Because I care…a random excerpt from one of my many random writing projects. (Don’t worry, this scene has now been cut from the current draft do it won’t spoil anything for those of you who will eventually read it. Spoiler alert: in this story, the protagonist is blind.)
“Hey, Silas?” Michael’s voice drifted toward him from out in the
hallway. Silas ignored him, focusing more intently on his task. He unbolted the
hard drive from its casing and slid it out until he held it in his hand like a
clunky metallic newborn still connected to its host by a handful of umbilical
Though he had limited experience with information theft, he’d read
that some encrypted hard drives were equipped with sensors which automatically
wiped the drive clean when its power source failed. He carefully stripped the
connecting wires and attached them to the portable battery, making sure to tape
them down to that no amount of jarring would disconnect the hard drive from its
temporary power source.
“Silas,” Michael said again, more insistently this time. “The
lights just turned back on.”
“That is unfortunate,” Silas said.
The dry tone of his voice barely masked the murderous rage that
simmered just below the surface of his skin. He’d been so distracted by the
man’s inane chatter that he’d failed to notice the subtle hum of electricity that
coursed through the air.
It was a novice mistake which made him almost as angry with
himself as he was at Michael. But there were more pressing issues to consider.
If the power was back online, then so were the cameras.
“Are there any security cameras in this room?” Silas asked. His
mind had already started running through his vast inventory of exit strategies,
but unfortunately most of them were tailored for a one man escape.
“I don’t think so,” Michael said. “But I’m pretty sure there’s at
least one in every hallway outside of here.”
“Merde,” Silas swore. Even if the guards hadn’t yet discovered his
point of entry, there was no sure way for him to make it back to the elevator
shaft without being seen. Not with Michael in tow, and especially not while the
idiot was weighed down by his ridiculous fat suit.
Suddenly, an idea occurred to him. “Michael, are you still wearing
your absurd disguise?”
“Of course,” Michael said. “But it’s not absurd, unless you mean
Silas held back a frustrated sigh. He refused to let himself be
baited by someone who sincerely used the word “awesome.”
“Are you certain you can pass for Officer Busby with the lights
on?” he asked.
Michael snorted, reverting back to Busby’s atrocious cockney.
“Does the rain in Spain stay mainly on the plain?”
“A simple yes would have sufficed,” he muttered, reaching for his
knife. Despite his irritation, Silas found himself fighting back a smile. It
was time to see how well Michael handled a taste of his own medicine.
When Silas opened the main laboratory door a few seconds later,
the hallway in front of them was already filled with the earsplitting shriek of
security sirens. The frantic pounding of half a dozen pairs of boots quickly
followed. Within seconds, Silas and his deceptively fat companion were
“Nobody move!” Silas shouted, projecting his voice so it could be
heard over the alarm. “Or I’ll slit his throat.”
To emphasize his threat, he tightened his choke hold on Michael’s
throat and pressed the open blade of his pocketknife against the man’s carotid
“Sweet Jesus,” Michael choked in Busby’s voice, sobbing in terror.
“Please don’t kill me!”
“Everyone back up now,” Silas ordered, turning his head from side
to side as though he could actually see the men who crowded the hall, blocking
his escape. “Drop your weapons on the ground.”
As he spoke, he prodded Michael forward, using him as a human
shield in case any of the guards decided to play the hero and lunge toward him.
To the others, it would seem that Officer Busby was only cooperating out of
fear for his own life, while in reality the “hostage” was acting as Silas’s
eyes and leading him slowly toward the exit. Of course, the charade would only
work as long as none of them realized that Michael was not in fact Officer
For a few seconds, Silas could hear nothing except the alarm and
the thudding of his own pulse.
Then, a sudden clattering from a few meters to his right. Another
directly in front. Three, four, five… Silas waited until he heard all seven
weapons hit the floor. He started to move again, but Michael planted his weight
and wouldn’t move another inch.
“McCullough,” he pleaded, speaking to someone Silas couldn’t see.
“What are you trying to do, get me killed? For the love of God, man, drop the
There was another, heavier sounding clatter, and then Michael
began to move again. Silas’s blood pressure dropped slightly. That had been
close. He reminded himself to thank Michael later, after he finished beating
the living piss out of him for getting him into this mess in the first place.
A few more steps and they had reached the emergency exit. From his
study of the building, Silas knew the door led to a set of stairs that ended on
the main level. Because the main floor was also the location of building
security, it hadn’t been a viable route for Silas when he’d planned on breaking
But it would do nicely for breaking out.
Just as they were about to open the door, one of the guards—the
one Michael had called McCullough—broke the stalemate.
“Hold on a tick,” he said. “’For the love of God?’ I thought Busby
was an atheist.”
“Shoot, my bad,” Michael whispered sheepishly, dropping his accent.
Then chaos erupted.