NLI-10 sample chapter
Welcome to the sample chapter for the third BAM, “NLI-10”.
You can read it below or download in a variety of ebook formats and mp3 of the audiobook.
Our sample begins after Sarah has passed the health screening for the clinical trial, and is taken in to meet the woman in charge of the experiment. But in the first of many twists and turns, Sarah isn’t just interested in the trial for the fiscal reward…
Grab your copy of the sample chapter after the jump:
For those of you who don’t want to download files, below is a cut-and-paste of the sample. Don’t forget you can pre-order “NLI-10” before its release on March 7th.
The woman gestured for Sarah to take a seat, and introduced herself.
“Marion Whark.” she said, with a smile that was anything but genuine. The lack of lines accompanying the curvature of her lips made it seem like a rare experience for her face.
“Nice to meet you.” said Sarah, attempting to be genial and mask finding the woman and her choice of aesthetics off-putting.
“Could you tell me a little about yourself?” asked Whark, as she leafed through Sarah’s file.
“Well, I’m twenty-seven.” said Sarah. “I work as a volunteer for a homeless shelter and asylum seeker support.”
“More specifically, about your drug use.” said Whark, not even attempting to hide her disinterest in Sarah’s occupation.
“Well…” Sarah started, hesitantly “I mostly used psychedelics, or psychoactives, whatever you want to call them…”
“Which drugs specifically?” asked Whark, the smile was creeping back up her face, as if warming to the girl whose life she had attempted to ignore.
“LSD, mushrooms, mescaline, peyote, DMT, 2CB, uh…” she struggled to recall others. “Does marijuana count? I did Ayahuasca once or twice.”
“You can stop there, that’s a fabulous selection.” said Whark, almost sounding impressed.
“I wouldn’t call it fabulous…” said Sarah.
“Oh, but it is for our requirements in this study. You’re exactly the type of candidate we’re after.”
“It is? I am?” said Sarah, confused.
“Very much so. And you’re in great health, have you taken part in a clinical trial before?”
“I’m sorry…” said Sarah, backtracking. “What makes me a great subject?”
“For this particular testing regime, we’re after subjects that have had experience with psychoactive substances, whose neural pathways have been altered. You know how LSD was used medically for a time, to help patients with schizophrenia? We’re trying something along those lines, albeit with normal patients in this round, rather than locking up a group of crazies together!”
She appeared to think she was making a joke. Sarah smiled politely.
“We have a new three-month study starting in just two weeks, is that enough time to put your affairs in order?”
It sounded to Sarah like Whark was implying she wouldn’t be coming out of the experiment alive – but she quashed those feelings – this was a multinational corporation after all, they couldn’t advertise on the tube and then kill subjects. Probably.
Sarah told her it was plenty of time. It wasn’t like she had any actual life waiting for her when she returned. Whark made her sign a consent form and an initial Non Disclosure Agreement before giving her more information about the study. It would be taking place just outside of Dundee. They would provide her with a ticket for the train and collect her from the station. She only needed clothes for arrival and departure, they would be providing her things to wear whilst she was there – albeit unflattering cuts – which seemed important to Whark. She was to be reimbursed with twelve thousand pounds for her time, which would be deposited on the final day of the trial.
Sarah feigned interest in the information that was being imparted, caring less for the cash lump sum, and more focused on imagining the final day of her emergence from the depths of the APEX machine.
Seventeen weeks and one day ago, Sarah didn’t know or care much about APEX, other than it being the company her parents had worked for before their deaths. She had been gallivanting around their old house in a mushroom daze, and other than having relocated their books, it was pretty much exactly as they had left it. She had recently taken to tripping there amongst her parent’s belongings, it was giving her a feeling of closeness to them that she hadn’t had for a long time.
Whilst going through her father’s desk, she came across a USB pen drive which she plugged into her laptop, hoping it wasn’t a secret stash of porn. As she started going through the thousands of documents on the drive, the visuals of her trip dissipated, the high diminished, and for the first time in ten years she felt something close to sober.
She signed up to NA later that day to keep that feeling, keep her focus for the task ahead. What she had found blew her mind, and made her question whether her parents’ death was an accident as she had been led to believe. There were confessions from her mother and father, and files upon files to back up their claims.
They were going to whistleblow on their employers, take the stash of documents stolen from the company and hand them over to WikiLeaks. There was proof of hidden accounts, illegal experiments, arms deals, black budgets and more. She had thought about just sending the data off and wrapping up their mission, but it was all at least a decade old, and would likely be shrugged off by the multinational demon. Blamed on former executives and disgraced employees. This trial, however, might make that data worth something. She’d be in the belly of the beast. A testing facility probably had records of patients past, and if the current experiment wasn’t above board, it might implicate the company with recent proof that would only emphasise the content in the archive her parents had amassed.
She wished she had been more industrious ten years ago. That would have been the perfect time to strike, but now she had a chance to finish what her parents started. Sarah thought again of Whark’s question about “putting her affairs in order”, and recalled an experiment in which the paperwork declared all the subjects were deemed ‘unsuitable for return to society‘. The account of the trial continued to talk about the results of the experiment itself, with no explanation of what happened to the subjects, and they weren’t spoken of in any of the other documentation. She tried to put it out of her mind. Concentrating on her task ahead and the day, three months and two weeks away, when she would emerge from their testing facility with a smoking gun, completing the mission her parents didn’t have a chance to see through before their unceremonious ‘departure’ from the company.
Sarah tried to shrug off the fact that she didn’t have a plan beyond sending the documents to WikiLeaks. She knew her quest for vengeance was a tall order, and possibly out of a sense of psychedelically enhanced Batman-style justice, but she had literally nothing else to dedicate her life to, so why not this.
So there we have it, a little taste of what’s going on in the plot, and in Sarah’s mind as she hands her body and mind over to science.
“NLI-10” is out on March 7th, and you can get it as soon as the clock strikes midnight with a handy pre-order…