I hope you enjoyed the first snippet.
We're moving forward towards the release of book 2 in The New Prometheus series. So, with that in mind, here's snippet 2.
Please bare in mind, this is Pre-Editing text.
Frankie glanced out through the door of the office and caught a quick glimpse of the men disappearing up the stairs with the Minister’s family.
‘I know Sir, one thing at a time. They’ll use them as leverage, they won’t get far. You,’ she said to the Minister's bodyguard who was still on the floor. ‘Grab their guns,’ she said, indicating the two pistols the guards had dropped.
‘I’m on my way in Frankie.’ It was Gibson, talking to her through their Neural Net Link directly into her head.
‘Roger that, I’m going after the wife and kids.’ She sent back without needing to actually speak.
The bodyguard had picked up the two guns and was looking at her waiting for instruction. ‘I’m on your side,’ she said.
‘I guessed that. What’s the plan?’
‘Give one of those to the Minister,’ she said, nodding to the two pistols in his hands. ‘Then come with me, we have some hostages to free,’ she said, standing up. Isaac got hold of one of the guns and pointed it at Nigel, allowing Frankie to lower her weapon. ‘Sir,’ she said to Isaac, ‘I have a member of my team on approach now, he will be with you momentarily, are you okay if we go after the other Corporate forces?’
‘I’m fine now,’ he said, pointing the gun at the Business Secretary, ‘go.’
Frankie wasted no more time and with a quick nod to the bodyguard, moved out of the office quickly but cautiously. She walked through the reception area, heading towards the main stairway, which led up to the two floors above them. Frankie kept close to the wall as she approached the bottom of the flight of steps.
‘Did you see where they went?’ the bodyguard asked.
‘Up,’ Frankie said.
‘So, what do I call you?’ the bodyguard said.
‘Frankie,’ she answered as she peered up to the first floor.
‘Cole,’ he offered.
Suddenly the sound of gunfire ripped through the house as high powered rounds slammed into the wall beside her. Frankie ducked back.
‘Well, I’d say that confirms it,’ she said.
She’d seen the muzzle flash in one of the doorways up on the first floor. Frankie’s internal systems had tagged the target, and she knew just where he had been when he had fired. She waited a beat before leaning out and, using her targeting system, put two rounds right into the doorway where she had seen the muzzle flash before ducking back behind the wall. Her enhanced hearing picked up the tell-tale sound of a grunt and the thud of a falling body half a second after her shots. She waited a moment longer before she ducked around the corner and with her gun up and pointing at the same doorway, she climbed the stairs. Cole followed her, his gun also ready, moving like a trained serviceman. As she climbed the stairway, she could hear the painful moans of the man she had shot. Moments later she reached the first floor and approached the doorway where the gunman had been.
Cole stood nearby, covering her and looking all about them. Frankie peeked round the corner at the wounded man, ducking back quickly. The man fired his semi-automatic machine pistol at her, but she had already moved out of his field of view, and the bullets hit only wood and plaster. The gunfire stopped with a moan of pain and anger.
With her gun ready, Frankie stepped quickly from one side of the door to the other, firing once as she passed in front of the doorway. The sounds of breathing and of a man in pain stopped.
She glanced into the room once more, her gun raised and ready, but he was dead, her final round having passed straight through his head.
She stepped into the room and crouched next to the dead man’s body. There was nothing of any real interest about him, so she picked up his sub-machine gun and tossed it to Cole along with a couple of extra magazines she found.
‘Here, have this. Might be useful.’
‘Thanks, where too now?’ he asked her.
Frankie listened hard, trying to pick up any sounds in the house. Further into the building, she could hear the sounds of a struggle and a mix of male and female voices. Frankie rose up and checked the remaining ammunition in her current magazine. Satisfied she had enough for the moment; she slapped the mag back in and moved to the doorway.
She listened again and felt sure she could pinpoint the sounds.
‘You have something?’ Cole asked.
‘Down there, second door on the right, I think it’s the wife,’ she whispered.
‘That’s a bathroom, no windows, just that one door,’ he said.
‘I knew you’d be useful,’ she said, smiling at Cole. She looked back in the direction of the new noises. It was a small room, all internal walls, no windows, one way in, it was a good little hiding place, but not for long.
She looked back at Cole again. ‘You run distraction. Follow me to that door, make some noise, keep them focused on you. I’m going to circle around it and see what I can do,’ she said.
‘Sure,’ he said and followed her as she moved out from the room they had been in and into the corridor. As she passed the door she was now certain the wife was behind, she pointed at it for Cole, making it clear which room the wife was in. He moved to the side of it as Frankie moved to the next door along. She eased the already partially open door wider still, checking the bedroom on the other side, making sure it was clear. She looked over at Cole and nodded to him, hoping he’d understand what she wanted him to do.
An icon in her vision blinked for a moment, warning her that her Link with Gibson was open again moments before she heard his voice.
‘We’re in Frankie, I have the Ministers secure,’ Gibson said.
‘Good, keep them there, we’re working on getting the wife at the moment,’ she said and closed the link.
Cole banged on the door that Frankie felt sure the Minister’s wife was behind.
‘We know you’re in there guys, there’s no way out, we have you surrounded.’
‘Yeah, well we have the wife, so unless you want her dead, you’re going to have to let us go.’
‘Is that right?’ Cole said.
