Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chapter 11 excerpt - Murder is a Primary Color


CryoLab

The small building on the far corner of Law Enforcement HQ campus held only a few offices and a receptionist.

James flashed his badge at the glaze eyed young receptionist, she pushed a button and a panel slid open before them. "Thumb or forefinger, either one." James and then Jadeah touched the panel next to a numbered visitor's badge and pulled it away and clipped it on. To the right of the reception desk was a silver door. James touched the panel and the door slid open. Once inside, all the buttons were sub level. James pressed S-10 and said, "Hang on".

Jadeah's stomach stayed on the ground floor. She didn't think hanging on would have helped.

The doors slid open onto a gleaming white corridor that stretched straight ahead and left and right. They stepped out onto an equally gleaming floor. The air was chill, but that could not fully account for the icy fingers that slowly worked their way up Jade's back. She hesitated and swayed a moment as James caught her arm asking, “Are you okay; what's wrong?”

She shook her head to steady herself and evaluate what it was she was sensing. "I don't usually feel the cold. This is something else." she said to no one in particular, more perhaps to hear her own very live voice in these halls of death.
She shook her head again. "There's so much trauma here, so much input, and....James, they're not all dead."

"Quite right!" a voice behind them boomed and they nearly left their shoes behind as they turned still startled stares to face the voice behind them.

An unlikely source for such a booming voice. A small portly man, with cherubic smile, blowing on too hot coffee in a mug that read, 'Freeze - Hold that thought!'. He took a large bite from the sweet smelling confection in his other hand, and around chews, he looked over the old-style spectacles on his nose and said, "You're expected Detective Jeffries. And my dear psi friend, you are right. They are not all dead. Follow me, Ill give you the grand tour and explain."

Jade could hardly suppress a smile, as she and James fell in beside the small rotund figure, who set them a surprisingly quick pace, as he alternately blew on his coffee and took bites from his sweet.

"The corridor to the left contains our luxury accommodations. People with money who could not face death and so postponed it."

"Postponed?" Jadeah queried.

"Of course, dear esper-girl. There's no guarantee they'll survive the thaw, or that we'll ever have a cure for what ailed them, and we're running out of room. Do we save them indefinitely and turn people away? Do we terminate those who have been here 20 years? Do we wake them and see if they live and ask them if they want to continue to wait? If so, do we negotiate a new price? You see the dilemma, don't you. What to do, what to do? And who will make the decision? Not me, not me. That's just not in the job description. It just isn't."

© Perle Champion

2 comments:

J.Norman said...

Well, thanks. Just left me wanting to read more!

Joan Young Spotswood said...

I'm with J. Norman - I'd love to read more!