Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Entry #236

Reconnaisance
by Aerin Rose


Blonde upswept hair, black pinstriped pantsuit, lacy pale camisole. She’s like walking moonlight. Tim mistakes her for a reporter.

“I’m sorry, this is a restricted area. You can contact the front desk in the morning for an interview.”

“No, Dr. Dalton, I’m here to see you.” She advances on him with predatory stealth and berry-moist lips. He lets her push him back into his office, onto the immaculate camel-colored leather couch.

Tim flashes the smile that says “Here I am, brilliant and single, corporate success at the age of thirty-seven, perfect hair, and a rock-hard six-pack. Of course you’re here to see me.”

He almost doesn’t hear her ask about the bird.

“Excuse me?”

“BIRD - Bio-Imaging Regenerative Device. Nanotechnology that facilitates the connection between synapses, like a bird flying from branch to branch. Research conducted by Dalton Labs. Paid for by a private Alzheimer’s foundation.” Her crisp recitation efficiently snuffs his flame-bright smile.

“How…?”

“Secretly sold to the CIA to rewire the brains of suspected terrorists.”

Shit. He knew that contract would bite him in the ass.

“Look, if you want exclusive rights to the story, I’d be willing to work something out.”

“You underestimated your backers.” Her voice slices through his bluster. “Don’t worry. After I rewire those charming synapses of yours with your own technology, you won’t even remember to feel guilty.”

The full-pane windows display the skyline, drowning in the inky darkness of the Bay waters.

48 comments:

Bernita said...

Good intrigue. I liked it.
Not sure you need the last sentence.

Chip Lynch said...

Lovely. :-)

Merry Monteleone said...

Whoa - "You underestimated your backers." Clear. Concise. And it gave me chills.

Aerin, you should so flesh this out to a full length short story. Really great idea - and I'm digging on your mind-sucking hit woman.

raine said...

Aerin, I was hoping you'd post one! :)
Loved the idea for the device, very inventive.
Very good, original idea, and sharp characterization. Detested him immediately.
Wtg!

Anonymous said...

Is there such a thing as a Tom Clancy flash? It's not easy trying to include something technical as well as telling the story; You pulled it off. --JR

Aniket said...

About time you showed up,eh?

I'm so in love with the character.
She kicks major arsce!

This certainly is a great novel idea. And then we can totally convert this into a movie. We'll plan a sequel as well. It'll be the next Mission Impossible or Bourne series. But who will we cast for her role?

Hmm. Angelina Jolie? ;)

Laurel said...

I love this and disagree about the last line. I would not have guessed they- or he- would imagine they were going to use his own technology against him. Not from the rest of the piece. Just that he wasn't going to make as much as money as he thought.

Excellent.

pjd said...

She’s like walking moonlight. Tim mistakes her for a reporter.

Brilliant.

OK, you've used up all your "poor me" credits with the ridiculous "everything I write is crap" buildup. This entry rocks and is among my favorites. I agree with Bernita that the last line kind of hangs out there without apparent purpose... "you won't even remember to feel guilty" is a great way to end it.

I especially love everything leading up to "Excuse me?" Perfect word choices, every syllable. I am right there in love with her just like Dalton is, and then the jolt. Bird? Did she say bird? Then the punch in the gut.

Nicely done.

JaneyV said...

Aerin - you beauty! I think you kicked right between the posts with this one.

I think the build up was pitch perfect as was the payoff. I'm giggling away to myself that his name is Timothy Dalton. He was James Bond. Your heroine re-wired 007.

Perfect poetry darling!

McKoala said...

Pretty much what PJD said!

Thrilling stuff, Aerin.

PEOPLE, PLACES, VOICES, FACES... said...

Et tu, Janey? And I thought I was the sole clever soul to have caught the Tim Dalton reference!
Well, he got out-Bonded, all right!

Aerin, I love this woman. I hope you'll take her and give her the flesh she deserves and create this BIRD series of best-sellers. I promise to buy every one that goes into press.

Ranee

Christian Bell said...

This story has an intriguing premise. I like the original take.

Some nice bits of description and writing throughout.

catvibe said...

I see MOLMA (you now, the muse?) found you and served you well. Aerin, this is truly an awesome entry. It played like a movie in my head as I was reading it. I'm loving that he's going to be rewired. Can I rewire men to be what I want them to be? Please can I have that BIRD unit, please? Really, truly memorable this one. I knew it would be.

Angel Zapata said...

