Since I've been so wrapped up in my new work in progress, I thought it would be a appropriate to share the beginning of the tale with you. So, without further ado, here's the prequel and first chapter of Trigger. Enjoy!
Dr. Gracern rubbed her bleary eyes as she closed out the last death certificate in the medical database. One more they couldn’t save. It was ridiculous. Here they were in the twenty second century, with advanced biomachinery to heal the human body, and people still succumbed to death.
It shouldn’t be this way.
But it was. Despite all of their technology, despite the bold new world they had created with technology, despite the integration of two alien races to Earth, despite all they did, people still died.
Dr. Gracern sighed as she peered into the empty office across the hallway. That was the worst loss of all. He would have found a way. She knew he was on the verge of solving the riddle to the degenerative diseases that kept finding their way around medicine and technology to give people life in abundance, instead of succumbing to time too soon.
But that wasn’t to be. A lab fire took him in the midst of an experimental trial that could have changed the world a month ago.
Has it already been a month?
Still, she failed.
“Anna,” a voice shocked her out of her revere. She looked up to see her new lab assistant standing in the doorway.
“It’s nine thirty at night. Why are you still here?”
“Completing the autoposy reports and death certificates in the National Medical Database.”
The lab assistant smiled. “You hired me to do that, remember?”
“Of course,” she rubbed her eyes again. “It’s been a long day. Is it really nine thirty?”
The woman nodded, her short, blonde ponytail bobbing. “You haven’t eaten supper yet, have you?”
“Go home. I’ll finish those reports in the morning.”
Dr. Gracern tapped her computer into shutdown mode. “You’re right. It’s been a long day, and it’s not like this is going anywhere.”
“See you later.” The woman disappeared down the hallway.
Dr. Gracern pulled her purse from the bottom drawer of her desk. She must really be tired, because she couldn’t remember her own assistant’s name.
Did I hire her?
She didn’t recall hiring an assistant but then again, it had been a crazy month since Dr. Tyner died. She had been pulled into so many meetings and consultations with the University to keep these experiments running that they all melted together into long days and twisted details.
Dr. Gracern entered the code to lock the building and set the alarm at the front desk, and stepped out into the humid night. Great, it was starting to rain, and she forgot her umbrella. Heck, she forgot to even check the forecast. Another one of those details melting into oblivion.
A click behind her caused her to pause.
The door doesn’t usually click when it locks behind me.
She peered over her shoulder and was shocked to see a figure standing behind her in the shadow of the entryway to the building.
“Who are you?” she shouted.
“I’m sorry, Anna,” a soft voice said.
The misty night erupted in a white fire of light.
“She’s waking up.”
Soft light pressed against Ayanna’s eyelids. She slowly opened them, taking in golden sunshine filtered through tall trees. The fragrance of earth and recent rain filled her nose.
“Easy there,” two faces appeared over her. One was a man with dark hair and blue eyes; the other was a woman with blonde hair and green eyes.
Ayanna pushed herself up, surprised to find she was lying in soft, green grass. “Where am I?”
“You’re home, Ayanna,” the man helped her sit up. “Don’t be alarmed. We’ve found that allowing people to wake up here surrounded by nature helps them to adapt to their environment better than waking in a sterile hospital room.”
“Why would I be in the hospital? The last thing I remember –“ Ayanna paused. “It was night.”
The woman looked at her sympathetically. “I felt the same way when I came here. It’s shocking at first, but you’ll get used to it. You’ll form new memories and the ones missing won’t bother you at all.”
“Missing memories? What’s going on? Where am I?”
“You like the woods, right? You had a home on a wooded estate back home,” the man said.
“How do you know that?”
“You don’t remember me, do you?”
Ayanna stared at the man. He seemed familiar, like somebody she knew well, but she couldn’t place his name. It was the same with the woman. She shook her head.
“You will remember us, in time,” the woman said. “And memories of your previous life may return in time, but don’t worry about that now. In fact, you don’t need to worry about anything at all.”
“You never told me what’s going on,” Ayanna said. “Who are you? Where am I?”
The man smiled at her. “I’m Virgil Tyner. I was your mentor at the University of South Carolina, where we were doing research on the advanced nanotechnology.”
“I’m Cherilyn Foisy. I was your lab assistant,” the woman said.
Ayanna stared at them for a moment. “Dr. Tyner. My doctoral thesis on the nanotechnology. You were my academic advisor and hired me on at the lab once I got my doctorate.”
She looked at the woman, her stomach churning with anxiety. “You look familiar, but I don’t remember you.”
“We only knew each other for a few days.”
“Why?” She looked at Dr. Tyner. “And why did you say you were my mentor?” She closed her eyes as fragments of memory swirled in her head.
The bodies in research chambers.
The cellular scans.
Ayanna’s eyes popped open. “There was an accident. You died.”
Virgil nodded slowly. “Yes, I died.”
“Then how are you here?”
Cherilyn took her hand. “There was an accident last night. An explosion when you left the lab.”
“What do you mean?”
Virgil put his arm around her. “We’re dead, Ayanna. Welcome to Heaven.”