A Snippet from a Story Without a Name

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Works in Progress Can Stay in Progress…Forever

Here’s the thing with works in progress. If I’m not careful, my works in progress can stay in limbo forever. Not being edited, not be published, just percolating. I have a story I’ve been working on for ten years, one I’ve been working on for about twelve, and one that has only been in the works for less than a year.

I’m currently revising this one, which I’ve called Fidelity. I really don’t like the title, but I do love this story. There’s adventure, romance, aliens, and technology. It needs work though. As I work on revisions, I thought it would be fun to post a little bit from one of the early chapters. Have a read, and let me know what you think.

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Excerpt from Fidelity

“Sora, I need those latest files sorted and delivered to the appropriate departments within the hour.”

She felt a surge of annoyance.  Whittle new darn well that she was the fastest tech on the floor.  But she tamped it down and said only, “Of course, Mr. Whittle.”

Whittle wrung his hands in a practiced manner.  “Your uncle asked me especially to make sure you kept up on your work, Sora.”

Sora gaped at him.  She knew Uncle Victor had been chummy with Mr. Whittle, but to ask that he check up on her?  That he made sure she got her work done?  That was absurd.  She was nearly twenty-two, and had been taking care of herself since her and Toma’s parents had left when she was nineteen.  She closed her mouth, her face flushed with anger, but she forced herself to take a deep breath.

“The files will be sent within the next twenty minutes, Mr. Whittle.  Is there anything else you needed?”

A little flustered by her direct response, Whittle only mumbled a negative and wandered off to micromanage someone else.

Okay then. If Whittle and her uncle needed these files sent right away, then she had no choice.  She tapped on the abnormal file and dragged it to the open application.

She knew immediately that something was wrong.

This was no inventory list.  It was an unreadable text file.  But it wasn’t an error—this file had been security scrambled.  At first, Sora thought it was a secure transmission that had been mislabeled.  But she didn’t recognize any of the security codes the author had used.

Indecision snaked through her, and she glanced over her shoulder to make sure Mr. Whittle had truly gone.

How could she know how to direct this if she didn’t decode it?  Yes, it might be classified data, but it was mislabeled. Surely that wouldn’t come back on her? Screw it.

A few tabs of the keypad and her console was running the decoding algorithms.  The computer beeped as it processed the first page. It was a data file—a blueprint.  Sora puzzled over the details of the unknown structure, but she couldn’t make it out.

The computer beeped again.  This next image file was of a map, and one she recognized.  It was London. Blueprints and maps of London? It made no sense.  Just when Sora was beginning to think that someone’s personal vacation plans got scrambled in the ether, the computer beeped again.

This was a text file.  They were directions. Detailed directions on how to plant a soft bomb so that it wouldn’t trigger security protocols.

Sora felt her heart began to race.  She took a shaky breath. Soft bombs were incredibly lethal.  They had been banned since the end of World War III, over 60 years ago.  Who would even have the ability to procure the components? And what were the planning to do with it?

With a sickening jolt, Sora understood.  The Dendriforms. The soft bomb was to destroy the Dendriform delegation.  To halt the peace talks. That had to be it. But a bomb like that wouldn’t just kill the Dendriforms, it would reduce London to ashes.

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