Monday, January 7, 2013

Excerpt: The Chameleon Effect #14

Chavez works for The Agency and has been assigned to rescue Kira Rostropovich and return her to Vega Minor, where she resides with her parents. After being in prison and being 'bought' by Chavez in an auction, Kira is not happy about being searched by Chavez. But he finds a tracking device on her right before a mercenary, Captain Maddeson, finds them and demands that Kira be turned over to him. Chavez immediately makes a sudden jump across the galaxy, much to Kira's surprise! Kira continues to have nightmares and is haunted by the fact that her life is in danger. She demands to go back to Prison Planet 452, but Chavez has someone to add to his crew complement first.
Kira's dream keeps coming back. Is it a warning? All she knows is that her destiny lies intertwined with the prison planet. Will Chavez understand? It is six hours away from rendezvousing with Dr. Winters, who will attempt to help Kira with her problems. But Captain Maddeson is on an intercept course to capture them and return them to the warden. Will they escape? Dr. Winters has diagnosed Kira with the Chameleon Effect and in an attempt to halt its progress, he will use Chavez's DNA. But Kira has other plans and escapes off Chavez's ship, without a word to anyone. Chavez decides to go after her. Kira remembers that her sister is being held hostage and she must return to the prison planet in order to barter for her freedom.

The warden sat behind his mahogany desk and wiped his forehead with his silk handkerchief. He had to get Kira back and he grumbled again at the idiocy of the scientists who had let her be put in the line for the auctions. He wanted to punish them heavily, but he needed them to finish what they had started with Kira. If she survived being out in space with his nemesis, Chavez, then she would eventually have her memory returning to her. But he shuddered at the thought of having to go up against Chavez again. He was an angry rival who would stop at nothing for revenge. As he sat musing, his door rang and a familiar voice interrupted him.

“Sir, you called for me?” It was Dr. Henri, the head of the team assigned to treating Kira.

“Yes, come in!” The warden pressed a secret button that allowed the doors to release and automatically slide open.

Dr. Henri limped in, a result of having one artificial leg. It had a positronic system that allowed it to work in conjunction with his real leg, but was slightly heavier and caused a swaying when he walked, thus his limp developed.

“How can I help you, warden?”

“I happen to be in contact with a mercenary who is bringing Kira in. I want you to download all the information she has gathered while she was out.”

“Sir, she’s not a computer. It doesn’t work the same way.”

“What are you talking about? You told me that subjects in this experiment were able to download their information with the use of the brain stimulation cap. You told me you just put it on them and import their images.”

“Those subjects have died, warden. It isn’t a safe and efficient way to continue utilizing the subjects.”

“We need the information inside her head. Get it anyway you have to. And do it as soon as she is here.”

“What about her sister? Are we going to release her? You did make a promise to Kira.”

“I don’t care. She’s of no use to me. Use her to get what you can from Kira. And don’t tell Kira what she’s been carrying around inside her head. I need her in one piece so she will be useful to me again.”

Dr. Henri gritted his teeth and nodded his head. “If that’s what you wish. I also wanted to talk to you about my own stay here. You said that after Kira was downloaded, my family would be released and I could re-locate wherever I chose.”

The warden steepled his fingers together and blew his fetid breath across them. “Unfortunately, Dr. Henri, your work with me is unfinished. Kira may be downloaded, but she is just now changing into a valuable commodity. If she works out, I’ll want you to begin putting the download of this Chameleon thing into the men we have chosen for my next mission.”

Dr. Henri’s hands became fists, but he quietly turned and left the warden’s office. The warden grimaced. Imagine him thinking I would let him go now! Just as things are starting to pay off.

The warden’s computer alerted him of a call from Captain Luthius Maddeson. He punched the receive button and leaned back in his chair.

“Yes, Captain, what is it now?”

“It’s about credits, warden, and how many I’ll be receiving for returning the female, Kira to you.”

The warden sighed. All these mercenaries think about is money!
To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. "The warden sighed. All these mercenaries think about is money!"

    Okay, that cracked me up.
    This Warden is definitely one we will love to hate!!