Whew. It's been a whirlwind week, getting ready for the upcoming holiday. I think I have almost every task completed off my check list. Still doing some baking and I always wait until the last moment to wrap presents. LOL Actually, if all goes well, that will be finished up over the next three days. J
Looking forward to some TV marathons over the next week or two, with a Xmas Eve X-Files event and Five Days of the Doctor, too. I kind of wish more of my favorite shows created specific holiday shows to air on Christmas Day. That's a trend I could definitely get behind.
Just got the word that Bitten returns in February. I cannot wait!! Banshee starts in a few weeks, so that should keep me going during the brief lag time.
Tonight's post is from Leading the War Effort, a novella that puts my hero and heroine together in completely twisted way.
Here's the tagline:
North Normandy becomes the test subject for a super soldier project and his first mission is to rescue his captured father. Frankie Gant knows the venture inside out, but lacks the emotional connection her superiors feel the candidate will need. Frankie acts as North's handler and when the planned op goes south, she risks her life, undergoing the same process to pull both men out of enemy territory.
And a sneaky peek…
North Normandy entered his CO's office and saluted. "Normandy reporting as ordered, Sir." He dropped his arm and placed his hands behind his back in his attention stance.
Colonel Maris nodded. "At ease, Soldier." He laced his fingers together and placed his hands on the desk. "Take a seat, Lieutenant."
North relaxed and settled into the chair facing his superior.
Maris got to the point. "We have a plan to extract your father from the enemy's clutches." He paused, hesitating for a long moment.
North straightened. "Is there anything I can do, Sir?" Twenty-seven days, he'd waited for news about his dad.
The colonel heaved a sigh. "Yes. But I won't order you to do it. I need you to sit and listen before you make a decision, because the risks are many and the guarantees are pretty much nil." The colonel unfolded his hands and opened a file, running a finger along a page to magnify then display the title document on the holo screen.
North scanned the words. "A super solider program?" He'd heard rumors, quiet ones, about a new weapon in development.
The colonel inclined his chin. "Yes. Established under the war department's discretionary budget." The man continued. "We've already had several rangers undergo the therapy and, in the interest of full disclosure, none have survived past the first two stages." He flipped to the next page and brought up several images, gruesome and grotesque. "As you can see, the third phase, the one where enhancements are added, has been a colossal failure." He shuffled the image on the screen and filled the space with data columns.
North reviewed the information, quickly digesting the scientific mumbo-jumbo. "So they pass the rigorous physical and mental evaluations, meaning they should be fit and capable of withstanding the injections." He paused, turning the details over in his mind. "What's the missing component?" There had to be one, or the previous candidates wouldn't have succumbed during the injection process.
Maris gave North a long, considering look. "Lieutenant, do you understand all the data on the holo screen?" He brought up several more documented cases. "As in, you're following the process and how it works?"
North met his CO's gaze. "Yes, Sir." He got up and pointed to two cases on the screen. "These should have made the grade. The compounds were adjusted so their bodies could withstand the chemical load." He turned around and faced the colonel. "But the process still didn't work. That suggests something, a buffer maybe, is missing." North sat back down, questions burning in his brain.
Maris let out a low whistle. "Well, you've nailed the problem directly on its head." He swiped his hand over the page and the holo screen went blank. "The directors are at a loss, but the project handler has a wild theory and we're at a point where we have to attempt to see if she's on target." He squarely met North's gaze.
North leaned forward, curiosity piqued. "What's the crazy idea?" Anything to get his dad out of enemy hands.
The colonel shrugged. "Her notion is an emotional angle is missing. She believes there has to be some kind of deep, intense commitment or connection to make the final phase survivable." He snorted. "Probably a load of bullshit, but like I said, we've got to consider every option."
North shook his head. "With all due respect, Sir, she's probably hit the bull's eye." He leaned forward. "If the level of intelligence didn't help the candidates make the grade, the mental desire, call it a need, to survive for something other than self-preservation can definitely add an edge." He stopped, remembered he spoke to a superior, and added. "I'm sorry, Sir. Sometimes my mouth spews information before my brain kicks in." His face heated. "What do you need from me, Sir?" North mentally crossed his fingers for the colonel's reply.
The colonel's lips twitched. "I think you know exactly what I’m going to ask. And note this is a request, not an order." He reached inside the folder and withdrew a stack of papers. "Will you volunteer to be the next recipient of the therapy?" He slid the packet of information in North's direction.
North didn't even read the details, he grabbed a pen and shuffled to the last page. "Yes, Sir. You have your volunteer." He signed his name and returned the packet to the colonel. "When do I report?"
I'm going to have so much fun writing the rest of this one. My heroine has a strong voice in my head. LOL
That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flip.