NaNoWriMo Special — Word Count 48,570

crest_square-1902dc8c2829c4d58f4cd667a59f9259The fork is ready.   Not much to do except stick it in the resolution of the story.    Day 18 and I’m standing at the shores of the goal.

I’m actually glad I set my sights on 55,000 words, because if I would have planned for 50,000 I would have fallen a little short.   That would have been pretty frustrating to have a completed story at around 49,000 words.

That said I feel there’s no padding in the MACRO CORP.  after revisions I think the word count will swell approximately 5k words.  Unlike TWO DESTROYERS which got shorter with revisions, I think I have a good sense for this.

Anyway.   The last week of NaNaNoWriMo will be centered around polishing and revisions.   LuLu.com had a neat  offer for NaNoWriMo Participants that will put a finished copy of the novel in paperbook form for me.   I’m just glad it’ll be something coherent and enjoyable.

I’ll put out feelers for interest in publishing it, but that won’t be a thing till December or the start of 2014.

If anyone is interested in Beta reading the MACRO CORP. just send me an email (or mention your interest in the comments.)

It’s been a fun ride.    Anyone interested in writing, I highly recommend trying NaNoWriMo in 2014.   I know I’ll be participating again next year.

 

Excerpt from:   Chapter 21 — Lair of Chaos

 

Ray flexed a hand, testing his power.  He had full control over it, unlike the disruption he felt in his home an hour prior.  Even then his his power hadn’t been the problem, but instead his motivations to use it.   The small device Ray had crushed disrupted his motivation to do what needed to be done.   Instead his body lulled into a sort of apathy.   This inaction prevented him of using his power by feeding him a clear message: What’s the point?

Dave triangulated the angle of their flight and possible places of landing.  They traveled southeast towards the shoals but they may have been aimed over the Gulf of Mexico.  Both copters were top of the line military crafts, capable to travelling eight hundred or more miles before crashing.  Most of that centered around the application of experimental energy sources.

Ray found it unusual that communications hadn’t been limited.   He contacted Mr. Kringle who gave them additional data and satellite photos of possible landing sites.  The remained in range of an air base if they had to resort to extreme measures.

The FBI rallied watercraft to intercept and toy with the codes controlling their craft, they couldn’t begin to scratch its surface.   Instead they watched them fly by, helpless.

If they got over the ocean, Ray could punch a hole in the side of the craft and they could escape.  Matt could escape the craft with his power over shadows, but because the copter locked tight the rest were at their captive’s mercy.

“Russ.   How you holding out in there?” Ray said over the comm.

“Pissed off, but fine.  They could have at least served us a meal.”

“I’m sorry.   Everyone.   This is my fault.  Prepare for the worst, and work through a landing strategy.   We work with what we know, so build something around facing all four of the disciples and– Mech.   Dave managed to lock the armory remotely so she only has access to energy weapons.   Two of the disciples are vulnerable as humans.   Target them first.   Be wary of traps by ones that seem inactive in the fight and–”

“Ray.   I’m getting a signal,” Dave said, “It’s Mech.”

Thank you.   Best news I’ve heard all day.  A piercing noise filled the comm signal, the sounds of gunfire and explosions.

“Macro Corp.” Mech spoke, stiff and mechanical, her word muddied by sounds of combat.   “Forgive my betrayal, but I’ve decided to settle this myself.  Control of your craft has been restored but you lack the fuel to make it here.  This is not a time for mercy, this is a time for–”

“That’s not your call,” Ray said, muting her.  “Dave, Jay set a course for Mech’s location rendezvous with each other ASAP.   We’re gonna need a different energy source for the trip.   Joyce, get Kringle on the Horn and get us some backup.    Samantha, Kirin you do everything you can to ensure we’re going to the right place.  We should be able to pick up on the disciples.  Jeb, I want every god-damned seagull in the Gulf of Mexico looking for this place.   Russ.   Fly.”

“Yes, sir,” Russ said.

Ray kept a close bead on the the scanners, and Mech made no further moves to contact them.  Mech’s diagnostic reads were completely disabled so they were blind.   They copters met in three miles and fuel levels struggled at thirty percent, but by then he had plenty of kinetic energy built up.

