So, finally, book 2 of the New Prometheus is nearly ready to be released.
You can see the title above.
It's with the Editor now, so hopefully, I should be publishing it in about a week or so.
In the meantime, in the lead up to release, I'll be sharing some snippets from the book for you.
Here's snippet 1, which comes from chapter 1, which is from a secondary characters point of view, before we return to Frankie in Chapter 2 for the rest of the book.
(This is Pre-Edited text though, so, expect a few errors)
I'll be sharing more between now and release, so check back next week.
Isaac closed the door and offered Nigel a seat in front of the desk that he went and sat behind before reaching down to pull out a bottle of scotch that he had ready for such meetings.
‘Would you care for a drink?’
‘That would be most kind, thank you,’ Nigel said and took the glass from Isaac once he’d poured him a generous helping.
‘So what brings you out here to meet with me, Nigel?’
‘Straight down to business then?’ the Business Secretary asked.
‘Nigel, let’s be honest, shall we? While I appreciate you coming out here, this meeting could have been held in Westminster, and although I’m not against doing some work at home, I would prefer to spend my time with my family at the weekend. So, please excuse my brevity, but I’m keen to put some casual clothes on and see my kids.’
‘I understand. The reason for my visit then Mr Hughes,’ he said, the switch to a more formal manner of address not going unnoticed, ‘is that you have a lot of very powerful people more than a little concerned. You have always been very outspoken against the Corporations, and your appointment to Foreign Secretary is a big promotion,’ Nigel sighed, taking a deep breath. ‘The Corporations are just trying to go about their business. They want to help people, to save lives through their Nano Technology, but when people like you are out there saying how evil they are, how they have control over the government and the justice system, that’s not good PR for them. This promotion could be seen as the PM legitimising your views. This is a worry, understandably so. I’m sure you can see their point of view?’
‘So, they sent you to try and get me to play nice?’ Isaac asked.
‘In my role as Secretary of State for Business, it is my job to work closely with the Corporations and businesses that trade in the UK, and as a fellow member of the Cabinet, they expressed their worries to me and asked that I speak to you on their behalf.’
‘Is that right?’ Isaac said.
‘They only want to help Isaac. They want to work with you and see what they can do to help you. They have been invaluable to governments on both sides of the political divide for decades now. If you work with them, rather than against them, I’m sure you will find they can be excellent business partners.’
‘What do they have on you, Nigel? Hmm? What are they blackmailing you with?’
‘Wha… I’m sure I don’t know what you mean.’
‘Come on Nigel, don’t play coy, I’m not in the mood for this tonight. I’ve been meeting with delegates from the Corporations all day, and I can tell you what I told them, I’m just not interested in whatever they have to offer. I will do my job to the best of my ability and based on my own moral code, and I will not be compromised by a private interest group from one of your global conglomerates.’
Nigel stared at him and sighed. ‘I was really hoping that you would see things from their perspective. You have to understand, without them, it’s not unlikely that there wouldn’t be a human race, we might very well have gone extinct by now you understand?’
Isaac held his hands up for a moment. ‘I get that. I understand what they did for us in humanities darkest hour. The work they did on Nano Technology to combat disease is incredible. As you say, it is very likely that they did in fact save humanity, and for that I’m grateful. But they went too far. They saw an opportunity for power, and they went for it.’
‘They’re businesses operating in a capitalist society, they’ve only done what any other business would do in that situation. They maximised their profits to grow their business,’ Nigel said.
‘That’s funny. So this is growing their business? Owning the government is growing their business? Bribing public officials is growing their business? Killing anyone who stands in their way is growing their business? That’s a pretty warped view Nigel,’ Isaac said.
‘Killing people? What are you talking about? These are conspiracy theories and nothing more. Look, they just want to be treated fairly and for you to allow them to continue their business interests without interference. That’s all.’
‘They want me, to allow them, to continue forcing people to live in the slums of the Undercity in Neo-London because they can’t pay their Nano Insurance? They want me to let them continue to turn off the Nanobots of those who can’t pay, meaning they get Typhoid or whatever in those slums because they no longer have protection? And let’s not even get started on the bribery of Ministers or Judges or the Police.’
‘Isaac. I see this is not going to go how I had hoped. So, I am sorry, but you must understand, it’s only business, and you brought this on yourself.’