Frankie nodded at him and moved into the bedroom, checking the space over again before she turned her attention to the wall between her and the bathroom the hostage was in.
It was nothing special, just a common internal wall, but she noticed right away a vent that sat high up near the ceiling. Perfect, she thought and reached into one of the pouches on her belt. She pulled out a small metallic box and opened it up to reveal a tiny drone inside, no bigger than a coin, less than an inch across.
With a thought, Frankie sent a signal from her Cyber Brain to the device, and it quickly powered up. Its mini rotors span and it rose into the air before her, under her control. She put the box away and directed the drone into the vent where it quietly moved to the other side of the wall and landed on the inside of the opposite vent, giving Frankie a view into the bathroom and the three people inside it.
Two of the corporate merc’s where in there with the Ministers wife. One was near the door, his gun up and ready as he talked with Cole on the other side. Meanwhile, the other one leant against the wall directly below the drone, holding the wife in a headlock, his gun not really pointed at anything.
Using the vent as a reference point and the video feed from the drone, Frankie was able to put a 3D holographic overlay onto her vision that showed her in real time where the man was on the opposite side of the wall.
She needed to silently sync this up with Cole though, so she scanned the local space for Ports and quickly found Cole’s. Luckily he had a Neural Net.
She ran a quick hacking algorithm and found the code to send a message to him.
‘Cole, it’s Frankie,’ she sent through the Net to his mind.
‘How did you get my code?’ he sent back.
‘Not now,’ she said. She needed him to concentrate. ‘Be ready, and when I say go, you smash through that door and take out the guy closest to you. He’s on the right side wall as you go in, got it?’
‘That’s a solid copy,’ he sent.
Frankie stood next to the wall and readied herself. Three, two one, go,’ she sent, and punched through the wall with her right fist. These internal walls were not that strong, and she was able to throw her fist right through it and grab the mercenaries gun hand in one smooth motion. She could hear yells and gunshots now as she watched her target let go of the wife as he struggled against her grip.
So she punched again with her left hand and quickly grabbed the man on the other side around his neck. Frankie adjusted her hold and put her feet on the wall and pulled on the mercenary, giving herself greater power by using her legs to push off from the wall. The Merc came crashing through to her room in a shower of bricks and plaster that filled the air with dust. The man screamed in pain as Frankie twisted and dropped him to the floor where he moaned before looking up through the blood and dirt that covered his face. Frankie punched him once, dropping him unconscious.
Frankie pulled her gun again and moved back to the hole in the wall, through the billowing dust, only to find the other mercenary dead on the floor and the Ministers wife clinging onto Cole, sobbing her heart out.
Cole looked up at her and nodded.
‘Good job,’ Frankie said.
The Ministers wife looked up, a fresh look of fear on her face as she looked over to Frankie.
‘My kids, what about my kids? Do you have them?’
‘Not yet, where did they take them?’ Frankie asked. She’d been aware that they had been taken, but the distraction of freeing the Ministers wife had consumed her attention for the moment.
‘I… I’m not sure… the other side of the house maybe?’ she said.
Frankie didn’t wait any longer and moved out into the corridor. ‘Wait with her,’ she said to Cole as she ran off down the corridors, her gun at the ready.
Moments later she could hear movement and voices up ahead, and as she closed in on them, there was a worrying sounding thud and then silence.
Frankie paused, her gun up, pointing to where the sound had come from. She had no idea what she might find in here but moved forward anyway, she had to see what had happened.
She closed in on an open door and walked as quietly as she could, listening the whole time.
‘What have you done?’ said a small voice. ‘I think you hurt him.’
‘Good, he wasn’t a very nice man,’ said another voice, probably female from the sound of it.
‘Will mummy be angry?’ said the first voice.
Frankie edged around the door frame, her gun ready, and peeked into the room. It looked like one of the kid’s bedrooms, maybe the girls from all the pink, but they were both in here. The younger boy, who she guessed to be about six, stood on a bench by the wall, while the older girl, who looked about twelve, stood on the floor over the body of the mercenary. The armed man lay on the ground unmoving, while the girl held a glass snow globe in her right hand.
Frankie lowered her gun and stepped more fully into view.
‘I think Mummy will be very happy that you’re both alive and well, actually,’ Frankie said.
Both kids turned to look at Frankie in surprise.
‘Who are you?’ asked the girl.
‘I’m here to help, my name’s Frankie,’ she said to them.
‘That’s a boy’s name,’ the boy said in protest.
Frankie smiled, bewildered at the logic of children. They were in a life and death situation, and the thing that worried this kid was her name? She nearly burst out laughing. ‘I suppose it is. It’s short for Francesca though, which is most certainly a girl’s name,’ she said.
The boy scrunched up his face as he thought about that. ‘My name is Jacob,’ he finally said.
‘Don’t tell her your name, she might be one of them,’ the girl said.
The boy looked at his sister, and then back to Frankie. ‘Are you a robber too?’
Frankie chuckled to herself. ‘No, I’m not a robber or a bad guy. I’m… I’m a police officer, and I am very impressed that you managed to stop this man. Well done.’
‘See, she’s not a baddie,’ Jacob said to his sister.
‘If you don’t mind, I’d like to have a look at this man and put some cuffs on him, if that’s okay?’
This sister looked at her with suspicion, but then nodded and backed off. Frankie moved in and felt for the man’s pulse. He was still alive, so she pulled out some cuffs and secured his wrists before removing the guns from him.