They made water landings and secured float rafts on the undersides.   They cut the engines lined them up side by side and lashed them together.  Ray brought the energy to the surface and released driving the impromptu hovercraft forward.   After a small adjustment period he managed to compensate for two-thirds the speed of flight for next to no exertion.  Joyce’s support made it that much easier.

The rest of the group met considerable success.  Samantha and Kirin had strong readings around Mech’s location.  Jeb managed to clear riptides with large schools of fish, and after an hour of travel they had a small army escort of dolphins.

“Mac.  I’m here,” Russ said into the comm.  His breathing sounded labored.

“You have visual?”

“Yeah.  I’m sorry.”

“For?”

“Mech’s down.”

“Down?  What do you mean down?”

“Mac.   Just get here.” The line terminated.

Russ gave a clear signal on the HUD, his vitals remained steady.   But his demeanor left Ray worried.   Joyce gave him a sideways glance.   Only then did he realize Russ contacted him privately.

According to the HUD they were a few miles away from the site.

“What’s wrong?” Joyce said. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“Hopefully I haven’t.   Micron made it there, but he won’t give me details.”

“Maybe he can’t tell you details.” Joyce shrugged a shoulder.   “We’re close anyway, so we’ll settle this quickly and go home.   If it was bad he would have told us.”

“Right.” Ray let his kenetic energy peter out and turned to the others.   All eyes were on him, and everyone wore solemn expressions.

“Micron just checked in and we’re about to run headfirst into trouble.   From here we’ll move in on the lifeboats or swim, as long as Jeb can recruit us some aquatic sled dogs.”

Jeb gave a thumbs up.   “Shouldn’t be a problem.”

“Kirin and Vuhdis get priority on the boats,  they’re our first line of defense if something comes up we can’t out punch or program.   But I’ll come clean now.   This was all Mech’s plan.”  Ray paused to read the groups’ reaction.  Joyce already knew, but the others took it well.

“Somewhere along the line she changed the plan.  She tried to take care of this herself and bit off more than she can chew.  She might have a good reason for doing so.  She might be leading us into a trap.  Her actions might only be based on selfish revenge.    But I’m asking you as your leader to set that aside and remember we’re not playing for ourselves here.  I think she knows what needs to be done isn’t pretty and since she’s already a lost cause she threw herself at this like a sacrifice.   So we have to show her how wrong she is.”

The smiles on his colleague’s faces fed his confidence more that he ever thought possible.

Jeb called out the the pack of dolphins.    They settled on letting Samantha and Kirin take the boats, Kirin so she didn’t have to fly to the lair and Samatha because the supplies she used for her rituals were sensitive to water.   The others swam with the dolphins.

Their costumes served as effective wetsuits, Ray felt no moisture against his skin and they cut through the waves with little friction.   Jeb’s hired hep flitted about amongst the waves, eager to help them.   Though he never thought he’d live to see a Black Bear being towed by a dolphin.  Ray found it interesting that the animals under Jeb’s control did not act as trained animals he had seen in the past, instead they helped them the way a close friend would help another.   Jeb’s power hadn’t been a form of control, merely one of communication.   Bayou Jack certainly had an unexplained charisma about him, so unlike the absolute control Cirrimus had over the disciples.

Their destination, a shoal cave off the coast of Louisiana, maintained a cloak of mist.   It worked in their favor.  And even if the mists had been artificial and manipulated by Slipstream, Dave would know thanks to the data acquired from their fight.  And unless Slipstream had become considerably more powerful, she could not maintain influence over water for much more than twelve feet.

The dolphins slowed to a stop, concerned of the sharp coral.   So from there they had to wade into their landing.   Where animal instincts fell short, technology picked up the slack.   Kirin flew the last few feet and spotted Russ walking through the mist.  Ray let out a sigh of relief seeing his friend again and safe.

While the others emerged from the water, Ray approached.   Russ raised a hand to stop him.  “We’re in the wrong.   We shouldn’t stop Cirrimus.”

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