Exciting new excerpt - April 2016
LCS (Littoral Combat Stealth) Destroyer
22 Miles SW of Fort Myers, Florida
Latitude 26.373954 Longitude -82.199707
Deck four stern was notoriously Spartan. It housed the only part of the ship that the crew rigorously fought to avoid. Bethany Hawes sat within a lonely cell on deck four, vehemently cursing herself for accepting the invitation to be part of the Lonestar crew. A most recent addition to the ‘Thomas Jefferson’ class, it had departed Charleston naval base eleven days previously without incident.
She lay on the sparse, flat bunk and gazed at the clean finished metal above as her mind fled from its physical prison, soaring swiftly out towards the open sea.
She sprang to her feet as the voice commanded her mind to return.
Captain Munnchild-Heggerty stood directly outside her cell.
His smooth reverberating tones danced elegantly across her cochlea.
“Captain.” She snapped with a heavy salute.
She sighed a touch and let her body loosen but her eyes maintained their presence upon the Captain. He stood a foot back from the closed cell and spoke to her in a calm, non-threatening tone.
“So tell me, why did a promising young sailor with glowing recommendations floor my personal chef on my shakedown cruise?”
History attests that shakedown cruises were never easy and tensions, nerves and swathes of testosterone strode innocently along with raging hormonal secretions. To be a success, feelings must be kept under control, adrenaline calmed and a determined will strengthened. Bethany’s stamina had wavered and her determined will had been left in desolation upon the shore
“I’m sorry Captain.”
“Not good enough Sailor.”
“I agree.” She gulped. “But he leered at me.”
“You’re not the first sailor to be leered at Hawes - male or female, but you deal with it by the book. You do not deal with it in your own way...understood?”
“Yes sir, It won’t happen again.”
He paced over to the far side of the brig and rubbed his temples in bewilderment.
“What I can’t understand is why now?”
“Why now? Why blow this opportunity after several years in the navy?”
He strode back towards Hawes and gazed directly into her eyes.
“You came with exemplary recommendations sailor. You must have a far better reason to justify your actions than just plain old leering?”
“Unless you tell me the real reason for your uncharacteristic outburst I cannot help you...Underst...”
A shrill bleep halted him mid-sentence. Grabbing his left collar he spoke into the offending apparatus.
“Captain there’s a call for you...Priority one.”
The voice sounded rough but clearly defined and to the point.
“I’ll take it in my quarters, I’ll be there in a couple of minutes.”
“Yes Captain, XO out.”
He turned to Hawes.
“Looks like you’ve got yourself some breathing space Hawes.”
“You have twelve hours.”
“To tell you the truth?”
“You got it.”
“But...but I have told you the truth.”
Oblivious to her protests he turned and headed for the exit. At the huge steel door he thanked the guard and disappeared into the corridor beyond.
She was still gazing forward as he craned back around the open doorway moments later.
“Twelve hours Hawes...Twelve hours.” He directed then rushed to his quarters.
She sat back down upon the bunk and beckoned the guard over.
“Ma’am.” The guard questioned.
“Can I have a pencil and a piece of paper?”
“Sorry Ma’am, regulations.”
“Oh come on I’m hardly gonna use the pencil to stab your eyes out am I?”
The guard took little notice and paced back over to his original position.
Reluctantly she laid back and closed her eyes.
So...Who is calling Captain Munnchild-Heggerty?
And how will it alter all our perceptions of the universe?
Afraid you'll have to buy FALLEN LEAVES to find out.
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All characters contained in these tales are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.