ZIGZAG Chapter Five

ZIGZAG COVER

*This is a sample chapter from the revised Home Run Edition. Cover by IMbeta.

The Circuit Breaker warehouse was by the train depot in the kingdom’s northern industrial district. The walls of the dark office were hit by softly sparking light, showing three computer terminals and desks, dirty ashtrays, and a motivational poster with a green frog.

Sparks shot from the portable server strapped to a man with many roles. He was an Urban Archivist; a Street Scribe.

The man’s black gloves flew over the metal computer tablet he’d placed on the corner desk. A spray can was Velcro’d under the backpack and a data cable was extending from a hole beside it, its connector tapped into the first terminal storing the warehouse’s reports.

He wore a black soccer jersey with a white stripe across his shoulders and black athletic pants that fastened around the ankles inside his black high-tops. His elbows and knees were cushioned by thick black pads while slim guards protected his forearms.

As far as anyone could possibly know him, he was a hooligan.

The Hooligan dug through the facility’s archived emails. The last one they received was dated a few days earlier, three simple words in the subject line: ‘Close Up Shop’, sent from Vikky Relay. He’d found the proof he’d come for, now he needed to copy the drive. Continue reading “ZIGZAG Chapter Five”

ZIGZAG Chapter Four

ZIGZAG COVER (no titles)

*This is a sample chapters from the revised Home Run Edition. Cover by IMbeta.

The song the music app on Alex’s phone was playing gave the royal cemetery a somber tone that fit it perfectly, as electric and vibrant as it was sad and remorseful. Alex had come there to sit under the warm sun and read, but the comfort of her father’s headstone and the melody had overcome her, carrying her to sleep.

Like other apps released daily, the music program had linked with all her social media accounts and traded data, slowly learning her preferences until it could automatically find a song for her mood. It was so accurate, there were times she questioned if the music suited her feelings or caused them.

Two books sat on a bench beside her. Their titles read ‘The Long Memory of The Electron Gods’ and ‘The North American Motherboard’s Divine Tech’. A third book lay on her lap called ‘A Plug N Play Nation: How the ZetaPort OS Connects Society’ open to a diagram of a fifty foot cylinder, a line near the top representing the ground it was screwed into. Alex had drifted off studying the schematic.

A bulky shadow moved over the book. Alerted by the presence, Alex’s eyes snapped open and she pulled her headphones off.

“I know,” she said guardedly. “It’s time to get back to work.” She marked her page with a baseball card. It had a young man in a red batting helmet featured in its frame, ‘Quentin Diamond’ written along the bottom. The book flipped shut. Continue reading “ZIGZAG Chapter Four”

ZIGZAG Chapter Three

ZIGZAG COVER

*This is a sample chapter from the revised Home Run Edition. Cover by IMbeta.

The Diamond Kingdom was home to many faces and dozens of different cultures. The resource-rich territory spread across fertile agricultural lands and lumber mills. And in the center of the labyrinth of residential and commercial property was the neon purple beam shooting from the top of the Diamond Castle.

The flashing police siren painted the empty streets blue and red as it raced down the asphalt. Alex sat in the back of the knight’s cruiser, fighting the feeling that the masked driver was glancing at her in the rearview mirror. It was a fight she would win. If she couldn’t handle this small modicum of stress, she had no hope of overcoming real pressure when she was needed the most.

Since he took command of the military, new faces had entered Drake’s increasingly tight army, and with them an increased rigidness. She was glad her escorts hadn’t confiscated the .357 – they either didn’t respect her or were secretly allies that knew what she could do with it. In a time of murky allegiances, both were an asset. She occupied her mind by focusing on the chatter.

As if a stream of consciousness from many minds, she heard “they have her” and “‘bout time the cops did something right” and “spoiled Princess, whatcha gonna do now?” A single calm voice broke through. “She’s not like that. She saved me. If she hadn’t shown up when she did, I don’t know what would have happened.” But that was quickly drowned out. “Hahahaha” and “yeah right, shut up” and “kill yerself.” Alex turned tiredly to the window and the passing streets.

Continue reading “ZIGZAG Chapter Three”

ZIGZAG Chapter Two

ZIGZAG COVER (no titles)

*This is a sample chapter from the revised Home Run Edition. Cover by IMbeta.

A video played on a phone’s small screen. Even if the camera’s view hid the identity of the person it was attached to, the height and heavy footsteps down the castle’s hallway betrayed an imposing stature. A Diamond Knight walked briskly just behind. At the pair of large oak doors, a sleek black gauntlet grabbed the thick handle from below the lens and threw it open. Intense purple light inundated the screen, an ethereal humming in the background. The throne room was busy with activity.

The neon beamed from the thick glass flooring through the large skylight above, a clear square throne installed proudly in the center. A long steel column was suspended over the seat, dual monitors displaying city maps and streams from the chaotic streets. Blue jeans and brown work boots extended from under the monitors’ pair of keyboards.

Two sentries stood on duty beside the throne, wearing white gear and red capes over their right shoulders. They were the King’s Royal Guards. The Diamond Knight took a place beside the closest.

A lanky man stood beside the throne, wearing a dark brown blazer over a grey shirt, charcoal slacks, and red leather loafers.

“Don’t worry, Sire,” he said. “We have men searching as we speak.” He looked to the arrival standing in the threshold, the lenses on his horn-rimmed glasses enlarging his grey eyes under a well-groomed cut of amber hair.

“The Dragon has arrived,” said the city’s celebrated educator, Professor Magnus Zwei.

A hand tapped a digital display on the throne’s armrest. The monitors folded into the column and all retracted into the ceiling. The king had a disheveled cut of platinum white hair held down by a modest gold crown. Quentin Diamond stood strongly in his red robe and stepped from his seat towards Drake, getting close enough that the video caught the bags under his eyes from days of nonstop military intervention. “Drake, what do you have to report?” he asked the cameraman.

Continue reading “ZIGZAG Chapter Two”

ZIGZAG Chapter One

ZIGZAG COVER

*This is the first of five sample chapters from the revised Home Run Edition. Cover by IMbeta.

A game as old as humanity was starting in the peaceful Diamond Kingdom, its lines drawing around the unsuspecting citizens. Going on a quick offensive, darkness fell over the beautiful agricultural land and spread across the streets. Chaos erupted throughout the city as fire engulfed abandoned cars and glass shards sparkled down the asphalt. Everywhere there was confusion. Only in the kingdom’s center was the dark repelled, intense neon purple light its final line of defense. There, a massive purple pillar shot from the Earth, connecting the Diamond Castle to the heaven’s above. Some believed the Electron Gods looked down on the game as it played out, waiting to record the first point on the scoreboard.

And then the all-knowing Chatter, the streaming voice of thousands of people from across the city, broadcast its play-by-play into the purple tinted air.

“The protests have turned violent,” said the commentary, “a mob has marched on the castle. It’s all over the net.”

The next voice replied with concern. “I’m reading up on all the news but am really lost. Can somebody explain what’s going on? Who’s fighting?”

At the southern tip of the city, footsteps echoed off the baseball stadium’s concrete walls, the massive structure home to The Diamond Cutters. The sound burst from the entrance onto the streets and a shadow hit the sides of the shops along them, the flat image of a person running at full speed. The silhouette expertly navigated the city, taking a shortcut to the train station on Stadium Way. The shadow disappeared into a dark alley, its presence reduced to footsteps again.

Continue reading “ZIGZAG Chapter One”