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

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