Saturday, November 26, 2016

Mountainside: Part One

An except from a novel I'm writing about a futuristic sabotage mission:

Flyer 23 silently glided west, cloaked, on a thousand click pace nine miles above Earth.  The scenery was beautiful below, only a few clouds floated above the Balkan Mountains, and the swift flight made them look like gentle hills to those who observed.
“Arlo, you ready for this?”
“Yes Minnie. Boomer and Shale made sure I got all the details down.”
“You are quick to act, I’ll give you that, but getting into the Peak is going to take a little more than witty gusto.”
“Something you’re very good at, I might add.”
Minnie frowned at this.  She knew what was at stake, and didn’t think much of Arlo stepping in on her brand of wit.
Minnie replied, “True, but you’re the one going into the hole. You know they don’t mess around at The Peak.  One careless move and you’re done for.”
“You really think I don’t know this?  The only reason I signed up is because you got us out of the mess in the Pacific.  We just needed a ride.  Not a mission.”
“Well, now you’ve got a ride, and a mission.“
Arlo looked through the window again and looked at the hills below.  Dammit, she was right again, and wouldn’t let him forget it.  Flyer 23 had him and his friends at their disposal, and though their story made complete sense, there was still something uncomfortable about joining them and becoming part of an adventure.  What if their story wasn’t the whole story?  Sure, everyone knew there were some secrets at The Peak. Everyone knew that the East and West weren’t quite ready to mend fences.  The non-participants of the world sure weren’t going to take any sides.
Minnie was still there, as if waiting for a response.  Arlo simply nodded in acknowledgement.
“Arlo, do you have everything you need? We have forty minutes to the drop.”
Reluctantly, Arlo acknowledged again.
“Yes.  Chamo, com, and both my packs.  And the payload.  If I have to let it go at the wrong time, I’m sure you’ll get the signal.”
“I’m sure we will, hotshot.” With the word “hotshot,” Minnie pressed the com into Arlo’s sternum.
Thirty-six minutes later, Flyer 23 prepared Arlo for his solo drop just south of The Peak.

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