It’s been a very busy month. Getting Fight or Flight ready for it’s second round of editing has been exhilarating. There were some chapter rewrites, but I’m proud to say that it was in pretty good shape, so it’s mostly tweaks and corrections.
I’ve also been working ‘Le Cirque Navire’, which is going slowly, and ‘Teeth’, which is being posted weekly to Wattpad. Both are very fun to work on, but Fight or Flight will soon be taking centre stage again as I prepare for the run up to publication.
With lots of things going on, I thought I’d give everyone a preview of the prologue of Fight of Flight.
The polished metal table glimmered under the light of the saelveh orb placed in its centre. With the lights turned low, the sphere bathed the murky room in a dull violet glow. He sat on a chair in front of the low table, arms crossed over his chest, an impatient scowl furrowing his brow.
She was late, as usual. They had arranged the meeting for hours before and yet he still sat waiting, growing more frustrated by the minute. Sometimes he wondered if she had any regard for his time, for his efforts.
With a grumble, he pushed himself up, rubbing the backs of his thighs where the unyielding metal had pressed his flesh. Throwing one last irritated glance over his shoulder at the orb, he stomped into the bedroom, his heavy boots thumping with every step. The bathroom door already stood open and he stared into the plate mirror.
The sun had set and his skin looked sallow and grey in the moonlight coming through the open window, but he didn’t move to turn on the lights. She would only be annoyed if she showed up to be immediately blinded. The window didn’t attract much of a breeze, even though the Veniche claimed that the heat was finally at its end.
He huffed and splashed some water onto his face, running his wet fingers through his hair. He wondered why he put himself through this. Every time it was the same. He never gained the confidence he had hoped for from their meeting. Doubtless this latest meeting would be no different.
From the living room, a jingle that reminded him of the Veniche travelling bells reached his ears, jolting him up from the basin. He hurried through the bedroom to be greeted by the sight of a woman standing in the middle of the room. She watched him expectantly down her thin nose.
“You’re late,” he said, stepping around the door frame and circling the backs of the chairs.
“Yes, I’m sure I am.” She offered no explanation, nor any appearance of apology.
“Yet you called this meeting.”
“If you would like a full run-down of my day…?”
She left the suggestion hanging in the air. When he didn’t answer, she snorted in derision and turned away, taking a step away from him. He winced, looking away.
“Step to the left.”
She turned on her heel, glancing at him before looking down.
“Am I in the chair again?”
She took a careful step to the side, her shin sliding seamlessly through the polished metal. Placing her hands on her hips, she stared at him while the orb pulsed and shimmered, lilac and crystal-blue waves cresting over its surface.
“Well what?” he asked. “You contacted me, Olless.”
He met her ice-blue gaze and crossed his arms over his chest, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. She scowled at him.
“Because I thought you had information.”
He thought for a moment.
“It’s getting worse,” he said finally.
“Are they moving forwards?”
“Not yet, but attacks are coming. Patrols have increased, there’s talk of revoking travel passes.”
Olless frowned and turned away from him again. Despite his warning, she walked straight through the table and the saelveh orb that created her appearance for their meeting. He winced at the sight but held his tongue. No matter how many times they met like this, he couldn’t get used to the way she moved through solid objects.
“You can’t slow it?”
He shook his head.
“They are itching for the fight,” he said. “Everyone can sense it.”
“And they can’t be persuaded to back down?”
She looked over her shoulder at him, revealing a sly grin and the arch of a perfectly shaped eyebrow.
“You know it isn’t that simple. There are rules that have been broken. The preparation has already begun.”
“I can’t do anything here.”
“Because your father is such a nobody?”
“If you think he would step back, or ignore an assault simply because I ask, Olless, you are even more of a vtensu than…”
“Use that word again and I will cut this communication this instant.”
Rolling his eyes, he sneered back at her.
“Well, it was a ridiculous suggestion.”
She shook her head in a wave of red hair, striding back through the table. He slid down onto the edge of a chair.
“We are not ready to move, there are too many elements in play. You know this.”
“That, Olless, is your duty, not mine.”
“If you gave me more information, perhaps?” she suggested. “Your cryptic messages do not help your cause. You say the Belsa will attempt an attack, or that the Adveni will destroy them, but what proof do you have?”
“There is none.”
“And yet you claim they move.”
He rubbed his hand across his face in frustration. She grinned in triumph.
“There was… There was one thing,” he murmured.
“Two dreta escaped.”
“Hardly something of note,” she drawled. “But since you think it important, how?”
“They were organised and had people waiting. The thing is, there are rumours that they took information with them.”
Her grin slipped into curiosity. She turned her head this way and that, and in that moment, he knew that she was not seeing the surroundings he’d brought her into.
“Unknown, but they belonged to Maarqyn Guinnyr. He took up the Tsevstakre Commander position after Jolq was killed.”
Olless looked practically giddy at the news. Her smile burst too wide across her face and she leaned over him, her semi-translucent face inches from his.
“Well, I would suggest that you find these dreta and ensure that we know what they know before anyone else does.”
He leaned back in his chair, putting as much distance between them as possible.
“There is no chance that I can get near them. They’ve gone underground… quite literally.”
“You know the location of the Belsa?”
“Yet they haven’t been rooted out yet?”
“The commanders are planning it, but those tunnels are a maze,” he explained. “They won’t move until they have every exit blocked. Until then, they are hoping the Belsa are ignorant enough to believe that they remain undiscovered.”
“You have to get in there.”
He was on his feet faster than she could back away from him. The projection of her hair swished through his chest.
“You are kidding, right?”
“We need those dreta!”
“Nothing is im…”
“We need to know what they know.”
He sank back into the chair, rubbing his hands across his knees. Olless remained silent, a projected sentry to his thoughts. Finally, he lifted his head.
“There is one way.”
“There was a capture during their escape, a medic.”
“You think this medic knows them well enough to get the information?”
He nodded, a plan alight in his eyes.
“I know she does.”
Well, I hope that’s got you all nice and intrigued about Fight of Flight and what will be going on in the second book of the series.
If you’re on Goodreads, make sure you add Fight or Flight to you ‘to read’ list. I’ll be giving away a couple of copies closer to the release date, and will be looking for advance review readers.