My apologies to my longing audience, but my router has decided this week to harbor a whole host of gremlins. I've called for an exorcism--I think I scared it long enough to shoot off this short post--but I'm not sure if that will help.
After a dose of holy water...aka, tech support Monday morning, hopefully, the last of my demons will go away. At least with my off again, on again Internet access, I've managed to do a little bit of research for Changeling Project, and I finished the book by C.J. Cherryth. Which will be the subject of a book rave very soon.
Here's a short, future excerpt of Changeling Project, for your nibbling pleasure.
“This is not right.”
Avior sighed and slapped his credentials onto the Director’s desk. Rigel didn’t even glance at them. “How can you destroy another man like this? How can you live with yourself?”
“IDEA has need of this particular talent. Therefore, we have been authorized to request his assistance in the—“
Rigel jerked to his feet, leaning forward with his arms on his desk. “Don’t feed me that legal jargon. This is not a tool. This is another human being.”
Avior took a step back. The two IDEA field agents with him shifted uneasily, but said nothing. “I am not going to argue with you,” Avior said quietly. “We need him.”
“Needs of the few, needs of the many. Is that it?”
Avior turned away from the man and crossed to the security panel in the left corner of the room. He skimmed the names in the listing. Sliding a key card from its envelope, he faced Rigel again. “Do not try to stop us.”
“What could I do against the might of IDEA?”
Avior kept his face impassive, gestured at one agent to remain, and stepped into the hallway.
Rigel’s voice made him pause. “If you do this, you have forsaken the Code, indirect violation or not.”
Avior took a deep breath and continued walking.
Gary scowled at the game board again and resisted the urge to fling the pieces against the wall. He had lost again. The game still proceeded, but he had seen his mistake. In a few moves, he would have backed himself into a corner. Whether he played the computer or Tauri, Gary always lost.
With a muttered curse, Gary closed the game. Something that involved strategy and the concept of dimensional movement was too difficult. If he had been a fractal, as the game had been designed for, it would be easy. At least Tauri always lost at poker. Gary grinned at the memory of his friend’s astonished face after a particularly wild bluff.
The door buzzed. He whirled in surprise. His appointment with Doctor Kewan was not for several hours.
Two men stepped through the door. They were both in IDEA’s starched-white uniforms and had prominent neurals on their hip. The leader was Lacuna. His eye-shine could be seen shimmering through his green iris. He was taller than Tauri and had darker hair, but the high brow, aquiline nose, and high cheekbones could only be the mark of Lacuna genetics.
The other man was Tulkarian. Scaled and burly, he flicked an irritated glare at Gary and crossed his arms. Gary grinned. “Little far from home, aren’t you?”
“Be quiet, Terran.”
Gary rolled his eyes. He focused on the first man, the obvious leader. His uniforms bore several marks of rank.
“I am Avior,” the Lacuna said. “First Lieutenant.”
“No ship? A field agent then.”
Avior frowned. “Yes. IDEA has authorized me to request your assistance in the pursuit to locate Lieutenant Commander—“
“I’m not going anywhere.” Gary shook his head. “Do you think I checked into this place for the room service?”