Another part of it is that I've been juggling some original fiction, Fates, and now a movie script that a friend is writing. I've got two original ideas in the works right now: a non-Chuck take on Fates as well as an actual spy novel, which, believe it or not, is actually a new thing for me. I've written romance, superheroes, fantasy, sci-fi, satire, but never espionage-type stuff, so we'll see how I do.
Seeing as I've slept 27 of the past 72 hours, I'd say we're finally getting back on track with the sleeping schedule, which means I'm going to do my damndest to try and get Chapter 33 of Fates done either late today or early tomorrow. I can't give you a posting date, however, because my beta is off the grid--er, I mean, has sporadic internet access at best right now. Gonna try to get the chapter out next Tuesday, but that isn't a promise, and don't hold me on it if things fall through.
In the meantime, here's a little look at a scene extremely far in Fates's future:
“And we’re doing this really early because…?” Chuck didn’t quite put a whine in his voice, though he came dangerously close, as Casey pushed him through the door of the gun range. And he would have been perfectly justified, he felt. It was a Monday morning, his weekend had been exhausting, and he had only half of his morning routine under his belt, which meant he felt incomplete. It really was quite inconsiderate of Casey to just grab him in the middle of a Tai Chi routine and yank him into the gun range.
Casey just made one of the more guttural noises in his arsenal.
Chuck pulled up short. “Oh, no, no,” he said when he saw the gun that was waiting him for the shelf.
“Yes,” Casey said, shoving him into the room and closing the door behind them.
“Well, I can see why you’d want to do this early, then.” Chuck sighed and crossed his arms over his chest, subconsciously hunching his shoulders forward to make himself a smaller target. “Seriously, can’t I just keep training on the Sig? I have a good feeling about the Sig. We’re almost friends—in fact, I feel like the Sig might accuse me of cheating if I shoot…that.”
“Relax, Chuck.” Casey clapped him on the shoulder, but there was still a gleam in his eye that Chuck didn’t trust. “You won’t be shooting that.”
Chuck deflated in relief. “Whew.”
“You’re going to disassemble it. And reassemble it.”
Chuck stared at Casey, horror growing deep and stark in his chest. For several seconds, his mouth worked soundlessly, his jaw creaking. “You realize,” he said in an almost-normal voice, “that she once threatened to chop off my fingers, and that was just because I borrowed her knives?”
“She likes her knives.” Casey picked up the Smith & Wesson on the gun range shelf and checked the chamber. Sarah’s Smith&Wesson, Chuck noted for what felt like the two-hundredth time in less than a minute. Casey nodded, pleased at the state of the chamber. He pressed the magazine release button and set the full magazine off to the side. “If she’s anything like me, she likes her guns more. Want a tip, Chuck? Don’t screw up.”
“Gee, thanks for the swell advice, Casey.” Chuck felt a new ulcer join the first one. He took a deep breath. Casey had been ambushing him with gun lessons over the past three weeks, which meant that he did actually know how to disassemble and reassemble said gun…but he was very fond of his hands. He needed those to code, among other things. And Sarah would most definitely make sure he could do nothing of the sort if she found out what her partners were up to while she (hopefully) slept a few miles away. Chuck cast a desperate look at Casey now. “Why do you hate me?”
“We don’t have time for that. If you want to get this assignment done, I’d get started. Walker’ll be here any minute.”
“Oh, God,” Chuck said, sweat forming at the thought.
“One more thing.” Casey’s smirk broadened as he reached over and plucked something from the shelf. It unrolled itself to reveal a long length of cloth.
“A blindfold? You want me to wear a blind—are you kidding me? Seriously, Casey, are you kidding me right now? Because this is not nice. Not ni—hey! Hey! What are you doing? Stop that!” Chuck battled uselessly at Casey as the other man wrapped the blindfold over the top half of his face. “Oh, God, I’m going to die. A horrible, horrible death. I can see it now. Some unlucky stranger is going to find my cut-up corpse in a dumpster off of Sepulveda, and it’s going to be your fault for what you’re doing right now and—ow! It’s tight enough already! Geez!”
“Should’ve brought a gag, too,” Casey muttered.