16 September 2011

SFFS - An Excerpt from Heroes Die Young

Greetings everyone! I was turned on to Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday (not in local time, thus the Friday night posting) by a friend of mine, so figured I'd give it a shot this week and see whether I can do it right. Ha.

So, here's a snippet from my first published novel Heroes Die Young:

***

I needed to get out of this mess. The trick was going to be in doing so without getting myself caught. Not that you could get in much more trouble than a death sentence, of course. I could have spared my life by giving up the cargo, but this was a matter of principle now.

I turned to the guard. “You’re going to sit there and watch my every moment, aren’t you?”

His face told me what his voice didn’t.

“Well, would you at least get me something to eat? I’m starving.”

He folded his arms across his chest.

“Come on. Surely you feed your prisoners.”

“I’ll be right back,” he mumbled.

As he stepped out of the room, I held up my arm and whispered into my transmitter. “Jeanie, can you hear me?”

“Aston, are you okay?”

“I’ve been better.”

“According to the station’s records, you’ve been incarcerated on weapons charges.”

Jeanie had a tendency to be a bit nosy. I heaved a sigh. “Yes. Our guest informed them of our cargo.”

“There has to be some explanation. I know they haven’t defeated my efforts at concealing our cargo.”

“I’m in a bit of a hurry here, Jeanie.”

“I apologize.”

“I’m in a holding cell.”

“The station contains only one security area. What cell number are you in?”

I shifted myself on the cot to get a better look at the nameplates on the other doorways. “Looks like number three. Drop the energy field and keep it secret if you can.”

“It doesn’t appear they have very tight safeguards in place. It should only take a moment.”

I jumped to my feet. “I’ll be there in a little bit. Prepare us for a departure whether the station lets us or not.”

“Understood.”

I walked up to the field and tried to get a better look past the doorway, just then, the energy beams flickered and died off.

I smiled. “Thanks, Jeanie. See you soon.”

I grabbed my case of Vladirian liquor, scurried over to the doorway, and eased my head out to look. Two guards sat at their desks with their backs to me, typing out information into terminals. The guard who’d kept watch over me was nowhere to be seen, which suited me fine. I tiptoed into the booking area, walked around the small counter, then bent down below the countertop, just in case one of the two guards happened to turn around.

“Hey!”

I looked up and saw my guard with a tray of food as he entered through the front door.

“Prisoner escaped!” He yelled to the others.

I rushed the guard and nailed his midsection with my shoulder. The tray slammed into his chest as he fell to the floor. I jumped over him and ran out.

As I rushed into the commons area, I had to stop and get my bearings. A few curious onlookers gave me odd glances, while others gave me a wide berth. I found the corridor I needed and sprinted for it. Voices called out behind me, but I paid them no heed as I rushed for my ship.

I raised my arm as I neared the second docking ring. “Jeanie, are you ready?”

“Affirmative.”

A guard I didn’t recognize stepped out from around the corner with his weapon drawn. I didn’t have enough time to react as a green blast struck me square in the chest. I stumbled and fell to the floor, then slid to a stop against his feet. The case hit the floor beside me and thankfully stayed intact.

“Aston West, you’re under arrest for attempted escape.”

Getting shot was always a strange experience. My chest felt like it was going to explode from the inside as I lost feeling in my extremities. His weapon was set on a much higher setting than mine normally was.

My world slowly faded to black.

***

If you enjoyed it, feel free to snag a copy via any of the major online retailers...and of course, excerpts from all of my novels, and links to my published short stories, can all be found over at AstonWest.com