Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday Snippet: One Hot Mess

Slow week in television due to the Olympics, but that's okay. I enjoy being a casual viewer of the coverage and there have been some terrific events. Watching Virture | Mior during ice dancing is such a joy. They're unmatched by anyone else.

Legends of Tomorrow returned on Monday and while I'm kind of "meh" about the move to a new night, I did love the episode. Nice to see the group dealing with Firestorm being gone. Also kind of cool to see Mick step into something of a leadership role, even if he'd never own doing it. LOL

I had the chance to catch up on my period dramas. Murdoch Mysteries is having some fun with Julia's pregnancy and I kind of like how she's dealing with everything. Frankie Drake Mysteries keeps getting better. I love the varied types of cases Frankie and Trudy get involved in.

Also caught another five episodes of Chicago Fire. Season four is diving into things on a much deeper level and I like where the characters are right now. It's been fun watching Severide pull himself back up from his demotion. I even sort of enjoyed Patterson figuring out what really matters at fifty-one. Not sure I'm totally down with him becoming a battalion chief but, yeah, I can live with it. LOL

I didn't get the chance to watch more of The Punisher, but I'll be catching some episodes this weekend. Also still need to watch the latest Riverdale before the show returns after the Olympics.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from One Hot Mess, a novella that started with an idea of a character waking up next to someone and not remembering how they got there. Oh… and they're naked.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Eva Twine and Van Jefferson have a very friendly rivalry when their teams compete for the galaxy championship. But when Van questions what Eva will wear to the celebratory masquerade, she decides to rock his very foundation.

And a sneaky peek…

Eva soaped up her skin, the hot steam of the shower easing her aching muscles. Her foot throbbed and she kept most of her weight off that side. Made the shower go must faster than normal.
She lathered up her hair and shook her head. Leave it to Van to assume she'd show up as a Sky Hawg poster girl. And okay… that might have been her original plan, but not anymore.
Something about the sexy smirk on his face made her want to wipe it off in a spectacular fashion. "Oh, Van, you think you know me… but you so don't." Eva let several ideas roll around in her head.
She had to find something killer to wear for the costume ball. A dress. A gorgeous one. Ugh… and heels. She didn't wear them often, who liked to torture themselves? But her legs looked kick ass great when she did.
Hopefully her foot didn't have any broken bones. The universe would not be that cruel. She had a point to make. Her team might have lost the battle, but she had a chance to beat Van by proving his expectations so very wrong.
She laughed. "How effing awesome? Kinda like kismet for the big loss."
Shutting off the water, Eva quickly toweled off and pulled on some clothes. She had to check in with the infirmary doc and see what the x-ray showed. Head still full of ideas, Eva started down the corridor, oblivious to anyone else passing by. She favored her injured foot, but cut a quick path through the throngs of people and burned a steady trail toward the lower level. Making her way down the steps, she made a quick decision to do the heels even if her foot had broken bones. At least until Van got a good, long look at her. Grinning wide, she made the turn and entered the infirmary.
She couldn't wait to get the all clear… "Geez, it's been years passed since I've actually wanted to go shopping." The exorbitant amount she'd spend didn't irritate her either.
She firmly decided not to examine the reason why Van Jefferson inspired so much competitiveness she'd go to great lengths to show him up. The challenge of rocking his world a fun one she deserved after taking one for the team.
Laughing, she sat up on the exam table and waited for the doc. "Poor guy won't know what hit him."

Eva and Van are on the path to something more… who knows if it'll work out but they'll have fun testing the waters.



That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flipside.

ML Skye

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Off the Hook

February 11, 2018

Greetings! Ohio has crazy weather patterns rolling through the state again. I'm at the point with winter where I'd be happy if it made up its mind and either stayed cold or got warmer. The back forth is hell on my sinuses.

Great week in television. The Flash had a good episode and I'm interested to see where things go now. In all honesty, the slow reveal of evil plans is getting to the point of annoyance. Get on with it already.

