Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Character Interview: Shane Parsons l Brett Armstrong @BArmstrongWV

Rather than just do a character interview, I want to do something a bit more fun and add to the tapestry of the Tomorrow’s Edge trilogy.  This isn’t in the main body of Day Moon, but is a look at something happening behind the scenes that contributes to events of the book. 
(SYSTEM NOTE: Begin interview : Shane Parsons : 2039- 10-15 21:05:35 UTC-4)
Amar: Good day, Mr. Parsons.  I’m Agent Hain Amar of the NSA. Thank you for agreeing to speak with me.
Shane:  No problem, though I really don’t know why I’m here.  The agents didn’t make it seem like this was a “by-my-choice” kind of meeting.
(SYSTEM NOTE: Papers shuffling)
Shane: “So, why exactly am I here then?”
Amar: One minute please.
Shane: Ok…
Amar: Born-Lancaster, PA on June 12, 2018. Parents-Bill and Karen, divorced.  Average scores on university admittance exams. One note from a high school math teacher: “Clever pupil, but lackadaisical above all else.”
(SYSTEM NOTE: Finger tapping on table)
Amar: One sibling, Ellie Brahn, 26, of Newhaven, CT.  Two nephews Jordan and Jacob, three and five respectively.  You work in the university hospital in addition to attending courses.  No pets, no school extracurriculars, avid video gamer, and “looking for love or something like it” on social media. Just let me check one more thing…
(SYSTEM NOTE: Increased rate of tapping indicates anxiety in subject)
Amar: Ah, there. Sorry for the wait. I just wanted to review your file.
Shane: My file?
(SYSTEM NOTE: Subject exhibits apprehension)
Amar: Yes?
Shane: Why do you have a “file” on me?
(SYSTEM NOTE: Subject displays signs of irritation and potential for aggression. Biostatistics analysis started. Blood pressure and heart rate evaluation under way. Agent remote alert pending)
Amar: Shane, may I call you Shane?
Shane: You already knew that’s my name. It’s in your “file” on me, right?
(SYSTEM NOTE: Subject has elevated heart rate and blood pressure. Subject hostility meets threshold. Advise change of tactic. Agent alert sent)
Amar: It is, but I think you misunderstand the purpose of our meeting.
Shane: Really? Because I’m pretty sure you guys kidnapped me in the middle of the night and have been keeping me held up here with no answers for who knows how long.
Shane: Well you know of course. Since you know “everything”, right?
Amar: I apologize for the lapse in your care. Our office has been swamped with the situation.
Shane: Situation?
(SYSTEM NOTE: Subject biostastics stabilizing. Tactic effective. Alert sent to agent)
Amar: Yes, your apartment complex was the target of a terrorist strike. We’ve had to bring in everyone for questioning. Particularly after the detonation.
Shane: Detonation?
Amar: Yes. Yes, I apologize. I forgot you couldn’t have seen reports of the apartment building’s destruction.
Amar: Which is really why you are here. You’re an acquaintance of an Elliott Calhoun are you not?
Shane: …
Amar: Of course you know him. He is, or was, your present roommate. How well do you know him?
(SYSTEM NOTE: Subject biostastics show no variance on goading. Advise change of tactic. Alert sent to agent)
Amar: Let me ask it this way, how did you come to have contact with Elliott?
Shane: He and I had a class together his first semester.
Amar: Interesting. Aren’t you a couple years older than Elliott?
Shane: Yeah, he is in that advance placement program, right? He is already about to graduate.
Amar: And you have a few years left, yes?
Shane: Well, yeah. You try working shifts in a hospital ER and still balance a full course load.
(SYSTEM NOTE: Subject is engaged in dialogue. Subject biostatistics confirm a passive state. Ideal conditions to press for information present. Alert to agent pending)
Amar: That is quite impressive. Your “file” says you saved a man on drugs from jumping out of a window. He was quite violent I’m told. Very heroic of you.
Shane: …
Amar: You don’t consider yourself a hero, do you?
Shane: Anybody in my position would have done the same. Wouldn’t you have?
Amar: I would like to think I would. But twelve other staff members didn’t act when you did. That is heroism.
Shane: If you say so.
(SYSTEM NOTE: Subject reticence noted. Psychological evaluation complete. Complicity highly probable. Pursue primary agendum. Alert sent to agent)
Amar: I do.  Which is why your country needs you now. Your friend Elliott, his intelligence impressed you when you first met, didn’t it?
Shane: Elliott is a good person. That’s why we are friends. I know you’re dancing around what you really want to ask, so can we cut out all this nonsense and get to it? I’m pretty tired and hungry here.
