Monday, February 15, 2010

That is not dead...

I seem to have neglected my blog somewhat. I’ll be posting a bit in the next few entries about the projects I’m working on.

Today, I’m going to share a scene from my short story “Cornucopia Rex.” I was asked to submit a story for a near-future lovecraftian anthology. The editor was looking for something very dark and edgy. The protaganist of this piece is a broken soul. A soldier who encountered something in Iran so far beyond human experience, it ruined her ability to cope with normal society. In the following scene, she’s waiting for a freelance computer hacker to finish downloading damning evidence from a multinational conglomerate she has a personal vendetta against. I hope you enjoy it.

“We’re in!”

Putting her gloved hands on the back of Eric’s chair as she leaned over his shoulder to view the monitor, Sheila said, “That was pretty damn fast. Figured you’d be at it for hours.” The blond tresses from her wig hung past her shoulders

“You get what you pay for.” Sweat beaded on the fat cowboy’s brow and his hands shook just a little. He smiled but shouldn’t have, it looked forced and sickly.

Sheila perused the files scrolling on the screen: Blackmoore Global Laboratories, Blackmoore Agro, Blackmoore Defense, Blackmoore Biotech… A black glass heart, a global parasite gleefully feasting on its host.

“We can access all of them?”

Twelve hundred facilities in over eighty nations. Finally, someone was going to give them the finger in a very big way. Finally she’d get some payback for what they’d done to her squad.
“Your codes only get us safely into the Cornucopia Project. I’m not going for anything else.” Finding the folder, he began downloading it. “If you want more, we’ll have to renegotiate and to be honest…” He hesitated.

“Are you scared?” Sheila asked, her hands leaving the chair. She could smell the fear on him, oozing out with his sweat. He’d probably take it out on his wife and kids tonight. Reading what was known about him made her sick.

“Yeah, I am.” Eric’s grin faded away as his voice became terse. “I knew a couple of sneaky bastards who tried to crack Blackmoore’s systems. Real aces. They disappeared and bad shit happened to their families. These guys don’t go running to the feds. Their engagement protocols are beyond black. Yeah, I’m scared.”

Sheila snorted at the confession and immediately wished she hadn’t. She forgot sometimes that most people fear death. They hadn’t walked in her boots. Hadn’t learned that death was the least of evils waiting in the dark. In the reflection from the monitor, she watched Eric’s lip twitch as his eyes narrowed. She may as well have told him he had a tiny dick. A tirade was on the way.
“You know what? Fuck you bitch. Even with the codes, you need a guy with my chops to get past security. These goons would have boots outside your door in less than ten minutes if you tried this. You and all your angry tree-hugging friends would get black-bagged and slabbed.

You think I didn’t do my homework first? Just ‘cause I need the money doesn’t mean I’m stupid. I’ve seen Monkeywrench making the news: CEO’s gunned down with their families, labs blown to hell.

And I know you too bitch, I know you real well. Three tours of Tehran, booted out when your squad got killed and you lost your shit. Started joining all those ‘animals over people’ groups. Old man couldn’t take your crazy ass anymore so he filed for divorce, then you really went gung ho for this shi..” Eric white-knuckled the arms of the chair as he pushed forward to shove his bulk to his feet. Sheila thrust the blade just beneath the base of Eric’s skull, severing the spinal cord.

“Dammit.”

4 comments:

Rick said...

Nice to see you back again, Chuck! Great excerpt, too.

Stewart Sternberg said...

And so it begins. I am looking forward to seeing this in print. Great title, by the way.

Charles P. Zaglanis said...

Thanks guys, I honestly don't know where the time goes. : )

Rick said...

You do know it's March already and time for another blog posting, don't you?