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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Venus in Saturn: Sneak Preview

Something a little different: a taster of some content from Venus in Saturn, the soon-to-be-released prequel to Maranatha.

Wherein Inspector Jack Carpenter expresses his frustration with his top freelance CSI investigator, Vanessa Descartes, for going above and beyond the call of duty...

“You’ve gone and done what?”
Carpenter threw his pen to the desk in exasperation, though Vanessa knew he would have preferred to have stabbed it into her eye at that moment.
“Look, someone needed to get close to them.”
She had guessed that Carpenter might have had some quiet reservations about her activities that morning, but the volume of voice was far in excess of what she had ever feared. “Now, you can’t get any closer than being on the inside, can you? I won't be billing you for it. Call it freelance undercover work.”
“No. I'll tell you what I call it: sodding up our enquiry. You realise I can’t do anything for you in there? Any possible future sting or inside job we could have had planned, is out the window for as long as you’re involved with that shower? And if you make one slip - one wrong word - and blow your cover, then they could do a moonlight and then we're all stuffed! Or even worse – they suss you out, and you're the next one to end up gutted like a bloody kipper.
"Now think, Vanessa. If they’re involved, then we have to approach very carefully. And if they’re not involved and it’s just a coincidence, you’re gonna get yourself all stressed out over nothing. You can't be neutral and rational in there, because you have an emotional stake in all of this. Worst case scenario, anything you pick up gets thrown out as inadmissible, and there'll be no justice for Sandra.”
“Then why can’t you set up something, using me as a decoy?”
“Jesus, what did I just say? I know we all think they’re involved, in some kind of way. Whether they had anything to do with Sandra's death is up for debate, but you’ve already convinced yourself that they were responsible for what happened to your big sister as well.”
She shrugged, jerked her head. Not so much of a nod, more an acknowledgement of his words. “I’m still hoping I can be proved wrong.”
“But you’d prefer to be proved right. Because it gives you a rationale, someone to blame. Right?”
“Wrong. There's a connection somewhere in all of this, Jack, and I intend to find it. It combines me, my sister, this case, and this unorthodox religion on some level and if I don't get a better idea of where they're coming from, we may never solve this one. I've had weird shit happen all through my life when I never asked for it. It's time I went looking for some answers, to all of it.”
Carpenter's gnawed fingertips played a slow funeral march on the edge of his desk.
"You know, Vanessa, you're brilliant. You really are. You've helped me get results on every case I've worked with you in nearly two years. But sometimes, you really piss me off. Now get out, and don't come back until I call you, or you have some facts so hard, they could crack diamonds. Okay?"

Work-in-progress illustration for the above scene:

All content (c) C. Wood, 2010.

1 comment:

Trisha said...

Hey! It's Trisha from that Facebook group, just thought I'd say hi and look forward to sharing in your writing adventures via your blog :) (I almost wrote 'blob', which probably shows how little I love the word 'blog' :D). Also, this story of yours reminds me of my 'mouse detective' story, only yours has humans. :) I assume anyway...

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