Carys Weldon Blog
Monday, March 05, 2007
Excerpt Angel Bet
Do you like murder, mystery, suspense? Check out the opening of Angel Bet.
PROLOGUEThe third world war took place in 2033.
A short event, aftermath chaos, no one could see.
Their global re-organization meant full reform.
Alternative lifestyles and exhibitionism became the norm.
By 2071, society had crawled inside a box.
A game cube, the cell block, was covered with locks.
And NatDef, the monster, held all the keys.
Murder, sex, and mind control, tiny black seeds.
Dr. DeAnna Morgan, also known as Dr. D., the ‘angel of death,’ told the lab tech, “Go ahead. Put the AV’s away. We’re done with them for the day. Just gotta get this in the system and we’re out of here.”
The fully suited assistant carefully lifted the tray of capsule-sized bombs, and waited patiently for the good Dr. D. to open the (thermostatic and moisture controlled) lab vault by remote entry via her computer keypad. They were in the Gaseous Lab of the Volatile Chemical Sector in NaturoDefense’s main complex. The company had emerged post third world war as the largest manufacturer of bio-chemical warfare technology, among other things.
Due to the nature of the “Angel Vapor” Fatal Timetable tests, all unnecessary personnel had been reassigned to other programs. The two of them were the only ones in occupation of the lab at that time. And it was locked down tight.
With a pleasant tone in her voice, DeAnna assured her new helper, “Almost there. Just hang on.”
The replacement tech had moved very little without direct prompting, which was fine for DeAnna considering the job at hand, but the guy gave her the creeps, the way he watched her through squinted lids. She knew it was crazy to feel like he was plotting against her or something, but she couldn’t shake the feeling. She had to wonder if he was pissed that he’d been assigned to her. Working in a lethal gas lab was not necessarily a kudo promotion.
DeAnna rolled her neck and shoulders in an attempt to kick the sensation of air pressure change in the lab. A glance to the systems analysis monitor showed everything normal. So, she chalked her feeling of discomfort—no, doom—up to the project. The AV was a sixteen second death capsule, after all.
The only reason she felt good about it was because it was the most humane weapon on the planet—at the current time. Untold suffering could be eliminated by her little capsules. She never presumed to stop “the ways of men and war,” but she could make the killing better, in her own little way.
Another bit of paranoia niggled through her brain. She didn’t discount the possibility that her real problem was the fact that she’d finally signed the dotted line on that damn Cy-droid contract. Now, her project was completely secure. If anything happened to her, she’d be revived to finish it. She should be feeling relieved.
The hair on the back of her neck prickled, as it had off and on all day. It was followed by a shiver that rolled down her back.
She said, “I have to admit…I get a great sense of relief to be calling it quits at the end of the day.”
Her helper didn’t respond.
DeAnna didn’t glance up. She did, however, consider briefly, asking for another tech. This one was too nervous for the job. She could feel it. Some people settled quickly into that line of work, and others didn’t, but you could always tell in a day. This one had been given two.
Not to mention, she silently grudged the man’s lack of verbal skills. Was it too much to ask for someone that had advanced beyond Neanderthal conversation?
DeAnna’s fingers whizzed over the flat keypad in front of her—committing the final results of the latest test data to the NaturoDefense master infobank. Glancing up to watch, she added, “Be careful there. I don’t want a halo. I don’t care what they call me.” She teased, “I’m not so sure I deserve one. What do you think?”
His eyes widened, easily seen through his visor.
She bounced her head a little, “Angel of death…halo…angel vapor…get it?”
Still, the tech didn’t say anything. Since everything but his eyes were covered by the suit, she couldn’t tell if he picked up on the joke or not. When he didn’t respond at all, she assured him with a grin, “Don’t worry, I know my nicknames.”
The vault seal expressed itself with the hiss of an air-lock release. She shooed him with a hand, “Go ahead. Put them away.”
As he turned his back on her, she added, “I try to keep a sense of humor about things, so relax.” Her gaze returned to the screen in front of her. She double-checked her input. A graph took shape.
Hitting a few more keys, she pulled up the three dimensional image of the angel vapor bomb magnified several times. It rotated slowly, numbers appearing—showing the new computations. A few more clicks on the keypad and the estimated rise of vapors per temperature changes appeared. That’s what she’d been working on. How long AV takes to kill. She mumbled to herself, “Sixteen seconds. That seems pretty quick to me, you lethal little monster.”
The technician set the tray in the small in-lab vault. She heard the sound of the tray clinking on the shelf. It seemed magnified. When DeAnna heard the self-locking door click shut, too, she removed her gas mask and gloves, fluffing her hair with her fingers. “I hate that hood. Makes me sweat. It feel’s so good to take it off.”
Perspiration darkened the ash platinum blonde hair at her temples. “You can take yours off now, too.”
The tech turned back around, a single AV in hand, waiting for De to notice. It took her about two seconds. She froze mid-fluff. Her blue eyes narrowed in on the AV capsule. Slowly, she let her gaze travel up to the tech’s face. He waited until their eyes met. Then, before she could say anything, he deliberately held the weapon out and, in slow motion, dropped it purposefully.
The crystalline capsule shattered on impact. Compressed halogen compounds reacted to the room temperature oxygen, expanding, rising up in vapor form, choking her. DeAnna gracefully collapsed to the tiled floor. With her last breath, and a sickened smile, she cracked, “I asked for a team player.” She rolled her eyes. “Guess NatDef sent one.”
Don't you have to wonder how a book can work if the writer kills off the heroine in the first scene? Stay tuned! This is science fiction. We have the technology to rebuild her.
Tomorrow, you get a sexcerpt from this book!
Posted by CarysWeldonblog ::
6:02 AM ::
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