Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday Snippet: Words Not Necessary

Well, it's my last snippet post of the year and I'm happy to note I didn't miss a week. That's a goal achievement I'm proud of.

Going into 2016, I have quite a few projects on tap for release and I'm very excited about those, too. I may roll a new weekly blog feature or try a newsletter this year. If anyone is interested, please don't hesitate to contact me to be added to the list.

Not much on the television front this week. I watched the finales for The Librarians and Agent X. According to my google fu, Agent X isn't renewed for another season, which is kind of disappointing. Since there are only ten episodes, I may try my hand at recapping the one and only season. We'll see what time allows.

On a side note, I did enjoy the Doctor Who Christmas special. It's my fondest hope I can get into the new season when it premieres, but I don't hold out much hope. The heart of the show is missing for me and unless the Doctor gets a truly marvelous companion, I doubt I'll be interested or able to keep with the all the cleverness Moffat tries to weave.

Oh, well. Looking forward to my favorite shows returning and having more to chat about each week.

Tonight's post is from Words Not Necessary, a novella where my couple's ability to communicate without words is the stuff of legend.

Here's the mini-blurb:

Sometimes an outside observer can provide a lot of insight on a couple's relationship, even if they'll never understand it. London and Braun are so in tune with each other they rarely speak, yet their communication is evident for anyone to see.

And a sneaky peek…

London Groche popped the canopy of her plane and snapped the release for her helmet. Yanking it off her head, she resisted the urge to throw the protective cover to the hangar deck and grab the deckhand by the throat to strangle her.
Delia Carruthers handed London the post-flight checklist. "Sir, if you'll mark the problems in the boxes, I'll pull the panels myself and run the diagnostics."
London snorted, but checked seven of the nine spots on the list. She shoved the clipboard back in Delia's hands and arched an eyebrow, indicating the deckhand better get out of London's way.
Delia scrambled down the ladder then scurried over to the lab area to pull the cables that had better damned well "diagnose" what the hell happened to her plane. London lost practically everything. Radar, thrust, weaponry, comms, guidance, navigation, and the ability to signal. London flew with nothing but the engine and basic maneuverability. The LSO thankfully let her land because she had jack all way of communicating her lack of important equipment.
London threw her helmet over the side of her plane and descended the ladder. She ignored the squawk of outrage when a crew member almost tripped over her head gear. The lowly specialist picked it up and thrust the helmet toward the ladder where it would be out of the way. Everyone gave London wide berth, not wanting to test her patience. Rightfully so. She spoiled for a fight, confrontation, anything to get rid of the rage boiling inside her brain.
The callback went out over the comm system, giving the all clear for the rest of the squadron to land. London stayed on the hangar deck, pissed off because she should've been out there to help mop up the raiding enemy ships. Delia got the cables hooked up and London hovered over top of the deckhand until the deck chief showed up.
He crossed his arms over his chest. "Lieutenant, the diagnostics won't go any faster with you breathing down her neck." Abel Gordon leveled his most piercing glare on London.
She didn't flinch away from it or him. "Don't care. This is bullshit, Chief." Planes started lowering to the hangar deck, but London held her ground. "I lost damned near everything in the middle of a battle." Her voice rose, her anger getting the better of her.
Gordon held up a hand. "I'm aware, Lieutenant. We'll handle the problem—"
London cut him off. "Problems. With an 's'. You know, plural, as in multiples, more than one, and like seven too many." She advanced on the chief, a little please the big, brawny guy backed up several steps.
Her mouth opened to continue but a firm grip on her bicep had her swinging around ready to blast whoever had the balls to interrupt her tirade. Her lips clamped shut and her shoulders sagged. The only person with the power to suck the wind from her sails. Braun Orilly. CAG, best friend, lover, and calming presence. He didn't need to tell her to shut the hell up. He understood her frustration and irritation, but he didn't put up with his pilots making asses of themselves. Not even her.
He raised both eyebrows. "Really? In the middle of the deck, you're going to go into mega-bitch mode?" He didn't speak, conveying everything with his expressive face.
London shrugged and made a pointed look at her ruined plane. "Well, yeah. Plane's down, which means I'm out of commission." He knew her well enough to know being stuck would drive her insane.
Abel backed away, turning to issue orders for the incoming pilots' post-checklist. The crew scattered, dashing to and fro to carry out their assigned tasks. London barely paid attention, her gaze on Braun while they continued their non-verbal conversation.
He draped an arm around her back and dipped his chin. "You know they'll fix it up or assign a different plane for you." His silent admonishment hit home with a quirk of his brow.
She rolled her eyes and wrinkled her nose. "Right. I'll draw Stinko's plane and smell like rotten eggs for three days." The guy got his call sign for a reason.
Braun threw his head back and laughed and the tension she carried finally broke. Her posture relaxed and a chuckled escaped before she could stop it. Braun hugged her close, giving her a hard squeeze then jerked his head toward the corridor leading the crew quarters. London gave a quick shake of her head and held up five fingers. She'd follow in a few.
Delia glanced in London's direction, her fingers swiping over the handheld panel, feeding information into the diagnostic equipment. "How do you do that?"
London frowned. "Do what?" She tilted her head to one side, confused by the question.
Delia snorted. "Are you kidding? You just had an entire conversation with Captain Orilly and never said a word." She gave London a look like she should know exactly what Delia meant. "How do you do it?"
London lifted a shoulder. "I don't know. We just do." Uncomfortable with the scrutiny, she arched an eyebrow. "Don't you have a sick plane to make better?" She didn't wait for a reply, instead taking off to grab a shower and maybe some chow.
But she considered Delia's question. She and Braun did have an uncanny connection. Thinking back, London tried to remember the first time they used their non-verbal shorthand.
Her face lit up with a smile when the memory hit.
Missing planning for bombing an outpost.
Two years ago.

I'm trying something a little different for me with this one and it's fun to write. London and Braun are making it easy, which is a big bonus.

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

ML Skye

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