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Hello visitors. On my blog I'm talking about my books, but also about what I'm currently working on and, maybe, some other stuff. Browse through my posts and don't forget to check out my older posts in the archives. If you are interested in my books, please, visit my website Fictitious Tales for more information and a few excerpts. You'll find more excerpts in my old website Herbert's World. Also, take a look at my second blog Herbert Grosshans, where I talk about fun-stuff and things that concern me.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Seeds of Chaos, Excerpt

Here is an excerpt from Book One of Seeds of Chaos

The village lay on the shore of a frozen lake. The strong wind blew the snow off the ice, and the rays of the setting sun painted the glinting ice red. I saw a pair of fishermen pulling small sleds behind them, on their way back to shore. Everything looked very peaceful.
Sharina and Kabrina had disappeared into one of the buildings. A sign above the door proclaimed it a tavern. Who would have guessed? The only tall building in this forsaken place, and the drunk falling out of the door should have been a dead giveaway.
There were two air-sleds parked in the small parking lot, they held no markings, but they gave me the shivers. These were no ordinary air-sleds.
I followed the girls into the tavern.
The place didn’t look crowded, no surprise, considering the size of the village. The surprise came with the man sitting at one of the tables. He didn’t wear a uniform. However, the man with him did. I recognized the uniform and the insignia on the man’s left sleeve. A high-ranking officer in the United Planet’s Space Navy.
I approached the table slowly.
“Hello, Thomas, good to see you again.”
“Admiral,” I said, but I didn’t salute.
He smiled. “We had a hard time tracking you down, son,” he said.
“Had I known you wanted my company, I would have left you a note, Father,” I said. No, I was not bitter.
He sighed. “I can’t blame you if you hate me.” He indicated the empty chair across from him. “Sit down.”
I shrugged and sat down.
“This is Colonel Voltaire,” Admiral Curtis said.
The Colonel gave me a courteous nod. “Pleased to meet you, Commodore Stone. I’ve heard a lot about you.”
“I’m sure you have. You can drop the ‘Commodore’. I’m just plain ‘Thomas Stone’. I don’t believe they missed to mention that small detail when you were briefed about me.”
Colonel Voltaire smiled thinly. “I am aware of your situation, Commodore. I know that you have been discharged without honor from the Service. I also know that there are people out there who want you dead. You are the victim of a conspiracy, Commodore, but you know that already.”
He possessed hard eyes, this colonel, they showed no pity, but they were honest.
“You didn’t come here to tell me that you feel sorry for the way I was treated, Colonel. What do you want from me?” I glanced at Admiral Curtis, but his face remained passive.
The Colonel laughed. “Coming right to the matter, Commodore. I like that.”
“It’s been a long day and I am very tired.” I said. “I need a meal, a bath and a good night’s rest.”
“We have made arrangements for a room where you can sleep safely. You won’t have to fear for your life tonight, you’ll be well guarded.”
My turn to laugh. “Are you afraid I’m going to escape?” I asked. I had seen the two Colonial Marines at one table and the two Special Troopers at another.
“You are not a prisoner, Thomas.” Admiral Curtis said. “By the way, your mother sends her regards. She misses you.”
“I miss her too,” I said, speaking the truth, especially since we hadn’t seen much of each other for the last two years.
“You shouldn’t have left.” The Admiral said softly. I always thought of him as just The Admiral, even though he was my stepfather. We had been close, or so I thought. After I was court-martialed, he buried himself in his work, refused to see me when I attempted to contact him.
“I feared for my life,” I said. “They murdered everyone else. Why not me, why was I humiliated like that?”
He stared at me. I saw the pain in his eyes. “Because you are my son, that’s why. I am not very popular with certain people, but I am in a position of power; they cannot get rid of me that easily. You were the more convenient target.”
“That may be true, but there is more to it, isn’t there?”
He nodded. “You carry dangerous knowledge inside your head.”

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