17 April 2012

Excerpt - The Technocrat Draft

I've been writing (like a boss).

Like all great pieces of fiction, I had to leave the first part of the next novel alone for a while. I've been inundated with work, homework, and studying for a professional certification. They aren't excuses, but they are pretty good reasons.

Here and there I've worked on the next novel, THE TECHNOCRAT, and wanted to share a bit of what I've completed. I'm thinking of doing this in a chapter-by-chapter style. I write a chapter, get it edited and rewrite until beautiful, then sell each chapter individually for $0.10-0.25. Yes, that is 10-25cents (USD).

We'll see, I still have a lot of writing to do. Until then, enjoy this excerpt from the draft of THE TECHNOCRAT:

The Democratic Republic of Haven Butte
Titan, Saturn
08 January 2306

            The wind howled and moaned as it swept through the deserted streets of Haven Butte. Curfew was in effect. No one dared brave the city at night, lest they be spotted by the army and gunned down. No questions would be asked. There would be no hearings or investigations. The Revolutionary Council was clear on the curfew. Dissident elements still infested Haven Butte. The curfew was for the good of the people.
Judd Wooller watched from the window in his darkened apartment as a patrol of six Revolutionary Army troopers (more like children playing at war) and a technical moved by on the street below. Judd noticed that some of the idiots didn’t even have full kit. Some had load bearing gear while others stuffed magazines and canteens in the pockets of their cold weather clothing. They carried their weapons as if they were on a hunting trip. It was a miracle they had managed to overthrow the king and his ruling elite.
“This place is crawling with patrols,” the man beside Judd said in a whisper.
The patrol moved past and Judd breathed a sigh of relief.
“They’re gone,” Judd said.
“How long has it been?” the other man asked.
“A little over a month,” Judd said.
“Lord d’Helion wouldn’t leave his investment and us to die. . .would he?”
Judd shook his head. “We’re far from Mars, Patrick. Who knows what’s happening on the mons, or the red planet.”
Patrick’s shoulders slumped.
“But, if we wait any longer these revolutionaries will come after us,” Judd said.
“How would we get out?” Patrick asked. “The nearest city-state is over two hundred kilometers from here. Titan may be more developed in terms of terraforming than other moons, but we would still die in the wilderness.”
“Better that than be tortured to death for any connection with the previous government.”
Patrick couldn’t argue with Judd’s logic.
Judd walked away from the window and into the apartment’s kitchen. A pot of fresh coffee sat on the counter. Though it was late at night neither man could sleep. Judd poured himself a large mug of the brew and sat down at the kitchen table.
Patrick still stood. He wrung his hands and looked around the apartment as if he was watching a mouse run along the floor.
“Sit down,” Judd said. “You’re making me nervous.”
“How can you be so calm?”
“I’m not. But unlike you I can control my emotions. Get yourself a cup of coffee and sit down. It’s not like there’s a whole lot we can do anyway.”
Patrick trudged over to the counter and retrieved a mug from the cabinet overhead.
Suddenly there was a knock on the door.
Patrick jumped and let go of the mug. The ceramic cup hurtled to the floor and shattered into a dozen pieces.
“Open up,” a gruff voice said. “Revolutionary Army. Random inspection.”
Patrick cursed.
Judd waved Patrick down and got up to answer the door.
“Good evening, sir,” the ragamuffin soldier said. “Identification please.”
“I need to get it,” Judd said. “Please come in.”
The soldier at the door and a second trooper strode into the flat. Judd took note that neither man kept both hands on their assault rifles.
Judd pulled his and Patrick’s identification cards out of a drawer and presented them to the first soldier.
The boy glanced at the cards and then at Judd.
“These aren’t authorized identification cards,” he said.
“We’re contractors,” Judd said. He neglected to mention their nationality. “We got stuck here during the revolution. Every time we try to apply for new ID’s we’re turned away.”
The soldier looked at each of them with a suspicious eye.
“Run the cards,” the first soldier said. “They could be on the kingdom database.”
The other trooper produced a handheld scanner and ran each card. The device chimed and displayed the readings.
Judd Wooller knew he was in trouble when the two soldiers shared a look and their demeanors changed.
“We’re going to need you to come with us,” the first soldier said.
“Is there a problem?” Judd asked.
“You’re Olympian.”
“Is that a crime?”
The soldier leveled his assault rifle at Judd’s midriff. “The Olympus Mons Technocracy supported the King and his regime. We have specific instructions to bring you in for questioning.”
More like interrogation, Judd thought.
The second soldier moved to secure Patrick, and the first soldier looked to watch.
At that moment Judd launched himself at the first soldier and tackled him. The trooper fell hard and let go of his weapon. Before the man could react Judd pummeled his face with punches. The soldier’s companion turned to see what was happening, only to have Patrick smash him across the face with a mean right hook.
Before Judd could grab the dropped weapon four more Revolutionary Army soldiers barged into the apartment and leveled their weapons at Judd and Patrick.
Judd and Patrick raised their hands in defeat.
They were roughed up before being cuffed with zip ties and shoved out of the flat and through the apartment building. Dark bruises were forming on Judd’s and Patrick’s faces, and several cuts to their faces and heads bled. To Patrick’s credit he remained straight faced and dry eyed.
“We didn’t want trouble,” the first soldier said as he wiped his bloody nose. “We just wanted to ask some questions. But now you’re in for it.”
“I’ve spent my time in the military,” Judd said. “I already know what’s going to happen.”
The six soldiers shoved Judd and Patrick outside into the cold, dark night. The roads were slick with packed snow – there had been no municipal services since the King had been overthrown. Patrick slipped and fell flat on his back.
“Get up,” one of the troopers said.
Patrick tried to get his feet under him, but his bound hands made it difficult. He strained his head up as he fought to stand – and stopped.
“Get up,” Judd said, his voice a harsh growl.
Patrick wouldn’t stop staring at the sky.
“What are you looking at?” another soldier asked.
They all turned their attention up. Above them Saturn dominated the sky. Slim, bright streaks decorated the scene with brilliant colors.
“It’s just a meteor shower,” a soldier said.
Judd’s eyes widened as realization sunk in.
“They’re here.”
“What?” the first soldier asked. “What are you talking about?”
The soldiers began to move their prisoners again when the first units hit the ground.