I really do hate being sick. Unfortunately until the meds that the doctor has prescribed kick in I must endure a rough cough and various aches and pains. Bleh.
Still, I have managed to do a lot of writing despite feeling ill so that’s good news. Draft three is proceeding very well indeed and if I can just get over this sickness I can make a final push to finish the book!
That and I had a really good chat with Mat about the second book’s cover art. Mat did the first books cover and has some really good ideas regards the next cover. Many of you will have seen his work on the Facebook page and on the various blogs here and there. It is good news that he’s up for having a go with book two.
Apart from that I’ve still not been able to source a printer for the first book as I’ve not been able to take a proper look through the Writers and Artists handbook. That plus as I said before the cost of printing it on my own is prohibitive. So a printed version of book one is sadly still far away. I’ll keep trying through.
Keeping with tradition, here’s another short story for you all to enjoy. This one’s original premise was ‘waking up in a room and not knowing where you are’. This one is a break with my normal writing style as it’s from a first person perspective. Hope you all enjoy. Till next time.
* * * * *
I opened my eyes. What I beheld, was definitely not what I had seen before I fell asleep.
A blank featureless white ceiling, a single neon light flickering above me.
This isn't right.
I felt stiff, as if waking up from too much running the day before; too much exercise. Except I hadn't exercised the day before. I'd been at home, relaxing on my day off, doing very little other than pottering about the house and watching some documentary.
I rose, slowly, feeling my muscles ache.
This isn't right.
The room itself was much less blank than the ceiling as I glanced around. I had been lying on some kind surgery table. Directly in front of me was a heavy looking metal door with no handle, and what looked like a keypad set into the white wall beside it.
I rolled my shoulders, my muscles still aching. I looked at my hand.
Black lines criss-crossed it. Oddly spaced, as if they ran...
Ran under my skin. I looked up both my arms, noticing with horror how the black lines crossed all over my arms, right up to were I couldn't see them anymore under the white surgery garb I wore.
This isn't right! What the hell is going on?
I was becoming scared now. I looked around the rest of the room. By the far wall, the oddest of things was hung. It almost made me flinch off the table.
It looked for all the world, like a suit of armour. I had at first thought it a man standing, regarding me, the way it was propped up by the wall. It was painted in random colours of green, black and brown all over. Pouches adored its belt, a huge knife secured on one hip. The armour was angular, alien to my eyes. I didn't recognize it...
Mark 4 Avenger Armour.
The thought came uncalled for, making me blink in surprise.
What was that? Where am I? This isn't right.
I am Jonathan Taylor, I am 26 years old. I have a wife, Jessie, and 2 daughters, Emma and Laura. I work at...
Delta assault unit, 3rd platoon, Special Operations.
I felt cold sweat breaking out over me. What the hell was going on?
This isn't right!
Ignoring my muscles, I got down off the surgery table and hobbled over to the door as fast as my still tired legs allowed me. Frantically I typed on the keypad, noticing it had spaces for 4 digits on its small digital display.
A load buzzer sounded. I tried again.
The buzzer again. Frustration boiled in me. I gritted my teeth.
Buzzer. The sound mocked me and I screamed at it.
This isn't right!
Downloading mission data
I gasped as my eyes went black for a second, my vision blurring. I felt dizzy, grasping at the walls for support before sliding to the ground. I felt sick, my stomach muscles tightening. Then, just as suddenly, it was gone. My vision returned and the nausea abated.
Missions launch: 3 minutes.
Where were these thoughts coming from? What was going on?
This isn't right!
“Please don your armour plate marine.”
“Who are you?” I yelled at the room, looking round for the source of the sudden, alien voice. It was a female voice. I knew the voice...but from where?
Real. Your not Jonathan Taylor. Your not married. You don't have kids. Now get your S*** together, and don your armour marine. Your oscar mike in 2 minutes 30.
I stand up, blinking.
I stumble toward the armour. My mind was a whirl of emotions and memories. I blinked, trying to dispel a thousand different images parading before my minds eye. Battles, friends, visions, missions. My eyes teared up. What was happening? What's going on? What...am...I...
They'd cleaned up the armour plate pretty good. They could never get the bullet impacts completely clean, of course, but you had to hand it to the armourers they'd done a damn good job.
I grabbed the Avenger chest piece, always the first piece of the jigsaw, feeling its reassuring weight. It had saved me more than once these many years.
I slide the armour over my head and let my arms slide through. I blinked. That was odd. My eyes were teary.
“Delta 7?” came Marian's voice.
“Yeah yeah.” I muttered, continuing to suit up.
“Delta 7 are you?...”
“Yeah, I’ll be Oscar Mike shortly ok?” I called in the direction of the door. Hell if I knew were the microphones were in this place. I never did after awakening, but it seemed the most logical place.
I was fully suited up in 2 minutes, everything except my XM3000 rifle. Ammo pouches, grenades, combat knife, everything else was ready to go.
I took a last look round the preparation area. The damn place always freaked me out. I had always meant to ask the damn docs why they got us to suit up in such an odd place. Probably a psychology thing but still; freaking weird.
I dismissed the thoughts. I had bigger things to worry about now.
“This is Delta 7.” I spoke into my helmet response mike. “Inbound 30 seconds.”
Now...what was the damn door code?