YA BOUND BOOK TOURS – BOOK EXCERPT : VEILED SUN (TOMORROW’S EDGE #2) BY BRETT ARMSTRONG
Check out my stop on the blog tour for Veiled Sun (Tomorrow’s Edge #2) by Brett Armstrong!
by Brett Armstrong
Genre: YA Sci-fi/Dystopian
Release Date: January 21st 2020
AD 2040: Every day the world slips further into lies. Seventeen-year-old Elliott knows that better than most. Project Alexandria is rewriting history, shaping the world according to sinister goals. To stop it, Elliott must assemble the “Veiled Sun”, a secret program written by his grandfather. The only people he can count on are siegers—outlaws who use their coding skills for purposes almost as nefarious as Project Alexandria. Overcoming the schemes and betrayals all around him, he’s the world’s best hope to save reality, if he doesn’t lose hold of it himself.
Day Moon (Tomorrow’s Edge #1)
Release Date: March 2017
In A.D. 2039, a prodigious seventeen year old, Elliott, is assigned to work on a global soft-ware initiative his deceased grandfather helped found. Project Alexandria is intended to provide the entire world secure and equal access to all accumulated human knowledge. All forms of print are destroyed in good faith, to ensure everyone has equal footing, and Elliott knows he must soon part with his final treasure: a book of Shakespeare’s complete works gifted him by his grandfather. Before it is destroyed, Elliott notices something is amiss with the book, or rather Project Alexandria. The two do not match, including an extra sonnet titled “Day Moon”. When Elliott investigates, he uncovers far more than he bargained for. There are sinister forces backing Project Alexandria who have no intention of using it for its public purpose. Elliott soon finds himself on the run from federal authorities and facing betrayals and deceit from those closest to him. Following clues left by his grandfather, with agents close at hand, Elliott desperately hopes to find a way to stop Project Alexandria. All of history past and yet to be depend on it.
About the Author
Veiled Sun Excerpt
Elliott swallowed hard. The numbers were familiar. They formed the death date on his uncle’s gravestone. A little circle swirled in the display’s center. The device background shifted from a dark sky to a flat black backdrop and a bold NSA logo in the middle. Just below it was a single app. The device selected it on its own.
He tensed for an explosion, but all that happened was a video began playing. Or rather, not quite a true video, but a system view where a video player was part of a console of some sort.
A synthetic voice spoke, “Session PSM—20391121070345998 beginning.”
Elliott almost dropped the tablet. It was loud enough Lara would easily hear from where she stood several feet away.
On the screen a diligent caravan of text scrolled below the video feed.
“SYSTEM: Subject — Parsons, Shane Matthew.
“Session Number: 3
“Session Facilitator: Amar, Hain Aaron
“Session Mode: Interrogation
“Session Start: 2039-11-21 19:04:12.483 EST.”
More text scrolled by, but Elliott missed it. The video feed showed Agent Amar, wearing a burgundy dress shirt and dark suit sitting down opposite Elliott’s roommate, Shane. His best friend.
After a brief adjustment of the camera angle, Shane came into sharp focus. He was shaking and looked haggard. Dark circles were under his eyes and his face was pale. A dark welt ran along his jawline.
What have they done to you?
Agent Amar smiled at Shane and folded his hands on the table in front of him. “Welcome back to the real world, Mr. Parsons. Your last session was quite illuminating.”
Shane didn’t answer. His eyes darted, taking in the room with an anxious energy.
“In our first meeting, you insisted you have had no contact with wanted fugitives Elliott Calhoun and John McIntyre. Correct?”
Shane didn’t answer.
“SYSTEM NOTE: Subject’s blood pressure and heart rate elevated.”
Agent Amar tilted his head and began drumming his fingers on the table. As if struck, Shane winced and said, “I did.”
“Say I hadn’t spoken to him. To Elliott. And John. I said that.”
Amar nodded and peered down at display next to him. He tapped it.
“SYSTEM NOTE: Retrieving experience index for Parsons, Shane Matthew last simulation.”
From the way Amar relaxed into his seat, he must have been pleased with whatever the report said. “Yet, we have records of a call from Mr. Calhoun to you hours before your apartment complex burned down. What was your roommate calling you about?”
Shane grew pale.
“SYSTEM NOTE: Subject sweating profusely. Previously observed nervous tics commenced. Advise continuation of question line.”
“Come on, Shane. What was he calling about? The first time we had you in, you said he just called about pizza. Was it about dinner again? Was it to let you know he wouldn’t be back for a few days?”
