Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 13: 3595, (!2996 book, 130,081 total)

As you can tell, not a great day of writing. Far too much going on, and it's going to get far worse before it gets better. The only good thing I can say is that I turned in a chapter for a nonfiction book tonight, so that's done. I have other things dropping in on me though, and I honestly can't keep up.

I have been enjoying the new novel, though. There's not enough sf to it, but it's an interesting character study so far. I have finally figured out part of what's going on. I'm having fun telling the story. I'll probably, at best, do about 5k a day from here on out. I still hope to have it done by the end of the month.

Today's snippet:

He kept the sound down, and when the funeral ended, he closed down the link and got ready. He knew Cailin wouldn't be long in arriving.

And he was right. He'd barely brushed his hair back and strapped on the dagger -- good to have it back -- when the door buzzed. He went over, cautious as ever, and checked.

Royce Felisa stood outside, looking worn and a little impatient. He was not the person Zerod had expected, or even wanted, to see. However, he could find no reason to say no, and finally keyed it open.

"Took you a moment there to decide, did it?" Royce asked as he stepped in.

"I'm always slow to let in people I do not expect," he answered and limped back to the bed to get his jacket. "Can I help you with anything?"

"You were a hard man to find. Luckily, having Felisa connections actually works on occasion." He walked over and looked out, staring in silence for a moment. "It doesn't matter how often I see it, I still can't get myself to believe this has happened. I can't figure out why."

"I wish I had an answer of some sort for you."

Royce looked back, frowning -- and then nodded. "You mean that. It's not just words to you."

"Yes, I do. And not just because it's my job."

He nodded again. "My father officially put me in charge of the Felisa Corporation Guards, at least for the time being. He doesn't particularly think you're going to find an answer, and he wants me to work on this as well. My thoughts, however, run to believing that if we work together, dividing up the jobs, we're more likely to come across something sooner. I want the answer to this, Zerod Argentine. I want it quickly before we lose any more people."

He nodded. "I'd be glad to work with you, but I have to say that my techniques are set in such a way that I do not work well side-by-side with people. However, this is a wide-open case, and there are things that could be easier checked by you, then by me trying to go through channels or tracking down people one-by-one."

"Yes, I thought as much," he said and then gave a little start with the door buzzed again. "Are you expecting someone?"

"Yes. Cailin. I assume that we work with her as well?" he said as he crossed the room.

"Oh yes, without a doubt." He nodded to her when she came in. "I didn't expect to see you here. And you knew where to find him?"

"I brought him here last night," she said, then looked at Zerod with a quick smile. "And we really shouldn't talk about him as though he's not here."

Royce gave a bow of apology and then turned back to Cailin. "I don't know if you heard, but father finally put me in charge of the guards."

"About damned time. If I'd had to go through Miss Bitch again, I'd have not bothered to report at all."

Zerod had picked up his case and looked from one to the other. "Miss Bitch?"

"Kenzie," Royce said with a little curl of his lip. Not his favorite sister, from what Zerod could tell. "She's taking this as a personal affront."

Cailin made a sound of disgust, and then looked contrite. "I shouldn't be that way. She's always been self-absorbed. But there are times when I wish she'd come out of that egotistical shell and look around at the rest of us."

"I know. Ready to go? Where are we going?"

"Back to the compound," Zerod said. He'd rather have listened to the two talked for a little while longer. They were open with each other, and it helped him to get a feel for things.

His head ached, but he ignored it and headed out the door. The two walked out of the room with him, and he stepped aside to let them go first. Cailin looked back at him, frowning again, and he gave her a little nod.

"In my profession, we learn early not to let anyone walk behind us."

"And that's supposed to make us feel better about you walking behind us?" she asked, stopping by the elevators.

"No, but it makes me feel better."

"I would think it would be very hard to have a social life with an attitude like that," Royce said as he keyed up the elevator. He looked at Zerod, perhaps waiting for an answer. "No social life?"


The answer obviously imparted enough information. He didn't ask more, and they slipped into the elevator in blessed silence. If they could get to work soon, it would be better. He was never good with small talk.

The elevator started down. He thought ahead to the things he wanted to get done today, and how he could get the other two to help --

The elevator came to a quick, bone-jarring stop. The lights went out.

"That's bad," Cailin said. She pulled out her pocket comp and used it as a light. Royce had his commlink out and was already talking to someone.
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