This is a character study of Nori Matsui, the protagonist in my upcoming sci-fi novel, Silversides. This particular excerpt may or may not make it into the second volume, but it is no less accurate of the events to unfold.
Silversides: Excerpt – Exiting the Necker Cube
“Nori,” he said attempting to regain her attention. He was speaking more softly this time, very controlled in a commanding tone he knows gets questions answered. He waited for eye contact and brushed at his scalp as though having just walked into a cobweb. “Who exactly are you?” and not waiting for an answer, “Where did you come from?” Then leaning in closer, “Tell us again, why did you come here?”
Nori paid little attention to the talking suit, instead focused on her cuffed wrists locked into the grommet of the table, which like her chair, was bolted into the concrete floor. She studied the burn marks and scratches on the metal, wondering how many others had sat here to the drone of these same questions, whether they were a petty thief or, as she was, someone who had just traveled twenty light years and back through time.
She raised her attention to the decorated suit of the man, with the port of his belly and chubby arms braced on the table-top, with his manicured fingers rolling inches away from her own. How easy it would be to reach out and break every one of them before you would ever feel the blinding pain of it, she streamed into him.
Without knowing why, he curled his fingers into his palms
“As I stated earlier,” Nori answered. “I am here alone.”
The suit pushed up and away from the table with the crack of his back the only audible sound in the concrete room. He stood there momentarily then began to nervously massage the folds of skin on the back of his neck. Unsurprisingly to Nori, he hammered his fist onto the metal table and leaned in close to her face.
“Stop fucking around and answer the goddamn questions!” the spittle from his charge landing on her cheeks but her eyes never blinked.
Nori had been mouthing every word the suit was saying before he did, her blue left eye and green right eye, unnerving him as she did.
He could see the slight extension of her smile, and lost it.
She knew what was coming next and took the blow of his back-hand across her mouth, pausing briefly for the effect before sweeping her tongue beneath her lip, watching him shake off the hurt like he had just punched a brick wall. He could see there wasn’t a mark or expression on her; just the feeling of deep hatred streaming into him.
“CHIEF!” Shouted a woman’s voice from behind as she stepped out from the shadows. “That will be enough! Now leave here immediately or–by God–I will see to it you spend the remainder of your career at Shemya!”
Knowing she did not hand out threats, only promises, he turned away from Nori to face his Commander-in-chief.
“Madame President,” The Chief Executive Officer acknowledged with a submissive nod, then he turned to the the Marine standing at attention, who opened and closed the steel door behind him.
The president asked for a chair and sat opposite Nori.
“I deeply apologize for my Chief’s behavior…. Inexcusable,” she said with disgust. “I assure you, that will never happen again.”
Nori did not respond, nor did she care.
The President felt something slip over her and brushed the flip of her hair.
“Tell me. Why did you come here? Why Times Square, the most recognizable place on this planet? Surely, you could have picked someplace more hospitable, say–“
“Paris?” Nori said finishing her thoughts.
“Yes… Like, Paris…” the President reiterated, her throat suddenly dry and her alarm apparent.
“I thought about that…” Nori paused. “Paris will always remain a place of inspiration for me, but New York? New York seems right… So here I am, Times Square… The center of the Universe.” Nori could feel the hidden fright of the President, having just read her mind.
“You need to shut down five-eighty-one,” Nori cautioned.
“What is five-eighty-one?” the President questioned, the chevrons on her forehead lifting and indicating she was clearly in the dark.
“Start with your Chief,” Nori suggested. “He’ll be sitting in your seat…”