“Yeah. Just checking in,” Shane answered, easing his tensed posture.
“So, you wish to amend your previous statement on record that he didn’t call you?”
“Wait, no. I mean. You said he called about the pizza!”
“Did I? Shouldn’t you know? Or are you having trouble holding to your story?”
“SYSTEM NOTE: Subject heart rate spike. Evidence of adrenal flight response. Advise agent caution. Approved use of aggression to restrain subject as necessary.”
“I’m not telling a story! He did call and then he didn’t call. I’m not a traitor.”
“You’re not a traitor? Is Mr. Calhoun?”
“I wouldn’t be here if he wasn’t, right?”
“And have you ever observed any odd behavior from Mr. Calhoun to confirm your suspicions?”
“I don’t know…”
Shane’s knee bounced up and down like a jackhammer. “Uh, yeah! The week he disappeared. I saw him trying to go into another apartment unit. He was acting a little weird.”
“Yeah! That’s the one.”
“That was the site of the fire’s start. Did you notice anything else?”
“His cousin, John, started calling him a whole lot leading up to it. Which is weird, because he never really called before.”
“Interesting. Would you characterize Mr. Calhoun as being violent or unstable?”
“Elliott? No. He never—”
“Could anything have provoked him? Sudden changes in campus or personal life?”
“SYSTEM NOTE: Subject blood pressure and pulse normalizing. Maximum window of cooperative communication reached.”
“Well, rumor has it he was just expelled from his art program for plagiarizing some artist’s work.”
“Mm. Anything else?”
“His, uh, girlfriend might have been cheating on him. I called her looking for him and heard another guy on the phone. It was kind of late, so you know…”
“Interesting you bring up his girlfriend. Are you aware Ms. Hopewell has been missing for roughly as long as Mr. Calhoun?”
Shane averted his gaze and rubbed his hands on the table in listless circles. Biting his lip, he said, “No. No, I wasn’t.”
“There’s something else, isn’t there, Shane? Something you’ve been reluctant to share, before now?”
“SYSTEM NOTE: Subject heart rate fluctuating. Polygraphic assessment initiated.”
“I guess so. It’s just. He’s always been my boy. I never would have thought…Yeah. He called me a while back. Wanted some cash and a ride out of state. Said he’d messed things up.”
“Did you help him?”
“Well, yeah. I sent him the money. I just thought he meant he had trouble with Lara.”
“SYSTEM NOTE: Subject polygraphic examination complete. Verified as truthful statements. Subject confessed to aiding and abetting a wanted fugitive. Notifying booking staff and cell unit of impending arrest.”
Amar stood. “I believe you.” He walked around the table with a slow purposeful gait. Shane just stared at the table, his expression haunted. Once behind Shane, Amar slipped out a pair of cuffs. In a quick series of moves, he pushed Shane’s head down into the table, grabbed both hands, and cuffed them behind his back. “Shane Parsons, you’re under arrest for aiding and abetting a known traitor to the United States. You have the right to remain silent—”
The rest of Agent Amar’s Miranda recitation was drowned out by Shane wailing and thrashing. Another system note chimed in, but it too was lost in the shrieks. Just before Shane was drug out of the room by trio of brutish looking officers, he shouted, “He’s the traitor! I’ll tell you anything. Get him! Get him!”
The app closed. Sudden silence jerked Elliott back to where he was with as much easing as crashing into a brick wall. He felt as if his entire torso had imploded.
A hand on his back made him jump. Whirling around he found Lara standing there, teary eyed. One hand was still held out as if to say, “Easy, easy.”
For several seconds Elliott just stared at her trying to get ahold of his suddenly jagged breathing. “They turned him against me,” he said. “Those things he said. They’re not even true.”
Lara drew closer, put her arms around him and laid her head against his chest. “He was just protecting himself. Or thought he was,” she soothed.
“No, it’s worse. I saw his eyes. He believed it. Somehow they made him believe it.”
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About the Author
Brett Armstrong has been exploring other worlds as a writer since age nine. Years later, he still writes, but now invites others along on his excursions. He’s shown readers hauntingly sorrowful historical fiction (Destitutio Quod Remissio), scary-real dystopian sci-fi (Day Moon and Veiled Sun), and dark, sweeping epic fantasy (Quest of Fire). Where he heads next is as much a discovery for him as readers. Through dark, despair, light, joy, and everything in between, the end is always meant to leave his fellow literary explorers with wonder and hope.
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