Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Snippet: A Gentle Valor


Okay, only one more episode of Orphan Black and my current obsession will be on hiatus. EEK! I'm definitely planning a full rewatch marathon so catch all the little nuances I'm sure I missed. J

Tonight's post is from A Gentle Valor, which doesn't involve clones, but it does have a similar theme of breeding the next upgrade to the human race. The heroine is forced to commit a horrific act and the fallout haunts her until she has a chance to redeem herself.

Here's the tagline:

Aggie Fyffe makes an impossible decision and survives a hellish experience. Haunted by her choice, she faces her demons with a little help from Zane Tetherson and earns a chance for redemption.

And here's the sneaky peek…

Aggie Fyffe stood, stunned, staring in horror at the sight in front of her. Women, so many women, hooked up to machines, tubes running to and fro like a spider's web. All in various stages of gestation, she had no idea if any could be saved. Swallowing down bile, she shuffled further into the lab on numb feet that tried to fight forward progress. She didn't blame them. Her brain might not be able to handle a closer look.
Give her a rifle, hell, any weapon, and she could shoot to defend, maim, or kill. The sight of blood didn't faze her. Gaping wounds, lost limbs, or severed arteries barely blipped in her mind. Combat had hardened her against it.
But the sight of the women?
Chilled her to her soul.
She edged closer to the first bed and bit back a curse. (Describe the visage. Unconscious, maybe comatose, her distended abdomen had to be in the final stages of pregnancy. Aggie had no idea how close to delivery the woman might be, but it couldn't be long off. What the hell happened to the infants? Aggie decided she probably didn't want to know.
Her eyes scanned the row of beds. Nine total. Logic suggested one for each month of pregnancy. Why? Again, her brain shied away from possible answers. Movement from the farthest bed caught her attention. Maybe she'd imagined it. She hoped so. Would be better for the women if they weren't awake and aware.
She slowly made her way to the last bed…oh, shit. The woman's eyes blinked, tears spilling out. Addie knew her, not well, but she ran one of the shops on their home world. Betsy Morehead, a nice lady who liked to sew.
Aggie edged up to the bed and Betsy's eyes met hers. Pain-filled and agonized, they beseeched Aggie to remove the tube so Betsy could speak. Aggie gingerly lifted the device and gently tore the tape away. Out of her element, she hoped she didn't cause harm. Putting a gun in the woman's hand would be easier.
Betsy gagged when the tube slid free, coughing and sputtering until her lungs filled with air.
She grabbed hold of Aggie's hand, her grip weak. "Thank you." Her voice croaked, but she got the words out.
Aggie squeezed Betsy's fingers. "What's going on? Why are you here?" Stupid question, but if she didn't get Betsy talking, Aggie would freak out.
The machines and tubes pressed in on her like a weight, a sick feeling crawled up her spine, and her head didn't want to believe what her gut knew.
Betsy swallowed hard. "You have to know. Or guess." Her eyes slid shut and Aggie's heart went out to her.
"Why?" Aggie needed to hear it. To have her suspicions confirmed.

Even with the darker subject matter, this one is a joy to write. Aggie's conflict is challenging to portray on the page and I love a good challenge. J

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

ML Skye

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