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Excerpt for Resotek Elite: Calico Eyes by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Resotek Elite

Calico Eyes

Prometheus Saga Episode Four

Brett P. S.



Copyright © 2018 Brett P. S.

Smashwords Edition

All rights reserved.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.



Table of Contents



CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

EPILOGUE



Chapter 1

Glorified Secretary

Marguerite’s Apartment, Chicago



Marguerite Paige. Age 21. Glorified secretary for the UN.C., St. Louis Division. Contrary to popular opinion, the Order did in fact hire normies like Marguerite. They had to. Better cut of applicants that way. Marguerite unlaced the ribbon holding up her blonde bun in the back of her head as she sauntered into her apartment after a late night at the office.

She kicked off her heels, massaging her aching arches underneath the hose. She reached for the switch to turn on the lights, but she found her hand fumbling across walls. Once she’d found the switch, she flicked it up, then down, then back a few times. Poor circuit? She did just install a recent home automation. Screw it. She’d find Lulu in the dark. She’d memorized her way around the kitchen table and through the living room.

She traced her hand across the couch, soft pleather. Marguerite smiled. Nothing but the best for Lulu. She’d invested in porcelain statues, figurines, and busts of Egyptian gods to name a few. Oh, Marguerite, they’d say … you should spend your money on something useful or literally anything else. She huffed in the dark. Jeffery can fly a kite. The world can step off. She had one cat, just one. Well, that and a modest handful of …

“Lulu?” She whispered.

In her bedroom, she heard a soft purr. She reached out across her bedspread to stroke her fingers across Lulu’s back. Lulu moved up and rubbed her face across Marguerite’s cheek.

“Did you miss me?” Lulu purred, and Marguerite pulled out her phone. “Light switch is busted, girl. Let’s try out this home automation thing.”

She thumbed her phone and pulled up the app. Software loaded like a dream, super snappy. The control panel included options for color, appliances, and various illumination presets, like a dimmer switch. She’d pick at the settings later. For the moment, one bright light should do.

Marguerite sat up on her bed, facing the open doorway to her living room and kitchen, pressing the master control switch for the lights. Her ceiling lights and lamplights blared in a nauseating blend of golden colors that practically stabbed her eyeholes. She squinted to compensate, but she couldn’t keep them shut after feasting her eyes on the horrors she’d missed.

“Dios mío …”

Once she’d uttered the words, she clasped her hands to her lips in a jerking reaction. A broken vase lay on the carpet across her couch with five more porcelain dolls ruptured around her path. Her kitchen was a mess, bowls cracked on the surface of the table and more dishes and silverware scattered on the floor. The final straw, Marguerite glanced over to her jewelry rack on her dresser. The thief had pulled out all the drawers, scattered her clothes, and scraped her jewelry boxes clean.

Marguerite fumbled to switch the lights off on her phone with trembling fingers as the sound of rumbling echoed from the storage cove past her kitchen. With one final stroke, she managed to cloak herself in shadow, silencing the lights in her apartment. Marguerite darted to her closet and shut herself in, huddled up in stressful silence. Her breathing labored as she tried in futility to quiet her nerves.

She … she should call the UN.C. They’d send down security in no time. Marguerite heaved a sigh as she held up her hand and … where was it? Where did she put her phone? She ran her fingers across her carpet in a frantic mess but to no avail. She froze as heavy footsteps cracked down on one of her porcelain cats.



Chapter 2

Strange Vision

Marguerite’s Apartment, Chicago



Marguerite’s heart thumped in her chest as a single pair of footsteps resounded onto her bedroom carpet with a burly thud. The thief strode with a wide gait as he walked around, inspecting. She sat in stunned silence, unable to see anything. All she could perceive was the sound of the thief’s boots thumping closer and closer. Lightning struck her heart as the intruder stopped just next to her closet door. She heard no words, nothing she could use to identify the individual, just the turn of a knob.

In the wash of silence that prodded her fears as the culprit cautiously turned the knob, Marguerite jumped on the inside to a striking, awful noise. Lulu groaned into a ferocious, ill-tempered hiss that took her off guard. For lack of senses, Marguerite saw something, however faint. It was like looking into a pair of binoculars at close range.

Night vision aided her sight, and she focused on the imagery, a view from atop her bedspread gazing up at a cloaked man clad in a dusty brown leather jacket and thick black overalls. He wore a mask that covered everything below his nose, like the scarves out of an old western. The only part missing was the cowboy hat. Instead, he’d tied his hair back.

Garbage, just some punk in his teens looking for thrills. He probably chose her apartment not knowing that she worked for the UN.C. Times like this made her regret slacking on her requisite combat training. She might be able to surprise him long enough to get past, but the pistol tethered to his belt would ensure she wouldn’t get far if he really intended to use what he brought with him. Marguerite’s thoughts raced with dozens of scenarios of exit strategies until her train of thinking rested on the most obvious point. Lulu. She was looking at him through Lulu’s eyes.

The kid backed away from her door and reached for Lulu. Before Marguerite could contemplate a course of action, her baby leapt at him, claws poised for a swipe. Fury and teeth dug into his neck, and he pulled her off, throwing her to the floor. It felt so real, so personal. Marguerite couldn’t feel what Lulu felt, couldn’t sense the pain in her hind leg as she limped underneath the bed.

“Dumb cat,” the kid said. He walked off to pursue the rest of his business.

