I’m switching to a different book today. Yay! (Even though I couldn’t hear your shouts of joy, I’m sure you’re wildly excited. Right?)
Rescuing Prince Charming is set in the near future. Native Americans from an alternate Earth have ‘hopped’ their entire island kingdom to our Earth to escape environmental collapse. They’re now the most advanced nation on Earth, and they’ve graciously offered to show us how to build our first starship. Desdemona (Dusty) Johnson is a technical writer charged with documenting the mammoth undertaking so it can be duplicated in the future.
Before the ship is finished, someone phones in to say they’ve planted a time bomb in the mechanical deck. Dusty knows the unfinished prototype better than most, so she charges on board to search.
Time: Four years from tomorrow.
Place: A top-secret, underground facility on a Pacific Northwest island that doesn’t exist…yet.
Dusty Johnson really didn’t want to do this.
She took a deep breath, trying without success to dispel the dread clogging her belly. Some women daydreamed of rescuing princes from dragons. Not her.
Yet here she was, all alone, creeping through the dark guts of the half-built starship, searching for a time bomb about to explode. If the siren ordering evacuation of the research facility had summoned the expected herd of guards, she would’ve offered advice then fled with the rest of the staff. Having come this far, though, she couldn’t leave without branding herself a coward in her own eyes.
And so Dusty wove her way timidly around machinery that smelled of oil and ozone. Nothing was neat and tidy down here; in a prototype, speed and ingenuity trumped meticulous design. Everything was makeshift, a giant kludge sprawling through three-thousand cubic yards. That meant a lot of places for saboteurs to hide a bomb, but only two where technicians wouldn’t discover it in the course of a workday.
The first hiding place was a niche behind the backup life support nexus. Staring into its shadows, she paused. A heroine wouldn’t hesitate, but an ordinary, everyday woman would think twice about squeezing into a dirty cranny while wearing a new, cream-colored chambray skirt with filigree trim.
Maybe she should just walk away.
But there was no one else around to save the ship, and reaching the stars was her life’s dream . . .
I posted a bit of this of couple weeks ago when I ‘mashed up’ the openings of the books in this series. I hope you don’t mind reading it again.