I think it's about time that you became slightly more familiar with The Sphinx Project. Seeing as I can now excitedly squeal "My book is out this month" I though, why not let you have a proper sneak peek. So here it is, the official prologue for The Sphinx Project, book one of The Chimaera Chronicles.
Before you begin, it would be best to note that this is the unedited copy. There may be changes by the time you read the actual book.
The Sphinx Project
The faint buzzing against my neck kept me focused, even as the warm dirt and cloying humidity threatened to send me to sleep. One wrong move and an electrical pulse would shoot into the explosive buried deep within the base of my skull. Having my head blown off isn’t the nicest way I could think of to die, but it was one of the fastest.
I took a deep breath, trying to clear the cobwebs from my brain. The little critters in this dense part of the jungle had long since stopped avoiding us. They scuttled over the girls and I as though they’d forgotten we weren’t actually a natural part of their environment. It wasn’t surprising, really. We hadn’t moved in more than seven hours.
I shifted my shoulder slightly to ease the tension in my muscles. Blinking, I refocused my eyes, zeroing in on the base—nothing had changed. The only things that moved within the gated compound were the security cameras, rotating from side to side on their tall posts. Submerged lamps glowed dimly in the darkness. They lined the narrow entrance road beneath the protective canopy of camouflage nets and overhanging trees.
The dull green camo sheet covering Mouse stirred slightly as she began preparing. A faint glow emanated from below its edges as she activated her tablet—no regular human eyes could have detected the difference in light; anyone watching would see nothing but shadows.
I returned my eyes to the compound expectantly. As expected, the tiny red L.E.D lights on each of the cameras began blinking rapidly. When the blinking stopped, the lights extinguished themselves, switching on again three seconds later.
“They’re ours,” Mouse whispered. Her low voice echoed—I was close enough to hear the words from her lips, but they came through the radio attached to my ear too. From now on the people in that compound would see only what we wanted them to see.
A low drone sounded in the distance—exactly on schedule. The noise from the vehicles travelled straight down the narrow dirt road to our left. It moved closer and closer, channelled toward us by the heavy foliage on either side.
As the convoy came into sight, the huge gate in the chain-link fence that enclosed the compound began to open of its own accord; the screeching of rusted metal announced the vehicles' arrival.
Two Jeeps and a pick-up truck loaded with men trundled past us and through the gates. The old machines spewed foul fumes into the air, completely overpowering the natural fresh fragrances of the forest.
The barriers closed again as the vehicles wound their way between the buildings half submerged in the packed earth. They entered a long tin structure and as soon as they were inside, those doors shut too.
“Five,” Mouse said, beginning to count slowly.
“Four.” I rotated my shoulders and arched my back slightly, loosening the kinks from my muscles.
“Three.” My hand shifted to my thigh, reassuring myself that my weapons still sat precisely where they were supposed to, even though they’d been there five minutes ago when I last checked.
“Two.” I pulled the gas mask sitting on top of my head over my face. The rustling from the others told me they were doing the same.
“One!” I threw back the camouflage sheet, bursting from its protection at the same time as the others. We sprinted silently towards the towering fence in a perfectly synchronised line.
Several yards from the fence I leapt, landing close to the barbed wire at the top. The sound of the electricity whizzing through the wires beneath my armoured gloves made me nervous—if I were to slip, would that be enough of a shock to set off the explosive?
I didn’t slip though; there wasn’t much chance of me messing something like this up—the agility my feline genes gave me insured against that. I leaned over the top of the wires, bracing my hands on the other side and flipped to the ground below. I dropped lightly to my feet, landing in a crouch just inside the compound beside the other girls.
I looked at Nicole, who silently signalled for us to separate. Mouse and I raced to our left. Nicole and Briana ran toward the warehouse the vehicles had disappeared into. We moved as fast as we could, hiding in the shadows of the buildings. We circled the compound until we reached the back of the long metal structure. The heavy doors were shut, but Mouse knelt and swiftly picked the old lock.
“Ready,” I whispered into the radio.
A loud bang echoed around the warehouse as we flung back the large doors, the other girls did the same at the other end of the building. All four of us pulled canisters from our waists, depressed buttons on their tops and flung them into the building’s brightly lit interior.
The lights dimmed quickly as gas spewed out of the silver containers. The men within scrambled frantically for their weapons, a few managing to get shots off before they started falling to the ground. They all missed us.
In no time at all we were the only ones remaining on our feet. With guns in hand, we picked our way across the room. I stepped over the men sprawled between the vehicles and I, not bothering to go around.
It was easy enough to find who we were looking for. Most of the men were skinny and dressed in improvised combat gear. However, our target wore a suit that stretched unflatteringly across his rotund belly. I didn't know who he was, and I didn't care. There was no point asking questions; they wouldn't have answered even if we did.
I dragged him from the car, where he had slumped against his seatbelt. Between Nicole and I, we carried him easily from the warehouse.
The gates swung open the moment we approached, closing behind us as Mouse fiddled with her tablet again.
We dumped the target in the trunk of our vehicle, before climbing in ourselves. It had been hidden way back from the road, beneath a thick layer of foliage. The greenery dislodged as soon as Briana put her foot on the gas pedal.
“Do you think we’ll get ice cream for this?” I asked hopefully, as we sped towards the airstrip where our plane was waiting.
That's it, what do you think? Don't forget, The Sphinx Project will finally be released on February 28th in both electronic and paperback versions!