Hello fellow Dimensional Travelers!
Since I had taken a short hiatus from blogging here, I thought it would be a great time to get back in the swing and offer up a little excerpt from the forthcoming first novel in the Romy Malloy urban sci-fi series.
Book one is titled Brilliant Disguise and is currently under submission to Baen publishing.
In the excerpt below we first meet Dr. Romy Malloy in her downtown St. Louis clinic at the exact time she first comes in contact with Peter Abbott, our intrepid inter-dimensional warrior. Abbott is under the influence of a "gibbet", a tiny device attached under his skin designed to keep him incapacitated.
Here in "our" world, with our current medical knowledge we believe Abbott is suffering from some kind of neurological or psychosomatic disorder.
But Dr. Malloy soon finds out things are very different than she first believes.
“Can you shut that off?” Dr. Romy Malloy asked, pointing with angry jabs toward the front of the ambulance where the siren horns were mounted. The driver growled then raced to the cab and flipped the switch silencing the wailing siren, flashing a bit of anger of his own when he slammed the door shut behind him.
With the siren quiet, Romy finally heard the screams.
She jerked her hand away from the handle on the back of the ambulance, and then gave herself a sharp reprimand at the involuntary reaction. A doctor on the bleeding edge of experimental research into extreme psychosomatic disorders was not allowed to flinch from a patient’s erratic and extreme behavior. Even if, she thought with a snarl, the patient was thrust on her at the last minute by an unsympathetic jerk of a hospital director, and even if it was getting late on a Friday afternoon. And, even if the only work she had been able to bring in to her clinic so far since opening was sleep studies and erectile dysfunction testing.
The driver shoved a clipboard in her face. The header at the top of the form attached read: “St. Aloysius Hospital -- Best Care in St. Louis.” Romy folded her arms and didn’t take the clipboard, but she wondered maliciously if she could sue St. Aloysius for falsely advertising their abilities. The driver pushed the clipboard into the crook of her arm and let go. It was either take it or let it fall to the ground. She took it, but she gave back her best frown speckled with a squint of her eyes.
“Initial in the middle and sign at the bottom,” he said quickly as he opened the back door of the ambulance. His partner bobbed his head around from the passenger side of the van and flashed a scared look.
With the door opened, the screams became suddenly louder.
“We are very happy to be rid of this one,” the driver said. His partner nodded, but said nothing.
Romy waved the clipboard at the back of the driver as he climbed into the bed of the ambulance.
“I am not signing this,” she said trying to make her voice louder than the screams.
“Not my problem, ma’am,” the driver said. Romy cocked her elbow out and put her left hand on her hip. The damned driver kept working, unlatching the gurney and motioning for his partner to take up the back end.
“You only called five minutes ago!” she shouted.
The gurney slid out cleanly and efficiently, and the driver jumped to the ground. He looked quickly at Romy then shrugged his shoulders.
“Boss says drop the guy at Malloy Research on Market and South 11th, and that’s what I do. You got a problem with that, call him.”
As they dropped the gurney to the ground Romy got her first glimpse of the patient in the dappled gray hospital gown. Curled into a near fetal position, his deep screams cut through air already thick with the sounds of the approaching storm. His body thrashed and convulsed like he was in a seizure. Romy looked back at the driver with her best O-My-God look.
“You gotta be kidding me,” she said.
The driver pressed his lips together, raised his left eyebrow, and said nothing.
Romy closed her eyes and counted to ten, though it really didn’t help. She could barely hear her own thoughts above the man’s screams.
But the screams weren’t the real problem.
She was going to do it to herself again. She knew she had to take him.
Hope you enjoyed that!