Happy Tuesday, and thank you for tuning in again.
Please allow me to present to you the fifth teaser for Seeds, Book One of The Heterogen Chronicles, scheduled for publication January 2016.
For this particular teaser, here is some context. This scene takes place the following morning, after the previous teaser. In preparation for our characters leaving the City of Kaliber, Shade has been sent by Anax to first retrieve their hexequines from the local stables. Shade is then sent, in this scene, to retrieve their weapons, where he learns another lesson in bureaucracy…
From Act One, Part Three of the novel, this is Scene 7…
[PLEASE NOTE: Seeds is intended for a mature audience.]
There is, unsurprisingly, another line. He waits, checks his pocket watch, seventeen past ten. Twenty two minutes go by before he is again being scanned, then chaperoned into the depot with live rifles held so close that Shade can feel their heat through his cloak, tunic, and vest.
Inside, the building is all concrete and steel. The scent of long collecting rust. He is led by four Enforcers to a lobby, crowded with humans claiming their weapons. There is a counter that spans the width of the room, behind it a large open doorway through which he can see row upon row of metal racks filled with storage crates. From a network of iron beams that spans the ceiling, the whole place is illuminated by harsh lights hung high above like faux suns in some nightmare from which he struggles to awake. A thick yellow line runs in front of the counter and Shade is led along this to wait, again.
He thinks to look at his pocket watch, but declines with the Forks’ rifles surrounding him. He inhales slowly, exhales gently, inhales slowly.
Eventually he is before another Enforcer, one of four stationed behind the counter. He steps over the yellow line to be greeted by the barrels of two rifles against his chest, two more at his back.
“Stay behind the line,” he is told, by which one he is unsure. He does as instructed and the weapons are pulled off him, yet kept uncomfortably close.
“Present your mark,” the Enforcer behind the counter instructs.
Shade pulls up his sleeve. The little red lights dance over the symbol’s miniature walls and his Institution Number. He wonders how quickly he could recover if he were to rip the flesh from his arm and spit the mark to the floor. Or into some Fork’s face.
“You belong to Xalek Manor?”
“Your Master is Anaxander Xalek?”
“Your Master has made arrangements for you to collect his party’s weapons.”
“You will be given a crate containing the items. This is to be opened, emptied, and returned to our personnel upon exit of the City Gates. Is this understood?”
The Enforcer behind the counter taps the face of his scanner until satisfied.
Shade waits several minutes. Must be a long trip to the crate. Then four more Enforcers show up, their shock rifles drawn, glowing, humming. He turns to face them.
“These will be your accompaniment to your Master.”
Shade looks back. The crate is now on the counter.
“You will carry the crate.”
Please stay tuned for more teasers…
Ciao, for now, Stephen~