Black Lightning, on the other hand, is staying on form. I like the world building of this show. Keep on keeping on.

Riverdale is going down another dark road and I like it. I have to watch this week's episode but I caught up on last week and Archie continues to fail in spectacular fashion. I love all the bad decisions he makes.

Arrow did not go where I thought it might and I'm happy about that. I'm thrilled with the left turn the plot made. It's always the quiet ones people need to watch out for.

I'm moving along on Chicago Fire and I've started season four. I'm slowly but surely getting caught up to the current season. I love having the crossover episodes on the DVDs and following the storyline all the way through. Nicely done.

I'm caught up for the most part on Murdoch Mysteries. I loved the cooking competition episode. One of my favorite things about Murdoch is taking a modern trend and making it a trope in the show's setting. And it's always fun to have the spy versus spy episodes.

Need to catch up on Frankie Drake Mysteries and I might have time later today. Legends of Tomorrow returns this week and I'm excited to see what's next for the legends.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Off the Hook, a novella that started with a writing community prompt of writing a scene about a character's crash.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Esti Warf's relationship with Wyatt Corben is tested when she agrees to give his younger brother a chance to pass basic flight. Wyatt knows in his gut his brother doesn't have the chops, but he can't get Esti to budge on her decision, especially when his old man pressured her into accepting Wilton as a cadet. Both are on the hook, trying to keep peace in the family and still maintain their bond as a couple.

And a sneaky peek…

Esti glanced up when knocking drew her attention from the entrance exams. Wharton Corben stood, one shoulder propped on the door jamb. Esti placed the tests aside and waited for her superior officer to state his reason for being there.
Wharton entered and closed the door behind him. "Lieutenant, how's my boy treating you?" He took a chair across from her and settled into it.
The closed door clued Esti in about which son he wanted to discuss. Wilton. The youngest, the one who'd failed his entrance exam into flight school. Granted, he'd missed the mark by two points, but he hadn't passed and Wharton would have problems with the fact. Besides, the elder Corben had no reason to doubt his oldest son's treatment of Esti. They'd had dinner with Wharton last night.
Esti cut to the chase. "Since Wyatt and I saw you less than twelve hours ago, I'll assume the small talk is perfunctory. You're here to discuss Wilton's test, aren't you?" Thankfully, she didn't bear the responsibility of giving him the failing grade.
Wharton nodded. "I've always appreciated your ability to cut through the niceties and get to the point." He leaned forward, resting his forearms on her desk. "I want you to accept Wilton in your basic flight class." He met and held her gaze.
Esti blew out a slow breath. "Permission to speak freely, sir?" She settled back, feigning a relaxed stance she didn't feel.
Wharton waved his hand. "As if it's necessary to ask. Granted, Lieutenant." He didn't give an inch, electing to stay leaned in close.
More or less directly in her face.
Esti shook her head. "I don't think you've thought this through. Putting Wilton in my class is going to set the scuttlebutt off the chart." Not to mention put her in the universe's most awkward position. "It's one thing to pull strings to get your son into basic flight after he missed the mark on the entrance exam; it quite another to drop said son into the class of your other son's significant other." She hesitated a moment. "You're setting both of us up to fail." Maybe a little harsh, but she'd be on the hook for Wilton's advancement.
Wharton narrowed his eyes. "You're suggesting I don't know what's best for Wilton?" Phrased as a question, his meaning still came through.
Put Wilton in her class. If she didn't, there would be repercussions. When it came to his younger son's flying or not, her relationship with Wyatt wouldn't protect her.
Esti shook her head. "I wouldn't presume to do so and you know it. But you're putting my career on the line, not to mention Wilton's and yours. You'd better be damned sure of this request, because you're not giving me room to say no." He wouldn't appreciate her harsh tone, but he'd given her leeway to speak plainly.
Wharton relaxed his stance. "I'm confident you'll give him a fair shot and that's all I care about. From experience, we both understand the entrance exam isn't foolproof. Sometimes it weeds out good candidates." He settled back in the seat. "Wilton doesn't test well. He never has. I want him with someone who believes everyone deserves a shot. I want him with you." Their conversation over dinner last night took on a whole new significance.
The crafty bastard well and truly set her up and nailed her to the wall.
Esti inclined her chin. "So be it, then. I'll add him to the class roster and issue an acceptance letter this afternoon." She reached for her stack of tests, ones where a command officer wouldn't be able to pull strings if the cadet didn't make the mark.
Yes, the gesture basically dismissed the superior officer. Yes, it probably pissed Wharton off. Esti didn't care at the moment. She had a job to do and Captain Corben's interference just made it one hell of a lot harder.
The scrape of the chair legs on the floor didn't pull her from her task. Wharton walked to the door and opened it. She breathed a little easier. She could vent some serious frustration when he left.
"Esti."
Of course he'd go personal before he made his exit.
She glanced up, tapping her pen on the page in front of her.
"Thank you."
She held his gaze. "Don't thank me, sir. As you know, there're no guarantees he'll pass."
He gave her a brusque nod and left her office, his footsteps echoing down the corridor.
Esti growled and flung her pen across the room. "Dammit."
The next six weeks are going to suck.

