Excerpt – Treasure of the Black Hole
I unplugged when I heard Rose thrashing in the antechamber. I jumped to my feet as she smashed through the door, sending its shattered pieces across the room, and was running on her four bottom legs straight for me.
“Rose?” I tried to get out of the way, but she jumped, grabbed my shoulders in the claws on her bottom legs, which hurt like hell, and dove out the window, smashing the supposedly shatter-proof plastic and dragging me out into the sky with her, fifty stories over the very hard pavement.
“ROSE!” I screamed as we fell toward the street. I could see people looking up and pointing.
Her elytra snapped open and translucent wings extended.
An explosion slammed through the air, coming from my office. The wall where my office was disintegrated and fell away. Rose’s wings beat furiously, moving so fast they both were a conical blur, the downdraft hitting my face. We swooped toward the street. I could see a frighteningly great amount of detail of the inflexible surface and people gawking up at us. Just before it seemed we were doomed to slam into the ground, Rose must have gotten the lift she needed as we started rising through the air. She kept climbing until we were high enough that the people below shrank to dots milling around as if under the effects of Brownian motion. She dropped me on the roof of the structure across the street from the Carter Building. As she landed beside me, I looked back at the smoking hole where my office had been.
“What?” I asked, breathlessly. “What happened?”
“An M-36-victor bomblette, sir,” she said calmly, as if discussing the weather. “The door opened, and it was thrown in. I knew it had to have a significant delay to allow the being who threw it to get away. I hoped I had time to get us out of there.”
“Did you see who threw it?” At the time, I was too upset to notice my secretary seemed to know a lot about high-tech ordinance.
I let loose a string of profanity between big gulps of air.
“Sir?” Rose asked, interrupting me.
“Yes?” I looked at her; her exoskeleton shimmered prettily with purples and blues in the sunlight. Her elytra were closed and her wings hidden.
“Why would somebody do that, sir?”
I was still breathing hard. “I don’t know, but I intend to find out.”