Very creative use of the bird theme. "Bio-Imaging Regenerative Device" is an absolutely cool idea.

It has mini-screenplay feel to it. Nicely done.

Loren Eaton said...

Yikes. Methinks Tim has gotten more than he bargained for in this blonde.

Michael Solender said...

way cool and clever! Liked this one a lot!

ollwen said...

Good characters and a neat sci-fi plot in a tight space. Great job!

J. M. Poirot said...

Very cool and very sexy! great flow.

kashers said...

Loved the berry-moist lips. Methinks they're poisonous. Also appreciated the 'bird flying from branch to branch' explanation of the nanotechnology.

Captivating... in more ways than one.

sylvia said...

She's wonderful, perfect. He's realised just a moment too late. I too, love the "you won’t even remember to feel guilty" line.

maybe genius said...

Very well done! And what a unique twist on the prompt - loved this!

Megs - Scattered Bits said...

This would be an amazing novel (or short story, I'm not picky) and I would so read it.

But I have to admit, in the short form, it isn't perfectly clear to me what the woman is going for with him. Rewiring his brain I get, but what to? Is she trying to make him forget? I see the double-cross, but I feel like I'm missing the piece that will let me understand it.

With the exception of that, I love this. I like the intrigue, the mystery, turned to one expectation, then so rapidly to another, and so much on-target description makes the scene alive, even as we're hooked on what's happening instead. Love it. You're very talented.

laughingwolf said...

what bernita sez...

illyriataylor said...

very unique and original

Leatherdykeuk said...

What a delightful twist

Preeti said...

Ha Ha...

Very very nice. :-)

I wish there was more. It would have been such good fun.
:-)

Loved the flow. Characterization is amazing. "Walking moonlight" took my breath away.

beth said...

OK--wow. Love that twist. For such a short tale, you do a great job of bring in characters who are distinct, adding an inventive world (love the anagram for BIRD) and surprise me with the end. BRAVA!

Lee Hughes said...

Clever write. Crisp, clean and with a great ending.

Jane said...

brilliant original take on the prompt..agree about ending with the won't remember to feel guilty line..good one

Kurt Hendricks said...

Yes - loved the 'walking moonlight' description!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Right smack into my list of faves. Awesome job.

And I love the last line. It's the scene ender that shows everything outside is normal no matter what's happening in the room. Or that whole - the camera will now pan out while we let you imagine all the gory details - thing.

Love this woman, too, though I'd rather not take her out on a date.

Can't believe I missed the Timothy Dalton bit.

Aimee Laine said...

Whoops. ;) :) Is that a time to remember the old line never judge a book by it's cover? :)

Karen said...

I am most impressed by this one, especially the use of BIRD and the whole story of his treachery told in so few words. Love the Bond reference and how our man gets what he deserves. Great job.

Deb Smythe said...

Intrigue, memory-altering weapons? Good stuff! I could definitely see this as a novel-length sci-fi/thriller.

desiderata said...

A sci-fi short -- rare gem, and I enjoy your taking generous time to "comment" on all/awe entries here/hear:)

BernardL said...

Very well written slice of espionage with a subtle hint of horror.

Tara said...

Ohh, I really like her. This would be a great book :)

Corra McFeydon said...

*She’s like walking moonlight.*

*flame-bright smile*

Some brilliant lines within this piece.

Someone mentioned Angelina Jolie: I see that!!

Nice irony in this one. Best of luck!

~ Corra McFeydon

Craig said...

Oh how ironic.

Stephen Parrish said...

You had me at "Blonde." Srsly, I agree with others about the potential to develop this into something bigger.

Tessa said...

Absolutely caught me up from the get-go. The pacing is first class, the characterization perfect....truly a beautifully constructed piece, Aerin. Defo on my top 10 list!

Terri said...

"She's like walking moonlight."
Brilliant line :)

Kartik said...

This is so original :) The lady is kick-ass!

Ragna said...

Oh love this, and especially 'berry moist lips' Great image !

Chris Eldin said...

Awesome characters and very creative plot in such a short amount of space! Very well written. Bravo!!! So glad to finally read yours!! I agree about the last line, I don't think you need it. But in any case, this is outstanding!

Kathleen A. Ryan said...

Cool story, concise, packs a punch -- such an enjoyable story. Nicely done!

David Barber said...

Very good story Aerin. Really enjoyed it.

Blodeuedd said...

Secrets, oh I like it. Very intriguing.