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Domination of the SPOOKS – Chapter 12

I'm launching my first fiction series this month with the SPOOK & GOON Space Adventures. I'm writing the fourth book right now and the first three will be released over the next few months.

While I'm waiting for the official edits, I'm uploading the short-story prequel, Domination of the SPOOKS, chapter by chapter over the next two weeks. This is the unedited version so please forgive any errant wording.

If you'd like to receive advance notice of special one-day-only fan pricing of 99 cents, join my Sci-Fi Reader's Group.

Chapter 12

The ship was late. The man in black was not amused. He hated things running off schedule. If it was supposed to be there at 6:00 PM, it damn well better be there at 6:00 PM. This wasn’t an el station; it was more like a fine railroad line or atomic clock that you could set your life with, not to mention humanity.

At 6:02, the ship finally arrived, hovering silently in the night sky, the hull shimmering into view before settling down at the edge of the parking lot.

The sun had set hours ago, and the dim moonlight shining down on the thickly wooded area was enough to conceal the matte black craft.

From a distance, it looked like a giant Transit van and nothing more. The exotic electronics from inside were safely hidden from view.

A staircase descended from the far side, and the man in black’s supervisor stepped off into the parking lot. The supervisor turned to press a button on the outside and the steps folded away into the ship, settling out of view.

She walked over to the motel room door, glancing from side to side before knocking lightly. The man in black had the door open even before she finished. She stepped inside, and the door closed automatically. Dom was sitting in the chair in the center of the room, a black cloth hood still covering his face.

She turned to face him and whipped off the hood. Before he could say a word, she put a well-manicured red nail to his lips and told him to be quiet.

“Now, Mr. Wagner, I understand you’re quite the popular fellow,” she said. “We’ve been watching you for some time, hoping you would turn out to be all that our records show you would eventually become.”

Dom tried to speak, but he couldn’t open his lips. He was glad he didn’t have a stuffed up nose, or he’d be in trouble. He tried to wiggle his mouth, but all he could do was purse his lips. It wasn’t a flattering look.

She pulled up chair backward across from his and leaned in close, so close he could smell a faint whiff of the freesia/citrus facial lotion she used that morning.

“Are you ready to begin the next phase of your journey, Mr. Wagner?” she asked.

He couldn’t speak, so he furrowed his eyebrows in thought. There was a hot woman in black leather sitting in front of him, who was he to say no? he thought. He nodded in the affirmative.

“This is a secret program, and the department we’re choosing you for is a high-level ops. Think of the CIA on another level. We offer the best of the best, and it’s a special intergalactic challenge to find people capable enough to do what’s needed to be done.”

“You’ll be escorting Ambassador Harley of the Federated Union to a council on planetary affairs.”

Dom was confused. The name sounded familiar like he’d heard it on the news lately. He remembered thinking she was pretty young for an ambassador – and pretty cute – that’s why he remembered her.

“You came all this way to hire me as an escort?” Dom asked, surprised that he could speak again. “You couldn’t just have used Tinder?”

After watching him for some time, she was well aware of his smartass tendencies. She brushed her hair back off her face and smiled. The man in black grew antsy.

Dom waited for her to say something, anything. When she didn’t reply, he took it as a yes, though it still seemed like a kinky mission that anyone with a pulse could do.

“OK, so I escort this woman to the meeting, then what?”

“You’ll provide her with the utmost security at all times,” the man in black said.

“You’re still confusing me with Tinder,” Dom said. “There’s gotta be more to it than that.”

“There is more,” she replied, “but until you’ve accepted this commission we’re not at liberty to give you that information.”

“So what do I have to do?”

“We can leave right away tonight, but you won’t be coming back here for quite a while.”

“So I just leave the Academy and never come back? What about my stuff?”

“We’ll send a team in a few days to collect your belongings,” the man in black said. “We updated Commander Weisman earlier this afternoon, and he approved.”

The woman continued, “If you’re ready to accept, we have the paperwork written up and ready to go.”

She turned to retrieve the clipboard the man in black had ready. She pulled out a special silver fountain pen from inside her long leather duster. Before she could hand it to him, she realized that his hands were still bound behind him.

She pulled out a switchblade from her other pocket and flicked it open, slicing through the zip tie in one motion. His hands were free.

In his mind, he wanted to pull her close and strangle her for making him sit in that damn chair all day with a hood over his face, a gnawing hunger growing inside his belly. Then he looked closer and realized how hot she was, her pale skin and the wavy black hair dancing gingerly her bare shoulders. Hmmm…that might not be such a good idea, he thought.

Instead, he held his hands close and rubbed his wrists where the zip tie left marks on his skin.

She handed him the clipboard and removed the cap from the pen.

From the forthcoming short story, Domination of the SPOOKS: A Man Meets His Mission.

Copyright © 2018 Chad V. Holtkamp.

All rights reserved.

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