Happy New Year! New Year’s Day finds me working on A Dragon at the Gate (Book Three of the New Aeneid Cycle, if you’re new around here). Unfortunately, it finds me just a little sluggish with the whole stringing words together part, so while I wait to regain my writer’s perspicacity, I’ve decided to give a little glimpse into some of what’s written so far.
Obviously this is still a rough draft, but I figure it’s a good teaser. Obviously again, this has some spoilers. There’s nothing major, but it does at least tell you some of whom has survived the first two books, and a hint of something that’s going on in the early parts of book three. Continue at your own discretion…
A Dragon at the GateBook Three of the New Aeneid Cycle(rough draft excerpt)
“Fuck it, he’s blocking the screen. Let me move around and—”
Caitlin put a hand on Ru’s shoulder to hold her back. “He’ll see you.” The man they were trailing had his back to them. It blocked their view of the ticket kiosk at which he stood.
“Not all-up-in-his-shit close, just enough to see past him.”
Ru’s eyes were artificial; she could zoom in from a distance. Yet given where the kiosk was situated in the crowded, Romanesque train station… “There’s nowhere to see around him without getting too near. We’ll keep following. See which platform he chooses.”
Ru scowled, adjusted her jacket, and pulled her jet black hair out from under the back of its collar. “You’re the boss.”
“I’m not the boss, I just—” Caitlin turned to Ru, still watching the kiosk out of the corner of her eye. “Thanks for helping with this.”
Ru flashed a crooked smile. “We’re both Scry, Cait.”
Their quarry completed his ticket purchase, and Caitlin ducked behind a stone pillar as he turned. She waited for Ru to motion that the coast was clear. For likely the fifth time as many minutes, Caitlin swallowed her guilt for stalking him this way. Yet what choice did she have? It was for his own good.
She caught the back of Felix’s head as he passed. He was heading from the kiosk toward the southbound platforms, and she ducked back farther. Ru began to tail Felix anew a few moments later. With a motion behind her back, she waved Caitlin onward. Caitlin let her vanish into the crowd as much as she dared—Ru was only a few inches taller than she and neither were blessed with height—and emerged from her hiding spot.
What if he spied her? Or recognized Ru? “Well, then, Caitlin,” she whispered to herself, “I guess you’ll just have to have it out in the train station, won’t you?”
She could no longer see Felix. Ahead, Ru turned down the tunnel toward platform 2.
Caitlin’s phone rang. She dove into her jacket to silence it before Felix picked up the distinctive Celtic tune. Bollocks, she should have thought to change that! Though likely too far ahead to hear through the crowd, the man was hyper-alert at the worst of times.
The caller ID read Michael Flynn. The lad himself, or just someone using his phone? She answered the call and tucked in against the edge of the tunnel, her eyes fixed on Ru further down. “Michael? You’re awake?” A trace of relief covered her like a momentary dry spot in a storm.
“Hi Caitlin. I am, and I’m trying to catch up. Can you and Felix meet me somewhere? I tried calling him but—”
“Felix is a mite indisposed at the moment.” Ru had paused at the tunnel’s exit and appeared to be keeping an eye on both the platform and Caitlin. Caitlin was slowing her down, really. What if they lost track of Felix? “But I can meet you. I’m glad you called.”
“Yeah, I stopped by Marc’s place. Holes said you’d been trying to reach him. Is everything okay?”
“Makes two of us, then.”
“Oh, lovely. Give me a wee bit to break away and I’ll be along.”
Michael suggested a club downtown. She’d never been, but she could find it easily enough. “And Caitlin? Someone just tried to kill me, so if you don’t want to—”
“I’ll be there.”
“Aye, likewise.” She started up the tunnel towards Ru and motioned for her to meet her halfway. “And Michael? Glad you’re awake.”
Her phone was silenced and back in her jacket a moment later.
“He got on the eight o’clock toward Gibson,” Ru said. “Gives us five minutes to get tickets, if we’re going.”
Caitlin swallowed, torn. “You’re going,” she said. “If you’re up for it. I have to meet someone else who may help. I fear I’m only slowing you down anyway.”
Ru bit her lip. “Yeah, okay.”
“I’ll pay for the ticket.”
“Look, I’ve got it. I’ll call you when he gets off the train.”
Caitlin hugged her. “Diolch. I owe you.”
“Both Scry,” Ru reminded her. “‘Sides, I like trains.”
|(Note: Not the official cover. Just something I threw together…)|