Esti is not going to have fun with her new class. The men in her life are going to complicate things on a grand scale.



That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flipside.

ML Skye

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Nugget Training

Hello, February! We've got snow and slushy ick outside today. Perfect weather for the big game I won't be watching. LOL

So… The Flash definitely got Barry out his regular cell, which is terrific. Sadly, he ended up in a much worse predicament. Nice that he got to do a good deed before landing there.

Black Lightning continues to make me happy. I need a few hours to binge watch all the eps together so I can truly immerse into the universe. Looking forward to that.

I'm behind an episode of Riverdale. Need to catch up this week before the new episode.

Arrow… wow. I have so much love for this show. The dueling teams sadden me but I like where everyone is for the moment. I have a truly bad vibe that I won't share just yet but it's going to make me really angry if I'm right. Not mad in a bad way so maybe disappointed is a better word. Stay tuned. LOL

Got through another four episodes of Chicago Fire and I'm so glad the almost lethally lame fill-in chief is gone. Nice to see Welsh do something terrific for once.

I'm almost through season one of The Punisher. Gotta say this show pisses me off to no end but for all the right reasons. I'm kind of interested and waiting to see where they take the Lewis storyline. Right now it's not meshing well with the other parts. We'll see how it goes.

Also need to catch up on my period dramas. Hopefully, I'll have something for next week.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Nugget Training, a fun little novella that started with a two-word prompt of "I'm blessed".

Here's the mini-blurb:

Bonnie Bash has issues with remembering boundaries and it gets her in trouble with Taggart Allen, her immediate superior—especially when she sometimes forgets she has to respect the rank. She quickly learns why she frustrates Tag so much when she's thrust into training a group of fifteen newbie pilots, nuggets, and not one has a clue or even cares about how the chain of command works.

