Proof of Work in Progress
In my Central Galactic Concordance space opera series, I've been working on the most feral manuscript ever. By that, I mean that I've fought for every word to get the characters and plot right. It's a pivotal story in the Big Damn Story Arc that's going on and has a lot of moving parts. Sometimes I had to set it aside to complete deadline projects, such as writing pet-related stories, and taking the helm of the Pets in Space® anthologies. Also not helping were several life events that meant significant changes for me. As it turns out, I'm happier in a stabile environment, and I don't quite have that yet. But in any case, Spark Transform, the long-awaited book 5, is nearing the finish line. I know I've promised this before, so here is proof of life… er, proof of work in progress.
Spark Transform Proof
First, a little background. Readers of the series met the heroes of Spark Transform in previous stories in the series. Renner started his journey in Pico's Crush (book 3) and Jumper's Hope (book 4), in the captive orbit of Dixon Davidro. In Spark Transform, Renner gets a new lease on life owing to the efforts of Arco Charrascos. She's a rising-star investigative journalist whose recent stories have made her some very powerful and ruthless enemies. (Read Jumper's Hope for her introduction.)
If you've read the main series stories and/or the pet-related novellas, you're probably already familiar with the Citizen Protection Service, the far-reaching military agency with many mission areas and even more secrets. They are charged with identifying minders—people with psychic talents. They hire the top-level talents for the Minder Corps and other less well-known divisions. They take their primary directive—keeping the galactic peace—very seriously. Their methods to achieve this goal are, to understate the matter, questionable.
Excerpt from the Work in Progress
Here, then, is an excerpt from Spark Transform, as proof it exists and progress is being made. Fair warning: No professional editor has seen this; any and all typos, etc. are totally on me. In this scene, Renner gets an offer from Arco.
“I want to hire you as my personal security. You’ll have to stay in my new townhouse and go everywhere with me for the first few days until Novo Granica can help me put together another team. I’d be hiring you myself via private contract. I’ll pay the customary rate and meals.” Her irrepressible smile quirked a corner of her mouth. “You already passed my security check. I probably know Faraday Brenner’s background better than you do.”
She ought to. She’d invented it. She’d even called in a favor to arrange new official records based on Brenner’s fictional life.
She took a deep breath. “I owe you because when I found you in the townhouse, you asked me to kill you. I refused.”
That was it? “And?”
She frowned. “The medics assumed you wanted to live. I didn’t tell them you wanted to self-term.”
He felt his eyes widen in surprise. She’d been resolutely silent about the other lost days, but he thought she’d told him everything about the day she’d found him mostly dead.
“Was this before or after your fixer got Davidro’s collar off me?” The fixer had to have been nova-class, or the collar’s multiple failsafes would have killed everyone in a five-meter radius.
“Before. I rehydrated your mouth. You said ‘kill me.’” Her thin tone sounded tense. “I owe you for taking that choice away from you.”
He shook his head. “Davidro took the choice from me.” He clenched his fist to keep himself from touching the now-flawless skin of his neck. “I didn’t want to die from the motherfucking collar. You freed me.”
The slight shake of her head said she didn’t consider herself absolved.
Photo credits: prchi palwe Sr @ Unsplash.com; cash macanaya @ Unsplash.com