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Domination of the SPOOKS – Chapter 6

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 6

The man in black stepped into his motel room for the night. The place was serviceable, nothing too fancy, but he’d only be here for another day or two. Outside was a heavily wooded area on the edge of town with not much traffic. He managed to get cell coverage, pulling out his laptop to get the latest messages from headquarters. He booted into the secure enclave VPN, and the email kept coming. This Dom guy was a piece of work. Off-the-charts brain power, successful with the ladies, and rarely pissed anyone off. Except that Jock Saunders guy.

The man in black pulled up a separate file on Jock. It wasn’t quite as in-depth or impressive but still tickled the interests of some of the higher-ups. After meeting with Commander Weisman, the man in black knew Jock wasn’t going to be a fit for his group. He figured another agency would snatch him up down the line. For now, his focus was on Dom.

But how to get him out of there? And would he come willingly? That was always the key. It required pulling them out of their comfort zone, explaining just what getting involved with them all entailed. It was a leap of faith. Most washed out, but the best of the best got through it. He looked back to his selection history. Things were much simpler back then. They’d met at a cafe, fill out some paperwork and away they went, few questions asked.

Now things were different. Going off with strangers wasn’t as easy, leaving behind the legacy was tougher. Back then the only thing you left behind was maybe a notebook or a pen pal. Now when you disappeared you left behind Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, not to mention a thousand different forum groups. Everything online went blank in an instant. Everyone noticed even if they’d never met a person in reality. In the virtual world, there were always a ton of footprints.

It was his job to erase those, to scrub the machine of a person’s existence. Dom would be missed, but he’d be a tremendous asset to their cause, especially with the new areas of exploration coming into broader acceptance. Significant changes were coming, and his agency was the tip of the spear.

Where they took it from there was undecided. The rules were still being made, the new modes being dreamed up as they met with new agencies.

His group was the elite of the elite, and he was to select those who would lead them to the next stage. It was destined to be a strange new world. They needed to be physically fit and well rounded, open-minded and welcoming of others with a high degree of cultural sophistication.

He’d visited a prospect a few years back in a small town in Iowa. Her neighbors didn’t take kindly to a strange man in black asking questions about one of their own. They were a tight-knit group and spoiled any chance this young woman had of making a different choice in her life. Who her friends were mattered to him, and they weren’t accommodating.

He showed up and left a few hours later, not even having time to unpack his suitcase. He felt bad she missed out on the opportunity though he felt she would have washed out anyway. Bombing out there led him to the trail of Dom Wagner, and he knew this trip would play out much differently.

He called Weisman. “I need you to get in touch with Mr. Wagner and have him there first thing in the morning. No, just get him in your office, and I’ll take things from there. Just don’t let him know I’m coming.”

“Oh, and I left a small envelope on the side of your desk. Follow the instructions carefully in the morning, and I’ll see you then.”

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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