And a sneaky peek…

"Bash! Hold up."
She paused by the door, but didn't turn around.
"I'll only take a moment of your time… unlike the ten minutes you spent hijacking my briefing." He grabbed her arm and tugged her to the side of the room. "What the hell, Bonnie?" She'd been more of a pain in his ass than usual lately.
Bonnie rolled her eyes. "Hey, if you can't take the heat, maybe you shouldn't be leading the briefings." She crossed her arms over her chest, closing off the chance for a friendly reminder.
Fine. He could pull rank with the best of them.
He gave a terse nod. "I'll keep that in mind. Now here's something for you to consider…" He pitched his voice low to keep the pilots milling in the halls from overhearing. "You don't have to respect my methods or, hell, even me, but you do have to respect the rank. And since we're on the topic of likes and dislikes..." He nailed the issue really pissing him off at the moment. "You don't have to like me on a personal level to follow orders—"
Bonnie pushed away from the bulkhead, dropping her arms. "Wait. Hold on. You know I like you. We've been friends for a long ass time."
Could have fooled him, especially over the past two weeks.
But… "That's part of the issue, Bonnie. Yeah, we're friends and all, but you know the extra pip means you don't get to be a raving bitch when I'm going over the flight roster." Warming up, he laid everything out for clarity. "Just because you don't like to fly with Brownie doesn't mean you get to have a say. I decide who flies when. You got a problem with my schedule; you come see me after the briefing." Wouldn't that be nice?
She grimaced, silently acknowledging his point. "Not always easy to find you after it's over. And fifteen minutes until wheels up doesn't give you much time to make adjustments." Her sheepish tone revealed the reason for her earlier attitude problem.
He quirked a brow. "Then deal. You have to know I didn't just plop you in with Brownie to piss you off. We're down a full squadron. If I could've made the roster work without putting you together, I would have." He shook his head. "Seriously, Bonnie. Cutting you slack is one thing, but throwing out a well-planned schedule is crossing the line. We have rank and chain of command for a reason."
She rolled her eyes. "Yeah, yeah. I remember the party line. It's only thing standing between us and the enemy." As they both knew well.
Tag pinned her with his gaze. "Then do me a favor and keep your mouth shut the next time you're not happy with your choice for wingman."
Her lips curved in a saucy smile. "Yeah, I'm not stupid enough to make that a promise, but I won't disrupt your briefings anymore."  She bumped his shoulder with her fist. "And I'm sorry. For being a pain."
Tag couldn’t ask for more. "Wendell's coming back in two days. He'll have the next rotation with Brownie." They could talk each other into oblivion and neither would be worse for the experience.
Bonnie nodded. "Thanks." She made a move to go past him. "If I leave now, I'll have just enough time to get some painkillers from the infirmary."
Tag frowned. "Are you okay to fly?" She hadn't mentioned anything being wrong.
Bonnie flashed a grin. "I'm fine. I'm being proactive. Trying to ward off the headache I'll no doubt come back with." Her low, husky chuckle followed her out the exit.
Taggart snorted. "Always with the last word, that one."
She'd always been that way… why change now?

I'm having a lot of fun with this one. My brainstorm notes keep me entertained and I truly hope that translates onto the page as I continue writing.



That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flipside.

ML Skye

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Not the First

Holy crap. Where did January go? It's crazy how fast months fly by now.

So, The Flash is testing my patience. Not in a necessarily bad way, but having Barry zoom around and put all the inmates back in their cells had me eye-rolling. We'll see how long they keep him trapped in a cell. I need to rewatch the second episode of Black Lightning because I had too many distractions the first time around.

Riverdale… Oh, show. The Ram? Really? I don't know. It's either the best nickname ever or possibly the lamest one on the planet. Time will tell. Everything else about the episode hit high notes for me. It's going to be a wild ride and I'm totally strapped in to see where everything goes. One interesting development… now that I have a better understanding of Mama Alice I now need to know what the hell flavor of fresh hell Hal's been drinking.

Arrow keeps throwing twisty-turns into the mix and I love it. I'm actually hoping Vigilante is an actual double agent. And here's my fondest desire… he's working for ARGUS in exchange for immunity against all the bad guys he killed. Just saying, having him around for a while wouldn't be a bad thing. Now, after saying that, he did tell James he knows how to push every one of Dinah's buttons and having him on her side would be a great big red one. I won't be too shocked if his help is nothing but a ruse. But I will be disappointed, dammit.

Still loving my period dramas. Murdoch Mysteries and Frankie Drake Mysteries. Frankie Drake is terrific with keeping interesting cases rolling across the screen. Murdoch Mysteries never fails to be consistent with quality. Love both of these shows.

I'm burning through season three of Chicago Fire and still loving the show. I'm also enjoying the crossover episodes they have with other productions. Nice to have those on the DVDs.

I think that's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Not the First, a novella that began with the two-word prompt "very nice".

