Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday Snippet

It's been a busy week! I have sent out eight submissiopns, and I have at least one more to go. I got a good amount of writing done and between bouts of back problems, I even managed to clean part of the house.

I suspect the world is going to end, but we'll just pretend like that's not going to happen and keep working.

This is another, slightly later snippet from Vita's Vengeance and introduces a second POV character. While the picture on the left isn't quite Kwillian, it does rather embody her attitude toward things. (Actually, it reminds me far more of Devlin, from a nice eight book series I've written... must think about reworking those again.)

And yes, that is my art work.

I hope you enjoy this week's work!

The snippet:


Kwillian Kim had arrived on the same shuttle as Alsandor Vita, which proved a fortuitous and unexpected boon for her. People watched the younger Vita heir, and didn't look twice at the tall, dark-skinned woman who left the shuttle four people behind the councilor.

So she arrived on Dasan without incident. The genescan didn't reveal anything extraordinary about her. She had no criminal record -- but only because no one had records on Lindy Pirates. She slipped through security with less trouble than some natives had coming home.

Kwi looked forward to the work of organizing local underground groups, preparing them for battles fought more often with brains than weapons. People didn't expect Lindy Pirates to be freedom fighters, but for her people it had proven to be an easy step. Besides, Jarak infringed on their usual work, being far better at taking what wasn't his than any Lindy Pirate had ever been at the work. Her people grabbed cargoes now and then; Jarak took whole worlds.

Kwi slipped off to the side of the lobby and found a chair, putting her bag at her feet. She enjoyed watching the Vita boy take on the press like a pro -- although the line about his wife got a snicker out of her. Amusing and unintentional, if she could judge by how he blushed.

What did surprise her, and everyone else, was the attempt on Alsandor Vita's life.

If she'd had any prior indication of trouble, Kwi would have been faster to follow the assassin. Years of training had made her automatically mark the position of everyone around her when she arrived in the building. She knew where the assassin had gone and grabbed her bag, darting down the walkway between shuttle gates after him though he had already disappeared.

Then, cursing at her own stupidity, she realized half the guard in Kaiton would be looking for anyone suspicious. She quickly turned back to the lobby. As she had expected, two guards reached her as she came out of the hall. Kwi gave them her best, disarming smile -- the one she had worked on for years. She held out her ID chit and they ran it through the pocket comp one of them held. Old equipment, a bit outdated. If they'd run it through the Lindy-made pocket comp she carried it would have told them the ID was a fake.

"Kwillian Kim, Sofi Islands," the first guard said. "Do you want to explain why you were following the other man?"

"Following?" she asked, glancing over her shoulder, feigning confusion. The accent was a very good imitation she had learned from her grandfather, whom Kwi had mimicked from an early age. It made her perfect for this assignment. "I didn't see anyone else in the hall."

The guard held out the comp and showed her a vid sequence. She watched a man who knew how to keep his head bowed away from the cams -- yes, well-planned, he knew the place. A professional. Nice of the guards to share so much information with her, she thought with a concealed grin. Then she watched herself, tall, dark and lanky, moving along at a good clip not far behind him. She wished the sequence hadn't ended before she saw where the assassin went.

"Oh yes," she said, and nodded emphatically. "That's me."

"Why did you run?"

Kwi looked down at her feet and then back up. "I just spent a year on Enil. When there's trouble there you get away as fast as you can before the Verdi Elite show up. I was half way down the hall before I realized there aren't any Elite on this world. So I turned around and came back."

It was a good answer, and it worked because they knew she hadn't met the man. Their questions allowed her to do a little of her own work, giving answer hinting at the trouble people faced with the damned Verdi Elite in charge.

"Thank you for your cooperation," the guard said, handing back her ID. "May I ask, given the situation on Dasan, why you're coming here now?"

"I wanted to go home," she said. "I haven't been here in years and I thought... Well, the other choice is to leave the Aquila Fringe completely. At least I have family here."

He nodded and asked no more -- and that, finally, unsettled Kwi. The acceptance said volumes about the current atmosphere in the army in ways she couldn't have gleaned from Vidline reports. These people expected Jarak to arrive and they expected him to win. It was a logical belief, but the attitude would make it harder for Kwi to do her own work.

"We'll have this business settled soon. I see you're taking the Sofi shuttle in two hours. It shouldn't be delayed."

"Thank you."

She went to the nearest row of chairs and sat, trying not to fidget as they worked their way through the rest of the room, interviewing everyone. She watched as General Taren arrived, and not long afterwards a shaken Alsandor left with him. At least he walked away, and from what she heard the medic say to the reporters, it had been a matter of luck.

Kwi wanted answers, but she knew she didn't dare ask for them. Instead, she bowed her head, closed her eyes, and concentrated on listening to the people around her.

"I don't know why," a man said a few chairs away. "Why would anyone do that to Elisa?"

Odd line, since the attempt had been on Alsandor's life, though the man did have a point. Elisa Vita Taren would have suffered at the loss of her brother. Did someone want the President of Kai occupied with a personal crisis right now?

Jarak might, of course, but he wasn't the only one. Director Ivas of the Anon District certainly might like a distraction if he planned to make another push at the border. She had heard rumors of preparation for such an action, which annoyed the hell out of her. She liked to think the people she came to help were better than the Verdi.

Being a spy was such a damn, tedious strain on her morals.


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7 comments:

Bri said...

Wow! I'm impressed! First, with the artwork - fantastically realistic. I also loved Kwi's ability to split hairs about thievery - stealing cargoes vs. stealing worlds. I love that she justifies what she does and has a sense of humor with her morals. :D

The different POV was also great - the different take on the politics helped explain some stuff.

Can't wait for next week's snippet!

cherylp said...

So, is Kwi and Alsandor destined to meet one another?

Zette said...

Thank you, Bri...

And yes, Cheryl -- they are bound to meet, but under rather unusual circumstances.

I do like this book. I should try to find it a nice publisher. It hasn't gone out in a submission for a couple years, I think. There must be some place I haven't sent it yet! (grin)

IanT said...

Ah - I was a little puzzled by some of the thin-ness of this (particularly the assassination attempt) but then realised that it was a follow-on rather than an introduction; having read the last two episodes, it all makes a lot more sense!

Feels like a busy universe! :-)

Gabriele C. said...

I like Kwi.

And yes, that book should find a home. Nto at least because I want to read it. *grin* Good luck with it.

Jean said...

Nice. Qwi handled that session well.

Congrats on the submissions -- I hope you get good news from them.

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

Celebrate those submissions! What a wonderful accomplishment. I really like Kwi and those tedious strains on her morals. :-)