Marguerite reached to twist the knob on her door, still seeing through Lulu’s eyes, when she laid her gaze on something shimmering a faint blinking glow on the carpet next to her bed. Marguerite pulled her focus away from Lulu, instead seeing through her own eyes for a change. She cracked the door open and reached out to snatch up her phone. Then, she shut herself inside, unlocked her screen, and texted the UN.C. emergency hotline number.

She thumbed in her name, occupation, and address, the soft illumination resting against her expressionless face. Finished, she turned her phone over and set it down on the floor. He’d be gone soon, and she’d live to see another day … but a dangerous idea prodded its way into her head. I’m a resonance user, she thought. I just became one. Just now. A mischievous smirk grew on her face as the fact sunk in, and Marguerite held her phone up to bathe in the glow once more.

“Let’s have a little fun.”



Chapter 3

Bold Bluff

Marguerite’s Apartment, Chicago



Lulu wouldn’t be any good to her right now, her poor baby left shaking underneath the bed. Marguerite tried mental nudges to move her in futility, but she had other options. If she could see through one cat’s eyes, then why not another? Marguerite stretched out her attention and latched onto the nearest cat she knew for sure, a speckled porcelain lucky cat sitting on her kitchen counter. Sure as silver, her vision affixed to a point inside her kitchen.

Marguerite watched the man walk past as he headed to unearth more from her storage. Heck, if he was going to get away with that! She tried a little trick, pulled away her mental focus and formed it into one eye. It worked! Oh, she was getting good at this. Now, she could look at her phone and the little thief at the same time. She brought up her control panel screen and scrolled through appliances. Blender. Pur-fect! Ah, sweet puns.

The kid jumped as the blender whizzed behind him, grinding on dry air. Turn up the heat! He turned to catch her microwave humming hot air and the kitchen flickering with strobe lights. He drew his gun and with one frantic swipe, smacked the blender off the table. Mic access? Why not?

“You shouldn’t break things that don’t belong to you,” she said.

“This some kind of trick?” he snapped.

He whirled his pistol around the kitchen but didn’t fire. She knew as well as he did, gunfire gave him a heads up to get out, and fast.

“No trick, kiddo.” Marguerite grinned. “I work for the UN.C.” She let it sink in, gauged his attentiveness and the trembling of his fingers as he struggled not to pop off a few rounds. “Tell you what. Let’s make this fun. I’ll give you a one minute head start, and we’ll see how far you get in a city where I control every street lamp you take for granted.”

Marguerite spread the strobe lights to her entire apartment, flickering and switching on every appliance in her home just to prod the thief. Sure enough, he let out two rounds, the sting of gunfire ringing in her ears. He’d damaged enough already, but this just added insult to injury. The kid bolted, leaving his bags of her stuff behind. By now, UN.C. security would have nearly reached her doorstep. To say he wouldn’t get far was an understatement.

Marguerite let out a sigh and leaned back into her closet. She let her phone rest beside her thigh on the carpet floor, and she reached up to touch her old dresses. Did she need a costume for this sort of thing? She wasn’t exactly one for spandex. Well, at the very least, she should think of a codename.

Marguerite relaxed and entered Lulu’s perception again, listening to her purring. She could both see and hear through them, but those senses seemed the limit. She couldn’t feel Lulu’s pain, and she definitely couldn’t glimpse her thoughts. She shrugged and laid back. She probably wouldn’t understand them anyway. Cats are weird.



Epilogue



Marguerite Paige sat on the steps to her apartment, police lights flashing beside her. Starlight flickered in a cool summer night air while she sipped a mug of green tea. The UN.C. would reimburse her for damages. Well, not the UN.C. exactly. Her employer would indeed write the check, but it’d be the US government to foot the bill … in accordance with the complicated financial agreement between the UN.C. and the world governments. Couldn’t fault her for not reading, though she have a short attention span when it came to studies.

Police tape cornered off the space around her apartment while inspectors assessed the innards for damages. Meanwhile, patrol vehicles all but barred off the while block, a strip of street that extended farther than she cared to look. She’d been enjoying herself, letting the tea calm her nerves while she dealt with the stress of having burly brutes storm her apartment.

Marguerite lowered her cup at the sight of a woman in uniform approaching her. She recognized a few badges missing from the UN.C. credentials. Private investigator? How did she get clearance? The woman bore long dark hair and looks that could kill. She stormed up to Marguerite and reached for something in her vest pocket. Marguerite flinched as the woman whipped out a calling card.

“Take it,” she said.

Marguerite inched her hand forward, and the woman grew impatient, thrusting it toward her. She pawed the card and slipped it from the woman’s hand.

“Who are you?” Marguerite asked.

The woman didn’t reply. Instead, she scanned her surroundings before regarding Marguerite. A little shady if she did say so.

“You’re thinking of asking for a raise,” the woman said. “You just got a taste of it, and you think you joined the club, but you’re not even close.”

“H … how do you know anything?”

“Listen to me, Paige,” she said. “I’ve done my research, and trust me when I say it won’t get better for you. The UN.C. walks all over up-and-coming resonance users.”

“I … um …” Marguerite tried to use words, but she found her speech falling short.

“I’m offering you something more, a purpose you can be proud of. Get some rest, Paige. Call that number in the morning if you’re tired of the UN.C., tired of the hum drum of everyday life.”

She turned to walk away but stopped just before the line of tape. The woman turned, then smiled for the first time since their encounter.

“Call me if you want to be a hero.”




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