Here's the mini-blurb:

Katen Knox and Paul Macabes, pilots, soldiers, lovers, weigh in on opposite sides of a proposal to produce new planes while stationed in deep space. Not the first time they've been on different sides of an issue, they quickly learn it's hard to keep the professional drama out of their personal space.

And a sneaky peek…

Paul and Katan watched the first ghost fighter come off the assembly line.
Katan walked around the plane, running her hands over the sleek surface. "Nice. Very nice." She glanced up toward Paul.
He nodded, letting a grin spread across his face. "Hard to believe I watched you guys build one of these from spare parts and nothing." Katan's brilliance should never be questioned.
Katan snorted. "And bitched about it the entire time." She gave him a pointed look.
Paul shrugged. "Didn't think it could be done. You proved me wrong." And she'd loved every moment of doing so.
Katan flashed a smile. "Always a bonus." She propped a shoulder on the new plane and ran her fingers along the edge of the wing. "Lotta improvements to the new ones. We could do some serious damage out there." Excitement crept into her eyes.
Paul met her gaze. "Ready to start training nuggets?" She'd be the best at teaching the somewhat tricky controls.
Katan's face split in a wide smile. "Only if you're the first nugget I get to put through the wringer." She gave an evil little laugh.
Paul shook his head. "Sorry. That slot's taken. I'll be number two." He'd been waiting all week to deliver the news.
Katan frowned. "What do you mean? Who else would I train first?" Confused, she tilted her head to one side.
"That would be me."
Katan turned and barely kept her mouth from dropping open. "Sir? You sure you wanna do that? Won't be easy taking orders from me." And she wouldn't cut him any slack.
Paul had plenty of experience on that front.
Snell snorted. "It better not be." He climbed up and took a good look at the interior of the ship. "I expect to be trained and ready in forty-eight hours." He leveled his gaze on her.
Her breath whooshed out. "Well, in that case, you'd better get kitted up. Preflight briefing in thirty. Wheels up in sixty." She slid a sideways glance toward Paul, clearly informing him he'd pay later.
He honestly couldn't wait.

I have no idea where this one will end up. I'm kind of excited to see how the rest of the story plays out.



That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flipside.

ML Skye

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Not Quite Paradise

Well… this has been a crazy week. My daughter had a break on Monday for MLK Jr. Day and hasn't been back to school since. Four snow days in a row. We're supposed to have a warmer weekend so hopefully they'll be back to school this week. She's going stir-crazy and keeps mumbling about the district cancelling school for the rest of the year. LOL

Not a bad week in television. MY SHOWS ARE BACK!! The Flash put Barry on trial and, holy crap, he's not in a good place. I'd like to say I cared more about everything happening but I just can't give two craps about the stupid body swap, uber smart big bad here. Eh… at least we're getting some good character development on other fronts.

Gotta say if you're not watching Black Lightning, find it and watch! What a kickass premiere! I'm excited about this show. I'm still holding out hope we eventually get a Vixen scripted drama sometime in the future.

Arrow still ranks as my top DC universe show. Even though James is similar to the uber smart Flash villain scenario, I like how he's got a team of junior villains backing him. I'm holding out hope this one has a satisfactory ending.

Riverdale. Oh, show. Where the hell are you going? I'm kind of thrilled I have no freaking clue what out of left field thing will happen next. Part of the joy in watching this show is the absolutely crazy dark alleys it decides to go down. That said, pitting Archie against Hiram is either the best thing ever or the stupidest move an FBI agent will ever make. Just saying.

Got started on The Punisher and, honestly, it ranks right up there with Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil. Iron Fist is still the weakest link in this group, but I have faith Danny won't be the most annoying super hero ever in his second season. Maybe.

Murdoch Mysteries had a great episode last week. I know nothing about cricket but it made an interesting murder backdrop. Also, it's so awesome William and Julia are possibly going to start their family. Fingers crossed that actually happens.

Frankie Drake provided a terrific case this week and also had excellent guest stars. So awesome to see George Crabtree around and doing quite well for himself. Also, Laurence Fox can guest star again whenever he wants. I'm totally down with that idea.

