Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Guest Post with Blaine D. Arden

Title: "A day in the life of an A-team member" with Blaine D. Arden

Primrose is an an organisation tasked with monitoring and tracking aliens and alien technology. A not-quite-regular company running not-quite-regular hours. While for some departments, like Administration, the basic hours run from nine to five, departments like Security have to call their field teams out of bed in the middle of the night to hunt down A-watch alerts. A-watch being Primrose's alien substance detection system.

 One of those teams is team Alpha, one of the two teams under direct command of Security Lieutenant Natalie Tallis and her personal assistant Connor Smith. And, to show how hectic a field team Agent's day may be, Agent Ornella Amato is giving us a little glimpse into a day of her life by letting us read an entry from her own private diary...

 6:15 - Called out of bed to check up on an A-watch alert. I can't believe we have an early call again. Yesterday it was three a.m. Can't wait until we're off call and I can sleep in until eight.

  6:31 - In SUV on our way to Eggleby. Dennis Kelp's turn to arrange breakfast to go. Can't say I like dry doughnuts very much, but it's better than the home made soup he brought last time. Gregory Warren looks hung over and a little green in the face. You'd think, after being on this team for two years now, he'd know better than to go clubbing when on call. Friday or no Friday.

  7:45 - Arrived at the outer edge of Eggleby. Only barely getting light out. Area is deserted, seems like an old factory of some sort. Nothing to see from here.

  8:50 - In SUV, back to Primrose. Check up—including hour-long, detailed search of the factory, top to bottom—was a bust. No artefact in sight. Not the first time this has happened.

  10:04 - Debriefing by our teamleader, Travis Simpson, in canteen with a warm lunch. All except Warren, who disappeared into the loo the minute we arrived, and is toying with a glass of water.

  11:17 - Was run over in corridor by escaped walrus-like creature. No idea what it was secreting from its pores, but my jacket was drenched in orangy goo. Had to take clothes to Cleaning and grab a clean set out of my locker—last set. Filled out replacement request and put it in the mailbox near the entrance. Sent a text to Agent Smith about having Cell 4 checked for faulty latches... again. The stupid thing keeps breaking. And yet they keep putting creatures in Cell 4. Hopefully, he'll scare Maintenance into finally doing a decent job of repairing it.

  11:28 - Barely dressed and we have another call. Alien sighting, called in by old biddy from Leybridge.

  11:43 - Arrived to quite a sight. Front garden completely demolished. If owner and neighbours hadn't seen something large and black rooting around, you'd think they were doing a garden renovation, the hard way.

  12:25 - Caught the bastard. Fast bugger for its size. It managed to outrun us several times, until it reached the river. Who knew such a big fella would be so scared of a bit of water. The thing didn't even reach our knees. Still managed to put up quite a fight, though. No serious wounds; its claws weren't sharp, though it had a real mean left hook. Bryan Xiang's cheek's already starting to go blue. The rest of us came off with mere scratches. Only Quinn Flanigan got away unscathed, seeing as he was driving the SUV. I need to get me a licence. Clean up crew is going to have a difficult time explaining this one away. Too many clever witnesses. Can't wait to read the report and see what they came up with. A small bear, maybe?

  12:44 - Black monster in lock up—Kelp only dared calling it blackie once, before Simpson cuffed him. Once we got it tranq'd, it was easy to get in the SUV. A bit of a tight ride on the way back, with the thing being stuffed in the back seat. I spotted a repair man in Cell 4. Agent Smith works fast.

  13:00 - Got tetanus shot in Medical, third time this month, and had a quick shower.

  14:57 - I knew I shouldn't have made a comment about it looking to be a quiet afternoon. Another sighting. And just when I was beating Warren at Halo. Probably won't get another chance any time soon.

  15:02 - Ran into Stephanie Young from team Delta. I was about to comment on the blue streaks in her hair, when I noticed it wasn't a dye job. Not sure what it was, but it would probably be hell to get it out. 

15:30 - Arrived at site. Nothing suspicious at first sight. Simpson is talking to the man who called it in.  

15:35 - And we're on our way to Gelling—A-watch alert—leaving Kelp, Warren, and Simpson to chase the "small, ferret-like" thing that apparently chewed through his stainless steel fence. 

16:23 - And Bingo. When we arrived, I thought it would be another dud, but we actually managed to find it, albeit buried underground. No idea what it is—we know better than to touch it—but it looked like a mediaeval torture apparatus. Safely sealed it in a container. 

16:45 - Picked up rest of the team, including one ferret-like creature in non-metallic crate. Two successful catches in little over an hour. Not bad at all. Though Kep suffered a nasty bite from the ferret. Good thing he already had a tetanus shot earlier. 

17:30 - Delivered both packages and went to the canteen for dinner. Warren's finally eating something. Kelp's been recounting their ferret-catching tale, wildly gesturing with his bandaged hand, while Simpson keeps rolling his eyes. 

19:05 - Nothing for a while, so I decided to hit the gym for a nice run on the treadmill. If nothing hits us before eight, I'm going home. Fingers crossed. 

20:13 - On train home, texting with Teddy. He keeps pushing me to move in with him, but I'm glad I have my own flat to come home to when I'm on call. Couldn't stand to wake him up at god-awful hours and unable to say more than, "Have to go." 

20:40 - Hot chocolate and a classic Who, fourth doctor. Love the fake aliens. Though some are closer to creatures we've come across than the makers could have ever thought. 

21:34 - On train back into Primrose. Another alien sighting. 

21:45 - On our way to Greyson's Woods, joined by Young to replace Xiang, who's down with a migraine. Young still had blue streaks in her hair. 

00:26 - Combed out the forest, twice, it feels. Gathered plenty of traces for Research, but no alien anywhere. Scanners didn't pick up anything in the trees either. Whatever was here had long gone, or was too clever to let us and our scanners catch it. 

01:30 - Just noticed a text from Teddy, time-stamped 23:58, wishing me sweet dreams. Maybe I should see if he's free for lunch tomorrow. 

01:45 - Dropped off home, since my place was en-route to Primrose. I'm not holding my breath to get a good night's sleep, and I'm tempted to just veg out in front of the telly, but...

Connor Smith works for Primrose, an organization tasked with monitoring and tracking aliens and alien technology. It's a job that doesn't know the meaning of "nine-to-five". It also doesn't leave much room for a social life, a complication that Connor hasn't minded, until now. At the prodding of his best friend, Connor reluctantly puts himself back in the dating pool, even though it means lying about his remarkable life. 

 Elsewhere, Noah Jones has led a remarkable life of his own. Stranded on Earth in 1648, Noah was forced to transform himself permanently into human form to survive. He soon learned that in doing so, he'd become effectively immortal, aging only at a glacial pace. Alone, with no way to contact his people or return home, Noah becomes a silent observer of human civilization-always in the world, but never of the world. Then, hundreds of years later, he sees a face in a crowd and instantly feels a connection that he thought he'd never feel again. But he's too late: Connor's already taken. 

 Destiny is not without a sense of humor, though, and the two men are pulled inexorably closer, snared by the same web of dangers and conspiracies. Worse, Primrose is now aware of Noah, and they aren't ones to leave an alien unrestrained. So while Connor struggles to understand the strange pull he feels toward Noah, forces without as well as within are working against them to keep them apart.


  1. Sounds like an interesting job. Can't wait to dive into the book.

  2. Ornella thinks so :)
    Enjoy the book!


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