Saturday, November 20, 2010

Blown Away: Chops From the Cutting-Room Floor.

After every novel release, I try to post some of the bits that didn't make it into the book. As with all manuscripts, Blown Away was no exception. I had chops that hit the floor. There are times when a story goes in a direction the writer didn't intend, or they've written something that doesn't move the plot forward. Though we hate to do it, these pieces have to go. For me, these cuts go into a file titled "Junkyard". A few have managed to find their way into new stories, given a second chance and others remain forgotten.

Chops from Blown Away.

Cut #1:  She had other concerns. Missing lingerie topped the list. She glanced around for her underwear. “You haven’t seen my underwear anywhere, have you?”

“I launched them into space.” He said it so casually, that if she hadn’t been listening, she’d have missed it. He tore open one of his meal pouches and reached in. He popped a dehydrated vegetable into his mouth. Not taking his eyes from her.

Jenna’s mouth dropped open. Did he have any clue how much she’d invested in those scraps? The cost was the least of it. She visualized her panties stuck to the side of Jayson’s ship and the poor maintenance man that would have to go out and scrape them off. If that wasn’t bad enough, she had labels in all her garments that identified them as hers. Now her underwear were floating around in the icebox where anyone in the immediate sector could pick them up on their scanners. “Why would you do something like that?”

He dropped down next to her on the bunk. “I like the thought of you naked under that suit. Saw the opportunity. Took it.”

“Doesn’t mean you’re going to see what’s under this suit again.”

“That sounds like a challenge.” He gave her a crooked grin.

She flipped him the bird again and gave him a smile back, something that would send her father into a fit. A proper lady didn’t react to vulgarity with vulgarity.

Cut #2:  There was more. Jayson ground his back teeth together. Panties with Jenna’s name on the label had gotten caught in the GDI shuttle’s manifold as it approached. Their mechanic pulled them free when they docked. It appeared someone launched them into space and Jayson had a good idea who. That who was going to get their ass kicked when he got his hands on him.

Getting into Jenna’s pants shouldn’t have been the foremost thing on his brother’s mind, not that Jayson wasn’t surprised, and all would have been fine if it ended there, but it hadn’t.

The Regillions had boarded with Jenna’s bra in their possession, and a ton of questions resulted from snagging the rogue undergarment in their hydraulics. Questions he couldn’t answer. What were the chances in a galaxy this size it would happen twice?

Apparently—pretty damned good.

As Jayson listened to the accusations he mentally pummeled Tyson. His randy behavior might have put a nail in all their proverbial coffins.

Tyson should be the one sitting in this room, listening to the pompous Regillion representative go on and on and on… So where the hell were they and why hadn’t they tried to contact him?

What a mess his brother had gotten them into. Not that he didn’t expect Tyson’s behavior to be any different. Hell knows he’d tried to keep him on a leash as long as he could.

Cut #3:  “This is insane. I can’t believe you want me to walk in there.” Jenna looked at her torn blouse. The older bruise from when she’d been attacked on the shuttle showed around her neck. “Are you sure this is going to work?”

“Everyone who walks through the doors is watched, with one exception.”


He nodded. “They give you a comfortable place to sit that’s not in a high security area and it’s on the top floor where all their records are kept. Your excuse for not having identification is simple. You were mugged. They don’t take fingerprints or run your data through the computer and the process is a sit down interview.”

“They’re still going to take a statement.” There was no way she could walk in there and out with the information. Jenna wished she had as much confidence as Tyson that the plan would work.

“Not a problem. I’ve hacked the port passenger lists and found someone that fits your description who arrived yesterday from Naxor Port. It’s a primitive world without bio-tagging. They won’t expect you to have a digital identification chip imbedded in one of your bones. Plus Naxor Port is on a Regillion world. Your accent and appearance will fit in.

“Okay.” They’d no choice. If they wanted access to the information, they had to walk into the beast’s lair. She could do this, had to do this. There was no way Tyson could walk in there. They’d know him on sight and he didn’t exactly pass for the mugging-victim type. That same intense energy Jenna found impressive would also call attention to him.

“You’ll excuse yourself to go to the ladies room.”

“Got it.”

“Since it will be the early hours of the morning, most of the floor will be unoccupied. Third door from the room you interview in is where they process anyone they’ve arrested. You’ll want to find the terminal where they run background checks. Scan the passport and see if whoever that card belongs to comes up on any of their special lists.”

“You sound like you’re familiar with the layout.”

“I’ve been in their offices a time or two.” He gave her a crooked smile. “Bar brawls.”

Jenna nodded. Yeah, she could see that. He did have that bad-boy persona to live up to. “Once I get the information?”

“Walk out. I’ll be waiting for you. Depending on what you find, we’ll either be able to prove it wasn’t us or we’ll have to find another way.”

It seemed too easy, but as Jenna had begun to learn, nothing about this was easy. The bomber had so far managed to stay one step ahead of them. They’d attempted to kill them, framed them and the only person who could have given them any information terminated his life, making them look even more guilty.

They’d gone to a planet swarming with GDI agents and still didn’t have a way to contact Jayson without alerting the authorities to their location. “And this processing room is unoccupied?”

“No. Just look like you know what you’re doing. They have over fifteen hundred employees on rotating shifts. Many have never met. If they question who you are, tell them you’re with their CI department. Their agents never carry identification on them. Then let them scan your retina. You’re in a Terran protection program, so you’ll come up with a blocked file the same as a counter-intelligence agent would, confirming what you say. They won’t know the difference.”

If you'd like to see what all the fuss is about, pick up a copy of my erotic sci fi romance novel, about the Explosives Ordnance Disposal in space and on alien worlds.

The E Novel is available here or through Amazon:

Coming in print soon.

Have a great weekend.

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