Finished the second season of Chicago Fire and, wow, what an ending. Got the third season ready to start today. Definitely glad I don't have to wait through a hiatus to find out what happened to everyone.

And that's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Not Quite Paradise, a novella that started with a writing community prompt of writing a story where the main characters get marooned on a desert island. I put a twist in and made the island a deserted planet instead.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Janee Neff and Oxley DeCosta are military transport pilots flying a peacetime mission to pick up new recruits when their craft crashes and strands them on a deserted moon. The couple discovers things aren't exactly what they seem when they find their signal beacon is destroyed by blaster fire, which means their unexpected vacation isn't quite paradise after all.

And a sneaky peek…

Ox snorted. "Yeah? Next time maybe you can check the status of the thrusters before we take off." He wanted to keep her focused on being pissed at him and not her precarious situation.
He needed to get her down. If he couldn't, he'd have to leave her and set a homing beacon. He should have made getting the signal out his first priority, but he couldn't bring himself to leave her, not in an unconscious state.
And she'd probably rip him a new one when she discovered he'd put her first.
He'd do the same to her if their roles were reversed.
But… they needed each other if they wanted to survive. Their odds went way down if they got separated for any reason.
Janee moaned then growled in frustration. "Dammit, Ox. Get me down. Or so help me, I'll heave up my guts all over you." To her credit, she refrained from trying to pull the harness apart again.
Not a pleasant thought. He weighed several options. He could climb up and cut her down, but the drop concerned him. Maybe he could get to the jump kit and rig a rope rescue. Better chance to release her and avoid injury for both. A quick visual scan didn't reveal the bag where it should be. He glanced around, hoping to find it.
Janee shook her head. "Ox… what the hell are you looking for?" Her hair dangled straight down, the holder nowhere to be seen.
He kept up the search. "The jump bag. I should be able to rig a system to cut you loose and lower you down. A fifteen-foot drop won't help your headache." Or get them out of the ship to set the beacon.
Janee craned her head from side to side. "There. Hang on…" She kicked out her leg and caught the strap with her boot. "Look out below." Hooking her foot under the handle, she swung the case from its location then dropped it.
Ox shuffled to the side, barely getting out of the way in time. He grunted when his shoulder connected with the bulkhead. Bending down, he riffled through the duffel and grabbed two ropes and a carabiner.
He rose and found a good anchor spot. "Janee, can you wind this around the arm of the seat? I'll climb up, get you secured then cut you loose." He judged the distance he'd need to cover with the toss.
Janee gave a nod. "Yeah, I should be able to work it through and get it wrapped around the armrest." She readied to catch the end when he threw it. "And you'd better make sure I don't end up making that fifteen-foot drop." She caught the rope and started threading it through the space. "With my luck, I'd land headfirst, because, really, the day couldn't get worse if I did."
Ox started the climb up, a grin on his face. Janee might drive him crazy with her nonstop salvos but he wouldn't want to be stranded with anyone else.

I love writing the back and forth with these two characters. They're already terrific friends and adding the tension-building scenario of being stranded together creates some awesome conflict.



That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flipside.

ML Skye

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday Snippet: No Loss of Life

January 14, 2018

Brrrrr!! It's crazypants cold in Ohio. We're having the standard bizarre weather. At the beginning of the week, we had an icy snow mix. My middle kidlet had his second spinout and almost took out a road sign. Luckily, the damage to his car is minimal and he didn't get a ticket. Thank you, Deputy H! On Thursday, it was almost sixty degrees. Friday started out around fifty-eight then steadily dropped over thirty degrees and dumped freezing rain and eight inches of snow. I'm at the point where I'm over the crappy driving conditions. I don't mind winter weather for the most part but I hate driving when ice is involved. Bleh.

The nice thing about the frigid temperatures is settling in with a good manuscript and watching movies or television. This week I got through the most of the back half of Chicago Fire. Some very emotional through lines, which I enjoyed. I'm liking the later season episodes much better than the first part of the season.

