Michelle Knight. Writer, photographer, programmer, truck driver and general, all round nut case. Life is a journey and that's what this blog will probably end up being. Let's see where we go, eh? ;-)
So. It was done. Submitted to the publisher who now has the manuscript, the artwork, blurb and excerpt.
His last e-mail to me said he hoped to have the finished cover done this weekend.
Just for you guys, here's the excerpt...
In the centre of the room was a table with spot lamps, magnifying glasses and a yellow stripped area where the larger robots stood to be worked on. Or to be more accurate, there was supposed to be a stripped area. Emmett couldn't see it as it was jammed full of robots. The table was likewise stuffed with machines of various sizes. He couldn't see enough free surface area on which to rest a drinking mug. Any empty wall space was also taken up with a dead robot, standing there waiting its turn to be serviced.
“Hell alive. Do we really have this many units out of action?”
“Yes. They seem to be doing double shifts or something. The batteries are taking a hammering. But that isn't the only thing that's worrying. Look.” She pointed out a few bits of damage on the arms and various other points on some of the robots. “Weld spatter, impact damage and chemical stains.”
Emmett looked unimpressed. “That's not surprising. They're maintenance machines.”
“It's the type of damage they're taking, and where they're taking it. Benzillic acid for one.”
He looked at hear blankly. “Sorry. That's a little out of my comfort zone.”
“Of all the things we're supposed to have on site, this isn't one of them. I had to ask the chem lab to help to identify it and, when they found out what it was, they went nuts. The paperwork says we started ordering it but Tamara insists they have absolutely no use for it in the experiments they're running.”
“Then where did it come from?”
“Like I said, the paperwork says that we ordered it, but no one seems to know who, or why. We appear to have a raft of unknown goods arriving and we can't trace who initiated the orders. Alexei helped me work out how to neutralise the excess that's still on the robots so I can repair them safely, and Tamara is trying to do a stock take now, but it looks like we've been ordering unusual things for the last month and not only that, but what we've ordered has also gone missing.”
“So let me get this straight. Chemicals that we don't need, are being ordered by someone we don't know, and are not only arriving but are going missing before we even know they're not supposed to be here. Right?”
“And when, exactly, were they going to go to the committee with this?”
“Well, they asked me not to say anything until they knew exactly what was ordered, whether it did in fact arrive, and whether what did arrive really is missing; even though what's not supposed to be here is, evidently, in use because it's damaging the robots although nobody knows who's using it, or what for.”
“Err...” Emmett scratched his forehead, trying to get his head around her last statement.
“Tamara is really knocked sideways by this and wanted to straighten things out, because she's that kind of person; but this is all getting too spooky even for me.”
Emmett sighed and decided to try and tackle a subject which he might have a chance of getting a grip on. “And what about the batteries?”
“Well, the robots just aren't getting enough rest. It is just like they're doing double shifts, but the log files say they're doing a normal work load. Nothing about this adds up. It's a bit odd.”
“You're not kidding. In the space of a few minutes, things have gone from being a bit odd to very wei...” His sentence was cut short by a series of sirens that blazed their cry of alarm across the base. The lighting turned from its gentle daylight balance, to a bright, grating red.