Friday, June 3, 2022

Her Credentials - Excerpt from Cobra for #WeWriWa and #SnippetSunday


Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. Sample the work of a new author. Read snippets of stories in different genres.

I’m continuing with my new SciFi story. I hope to publish it by the end of this month.

Current Blurb

SciFi mystery. Interstellar spy befriends enemy commander in a tragic tale with a happy ending.

Shan Zennia, Senior Curator of the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos, plays a dangerous double role as a researcher and a spy for Solarian Intelligence. She embarks on a new mission to observe the spring festival on Harappi, a planet recently conquered by the ambitious Emperor and now governed by his niece, Domina Allia.

Zennia finds unexpected mysteries on the planet, including the enigmatic Nagari. Once a victorious commander in the Emperor’s space fleet and nicknamed the Cobra, he was forced to abandon his military career when Allia claimed him as her consort. Her abusive treatment has driven him to the brink of madness.

Intrigued by the ex-commander and aware of his value as a source of information on the enemy, Zennia agrees to meet him during the festival of rebirth. Opposing forces clash at the height of the celebrations and thrust Nagari into deadly chaos. But, all paths flow into the sacred River Vash with its promise of change and rebirth. Are Nagari and Zennia destined to win a new and happier life?  

In last week’s excerpt, Shan Zennia has just landed at the spaceport. The arriving passengers are met by armed men in the uniforms of the Emperor’s forces.

You can read last week’s excerpt at

The last sentence was; Their stern expressions and hand weapons were far from welcoming.

[I have removed less relevant sentences about her fellow passengers apart from the journalist.]

“Get in line,” the leader shouted. “All incoming travelers must show their credentials.”

Unsurprised by the officious interrogation, Zennia waited for her turn with the serenity of her vocation.

Shoving to the front of the line, Olaf Ivanov broke into a loud dispute with the guard about his luggage.

Zennia quashed a smile. The argument was so typical of the brash journalist. He ought to know better than to argue with the security guard, especially with one of the imperial troops. Their combat training left no place for compassion.

Still protesting vociferously, Ivanov was dragged inside the building for further interrogation.

When she reached the front of the line, the guard inspected her identity chip and barked, “Curator Shan Zennia, what is your business on Harappi?”

Ten sentences plus a little more:

“I have come to record the celebration of Vashali for the Archives of Galactic Culture on Lumos.” Amused by his confusion, she held out her sunburst pendant, her insignia as a traveling curator. Her title and badge of office granted her access to inhabited planets throughout the galaxy to record the local culture.

Scrolling through a list of names on his tablet, he looked up. “Curator, your visa is valid. But the city is under martial law. Where will you stay? None of the hotels are open.”

She replied in a calm tone, “My welcome is assured. Arrangements have been made for me to reside with a host family.” She flashed a smile. “A curator must mingle with the local residents to fully experience the event she is observing.” 

“If you are content…” His voice trailed away. Recovering his bravado, he jabbed a finger at her. “Where is your luggage?”

She patted her bag. “Everything I need is in here.” The bag held her tablet, toiletries, a change of clothes and a formal outfit. Her hosts would help her to procure traditional dress for the festival.

I’ll be happy to reply to your comments.

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  1. Nice cool under pressure! I like her! She's the perfect spy.

    1. Yes. That is the impression I wanted to convey. She'll lose her cool toward the end.

  2. She seems to have everything under control, but it sounds like that guy Ivanov will never learn. :-)

    1. For the moment anyway. She does get to scoop him.

  3. Well she packs light! I need more than that to go away overnight. Tweeted.

    1. I may be exaggerating! Her formal gown must be very light, but I can manage with a mid-sized backpack for several days.

  4. I'm always amazed at how little people can pack for several days. I like her cool and calm persona as she's questioned. Her answers tells us a lot.

  5. Sounds like she'd make a really good spy. So cool under pressure.

    1. It's a learned skill and also useful for her work as a curator.

  6. She is very composed, but it seems that is part of her vocation. I wonder if anything can get her rattled?

  7. I like her calmness - and her "luggage" reminded me very much of Jack Reacher, who travelled equally light ;-)

    1. I didn't say how large the bag was! When she leaves the planet, she has acquired a second bag.

  8. Calm, cool, and collected. I like her! Lol, until she meets Nagari.