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Today I'll be sharing a glimpse of Shyler: Finding Home—a Furlough 99 Novella, from Ellipses Press, Ltd. Furlough 99 is a space station, the last stop before uncharted space, situated in the ass end of the universe.
Inspector Shyler Lumen and entrepreneur Marshton Gray don't have much in common. A manhunt for a brilliantly mad chemist brings them together and sparks fly. Shyler and Marsh can fight the wave of change… or grab hold and go along for the ride.
Shyler still had trouble wrapping her head around the stupid series of events that landed her best informant in a fight for his life. A Zoner, the newest lame term for pusher of recreational drugs, thought it would be amusing to release a brand spanking new narco club drug at a rave, just to see what happened. All well and good, but for one thing. The stupid moron didn't realize he'd change the chemical properties when he added the substance to the fog juice in the Underground's five machines. He also didn't know it would prove toxic to ninety-nine percent of the club goers.
The ISP—Inter-Stellar Police—caught up with him on his way off planet. Felt good to have the asshole behind bars, where he couldn't hurt anyone else. And the freak-out of all freak-outs over what had happened made him spill everything he knew about Sheen, so named for the way it gave its users an iridescent glow to their skin. His actual knowledge of the properties of the drug didn't amount to much. But… he gave them a name.
Baj Dogo aka Doctor X.
Dogo hadn't bothered to tell the less intelligent Zoner what would happen if people tried to alter the original compound. Or mix it with something else. Shyler could definitely nail the chemist for negligence, but if she had her way, she'd fry him for accessory to murder.
If he didn't slip the net. As the last bastion of the known universe, Furlough proved a tempting prospect for people who wanted to escape and go off the grid.
Right. Like that would happen.
Dogo would slither away over her cold, lifeless body.
Technically, she shouldn't work the case since she had a very personal connection to one of the victims. Too damned bad. She had buttloads of personal leave she could use however she damn well wanted.
Shyler elbowed her way out of the transport and ran through her mental checklist. First, she had to find out who to cajole, threaten, or bribe to be able to work in relative peace or at least not step on toes. Second, find a place to meet, and third, well, she needed to take care of the first two before worrying about number three. She glanced around, found a porter and flagged him down.
"Can you tell me who runs security—not the official kind—on Furlough and where the best place to meet would be?" As he got closer, Shyler realized 'he' was a droid, very lifelike, but a machine nonetheless. "And um… maybe how I can get a message to them?"
Droids always threw her. She never knew if they had to have commands or if simple conversations were possible. And of course it always varied by model.
The blond machine's eyes blinked several times then looked directly at her. "Oh, they'll find you, sweetie cakes. Trust me."
Shyler couldn't help it, she laughed out loud. And felt much more at ease. An android who talked like a flaming queen? Exactly what she needed to feel more at home.
Her outburst stopped a gentleman on the glide path in his tracks. She flicked her gaze sideways and narrowed her eyes. She'd seen him before but couldn't place where. The answer hovered just out of reach, yet she knew he'd come from Mars, the rock she called home.
He had to be from Queen City, the largest metropolis on the red planet. 4.5 million souls strewn throughout—from the swank, high end condos down to the no rent tent squats—and she ran into one of them way out on Furlough?
Dismissing him, Shyler focused on the droid again. "I'm sorry. They'll find me?"
The porter shocked her again when he rolled his eyes. "Sweetie cakes, you've got enforcement written all over you." He made air quotes to emphasis enforcement.
Shyler chuckled. "I'm not enforcement per se. More like ISP. And I'm not exactly trying to hide it. Don't have the time to waste going covert." The guy from home moved away slowly, maybe too slowly, and it piqued her curiosity.
Tall, dark, and quite gorgeous if one went for the type. And maybe a little too nosy for his own good. She watched until he finally moved out of sight.
The patient droid waited until she made eye contact with it before speaking again. "Hmm…Inter-Stellar Police. You're right, not exactly total enforcement. At least not the kind we used to have around here. You guys at least provide trials for the accused." The droid's face went flat with what appeared to be a bad memory.
Shyler shook off the weird feeling. Droids couldn't have memories, could they?
She got back to business. "Give me a public place that has privacy so I can park it until the security people find me."
"You'll want the Den." At her raised eyebrow, he clarified. "Den of Iniquity…the bar up on Level 4. Ask for Varina, she'll point you to a place you can 'park it'."
Tagline: Inspector Shyler Lumen always gets her man—even if she has to go through Marshton Grey to do it.
Blurb: Sparks fly when Inter-Stellar Police Inspector Shyler Lumen meets Mars entrepreneur Marshton Grey. She's after one of his employees who created a lethal club drug. Shyler doesn't want the distraction Marsh provides, but he could hold the key to solving her case.
Or he may end up being her biggest obstacle.
Marsh wants to help Shyler catch his former employee before he can slip the net from Furlough 99. He isn't prepared for the attraction to the tightly wound inspector, but he doesn't fight it. Shyler proves to be a fascinating puzzle Marsh doesn't come across very often.
It's a good thing he's up for the challenge she presents.
Please feel free to stop by my website for more information: Skye Writes
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