Grace Under Fire: Book 2, a dialogue excerpt; circa 2015

*Author’s note: This is an excerpt from a much longer series of three novels, currently in process. Book 1 is Saving Grace, currently at 8k words of 55k, book 3 is Amazing Grace; as yet to be started.

The recorder clicked and the whirr of the tape began.

“This is Mora Reese from the law offices of War, Famine & Pestilence; subject interview Eric Mulligan, Officer, Department of Reissue in regards to case #76734-1169 – Death Inc. versus Eric Mulligan. For crimes against the living; you are charged with unlawful acquisition and tampering with the directive of Dr. Neil Sorn. How do you plead?”

“Not guilty.” Eric’s bloody face gurgled. “Grace beat me with a toaster.”

“That will be all Eric,” Mora said, holding back a smirk.

Eric departed Main hall, his footsteps echoed on the black and white tile.

Mora reached across the oak table and clicked the recorder off.

“You know Dot, Eric has a case against us.” Mora said, examining the recorder.

“Like hell he does,” Dot replied, “Get me Non-H.R. on the line.”

“Of course, Dot.” Mora dials the extension and hands the phone to Dot.

“And one more thing, Mora, don’t embarrass me.”

“Never have I ever Dot.” Mora replied, collecting her bag as she headed out of the office.

~

The bold headline read ‘Two of the experimental drugs show promise in boosting the survival rates.’

Grace looked up at Reinhardt in disbelief. She continued reading out loud, “For those who don’t seek any form of treatment the mortality rates are in excess of 75%.”

“How can this be?” Grace asked, puzzled.

“You know the living, they’re determined to keep on.” Reinhardt sighed.

“Keep reading Grace, it gets better.” Reinhardt grabs his coffee, watching Grace’s eyes dart across the page.

“This is phenomenal Reinhardt, what’s left to do?”

“Well, I’m thinking Dot wants an update and Non-H.R. is going to want to have a little chat.”

Grace thought this over, tilting her head slightly. “Why would Non-H.R. Want to talk to me?”

“They don’t,” Reinhardt replied, “It’s Eric they’re after.”

Reinhardt paused. “It could also be that toaster thing you pulled at the cafe.”

“What?!” Grace exclaimed “He deserved it!”

“Deserved or no, Grace, you know that’s against protocol.”

“To hell with protocol Reinhardt!” Grace stomps the ground. “Eric was the one trying to take out the living, not me Reinhardt.”

“It’s protocol to debrief, Grace. Try to think of it like telling a good story, stick to the facts and you’ll be golden.”

“This isn’t fair Reinhardt.” Grace sulked, “Eric asked for it.”

“Oh yeah Grace, how’s that?” Reinhardt scoffed, a cheeky smile crept across his face.

“We both know what happened in there Reinhardt.” Grace replied, her expression grim. “I’m not going down for taking out the plague.”

“You know Grace, you’re probably right.”

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