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Domination of the SPOOKS – Chapter 9

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 9

Commander Weisman helped load Dom into the backseat of the car. He was still awake but not coherent as a specialized tranquilizer drug shuffled through his system. It was best to have Dom look awake even if he wasn’t registering any info. He’d soon pass out but not before the man in black made it out of the parking lot.

A few cadets wandered by and said good morning to Commander Weisman. He smiled and nodded, and the man in black winked at them. They wouldn’t remember anything later. He was there but not really there, and it was more efficient that way. He was still hungry, though, and he could still smell the sweet aroma of breakfast, even that far into the parking lot.

Since he couldn’t leave Dom passed out in the car, he’d have to skip breakfast. Fasting wasn’t ideal, and Commander Weisman offered to get him coffee.

“I can fetch a cup from my office real quick if you’d like,” Weisman said. “It won’t take a but a minute.”

“Thanks, but I need to get back to the hotel before Dom passes out,” he said. “Is there a drive-thru anywhere nearby?”

“There’s a Cafe Press on the way back to your motel, just off 578,” Weisman said. “Not the best coffee but it tastes pretty good if you drown it in cream. Good for a quick jolt.”

“Thanks,” he said. “I’ll let you know what happens later today. Do you have the rest of the papers?”

“Oh, I almost forgot, let me run back in and grab those for you,” he said.

The man in black looked at his watch. It was 8:15 and he only had a few minutes before Dom would be out cold. He didn't want to have to deal with him when he was total dead weight. He was strong, but deadlifting a body was a different sort of thing without resorting to desperate measures. He’d have to hurry to get back to the motel in time. 

Weisman rushed back with a packet of papers. He glanced around to make sure no one saw him. Darcy was in the office but wouldn’t remember a thing. She was good like that. They shook hands and the man in black rolled out. 

The cloud followed.

***

Jock noticed the man in black sneaking around campus. He wasn’t too difficult to spot as most people didn’t run around town in black suits, much less drive fancy imported cars.

He met Jessica for breakfast around 0830, and she told him she didn’t feel well. Jock thought she just needed some food, so they headed over to the mess hall, though he didn’t usually eat breakfast, preferring to fast until lunch and dinner. Jock ordered a coffee and cream and sat down while she tore into a stack of pancakes, eggs, and bacon, with a few extra sides of bacon, all washed down with a pot of coffee. He could only stare over the rim of his steaming coffee mug. It was quite a sight, and he’d never seen her eat that way. She was eating like a man. It was like she was becoming him and it turned him on like nothing else. Too bad he wasn’t sure she’d be up for it after being seen with Dom the last few days.

Dom. Ever since he beat him in one-on-one, that’s all he’d heard about. Jock was sure he could have beaten him, if only due to his physical presence. But he didn’t have good enough ball handling skills or much range outside of the post. A good perimeter shooter would always take down a big man.

And now he wondered what had gotten into Jessica. The rest of the mess hall was watching in awe as well. She was like a woman possessed, eating and eating and eating some more. She even went back for a few cinnamon rolls, the cream cheese frosting dripping down her chin as she tore into bite after bite. She was turning into an animal.

“Anything happen this morning?” he asked. “You don’t seem to be yourself.”

She was too busy devouring another bite of pancakes and egg yolk to answer. She finally came up for air after a swig of coffee. She wasn’t in the sipping mood that morning. She was crazed about food.

“Are you pregnant,” he asked?

That got her attention. “No, I’m not pregnant,” she replied. “Whatever gave you that idea?”

“Well, I’ve known you for a while, and you’ve never eaten like this, at least not in public. Are you sure nothing happened this morning?”

She took another swig of coffee as she thought back to her morning.

“I got up at 6:30, took a shower, checked my emails, wasted time on Snapchat, and then walked over to Commander Weisman’s office around 8:15. Then I met you and here we are. Pretty normal stuff.”

That was a pretty typical morning for any of them. Jock wondered if anything was going on with Commander Weisman. He’d been kinda weird lately himself, muttering about commendations and promotions. Not that he was ever the calmest person, but he didn’t seem himself.

“Did you see Commander Weisman this morning?” Jock asked. “I went to his office, and Darcy said he’d just left.”

“No, I never got there,” she said. “I remembered I’d forgotten my iPad in my room once I got to his office. I turned around and went back for it and then met up with you afterward.”

“That’s weird,” he said. “How do you forget your iPad? It’s like surgically attached to your hand.”

She didn’t answer, too busy taking another giant bite of a cinnamon roll.

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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