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Domination of the SPOOKS – Chapter 13

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 13

Dom took the pen and the clipboard from the gorgeous leather-clad woman and read over what she wanted him to sign. It was filled with line after line of legalese, mostly boilerplate, but apparently an employment contract from the bit he could understand. That was something about the law that he never understood, why they had to make everything so damn complicated. He guessed it had to do with covering everyone’s butts and to continue getting retained and paid since no one but another lawyer could understand the documents.

Getting through the whatnots and wherein and herebys, he got to the important part.

“You, the undersigned, hereby subjugate your person to the property of the United States Special Practice Origins Operations Klan.

Oh, my God, he thought. She’s drafting me to be a SPOOK!

He couldn’t believe what he was reading. He heard rumors about SPOOKS for years, but no one ever came out and verified anything about them. They were covert upon covert black ops program with no rightful recall authority by anyone. The President of the USA didn’t even have knowledge of them.

And here was his chance, threat, opportunity, disarming charming chance to leave the Academy early and devote his life to the darkest of the dark arts and the deepest well of conspiracy theorists the world had ever known.

No wonder the guy was wearing black. But why was this chick wearing leather? He didn’t mind, she looked pretty hot in it, especially when she bent over with her hands on his knees and moved in close. He held her gaze after reading the form, and she stared back at him.

He tried to keep his eyes on hers but her deep cleavage staring him in the face was more than he could resist. But he couldn’t resist. He cracked. His eyes left hers, and he looked down. He stole a peek at her cleavage.

It was impressive. Not that he’d never been around spectacular cleavage before, but after the day he’d had the hunger and the pain in his head from the lack of caffeine mixed with the knowledge that SPOOKs really existed. What was next, that Aliens were real?

He knew he shouldn’t have looked, but he couldn't help himself. It was a Pavlovian response to a beautiful woman. She followed his gaze, knowing full well what he was looking at. She stepped back and stood up straight to adjust the lapels of her duster. She stretched her neck and looked him back in the eye.

“There’s much more where that came from Mr. Wagner,” she said. To Dom, it sounded more like a threat than a seductive come-hither moment.

“If you sign this paper, you can have all that you desire, courtesy of your Uncle Sam.”

The man in black stood up, feigning outrage. He’d waited how long for something like this to happen. And now this kid was getting the royal treatment from his boss. It was unreal. He didn’t know what else to say.

“Sign me up!” Dom said.

Dom was ready for something new. He’d been preparing for this moment his entire life, and now it was staring him in the face in the form of a beautiful brunette in head to toe black leather. I wonder if her underwear is leather? he thought. She’s probably not wearing underwear from the looks of things.

He’d excelled his entire life, hoping to make something out of his life. It was one of the classic stories, someone kicks butt in everything and then never makes good on any of the promise. Promise unfulfilled, the age-old story. Luck meant being prepared when the opportunity arose. And he was prepared.

He was damn straight going to sign on that dotted line. The woman practically drooled with anticipation as he held the pen in his right hand and the clipboard in his left, flipping it back to the last page where his signature would go.

“You’re still a notary, right?” she asked the man in black. “Guessing you don’t have your stamp, but that’s okay we can take care of that later. As long as you’re here to witness it, we’ll be golden, or onyx as the case may be.”

Dom was about to touch the fountain pen to the paper when he stopped. He looked up at the faces of two incredibly eager SPOOKs. Oh my God, he couldn't believe he was in the presence of two of them. Why did they choose a rundown dumpy motel for this? Why couldn’t we have been downtown at the Ritz? Hell, even the Holiday Inn would have been better than this. LaQuinta would have been a major step up, and he could have slept like one.

“Before I sign this,” he asked, “I want to know if I’ll ever be able to see my family and friends again? I mean, is this like the witness protection program where no one ever hears from me again? You know what I mean, right? Hell, we’ve heard rumors for years about you, but no one ever came out and admitted it. No evidence had ever been found. But here you both are, right in front of my face.”

“You will still be allowed contact with the outside world,” she said. “Though you will be given special powers that allow you to erase any memory of those interactions. You’ll need to do that with most people on a daily basis. Or we can give you a cloaking device that will erase your tracks for you.”

“But what about my parents and sisters?” he asked. “Will I be dead to them?”

“Yes, as soon as you sign that paper, your body will die, and you’ll be buried in a grave by your family. You’ll never see them again and will only be allowed to haunt them in their dreams.”

“Wow, really? That bites.”

“Don’t be so gullible, Mr. Wagner,” she said. “Yes, you’ll get to see your family. You’ll have to tell them your on a special mission for a while, and you won’t be home and can only contact them via email. Will that be acceptable?”

She really thought that showing off her cleavage would have worked with Dom. She didn’t usually pull out the big guns, but she thought he was cute. That damn smile of his is going to get us into trouble, she thought. Now she was worried that he was going to back out at the last minute. Then she’d have to get angry, and he wouldn’t like her when she was angry.

Dom was thinking over his options. He could give up everything he knew, the friends he had at the Academy, the thought of Jessica waking up with him the next morning, how pissed Jock would be that he got to do this and he didn’t.

That finally threw him over the edge. He signed the paper and handed it back to her. She was giving off an air of desperation like she was about to do something awful.

Part of him wished he hadn’t been so hasty to sign, he might have gotten a thrill out of seeing her on edge like that. But the thought of pissing off Jock Saunders was too much to pass up. Jock was never going to be in his league, and this put the official stamp on that fact. He would forever be better than Jock.

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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