I'm hoping to start The Punisher this week. I've heard some terrific things about the season. Looking forward to more Frank Castle.

Also rewatching Hollywood Dirt on Passionflix. This steamy movie is so much fun. I'm a fan of the male lead anyway so I'm thrilled to have him in a hot and sexy role.

My regular shows return this week and I'm excited. Can't wait for more Arrow episodes. Also looking forward to the Black Lightning premiere.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from No Loss of Life, a novella that had a writing community prompt of write a story where one character is an antigovernment revolutionary and the other is a government agent fighting for the same cause in a nonviolent way.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Brigit Hardy is an anti-government revolutionary who kicks the system in the teeth to incite change. Vlad Octavius is the government agent who has to bring her to heel. There's only one problem—Vlad hates what she does, but can't disagree with her reasons.

And a sneaky peek…

Vlad Octavius waited impatiently outside the government council chambers. "Summoned to come immediately then made to wait. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my day." He glanced outside the wide expanse of windows, unable to enjoy the pristine view from the top floor of the high-rise.
The double doors opened and a harried clerk came out. "Agent Octavius, the director will see you now." He swept an arm toward the open office.
Vlad nodded and entered the room. The heavy wood slabs closed behind him with surprisingly quiet ease. The director glanced up and motioned for Vlad to have a seat.
He planted his feet hip-width apart. "I'll stand, thanks. If this meeting is what I think it is, I won't be here long." And they could dispense with any pleasantries.
Director Long settled back in his seat. "Has your ear been to the ground?" He steepled his fingers and rested his elbows on the arms of the chair.
Vlad snorted. "Doesn't need to be. The rumblings about the new government regime are pretty much out in the open." He pinned his old friend with a hard gaze. "Rich, you have to know how bad it is out there. The cushy job here in the ivory tower can't possibly put you completely out of touch." If it had… well, Vlad would lose some respect for the man.
Rich leaned forward, placing his forearms on the desk. "Vlad, you and I go way back so I'll let that slide. What I know about the plight of the city and what I can do about are vastly different subjects." He got up and came around the desk. "And you answer to the same leaders I do, but I don't have the luxury of having director to act as a buffer." Meaning Vlad should back off.
Okay then.
Vlad heaved a sigh. "What do you want me to do?" He'd hate the assignment, but Rich wouldn't have summoned Vlad if he didn't need the best.
Rich cut directly to the point. "Enter enemy territory and take them down from the inside."
Perfect. Even though Vlad half expected the order, he'd hoped it wouldn't come down to infiltrating the underground movement to resist the new government regime.
Rich quirked an eyebrow. "You going to have a problem with this assignment?"
Hell, yes. Because, frankly, Vlad understood where the protesters were coming from. Housing, food, medical assistance, all basic needs, were disappearing under the directive of the elected officials who were lining their pockets by privatizing the markets and raising prices beyond what most could afford.
Rich cleared his throat. "Vlad. I need to know if I can count on you."
Vlad lifted his chin. "Yeah. I'll go under." He waited a beat. "But I'll be going dark so don't expect regular status updates. We do this my way or we don't do it." He'd need to tread very carefully and live, breathe, and act as one of the resisters.
Rich moved back behind the desk and withdrew a file from the top drawer. "Your target is Brigit Hardy. She's become the leading voice of the underground." He handed the folder to Vlad, but kept a grip on it. "You need to watch your back. She's got a military background and significant experience with blowing things up." He released the file.
Vlad closed his eyes, his mind going back to his childhood. Both parents were victims of a radical bomber—something Rich had foreknowledge of considering he'd been with Vlad when it happened. They managed to avoid being in the car when the explosive device detonated because Rich ran back for his overnight bag.
Vlad tucked the file under his arm. "Thanks for the heads-up." His smooth delivery hid his underlying anger at the timing of the reveal.
Turning on his heel, he exited the office then growled his frustration. "A vocal leader with the potential to escalate to blowing shit up."
Perfect. Just perfect.

