Never show your first draft to anyone. Ever, they say.
I'm not exactly a rule follower, however, and I'm looking for some feedback on the opener of my next book. Remember, it's only very slightly edited, and shall be much more heavily polished come publication.
Any commentary is welcome, mostly feelings like, are you interested in reading further? Did it bore you to death? Do you want to know more about Orlando, the tech, or anything else?
May I introduce you to, my new protagonist...Orlando.
Off the chain, with her data exposed, Orlando had, in her view, one singular option. Run.
Seconds prior, lounged deeply into her well-worn and once-brown corduroy sofa, Orlando rode the data stream unnoticed, cruising for anomalies. Hunting for any sort of reported kidnappings, ransoms, or white-collar crime she could sweep in and solve for an easy pay check. But in an impossible blink of an eye and without warning she was knocked clear of the Blockchain’s security, her identity and location, even her cipher, suddenly exposed to any type of interested party. And there were always algorithms on the hunt for criminals like Orlando.
Unannounced, deep-set and time-jaundiced eyes shimmered into her glassware’s holographic interface. An Asian face, possibly Chinese. Age spots peppered his cheeks, thin wisps of lengthy gray hair protruded beneath his chin. A sadness drooped at the corners of his lips. A repeating hexadecimal contact number scrolled across her synthetic vision’s lower peripheral.
“Orlando. I am need of your services. I have unlimited funds and safe passage. I shall be contacting you through a secure tunnel via the hex below.” The face de-rezzed and she was left staring at the same police data feeds she had been cruising minutes before. Now however, outside the protection of the Blockchain, any swipe or communication would generate traceable and locatable lines of code, pointing directly at her.
Hunted. Fuck. First time. Could only be Cartel. After her last job, she’d taken a slight indiscretion with some of their less well-protected bank balances. A move certain bosses had taken a particularly dim view of. Life on the run was part of her normal, she'd been told she could hide for the Olympic team. But having been located like this, and purposely exposed, that was new. The Asian face in the stream was an unlikely fit for a multigenerational and local Cali Cartel. So not Cartel then. Not good.
She shut down her glassware, pulled the batteries, zipped the frames into their case, a faraday-cage on loan from her best girl, Ireland. Opened her single item of luggage, a long gray duffel containing only the strictest essentials; digital currency, clean underwear, soap. She yanked a roll of metallic tape from which she tore a strip using her teeth and sealed the glasses case tight. No signal from inside could escape, there would be no tracing her from the glassware.
With her duffel secure, she paused, gave the room in which she’d spent months of safety a final once-over, closed the door and ran down the stairs, two at a time. Was a twenty minute walk to Ireland’s, and there was no possible way she could arrange anything digitally to organize a quick quad-rotor Ryde without attracting someone's attention. A wanted thief, whether by law or the mob didn’t last long in the streets and alleys of big city Columbia.
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Insight into the meandering and creative side of my curious and exploratory mind.