It's been a quiet week. Wasn't feeling too well over the weekend, and it carried over into Wednesday. I think I feel human again.
I haven't been entirely unproductive, though. No, I've been busy. Well, my delirious little mind has been. What has my delirious little mind been up to, you ask? Why, of course, I'd love to share!
Obviously, I knew sending The Shadow Watcher out there all by its little lonesome wasn't going to amount to a massive flow of sales. I knew this before I wrote it. Not because I don't believe one day it will, it's just all by itself right now, and needs some company. Takes me awhile to get a novel right though.
Oh, but wait! Remember those side notes I talked about before?
Yes, well, here's the latest. Or part of it, anyway. These short stories I plan on putting out for .99¢, or some for free, to help get more content out there faster. A Shadow in Doubt is still planned for fall, but Fore Shadowing: Shadows on the Moon will be sooner, I think. For now, please enjoy this entirely unedited excerpt :)
08/05/2169 - Moon Colony - Gamma Structure
Paranoia is a mild state, relative to the one in which I lived after we administered the vaccination to the colony. Nearly two weeks have passed since the U.C.E. requested a sample of the compound we used. I couldn't seem to sleep for more than twenty minutes at a time. At two thirteen a.m., I sat up, feeling someone else was in my room, and saw the shadow pass before the clock.
My heart started pounding. My eyes adjusted to the darkness, and I saw a man, wearing what appeared to be a cloak and glasses, standing near the window to my right.
To my left, a woman whispered, "Samuel, we need to talk."
I wanted to cry out, my father might hear in his quarters next door. But not likely.
She spoke again, "We mean you no harm, but they're coming." This time I could see her. She was wearing glasses too, with tinted lenses.
I snapped on my bedside lamp. They were both strangers - I'd never seen either of them on the Moon before. I assumed the worst. "The U.C.E. sent you, didn't they."
He answered, "No. But like she said, they're coming."
"What do you want from me? Who are you?"
"The truth is often not expected." She smiled. Her eyes, still visible through the lenses she wore, were familiar to me, like I'd known them my whole life, but I couldn't place it. "We're here to help you. Telling you who we are doesn't help right now. You'll understand, in time."
"Samuel, you have to escape now, you and anyone who helped you with the vaccine."
The story the lab gave the U.C.E. was they accidentally administered all of the vaccine, and they had not been able to replicate a new batch. Time was running out for them to send something back to the labs on Earth - probably Sky Geneva, otherwise Sky Milan - for testing. They won't replicate a new batch, because they didn't make it. My friends at the lab, Tollack, Voorhia and Marcus took a great risk in helping me distribute a juice from a fruit-bearing tree I created. They called it a vaccine, and when everyone one the moon was cured, we destroyed the rest.
I couldn't let the U.C.E. have the real thing, because then they would know about my project, my tree. We were not surprised when they designated me to the Time Travel project, as the U.C.E. considers it my sibling, my parents its parents. But my true love was bio-chemistry, and I couldn't stay away.
The quest for eternal youth from within, long linked to the fuel we put into our bodies, lead me down this path. It was an answer to a question, a problem I wanted to solve from the time I was a boy and read of quests to find the Fountain of Youth. I had no idea what I was creating, and had not thought of the implications - or possibilities - it truly meant for the future.
The UCE had, and they labeled their quest the Sovereign project. They believed if they could defy the aging process, they could rule the universe. Once they'd spread out to conquer it. Which they would do when they could live long enough to travel far enough to do it. Crazy, right? My father would say that's why he went with science, and not politics.
The man snapped me back to the present. "Their representatives will be here in less than twenty-four hours. You have to execute your plan, and get the tree out of here now."
I was dubious. The fact that I had only just discovered the healing properties of the fruit a week before patient zero booked his flight for the Moon, and brought the Antarctic flu to our virus free colony, was only too convenient. I made my father eat it the minute he showed symptoms of the Antarctic flu, but within minutes of biting into the core, his hair thickened and darkened, and the wrinkles in his face began to smooth. I shrieked out loud, startling him because it was not a manly sound, and all I could do was point to a mirror across the room.
The age-reversing effects of the fruit were not as apparent in a cat as they are in a human, but I realized what happened the instant it happened. My experiment was a success. I could save the colony. But I had to conceal it from the U.C.E., because otherwise they would take it from me, before I could even study it. I filled a sack with the fruit, and ran called my friend, who worked at the lab. He was sick too, but when he drank some of the juice from just the flesh of the fruit, he felt fully recovered. His fever was gone. We headed to the lab, and called two more of his associates. I couldn't enter, without record of my being there, so I stayed outside.
"I still don't know if it's a good idea." I went on the assumption they already knew my plan.
"Going back that far, it poses too many risks."
The man handed me an envelope, "Which is why you'll need this."
"What is it?"
The woman sighed, "How to make it all work."
They looked at each other, moments passing that seemed like hours. Hours I apparently no longer had to waste. I could tell they were weighing the outcome of what they told me. She shook her head, he answered. "My instructions were to deliver you the coordinates you need to set the time machine for, and other notes attached. I think you'll know who they're from when you read them."
I opened the envelope, the contents of which consisted of several aged leaves of paper, scratched and scrawled upon in a hand I knew - unmistakably - was my own.
And, the rest is coming soon to an e-reader (hopefully) in your hands!
I hope you're having a beautiful day!