I like the potential for this story. I still need to do some brainstorming to iron out the details, but I can't resist two opposing sides working to find common ground even when they don't really want to.



That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flipside.

ML Skye

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sunday Snippet: Night Watch

I hope 2018 is off to a great start for everyone. For myself, it's like an arctic tundra in Ohio but that gives me time to write, edit, and catch up on lots of television. Unless it's three a.m. and the dog has to pee… then it takes fifteen minutes to bundle up to go outside so we don't end up coming back in as popsicles. LOL

As mentioned, I watched Passionflix's The Trouble with Mistletoe last week and thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Honestly, the adaption hit all the right emotional notes. There were moments that felt a little rushed, but I have to give props for being able to convey small story beats so masterfully.

Also got caught up on Riverdale. The winter finale tied up the black hood storyline… I think. That new janitor dude is very sketchy-looking so, yeah, not sure. I am looking forward to new episodes to see what new fresh hell Hiram has planned for Riverdale.

I'm almost halfway through season two of Chicago Fire. I'm still not wholly down with the entire McLeod arc. The resolution, while satisfying—watching Isabella shut Gail down was a thing of beauty—didn't exactly make up for not knowing why she had it in for station fifty-one. Her bonus notwithstanding, I didn't quite buy the whole vindictive nature.

I'm looking forward to the return of my regular network fare in the next two weeks, especially Arrow.

That's it for television this week. Tonight's post is from Night Watch, a novella that started with a two-word prompt of "jump off".

Here's the mini-blurb:

Aisley Diehl and Thad Saunders pull a shift of night watch on the hangar deck. They're tasked with keeping their junior pilots from being drunk and disorderly when they'd much rather be spending the evening doing something more enjoyable—under the covers.

And a sneaky peek…

Thad heaved a sigh. "C'mon, Hamp. Let's get you into a cold shower then pour you into your rack." He dragged the staggering pilot out of the hangar deck and down the corridor.
He'd definitely get Aisley back for this one. Sticking him with full babysitting detail counted as a total bitch move. Not her usual SOP.
Hampton followed along, his head craning around looking at the causeway lights. "Hey, hey, um, captain… you got something going on with the lieutenant?" He stumbled closer, leaning and pitching his voice low. "'Cause I gotta tell ya, I'd totally hit that." His lips twisted in a drunken leer.
Thad bit back a harsh retort. What he had with Aisley stayed between them. They didn't share publicly… with anyone. The urge to punch Hamp would subside—probably as soon as Thad shoved the other guy into a shower.
Hampton nudged Thad. "You think she'd go for me?"
Thad rolled his eyes. "Right now? I think she'd cheerfully shoot you." He guided Hamp around a corner then directed him toward the head. "If I were you, I'd stay the hell out of her way for a while."
Hampton stopped outside the hatch. "Why? What did I do?"
Ha. He asked the one question guaranteed to send Aisley running. The dreaded "are you two an item" one. Thad didn't like to put labels on their relationship either, but Aisley freaked out when anyone tried to pin her down.
Thad clapped Hampton on the back. "Buddy, let's just say she's had about enough of pilots needing babysitters. You'll get your chance to play Mom and Pop one of these days." Thad reached into a stall and turned on the cold water. "Until then, make this your one and done and she'll eventually forgive you." He shoved Hampton under the spray, clothes and all.
"God damn! That's freezing." Hamp shivered under the deluge.
Thad cracked a grin. "Let it be a lesson, Hambone."
Hampton wiped the water from his face. "How long do I have to under here, Sir?"
Thad lifted a shoulder. "Until you learn to stay away from the hangar deck when you're drunk."
He'd give the pilot another two minutes then pour him into his rack.
Then he'd head back to the hangar deck. He had no doubt Aisley would be there, keeping a vigilant watch.

Thad's definitely going to have a story to tell Aisley when he gets back to the hangar deck.



That's it for this week. Catch everyone on the flipside.

ML Skye