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.”

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