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?”
“If this strike fails, know that heads will roll.”
A swallow. “Understood . . . sir.”
A tap of fingers on the button, and the comm died.