Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February Secret Agent #6

TITLE: Butterfly Mask
GENRE: Science Fiction

I couldn't fail again.

Which was why I was stuck in this cheap-a** hotel room, listening in on the development of the galaxy's newest weapon of mass destruction, when the smell of ozone thickened in the hallway outside my room. Followed by the light footsteps of someone trained to move silently. And a knock at my door.

Unlike Hotel New Valentine's other guests, I wasn't expecting any visitors, clients or otherwise. Had I f*ed up that badly without even knowing?

If it was my eliminator, they wouldn't have bothered knocking. They would've barged in, weapon at the ready. But then who the hell else would show up at five in the morning? Didn't matter. Whoever it was was going to pay.

Still, I minimized two of the displays and redirected the feeds from Buki Technologies' and Bogu Enterprises' communications networks to my second handheld. Used a projector to cover the hole I had smashed in the wall to tap into the hardline. And altered the third display so it looked like I was watching the early morning news, /Wake up with Gemini!/ Just in case. Wouldn't want anyone to catch me in the act of being a Scorpio, now would I?

I changed out of my pajamas and into my guise suit, something sleek and form-fitting this time. Repainted the stylized red and black butterfly on my face. My mask. I never met anyone without it. Then hid it behind an illusion. Just because I was Scorpio didn't mean I had to advertise it.


  1. The genre should be science fiction romance.

  2. I found the choppy, incomplete sentences distracting. A few of them is okay, it adds to the casual, first person tone - but the 4th paragraph is so thick with them, it's hard to understand. "Used a projector..." is especially abrupt.

    There's aso a strange lack of urgency here. Someone is knocking and they are going to "pay", but the very next sentence begins with this aside, "Still..." Someone is knocking at the door, someone the protagonist fears, but they are *changing their clothes* before answering. It's too slow.

    I'd cut right to the chase riht after "...was going to pay." Okay, let's see them pay. The door should fly open, and...?

  3. There are some interesting threads here I might want to read more about--what are Scorpios? Why can't the MC meet anyone without a butterfly mask she hides anyway? Who does she work for?--if a few other issued were cleared up.

    Two of my issues have already been mentioned: too many incomplete sentences made the narrative awkward, and the pacing after the knock seemed all wrong.

    I have two other quibbles, though. I felt like the knowledge that the hallways was full of ozone and the footsteps were light might have been POV slips.

    I don't have a lot of experience with hard scifi, so I got lost in the multitude of unexplained references to tech and companies and groups and such. I'd rather get a few to set the mood and then ease into the rest of this world.

  4. I found this confusing. perhaps if I read one it would become clear but the main character seems very casual despite what she is doing.
    In addition, I am not big on the strong language.

  5. I think you have a nice start here. I was a little confused by some of the tech stuff in the fourth paragraph, mainly because I'm not sure yet what it has to do with what's happening. Also, I would have to agree that there does seem a little lack of urgency after the knock, but perhaps the MC is trying to stay calm(?)