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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sample: Book #3 Chapter 19 Excerpt

I was writing an art spec for an illustration in this part of Book #3, The Saeshell Book of Time Part 3: Paradise Lost, and I couldn't resist sharing an excerpt from that part of the book.

Tova2 smiles at Stefan. The train begins to slow.

Mr. Docherty breaks his stare with Jenny. “I believe we are arriving. Be careful, Paul25, wherever you are; there is a bump in the tracks as we approach the station. Don’t let it send you flying into the furniture. Okay everyone, if you will just remain seated, I will go outside and check the station to confirm it’s clear of people we wish to avoid.”

“Why?” asks Tova2. “Are you afraid the military is going to show up?”

“Oh, err, no Tova. The military is quite predictable and easily managed. I am more concerned with the less predictable components of our government—those that operate more discretely. If you will excuse me for a moment, I will verify our security arrangements before you depart the train.” He opens a door to a short hallway, enters, and closes it behind him. The wooden floor, ceiling, and walls of the hall, worn in places from decades of usage, give it the feel of the inside of an old desk drawer. At the end of this short entry hall is a door with a small window beside it, made of thick bullet-proof glass. He peers though it and watches the station empty, then opens the door and proceeds down the steps to the platform.

Another brown-coated man walks up to him and says, “There’s a Snake on the bench against the wall over there.”

Mr. Docherty looks and sees a man sitting quietly, dressed in a black suit with a black overcoat. The man has gray hair and is holding a black walking cane topped with a shiny silver handle embossed with a griffin. “It’s McPherson!” he realizes. “Why would they send an assassin? He’s on home turf, so at least he won’t be carrying any weapons—hopefully.” He walks up to the man and yells, “As I breathe, you certainly are an ugly bloke.”

“Ah Docherty. I see the Prime Minister has let his throne out to take a walk around the block. Come use this fine piece of institutional wood to rest your dead weight, my fine receiver of ministerial feces.”

Mr. Docherty sits down beside him and McPherson’s head rotates like a tank turret bringing the battery of his icy cold stare to bear.

“So why has the Den taken such an interest in the internal affairs of the Prime Minister?” asks Mr. Docherty. “I believe this is out of your jurisdiction.” The internal government nickname for McPherson’s department is the Den of Snakes.

“I believe that escorting aliens, possibly very dangerous aliens, across the country is an activity that requires monitoring, especially if the operation is potentially treasonous.”

“Oh don’t flatter yourself. This endeavor has the full backing of the Prime Minister.”

“I’m sure that somewhere a nice cell with a gold-plated lavatory has already been arranged for him. You’re participating in a dangerous endeavor, my friend.”

Docherty laughs. “How dangerous could it be taking a pair of teenagers to see a university? I’m still waiting for the thunder.”

“I’m sure by now, despite your change of allegiance, you have slithered your way in and retrieved a copy of the threat assessment report by that American, Ed Harris. He says that those kids carry enough energy to reduce Parliament to a pile of rubble. I don’t believe the latest teen energy drinks pack quite that kind of punch. The department thinks that these individuals place our country in great danger.”

Shocked, Mr. Docherty realizes, “They haven’t sent McPherson to monitor the situation—they’ve sent him to put an end to it!” His mind races, searching for a solution. “I mustn’t let him succeed. I’ve only tried it once. It was an accident when I did it. I don’t know why, but I know it will work again.”

McPherson notices Mr. Docherty’s nervousness. He places his hand on Docherty’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, my friend. I know you haven’t the stomach for this sort of thing. I don’t even want you to be there when it happens. You have that wonderful son of yours. Once you run this little errand, take a few days with him. Remind yourself of why England must be protected, even when extraordinary measures are required. The Den will tell the Prime Minister that they have borrowed you for a few days for a special assignment. It might even impress the old bastard—make him respect you even more.

“Well I certainly don’t like this business. Give me a moment to instruct my men so that things go smoothly.” Docherty raises his right arm straight up in the air. He thinks, “Sleep, my friend, for ten hours.”

McPherson collapses and Mr. Docherty catches him. He lays him down carefully on the bench.

One of the brown coats runs over. “What did you do to him?”

“Gave him something to make him sleep,” responds Mr. Docherty.

“Damn useful piece of kit. Can I get one issued to me?”

“Um… not yet, they’re still in testing. This is just a prototype. Looks like it works quite well.”

“What are we going to do with him?” his colleague asks. “He’ll kill them and then he will come for you!”

Mr. Docherty smiles dryly. “I doubt he will even remember our conversation.” Mr. Docherty raises his right arm as if he is stretching, hardly contemplating the inexplicable influence the gesture produces.  His thoughts become a command to McPherson, “You will not remember our conversation.”

Mr. Docherty continues aloud as he lowers his arm, “Once Dr. Kettil looks over our charges, I’m sure the Prime Minister will issue an order giving them diplomatic protection. By the time McPherson wakes up, it will be too late for him to do anything about it. Wait until twenty minutes after we are gone and then call an ambulance. And find out what building they have prepped and blow out its transformer. By the time they get that fixed, it will be far too late.”

“Yes sir. I’ll be glad when the hospital takes him; he is bloody creepy.”

Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012 by Rusty Biesele, All Rights Reserved.

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