I know I’ve been gone forever. I have a great excuse. At the end of October, I came down with Chik V. This was just before a very important week of meetings at my job during the month of November. I managed to get my work done, but I was lucky enough to be one of those people who suffer from the chronic stage of the disease, which means even now I still have lingering pain, numbness and other symptoms. I’m not alone, of course. Lots of Trinis have the same problem. The virus has spread like wildfire here. And let me tell you, this virus is the sickest I’ve been since I was a child.
November and December then became consumed with catching up on the work I had to drop for two weeks, trying to write every day, cleaning the house and generally getting ready for Christmas. Christmas turned out great and I’m finally enjoying my vacation. But the plan for the new year is to get back to working out and writing every day again. The fatigue has let up enough for me to return to my regular schedule, I think.
I want to thank all of you who came by, followed me, or just commented. Sorry I haven’t been around, and I will be by all of your blogs before the end of the year to remedy my absence.
I’m currently cleaning up the first part of the sequel to LEX TALIONIS, which I’m calling IACTA ALEA EST (The Die is Cast) for now, so I can get some more forward movement on it. I’m pushing on with THE NIGHTWARD (also known as the ‘Hand of Gaia’) because it’s in my head right now. But if you read LEX TALIONIS you’re probably wondering what the sequel looks like. It’s rough right now, and there’s stuff that needs to be edited, but have a sneak peek at the opening below:
The C.S.S. Invincible
The technician screamed, the smoking stump of his hand smearing his lab coat as he held it to his chest. Through watering eyes, he looked up at the two soldiers standing over him, their faces hidden behind the wavering diamond reflection of distortion masks. The ship’s flashing emergency lights limned their black armour, turning the figure-hugging contours scarlet, then black, then scarlet again.
He could smell his own flesh cooking, and vomit scratched at the back of his throat even as pain tore his nerves to shreds. If he turned around, he knew he would see what was left of his hand lying on the floor of the corridor behind him. But there was no point in turning around. His hand was gone for good. And he was a dead man.
The one on his left lowered the massive lasrifle to his waist, still keeping it at the ready. The soldier on the right held his weapon with the business end pointed at the floor. The soldier was silent for a moment longer, apparently studying the tech, though it was hard to tell through the distortion masks.
“Are you ready to speak to me now?” he intoned, his voice flat and expressionless through the mask.
“I told you, I don’t…”
The rifle came up again, sighting on him. He screamed and felt warm piss trickle down his leg.
“You waste our time,” the soldier continued. “If you will not help us, there are others. Doubtless they will want to live more than you.”
The tech heard the soft whine and click of the lasrifle and could not stop his tears. Above him, the computer informed them that Decks Five through Ten had been breached by intruders and that the Fire Squad should report to a blaze in progress in the Dining Hall. It was a detached report on a dying ship and he knew that if he did not do as they said, he would only suffer more pain.
He was a tech, a lowly tech, not crew and certainly not one of the fearsome security personnel who–inexplicable as it seemed–were dying in droves at the hands of these relentless attackers. Soldiers, really. Soldiers who were better than the best that Conway Enterprises had to offer. Better than men genetically bred to protect and kill. It was unthinkable.
As unthinkable as what he was about to do. Because the only thing he wanted as much as a way off the ship right now was no more pain.
“Shoot him in the–”
“Wait!” He felt every breath that left him as if for the first time.
“I…know where it is. I know where the room is. I can take you there. Please…let me take you there.”
The solider did not move for a moment, then he raised his rifle.
“Lead the way. But be warned–-if you attempt to mislead us, you will die. Slowly and in great pain. Get up.”
That’s all for now. I’ll post more from both books as I go along.
Have a great season and see you again soon!