‘What do you mean?’ Isaac said when he suddenly heard the sounds of a struggle outside the door. Bodies clattered against the outside of the office, and suddenly with a loud bang, Cole came flying through the door and landed awkwardly on the floor, followed by the two bodyguards that Nigel had brought with him, both of which had drawn guns, one of which was pointed at Isaac. Seeing his bodyguard on the floor and the barrel of a gun pointed at him was not how he’d seen this new job going. Calmly and slowly, he raised his hands, watching the gunman carefully, and doing his best not to act in a threatening manner.
Slowly, Isaac opened his mouth, indicating he was going to speak. ‘Now, let’s not get over-excited here? There’s no need for violence.’
Nigel stepped forward. ‘But you see, sometimes there is a need for something beyond the rhetoric, sometimes the only way to reach people is to hit them over the head with a hammer, and then you will see you have their complete attention… Like I have yours now.’
‘This is ridiculous Nigel, what do you hope to achieve?’
‘Compliance Isaac, compliance,’ he said with a smile that made Isaac’s stomach turn. He then stepped to one side, letting him see through the doorway out into the hallway, where four more mercenaries held his wife and two children hostage at gunpoint.
Isaac’s stomach did a flip when he looked at the faces of his children and the pure terror that he saw there.
‘Look, there’s no need for this, you don’t need to do this Nigel. Come on, you have kids of your own, how can you…’
‘What you need to do, Isaac, what you need to concentrate on, now, is what’s more important? That’s all. You need to think hard, but not take too long over it… heh. Because, you know, these guys can get a little twitchy sometimes,’ he laughed. ‘You need to weigh up the options Isaac, balance the books, and make a choice. And, while there will be repercussions for the wrong choice, the choice is yours of course.’
‘Not one minute ago you said the stories of the Corporations killing people were nothing more than conspiracy theories, this looks all too real to me,’ Isaac said, playing for time. He wasn’t sure what he was hoping for, some kind of intervention maybe? Who knew, but he could hope all the same.
‘So, I lied. I’m a politician, it’s what we do, in case you weren’t aware.’
‘Oh, I was well aware of that, don’t you worry,’ he said, his eye’s glancing about the room, looking for anything that might help him. Cole was still on the floor. He was moving and was now looking back up at the man who was pointing a gun at him, but it didn’t look like he could do much from there.
The second bodyguard still had his gun pointed at him while Nigel stood nearby. He scanned over his desk, looking for something, anything that might help him get out of this predicament, but there really was nothing.
‘Daddy? Daddy, I’m scared,’ his young son said, clinging onto Clare’s leg in terror. Hearing that little voice broke his heart. He desperately wanted to resist, to stay true to his beliefs and never submit to these Corporate giants, but how could he when they were prepared to go to these lengths?
‘Listen to your son Isaac, listen to the innocence that I can still hear in his voice. Do you want to take that away from him? Do you want to leave him without one or both parents? I’m sure one of the Corporations would take him in, raise him, augment him and make him into a productive part of their organisation.’
‘Damn you, Nigel! This is sick. How can you do this? You’re not giving me a choice here are you?’
‘You have a choice, of course, you do, but the repercussions of that choice should be very clear and obvious by now. So, like I said before you tried to play for time, you need to make that choice, you need to think what’s best, for you and your family. So, think carefully, Isaac, think…’
Two small glass shattering noises sounded from the window off to Isaac’s right-hand side as two holes appeared in the window pane. At the same time, both of Nigel’s bodyguards that were in this room, the one over Cole and the one with his gun pointed at Isaac dropped to the floor as a mist of blood exploded from their heads.
‘What…?’ Nigel said in surprise.
Isaac’s wife yelled in shock and tried to turn the heads of their kids away from the scene.
Half a second later the whole window smashed through as something large and black crashed through it and landed on the floor. It rolled and came to a kneeling position. It was a woman with shoulder length dark hair dressed all in black, holding a gun up at the Business Secretary.
‘I wouldn’t move if I were you,’ she said.
Nigel’s hands were already up, and he looked suitably shocked.
Cole still lay on the floor, watching the woman and probably wondering what his next move should be.
‘Who the hell are you?’ Isaac said before movement caught his eye outside his office and he noticed the mercenaries out there dragging his wife and kids off up the stairs and into the house. ‘Damnit, they’re taking my wife,’ he yelped.