I have cut the following from my novel The Smoke in Death’s Eye and since it’s not going in, I thought you might enjoy it as an aside.
“Amber, Amber?” She looked away from the screen and focused on Lexi who motioned her out of the room.
“You looked like you were about to throw up,” Lexi led her to the bathroom.
Beads of cold sweat dotted her forehead. A day-old corpse stared back at her from the mirror. She splashed cold water on her face and fumbled along the wall for the laser to activate the dryer but Lexi laid a hand towel over her hand.
“Thank you, Lexi.”
“No problem.” Lexi smiled at her with concern. A beautiful thirty something old woman, Lexi had full lips and long black hair. Her hazel green eyes had a slight oriental shape about them.
“I’m sorry, I’m not sure what came over me,”
“Don’t worry, it affects everyone the first time,” Lexi smiled.
They stood close to each other. Lexi’s glistening lips, moved forward. Amber reacted mirroring Lexi’s body language. They both leaned toward each other, staring into each others eyes. Someone knocked on the door of the bathroom and a voice called out, “Are you guys OK in there?”
Lexi called back, “yeah we’re coming out”; she moved away from me and opened the door. She glanced back at Amber with an enigmatic smile before she disappeared from view.
‘Wow’ Amber thought, ‘she almost kissed me.’
In the conference room, the briefing moved on to other assignments. Alex conducted this phase of the briefing and all jacked in. Amber jacked in and immediately immersed herself in the data of the subjects of enquiry this week. She noticed her avatar didn’t show up as active on any of them; a slow flush spread across her face. She stormed over to Alex, “Why haven’t I…”
Alex raised his hand, “Talk to Ángel about it. It’s nothing to do with me.” He looked back down at the display on the desk, dismissing her.
Amber found Ángel dressed for the street, “Can I ask why I’m not assigned to any investigations?”
“Because you’re with me on this murder, tell the equipment bag to load itself onto the spinner.”
Amber grabbed her coat on the way out. A black and white sporty spinner waited for them at the rear of the office. Every agency with official status displayed the Guild logo. The spinner’s rear lights flashed yellow, it’s trunk opened and lowered to the ground. The equipment bag rolled on and the spinner sealed itself.
They got in and drove to the take-off area of the Mushroom. Amber glanced at her companion who remained inscrutable as usual.
She noticed Ángel had it on manual, ‘I wonder why he doesn’t let the navcomp pilot it?’
The spinner’s wipers activated when the light drizzle of rain hit the cockpit window. Gaining altitude, Ángel Castillo held the spinner’s controls with a light touch. Even on manual, the spinner’s navcomp controlled most of its flight functions.