Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Vendetta Nation Excerpt-Second Book in the Enigma Black Trilogy

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Vendetta Nation.  It's not the whole chapter as there are parts in this particular chapter that reveal key turning points in the first book of the triology, Enigma Black, of which I'm not going to give away.  I'm not entirely in love with this excerpt and I know there are grammatical errors, but that's what the editing stage is for.

For those of you who don't know what the trilogy is about and haven't read earlier posts on Enigma Black, I will give you a very quick synopsis: It's a superhero/science fiction novel with a dystopian environment similar to that presented in 1984. 

Using fear tactics in order to force society to turn a blind eye from his true agenda, President Brooks utilizes a series of attacks perpetrated by a being dubbed as The Man in Black to rewrite the Constitution.  With complete control and essentially unlimited power, he has free reign of the country.  His motives go unquestioned by the majority society as they feel the New Order he's created is truly keeping them safe from the chaos surrounding them.  However, the remaining members of the population are not so convinced by the President's tactics and form a Rebellion whose mission is to overthrow Brooks and take back their country.To counteact The Man in Black a group of scientists has discovered a way to genetically tweak human beings making them stronger and faster.  Thus, superheroes are born restoring hope to the devastated country. 

The main protagonist in the series is a young woman named Celaine Stevens.  After Celaine's family is killed in one of The Man in Black's earlier attacks, she vows retribution and ultimately finds a possible path to it when she's approached by a mysterious stranger. 

Enigma Black focuses on the death of Celaine's family and her transition from average human to engineered superhero.

Vendetta Nation focuses on Celaine and her continued mission to find and eradicate The Man in Black wherein her story quickly becomes intertwined with the Rebellion and their mission to overthrow President Brooks.

Vendetta Nation-Chapter 2 excerpt

Marshall Leitner stood before the crowd delivering an oration teeming with premature satisfaction during the rebel’s Wednesday night meeting. His boisterousness infused the crowd, many of whom were already basking in the glow of their own adrenaline. Tonight, their leader’s infinite energy bordered on being almost enough for his audience to ignore the stifling heat baking them within the bedraggled cabin from the combination of bodies, a fire roaring in the archaic fireplace and the numerous monitors set up around the room allowing members from other parts of the country to gain access to their meetings . The plan had been set, the date, the time, and, most likely, the hour of their deaths was being set in motion. No one betrayed President Brooks without meeting repercussions; their disappearances were evidence of that. Soon, Washington D.C. would be taken by storm forcing the rest of the country to stand up and take notice of the injustices being carried out right under their noses. Marshall Leitner was invigorated; today, his secret liaison would be joining their well organized and ever expanding group.

Near the middle of his address, he found himself interrupted by a slight, hesitant knock at the wooden door. A knowing smile crept across his face in synch with the looks of hesitation throughout the rest of the cabin. Roll had been taken; all were accounted for; no new membership requests were there to considered. Had they been found out?

Marshall nodded to Tagitt Buckley, their inch-shy-of-seven-foot-tall guardsman, to open the door and allow the stranger entry.

Across the cabin, tensions mounted while the hooded stranger, whose face was none too discernable as he kept his head down towards the floor, cautiously trekked through the cabin without so much as a glance in anyone’s direction but Marshall’s. Slight relief spread through the atmosphere as their leader greeted the man as one would a friend whose absence had been particularly prolonged. After their quick greeting, Marshall turned to face the crowd.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” he announced, “what we have here is our mastermind, the person by which none of this would be possible. He’s my right-hand man and my eyes and ears to every pertinent piece of information we’ve received thus far and shall continue to receive until we’ve served our purpose.”

Applause thundered off the wooden walls of the cabin creating an impromptu source of airflow to saturate the stagnate atmosphere. Marshall motioned for the mystery man to join him at the podium where they locked eyes, nodded, and, with the removal of his hood, the man revealed his identity to stunned gasps emanating throughout the room.

“What the hell is this!” Charlie Withers, a weathered Army vet, proclaimed in outrage, standing on fatigued, yet miraculously sturdy, legs victimized by the early stages of Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

“Calm down Charlie, calm…”

“Don’t admonish him, he’s absolutely right to question this,” Bruce Vaupel interrupted.
“Have you gone mad, Marshall? This is utter insanity, this man is the enemy.”

“With all due respect, Mr. Vaupel,” Marshall interceded. I’ve got my wits about me and plan to keep it that way. I’m assuming you’ve all heard the saying ‘keep your friends close and your enemies even closer’. Well, that’s exactly what’s going on here but I’ll let Mr. Delaney convince you of that.”

Vice President Jeremiah Delaney cleared his throat, a look of contemplation spread across his refreshingly sincere, handsome face.

“I know you don’t trust me,” he began greeted by a slew of ‘You’ve got that rights’. “You have every right not to trust me. Hell, you have every right not to trust anyone ever again. When Carver and I first became running mates, I fell in love with a vision: his vision. He had a vision for the world. A vision of economic prosperity, of uniformity. I was proud of being a part of his Presidency. Even after the initial attacks, I was proud to be the second-in-command to such a revolutionary, powerful thinker and brilliant leader. Like you, I was duped into falling in love with an illusion and now, like you, I’m seeking a way to right the wrong that has been done to our country.”

“Somehow, I’m not convinced,” a woman’s voice rang out met with prompt approval from the crowd. Marshall shook his head in agitation.

“I don’t expect you to join my fan club now, if ever, but I promise you on my life, I want the same things you do. Carver is out of control and must be brought down. This devastation has got to end. My only regret is that I can’t actually partake in the final takedown myself.”

“Oh, but you are partaking my friend,” Marshall interceded. “Mr. Delaney here is far too modest to admit this, but the information he’s provided has been crucial in the instrumentality of our revolution.”

Jeremiah nodded. “In just a few short weeks, there will be a very public soiree at Potomac Park. Carver will be there; his livelihood depends upon it. Also present will be those superheroes everyone seems entranced with. Public opinion of Carver is dwindling in direct response to the people’s realization with what’s really been transpiring this last decade. That superhero duo is the last thread holding his presidency together. Not surprisingly, he’ll be parading them by his side as if their very creation depended solely upon him. The sad part is that despite the outright transparency of his actions, the people will buy it along with whatever else Carver wants to sell them because of their misguided faith in this duo. The very duo whose strings unknowingly belong to Carver, the ultimate puppeteer. Like our country, they will be used and he will be bought the time he needs and of which we cannot afford. During the soiree is when you need to strike. Security around Washington DC will be tight but distracted with concentrations focused on the attendees.   Your best bet is to surround the park and create a barricade on the major thoroughfares. You’ll need to act quickly; your aim will need to be precise."

“What about those super schmucks?” A man’s voice came from one of the monitors. “How are we going to get through them?”

“No one ever said there wouldn’t be fatalities,” Marshall answered.

“But they aren’t invincible,” Jeremiah added. “They’re strong, they’re fast and they know what they’re doing, but they can be brought down. In fact, quite a few of them have been; we've all  just been kept in the dark about it.”

“Alright,” Marshall regained control of the podium. “You know the plan, you know the consequences and you know the identity of our informant. If there’s any of you who want to back out now, who want to reintegrate back into Brooks’ dystopia, I suggest you leave now.”

Without qualm, all twelve thousand two hundred thirty-eight members of Marshall Leitner’s rebellion remained in their chairs, both inside the cabin and from within the glow of the monitors , their eyes fixated upon their leader and their unlikely ally.

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