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AEInterlude: Part Four

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Haruspex Analytics

They’ve been gagged and bound for nearly two days, hands stretched over their heads, feet tied together and tethered to the floor. All three figures—two men and a woman—bear their incarceration stoically. There were initial attempts to work free of the restraints, but they proved fruitless, and eventually all three resigned themselves to waiting.

And so they wait, in a darkened room, with nothing but their own thoughts and the occasional muffled sounds of their fellow captives to keep them company. They wait, grow hungry, grow thirsty, and continue waiting.

Finally, towards the end of the second day, someone turns on a light.

The light is painful at first, but as they gradually adjust they see they are in a very empty, unfurnished room. Unfurnished, but fancy—the walls and floor are granite, and the ceiling is covered in baroque plaster tiles. At the very end of this empty room is a simple door, so plain it looks almost shabby by comparison.

It is another hour before the door finally opens. When the man walks in, the three recognize him immediately.

“I apologize for the delay,” the Chairman says. He crosses the room slowly, deliberately.

AEInterlude: Part Three

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Diplomacy in Action

Nobody moves.

The only sounds come from outside the building—those sounds are louder than they would normally be, due to the gaping hole in the concrete wall. Agent Grant hears sirens, many sirens, as police frantically converge on the scene. He wonders if there are any metahumans in Raleigh who will also respond. He assumes there has to be at least one, what with all the technology in Research Triangle Park, but he’s not familiar with the area.

Doctor AEvil stares at him impassively—he supposes it’s impossible for a hulking suit of powered armor to do anything but stare at him impassively. Grant glares back at the tin suit for all he’s worth.

AEInterlude: Part Two

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Raleigh, NC

It’s Friday afternoon and the bank lobby is crowded. Special Agent Alan Grant sighs in irritation as he glances at his watch, noting with displeasure that they’ve only moved up two spaces in the last thirty minutes.

“You’re not supposed to be the fidgety one, Grant.” Special Agent Lijuan Hu suppresses a grin as she stares at her partner. “You can be doing other things while we wait.”

“I am doing other things while we wait,” Grant says. “But none of them are ‘getting closer to Farraday City,’ which is what I want to be doing.”

AEInterlude: Part One

Submitted by Christopher Wright on
Esperanza, July 20, 1992

David Bernard and Artemis LaFleur stand in the living room of a small house near the shore of an island that only barely exists. Through the curtained windows the bright glow of lightning flickers, followed shortly by the low rumble of thunder. It’s getting close to the moment when a pale copy of an Artemis that was—a byproduct of the island’s unique condition—will finish casting a spell that dooms the world.

David’s body sleeps fitfully on the couch beside them, and his consciousness—what he’s started thinking of as his “dream form”—stares down at it uneasily. The sleeping figure looks almost nothing like him—the full beard and long hair frame a face that is considerably more gaunt than it was when he arrived at the island. He’s never lacked for food, but the diet isn’t what he’s used to, and that combined with a severe concussion at the beginning of his stay contributed to a lot of weight loss. He looks like a man who has been stranded on an island for a year.

Which, in almost every sense, is true.

Pay Me, Bug! is in the Immerse-Or-Die StoryBundle

Submitted by Christopher Wright on

Update: The ImmerseOrDie bundle is now live!

The 15th of April is a day of woe and suffering here in the United States. That's our deadline for filing Federal Income Taxes, you see, and that's when a lot of us watch sadly as we stuff envelopes full of money and watch that money fly away, never to return. It's a time of change: specifically, a time when change is really all we have left, jingling uselessly in our pockets.

It's a perfect time for a StoryBundle. And if you're going to buy a StoryBundle, why not buy one with Pay Me, Bug! in it?

On April 15, StoryBundle will launch a new collection of eight indie Fantasy and Science Fiction titles. It's the ImmerseOrDie StoryBundle, eight books (including mine) that passed the ImmerseOrDie Report.

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