Saturday, August 15, 2015

Feedback Wanted: Read an excerpt from a work in progress

Posted by: Unknown

Hi all! I wanted to post my most recent WIP to gain some feedback. Usually, I write paranormal with a touch of sci-fi. This story, however, is almost entirely sci-fi. Have a look! I would love to know what you think.

Ground Control to Major Tom
“The first time they tried to grab me, I was not yet self-aware.”
The understatement would have made me laugh considering the cliff-hanging shift in reality I’d just experienced, but this was light-years away from a light-hearted moment. It was a Houston-there’s-a-problem moment, a that’s-no-moon-it’s-a-space-station moment, a the-TRex-got-loose-you-need-to-run moment, except I was the only one in danger. Or, maybe I was the T-Rex?
“You had not engaged your genetics?”
“Not as far as I could remember.” My genetics. They made me sound like a laboratory rat, so clinical, which was par for the course.
The room was as cold and sterile as I’d come to expect from this place. Muted tones in metallic shades of gray were the only colors that entered my line of sight. I fought off the shiver that threatened to trickle down my spine, feeling the chill from the metallic chair, the metallic table, the metallic voice, seeping into my bones. Somehow, letting them see that I was cold felt like letting them win. I wasn’t here by choice but by design.
No one else was in the room, but with nearly a five point G.P.A in high school, neither was I an idiot. Bated breath surrounded me, extra sensory cell membranes in my skin were able to sense the heat escape from multiple bodies on the other side of the wall. I was the isolated mouse being studied under the microscope. Carefully studied. From a distance. They were watching me through the two way mirror feeling a sense of safety and security.
Fools. It was the height of arrogance to think they could control me. They had no idea what they’d created.
“What is your name?” The voice was cold. Hard. Uncaring.
“Jules Malloy.”
“And your age? Education?”
“Twenty-four. BA in Literature, BS in Physics, MA in British Literature, Single Subject Teaching Credential in English. I spent the last two years as a high school English teacher.”
“You are quite accomplished for being so young.”
“School was always easy for me.” It was a shruggable reality. No secret. Most everything had been easy for me, from the academic to the physical. Nothing had given me any real pain except personal relationships. Then I turned downright stupid. My heart contracted painfully making my throat feel suddenly thickened. The drive-by thought threatened to sabotage my composure, so I threw it back in the steel reinforced mental cage where it seethed with quiet pain. Now wasn’t the time.
“And you know the purpose of this recording?”
I arched a brow and gave them a hint of a smile. My message was clear. I didn’t drag myself here.
“Were you informed as to the reason we are having this interview?”
“Is that what this is called? An interview?” How civilized. There was some bite to my voice when I answered, “Yes, I was. To document that experiment AB2067 is alive and well and working to protect Fallions from enemies, both foreign and domestic for as long as I believe it’s necessary to do so.”
“Have you ever been a threat to Fallia?”
“Only to the extent that Fallia has been a threat to me.”
               There was silence. It spoke in deafening tones. “The power you harness is reputed to be beyond your control at times, Juliana. It shouldn’t surprise you that we’re very concerned. We don’t know the extent of your…gifts.”
“Then you heard wrong. I exercise complete control at all times. I know exactly what I’m doing. There has never been an incident that was not precisely intended.”
She’d planted that fear, the bitch. She thought I would have been terminated automatically, a not so petty revenge scheme to get back at me for humiliating her. She wasn’t used to having anyone stare her down, particularly not someone she considered of a lower rank, not in her world. My heart clenched painfully yet again. Thinking about her made my thoughts pitch in yet another direction, one filled with anger, pain, disbelief, and the most humiliating betrayal. It was one I couldn’t afford to indulge in.
I allowed myself a moment to find that perfect image of the sea, rippling with the breeze. Closing my eyes allowed it to crystallize.
“Juliana, do you swear loyalty to Fallia?”
Warm sand between my toes. A blue sky with a few scattered cottony clouds. The steady roar of the waves crashing on shore before racing up the sand toward my feet bringing a refreshing spray of cold salt water to my toasted skin. It was the perfect moment.
I felt the calm return.
               “Juliana!” Impatience tinged the voice coming through the speaker. “Do you swear loyalty to Fallia? Do you promise to always protect and serve Fallia’s interests?”
               I stared at the two-way glass for a moment, pulsing just enough power to my eyes that I could see through the stupid glass and make perfect eye-contact with the prune-lipped stooge who was glaring down at me from the self-constructed ivory tower of his mind. He was just a fucking “yes-man”, but I wasn’t. Giving not an inch, I let him see how little he impressed me. With barely a stir of my finger, because I was getting to be that good, I sent him the mental message that he had dried spit in the corner of his mouth.
               He ignored me.
“I promise to protect and serve my interests. Fallia has yet to earn my loyalty, but if you’re asking whether or not I have ill will toward Fallia, then I can say with all honesty, I have never considered raising arms against you.”
               “You’re making this difficult, Juliana.”
               The name always made me cringe inwardly, but figuring they were trying to get under my skin, I didn’t correct them. With a file on me several inches thick, I wasn’t telling them anything they didn’t already have documentation on. So I said nothing. There was power in silence.  
“We need to know everything about the immediate threat. Begin with the beginning. Leave out no detail.”
Would they make me a target once they had the information I could give them? Opening my mind, extending my inner sensors, I tried to determine what the intent was. While this wasn’t exactly the Ritz, I’d been given reasonable accommodations: food, a bed. It could have been much worse, and I didn’t feel a sense of threat.
I’d come to rely on my intuition. It was all I had in this place.
I took a deep breath and focused, letting my thoughts roll back in time, organize themselves, select and discard events and thoughts before putting a mental thumbtack on the first moment I had a sense that my world had begun tilting on a separate axis.  
               There was a sudden disturbance of air on the other side of the wall, the addition of another heat source. It was him. Because of our connection, I felt him enter the room without having to expend an ounce of energy. My lungs threatened to seize. The heavy weight of my wrath charged forth with the opportunity of annihilating its target. It took a tight mental leash and fierce determination not to show how much this hurt, but I would in no way let him see my pain.
               With the slightest coloring of distaste in my voice and a smirk meant to convey that he would forever be a bastard in my eyes, I offered, “The Golden Boy decided to show up. How timely. Maybe he can fill you in on the details.”


  1. For such a short passage, I find I already connect with the girl and her snark. I care about her and want to know what happens next. Great job!

  2. Oh, I really like this! Definitely wanted to keep reading. Is this the opening chapter?

    1. This is it! Sort of a mini-chapter.

    2. I like to be thrown right into the story. Now I want to know all about their history. You should finish this!

  3. I really liked it and would love to read more.


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