I'm still in the early days of working on The Icarus Project, but I thought I'd give you a little sneak peek. There's no spoilers in this passage. It's more or less just a transition scene with character building thrown in, but it's also one of the few bits of the rough draft I don't see changing much before publication.
Joseph Daedalus was a well respected and somewhat intimidating man within the community, but at home, he was warm and a tad on the quirky side. Aside from a few close friends, everyone saw him as Dr. Daedalus, head of the biochemical research department and a driving force behind the Oceanic Biodome Cooperative. Sitting there with his sleeves rolled up, wire rims perched on his nose as he read a paperback years older than himself, he didn't look like a calculating community leader. He looked more like a college professor taking a break at his desk between classes.
Pyrha removed the infuser from her cup and went back to her stool. "You should switch to a digital copy and put that one up before it falls apart," she said as she sat back down.
"I don't like digital," he muttered with a frown. "Backlighting blurs the letters." He tuned the page. "There's nothing like the feel of paper under your fingers and the smell of an old book."
"I know," Pyrha drawled. "Still, it's a first edition, signed copy." She gestured toward the book in question. "You know how rare that is, especially for titles printed before the war."
Joseph sighed and lowered the book. He looked at her over the rim of his glasses for a few seconds before giving her a curt nod. "You're right," he conceded. "One last read, and then I'll put these up and see about getting a fresh print." He closed the book and set it back before taking his glasses off and putting them aside. "Come on. Supper, and then it's off to bed with you."
Pyrha cut thick slices of bread for them both while Joseph dished up bowls of the steaming soup. Now that the headache was easing, she began to notice the aches twinging with her every move. She wondered out loud if she'd be able to sleep at all because of them.
"Set this for us, and I'll get you something to help," her father said.
He handed off the bowls to her and scampered around the corner. She shrugged and went about getting their dinner set out on the counter. By the time she opened the drawer to get spoons, she could hear her father rummaging around in the bathroom cabinets. The thought of straightening out the mess tomorrow had her wincing as she got the napkins and made her father another cup of tea.
"Here you go," he said on his way back into the room. He sat a small, amber jar on the counter near her elbow. "Massage that in right before bed. Instant relief!"
"Ugh, that's the stuff Mrs. Cartwright's always going on about, isn't it?" she whined. "It's so loud smelling!"
“Effective though,” he countered and sat down to his dinner. “I’ve used that ointment twice a day for a couple days after every salvage trip I’ve taken.” He laughed. “After a while, you start to associate the scent of lemongrass and eucalyptus with relief and healing.”
“Okay. Okay, I’ll try it,” Pyrha said between bites of her fassolatha. She tore her bread and dipped a piece in the broth. “We create and manufacture medicines. You’d think we could come up with something better than this hippy dippy ointment.”
Joseph rolled his eyes while he chewed but let the subject drop. He was taking the route he’d paved during her adolescence. Asking a bunch of questions when he knew she’d had a big day had always sent her stomping off to her room in a huff, so he’d gotten in the the habit of waiting for her to start talking. As much as she was loathe to admit it, the technique worked. She couldn’t stand silences for long when she wasn’t alone.
“Do you think McLeod’s still around?” she blurted.
“The books you were talking about ordering,” she explained. Pyrha took a gulp of her tea. “It got me wondering if McLeod was still around to benefit from the purchase.”
Joseph hummed. “He’d be nearly a hundred years old by now, but it’s not impossible,” he said.
“Is there anyone in the coalition under eighty-five?”
“Probably not,” Joseph answered. His eyes were wide and his brow furrowed at the odd question.
“Then he’d still be on the surface if he’s alive,” Pyrha mused. “Shame.”
A. B. England is a small business owner, home-schooling mom, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves fantasy, mythology, and all flavors of science fiction.
Yekara Series Book 2
The Icarus Project
Rough Draft Progress
69061 / 75000
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