Thursday, March 26, 2015

Betrayed? - Hell Becomes Her Excerpt

Excuse me, where's the bathroom?

As promised, I’m providing more content.  This is from the upcoming Hell Becomes Her, the next Del novel.  This is deep into the book, Chapter 10—Situational Positioning:

Del, Karl and Arvid moved fast.  Their boots pounded on the concrete floors, and echoed down the corridor to Turbine Room 3.  The creature, seven feet-plus tall, grey flaking skin and leathery wings, had passed in front of the security camera on the main floor.  Arvid had assured Del there was only one way in or out of the room, so long as they got their in time, and the view was from one of the furthest sections of the room.  The creature didn’t seem to be in a hurry.
Does this make my head look big?
Del had warred with herself whether or not to go back and get the other team so that their numbers would even the odds.  She’d cursed the fact that the radio was useless to her through so much rock.  Arvid had tried the direct phone line, but no one had picked up in the other control room.  Marrin had likely moved his team out and begun the slow, painstaking and nerve-racking process of clearing his half of the entire complex.  Trying to find them now would cost Del the advantage.  She knew where the creature was, and she could plan an attack.  If she took the extra time, the creature could be anywhere when they returned, even in the control room.
Ragnar, his team and their demise was an object lesson.
Sun Tzu discussed ground in intimate detail—the general who could choose the battlefield was the one most likely to win.  Confronting the creature on its own terms, in a standing fight, was just shy of suicide with the same end result.  If Del could get into Turbine Room 3, and pick the place, she’d have the advantage.  They wouldn’t have to go toe-to-toe with something that took out six trained and very capable soldiers.
All warfare is based on deception, Del told herself.  It doesn’t know we’re here.  It doesn’t know we’re coming.  It doesn’t know our numbers or that I’m here.
Del hoped being Nephilim wouldn’t make the difference.  She’d rather not be the dividing line between living and dying today.  A face-to-face with the creature wasn’t high on her list of things to do.
Test your might!
As they came to the end of the corridor and the security door with Turbine Room 3 spelled out in white on a red plaque, Arvid moved directly to the keypad.  Again, he pushed in more numbers than Del had a mind to count.  There was no sound from the door, no click suggesting a lock had removed, but Arvid gave her a nod.  She gave them the two men the same motions for the sweep maneuver they had done on the control room, soft-checked the door, and pushed.
The room beyond was dim and mist-filled.  Not smoke.  Del could breathe easily and it smelled of ozone and sage, like the rest of the geothermal complex but much more strongly.  Del had a hard time making out the details of Turbine Room 3 through the white fog.  She swept in, as she was supposed to, doing her job.  She was just going through the motions.  If the creature was more keen-sighted than a Nephilim, it already had the advantage.  Karl moved behind her, but she could hear the hesitation in his steps as he encountered the white mist.  Arvid stayed at the door where the light fell into the room and cast a diffused triangle into the room.
Del tried to peer through the white fog as her mind raced.  She could make out vague forms at six feet, but beyond that she might as well have her eyes closed.  This was nothing like they’d seen on the security cameras.
She made a decision.
“This is bad,” Del said.  “Karl, back out, now.”
“Moving,” Arvid said.
Del froze.  It was what she was supposed to do when a team member in a sweep and clear indicated they were moving.  She should stop what she was doing and look for immediate danger to the mover.  Her mind caught up a moment later.
He shouldn’t be moving at all, she thought.

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