Is this a personal record? Going dark 32 days? Training at Dayjob has been hectic; Daughter #1 is in her last weeks of HS; Daughter #2 passed her Drivers Test; frantic work to get the WWE raw manuscript complete by my 31 May deadline… and I ignore everyone who reads my work here. Apologies.
Believe it or not, Part One is complete, just shy of 38k words. I’m already about 7k words into Part Two but this is something of a misnomer: I’ve bits and pieces of Part Two strung about two HDD all amounting to 16k more words. There is a lot of ‘bridging’ I have to do to make it all hang together, otherwise those pieces will be rejected by readers and hang separately.
The latter part of Part One surprised me. A person who’d been a tertiary character was suddenly the key to wrapping up the story. That sort of thing is fairly typical for my compartmentalized writing style of simply putting down what they show me. I never know where any of this is going.
Below the fold is a short pause just before a rush of action to the ending. Humor is involved as well as the star of my last two novels, who’s now a pilot.
He stopped for a moment to look up and out at nothing.
“Beloved?” he asked to the empty room.
tribe Mendro have done yeoman’s work in closing the noose around Ryan Gannt and his conspirators. We think he has retreated to a floating launch platform in the South China Sea but…
It was odd to hear her uncertain.
Fausta thought the government of Japan was involved, yet we and Mendro seem to be interfered with.
By whom? He asked.
Somi, it appears.
The sentient-android company? Why would they be involved in this?
A window suddenly opened on his screen just as his mother came in with a mug of coffee for him. It was Fausta with her wonderfully green eyes but an agitated look on her face.
“Gary Hartmann!” She announced in a tone of command. “An unknown aircraft is approaching Knoxville airspace at over Mach three!”
His mother paused.
“For many reasons – later! – I think it makes its way there for you!”
“Oh my God,” Callie managed.
“Friend or foe transponder?” Gary asked.
“Not currently on – wait!” Fausta tilted her head as if listening. “When it dropped below Mach two IIF signal began. It’s Japanese and – oh!”
Seeing Fausta surprised was always a surprise.
“It is one of their new craft with reactionless motors. And, it stopped in Texas to pick up your Uncle Rigó.” Her surprise dissolved into a slight grin. “It also contains a cousin of mine.”
“A cousin?” Gary’s mother asked over his shoulder. She knew tribe Tohsaka existed everywhere and nowhere. “You mean an android?”
Fausta nodded once.
“Who? From where?” Callie continued.
“No clue!” Now Fausta grinned. “This is going to be fun!”
“Hey, guys…” a sleepy Faustina asked from his bedroom doorway, “why is there a flying saucer over our house?”
Gary pulled jeans on, hooked his knife to his belt and grabbed his assault rifle leaning next to his bedroom door. His bolt-action was downstairs.
Fausta is on record for having an odd idea of fun. Better safe than sorry.
Starting into the hall he was aware that his sister nabbed the coffee mug out of their mother’s hand and plodded behind them, barely awake in her tee shirt and panties.
“Fussy! Get dressed!” he called over his shoulder.
She ignored him and, walking past, flung open the door to the deck. As he rushed to her he saw her look up and turn completely about. With a smile. Completing her circle she looked down at the rest of her brother and mother. Noise from upstairs indicated their father was on his way.
“Y’all are too late!” Her pupils weren’t dilated so Gary thought he could have read from the light from her eyes. She pointed straight up with her right index finger. They looked.
Faustina was correct: a flying saucer, he thought, there’s no better way to describe it. Maybe sixty feet in diameter and twenty feet thick at the center, tapering toward the edges. Very dark grey and he could not tell if it was metallic or composite… all no more than thirty feet above their house.
A hatch on the underside opened and two ropes dropped out. A moment later two figures rappelled quickly to the ground about thirty feet from their deck. Gary pointed the barrel of his rifle vaguely in their direction, not wanting to make a mistake if one of these was in fact his uncle. As they wore BDUs with combat webbing and had masks over their faces it was impossible to tell who they really were.
“Assume non-hostile!” he called as his father came out onto the deck, also with a battle rifle. “Likely Japanese Empire!”
Faustina tittered like a little girl, seemingly regarding all of this as some private entertainment just for her. She turned about and walked to the railing while waving her arm at the two figures who had not moved once they saw they were open targets.
“Hey! Uncle Rigó!” she laughed. “Never knew you had a talent for theater!”
Without any motion, Gary heard his parents speak in unison.
They could see the two figures exchange a few words before slowly reaching up with their lefts to remove their balaclavas. The taller figure on their left was Arpad Rigó. The other was some young woman.
“Keep your rifle out, Gary,” his father muttered before waving at the two with a smile.
“For once my daughter is right!” Leslie yelled, beckoning them forward while waving at the odd silent object over their heads. “Did you bring ‘droids from outer space, too?”
That brought the two to a halt just before they came up the three steps up onto the deck. Arpad’s face had a most unusual look… The young woman, early twenties, Gary guessed, had strawberry-blond hair in a ponytail, a light complexion with a splay of freckles across the bridge of her nose. A poster-child for Irish Tourism, he thought, but she seemed to not take well what father said.
She proceeded Arpad up the steps and paused at their edge.
“I am Nichole 5 Clarke. I am an android,” she announced in a clear, light voice. “But I am from Osaka, Japan, not outer space.”
“Oh,” Gary’s father managed.