a few people knew.”

The plan was that we would wait until the system was complete before we sprang anything on Vérité!” Anna retorted hotly. “Or so I thought until I heard about this drone strike.” She rose out of her chair, confrontational and irate, her eyes flashing. “That was the plan, wasn't it? We need to stick to the plan!”

She realized too late that she was suddenly treading on very thin ice. Sinking back into her seat, Anna watched in growing alarm as Adam's face hardened. She had his full attention now. His eyes locked to hers and she saw wrath blooming in them like bursting fire. With one arm he swept aside the dishes between them and leaned full on the table, his breath blowing hot and hard enough for her to feel from where she sat opposite. His mouth twitched several times, as though forming words that would not come. He thrust an index finger at her.

I–“ he said haltingly, “I am the plan, Anna.” His rage grew and spread. “I make the plan.” Finally he rose to his feet, planting both hands knuckles down on the table and angling towards her in a threatening gesture. His voice rose to a shout. “And I change the plan as I damn well see fit! Is that good enough for you?”

Anna's lower lip began to tremble with fear. Her emotion must have been contagious, for there came a sudden drubbing from inside her belly. Either the baby could feel her distress or it found Adam's voice frightening. In any case it kicked viciously in protest, making Anna's mouth drop open in a gasp of surprise and pain.

Adam continued angrily. “On top of that, I would have thought any chance to apprehend the head of Vérité would have been welcomed as a breakthrough development on your part, and yet you remain stuck in this holding pattern that you've created for yourself!” He straightened up and turned to the window again. “I brought you on because you fix things, because you take systems and you make them work.”

Anna bit her lip and suppressed a tear. “We were fixing things. We were working to fix your system. And I thought–”

My system?” Adam queried in irascible surprise. “My system? You're calling everything around us my system? No, Anna this is not mine. It's my father's system, the last great rotting carcass of an idea of his stretching from the grave to haunt you and I.” He gestured dismissively to Anna's tumescent abdomen, where the thump thump still drummed from inside. “You're born, you grow, you eat and drink and screw and sleep and die. And then you're burnt. That unnatural thing inside you is no better than a lump of charcoal in the end.”

A sob swelled in Anna's throat and a tear rolled down her cheek. “It's a child, Adam, not a thing.”

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Demon Maelstrom - Excerpt #1

Dear Readers,

Here is the first excerpt from my new book, the second in the SubVersion Trilogy. I hope you enjoy, and I hope it keeps you guessing! Stay tuned for more news and content about the book, and as always, Let There Be Life!


Holographic flames played about in their grate, the flickering light shining at intervals through clouds of vapor from an electronic cigarette. Besides the artificial fire in its artificial fireplace, no other light illuminated the darkened office except for the sickly bluish-gray glow from the window. Snow had mounded on the outside window sill and the panes of glass swirled with fantastic shapes of frost and ice.

In the large swiveling office chair in front of the fire sat the Secretary. His was a dark figure of worn gloom and stoic silence, the only movement being the motion of the right arm bringing the cigarette up to his lips and then back to the arm of the chair. His eyes gleamed with quiet intensity, only occasionally twitching to one side or another and focused stubbornly on the middle distance.

The desk beeped. After a long moment he roused himself, turned in the chair to the desk and tapped the button. He knew who was calling. “Yes, Major Forrest?”

Sir, the surveillance drones have a signal. We've successfully located the tracking device.”

The Secretary's right eye twitched. He blinked and took another drag on his cigarette, and when he spoke again his voice sounded out low, almost threatening. “Would you please remind me again why Maelstrom demands a drone strike?”

Major Forrest's voice became uncertain. “Uh, he claims we won't get the prisoner until we prove ourselves. He says we won't regret it.”

The Secretary remained grim. “I don't need to prove a damn thing to anybody, Forrest.”

Um, I'm sure you don't sir.”

Just so we're clear.” The man roused himself and stood slowly, pushing up against the metal cane that supported him. “This is my strike, not Maelstrom's (whoever the hell he/she is), or Sam Holloway's. As far as the strike itself is concerned, I want the full treatment. Hit hard and fast with the Marauder, then coordinate with Farkas on a sweep of the grounds as fast as he can get the UCS Beta Squad there. Then report back to me.”

Major Forrest coughed and answered in the affirmative. The Secretary moved his hand to the comm button, but his fingers hovered above it without touching it yet. “And Major?”

Yes, sir?”

If this strike fails, know that heads will roll.”

A swallow. “Understood . . . sir.”

A tap of fingers on the button, and the comm died.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New Book, New Header, Book Two!

Well, I waited until the last possible minute here, but Book Two of the SubVersion Trilogy finally has a title! Originally I had intended to follow a "SubVersion" naming scheme, but that severely limited the scope of what I always meant to convey with the book titles. So instead, I literally went through dozens of possible titles after ditching the one I had up here, but at last I have one that is here to stay. Book Two will officially be titled The Demon Maelstrom.

To mark the occasion, and to show where we are in the progress of the trilogy, the header image above has been changed to reflect the new title. The header reflects the font that will be used for the title on the cover. Hopefully I'll have a cover design for the new book on display here in a couple days or weeks.

Stay tuned for excerpts from the new book, as well as various bits of info and sundry items. Let There Be Life!

Paperback Version Now Available!

I have the great pleasure to announce that the paperback version of The SubVersion Complex is now available in paperback from Amazon! Click here to purchase!