Here’s a Free Excerpt from Overload Flux
In anticipation of the upcoming new release of The Central Galactic Concordance Collection, Books 1-3, I’m posting a series of excerpts from each of the books in the collection.
UPDATE: The Central Galactic Concordance Collection, Books 1-3, is out — buy it here:
Today’s excerpt is from Overload Flux (Central Galactic Concordance, Book 1), early in the book. Blurb: The only vaccine for a deadly galaxy-wide pandemic is missing… and the only ones who may be able to find it are Luka Foxe, a powerful talent on the verge of a meltdown, and Mairwen Morganthur, a security specialist hiding her extraordinary skills in a menial job.
Ground traffic throughout Etonver was legendarily bad, and Luka counted himself lucky that the current traffic snarl was so far making them only thirty minutes late for the afternoon appointment with the independent testing lab Zheer had found. They couldn’t fly a flitter into the restricted medical district air space near the lab, so they were stuck dealing with the chaos on the streets.
He was glad he’d chosen to sit up front with Morganthur. He often lost his temper in traffic, and her imperturbability at the stop-and-go progress made it less annoying to him. Her light overcoat, in boring company gray, hid a navy corporate suit, identical in cut to the green one she’d worn to the spaceport. He had the impression she valued practicality over style. He wouldn’t call her peaceful to be around, because he was too intrigued by her, but she was somehow calming. She was also the quietest person he’d ever met.
“Morganthur, when they assigned you to me, did they tell you not to talk?”
“No.” Her voice sounded low and rusty, as if she didn’t use it much.
A ground skimmer that was weaving through the lanes came within centimeters of scraping their side panel, but she smoothly adjusted their position to narrowly avoid it.
“Good,” he told her. “I’d hate to inhibit your natural garrulousness.”
She glanced at him with a raised eyebrow and quirked a corner of her mouth in what may have been a smile, but said nothing.
He laughed, delighted to discover she had a sense of humor. “I get the feeling you don’t do this very often.”
“No, have a casual conversation.”
“No.” An opening in traffic had them going faster for a moment, but it didn’t last. Horns sounded constantly, but were muted in the quiet vehicle interior.
“Probably because you’ve been working the night shift and didn’t have anyone to talk to. Feel free to practice your conversational skills on me. It’ll distract me from obsessing about loose threads.” Of course, it wouldn’t keep him from being distracted by her instead. At least she wasn’t an obsession. Yet.
He couldn’t tell from her expression if she was trying to formulate a reply or was simply focused on traffic. After a long silence, she said, “I’m bad with words.”
“That’s what practice is for. Pretty soon, we’ll have you up to fifteen or twenty words at a time, maybe even two or three sentences in a row.”
In between lane changes, she glanced at him as if she was unsure if he was serious or not. Finally she said, “Loose threads?”
It was the first time she’d initiated conversation, so he didn’t mind that it was about work. It was a start.
The Central Galactic Concordance Collection, Books 1-3, goes on sale 11 April 2017 at your favorite ebook retailer.