Zinnia Hope, author of multi-genres and erotic romances; also writing as J. Emberglass
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Friday, April 27
Tomorrow, I'll be at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lavenderisisoasis/ for the big debut of The Red Storm. I've even been told that there are readers who have emailed to find out when it will go online. So cool! I hope you'll stop by the group for the big debut day. The following is a brief excerpt of my romantic sci-fi mystery novel.
Wesley jumped from the missile platform. Jogging towards a locker, he opened it and withdrew the modified 3.75 rocket launcher Jordanne had seen him use the very first time he'd killed a Delph. He loaded it and aimed at the creature. It flopped towards him, its anchor-like tail slamming, reminiscent of a Cyclops's spiked war mace. A first sun tried to leap out of its way, but the Delph's tail bashed her against a nearby lazarette where she landed in a heap and lay without moving.
A bright flash followed an explosion. The top of the Delph's head exploded as the missile punched through it and shot safely through the air to penetrate the starboard waves. Blood and brains splattered everyone and everything. Ocean water surged across the rails, and the gore washed away.
"The storm's nearly on us," said Jordanne. "Everyone go below. We're not going to suffer through another Level 3P in this tower again."
"Are you sure, Admiral?" asked Helmsman Manners.
Jordanne pointed at both doors. "We'll secure the tower as best as we can. You put in our coordinates, Manners, and we're out of here until this one blows itself out." She pushed Dot towards the steps. Or until we all go down with The Red Storm.
Everyone filed out of the tower and down the stairs. The wind snatched at their hair and clothes. Lightning sizzled through the sky, the sound reminiscent of frying meat. Jordanne followed them, her hands gripping the railing, her gaze trained on Dot. One by one, they turned the corner at the bottom and entered the hatch leading into the ship.
Pausing, Jordanne motioned towards Wesley and the gunnery crew. "Get below," she shouted, but the wind ripped her words away.
Regardless, Wesley understood and indicated that everyone reach the nearest stairway and go below. Jordanne watched one of them grab the motionless sailor still sprawled by the lazarette. He looked at Jordanne, shook his head, turned and disappeared below.
Sadly, she stepped inside and pulled the hatch closed. Dot waited there and helped her secure it.
Everyone hurried to their quarters. Taking Dot by the hand, Jordanne helped her down the corridor to her cabin. She found herself climbing the hall, and just as abruptly, she and Dot slid downhill on the slick hard floor, bypassing her admiral's cabin. They hit the deadend wall in a jumble of arms and legs.
"I think this one's going to be worse than the last L3P," Dot panted out and stood up. She grabbed Jordanne's hands and helped her stand up.
"I don't have a good feeling about this one at all, Dot, so we need to prepare for the worst."
"I've already been there, Admiral."
Smiling, Jordanne nodded. "Indeed you have. Maybe you can lend me some of your courage."
"After what I saw you do in the control tower," Dot beamed at her, "you have plenty of courage."
Laughing, Jordanne patted Dot on the back. "Maybe you're right."
"Let's go back to my—"
"I just remembered the Wastelander locked in her quarters. I need to release her in case the ship is damaged and sinks. That way she'll have a chance—albeit a very slim one—of getting to a lifeboat and surviving. At least she won't drown in her cabin." Jordanne gently pushed Dot away, but the ship tipped again and they both grasped the edges of a nearby doorway until it righted itself. "Go to my quarters and wait there." She handed her an emergency data stick from her belt. "Put this in the backside of the knob. It'll open the door for you."
"What about you?" asked Dot, her blue eyes huge.
"I'll bring the Wastelander to my quarters," she answered. "Just wait for me in my cabin so I know where you are in case something should happen."
"Yes, Admiral," the girl replied. She braced herself against the wall as the ship dipped one way followed by the other. "Be careful."