Amar: Of course, you probably haven’t eaten much since Elliott failed to bring you your dinner the other night. Strange for a loyal friend to forget something like that. .
Amar: The truth is we are looking for Elliott. We believe he is in danger. You aren’t very familiar with his cousin, John McIntyre, are you?
Shane: Never met him. Just called Elliott a few times.
Amar: A few times recently, actually. Would you like to see summaries of the chat logs?
Shane:  I’ll pass.
(SYSTEM NOTE: Subject wavered in resolution. Likelihood of complicity almost certain)
Amar: Mhm, well. They are innocuous, but many of John’s other correspondences haven’t been. John has been planning the attack with an Asiatic terror cell for nearly a year. We have reason to believe John has Elliott hostage, perhaps using him for his extensive expertise with digital devices and software.
Shane: Elliott would never…
Amar: Willingly aid a terrorist? Are you sure?
Amar: Has his behavior lately been, suspicious?
Shane: He wouldn’t help by choice. They’d have to force him.
Amar: How might they do that?
Shane: Probably threaten Lara…
(SYSTEM NOTE: Subject has divulged unintended information. Suggest staggering expressions of compassion and aggression to achieve maximum results)
Amar: Lara? Do you mean Elliott’s classmate Lara Hopewell?
Shane: No, I mean his girlfriend, Lara Hopewell. Or at least she was going to be his girlfriend.
Amar: Why only “going to be”?
Shane: I called her looking for him when he didn’t come back to the apartment with the pizza he promised. I heard another guy snoring in the background.
Amar: And it wasn’t Elliott?
Shane: Ha, definitely not. The snoring was about three octaves below Elliott’s register.
(SYSTEM NOTE: Aggression unnecessary. Subject exhibits regret. Alert sent to agent)
Amar: You seem unsettled by this.
Shane: He’s my friend and like I said, if he would turn his back on his country, it would be for her… and I’m pretty sure she was hardcore cheating on him.
Amar: Do you think she could be involved with the terror plot? Perhaps the man she was with was John McIntyre. We know so little about Lara. Her family keeps an usually low profile. Do you know anything about her that might help direct the investigation?
Shane: Just that she wasn’t at a great hotel. I could kind of make out things in the background. I haven’t seen a hotel that plain and tech-less since, well, ever.
(SYSTEM NOTE: Beginning search for hotel images featuring simplistic floor plans and amenities in 10 square mile area. 20 square mile area. 50 square mile area. 100 square mile area)
Shane: Listen, I can’t say anything about Lara or John, but Elliott is no traitor. He’s no terrorist. He’s a little too trusting though, so anything he’s mixed up in, it isn’t what it looks like. Okay?
Amar: I understand. Thank you for your time Mr. Parsons. We will take everything you said under advisement.
Shane: Am I free to go?
Amar: Absolutely. I will direct one of our agents to drive you home.
Shane: Um, I think I would prefer a friend’s house. Seeing as my apartment was blown to pieces.
Amar: Oh, right. Of course. Anywhere you like.
(SYSTEM NOTE: Shuffling of chairs and footsteps nearing room exit. Interview complete, after-action analysis beginning)
Shane: Great. Oh. Just one thing, how did you know Elliott didn’t remember to bring dinner back to me? That happened before he got mixed up in this, right?
Amar: “File” remember?
(SYSTEM NOTE: Subject heart rate increasing)
Shane: Ah. Super. Thanks.
Amar: Take care Mr. Parsons.
(SYSTEM NOTE: Subject tagged by agent for enhanced surveillance)
About the Author
Brett Armstrong, author of the award-winning novel, Destitutio Quod Remissio, started writing stories at age nine, penning a tale of revenge and ambition set in the last days of the Aztec Empire.  Twenty years later, he is still telling stories though admittedly his philosophy has deepened with his Christian faith and a master’s degree in creative writing.  His goal with every work is to be like a brush in the Master artist’s hand and his hope is the finished composition always reflects the design God had in mind.  He feels writing should be engaging, immersive, entertaining, and always purposeful.  Continually busy at work with one or more new novels to come, he also enjoys drawing, gardening, and playing with his beautiful wife and son.
His latest book is Day Moon (Tomorrow’s Edge Book 1).



About the Book:

Title: DAY MOON (Tomorrow’s Edge Book 1)
Author: Brett Armstrong
Publisher: Clean Reads
Pages: 389
Genre: Christian/Scifi/Dystopian

In A.D. 2039, a prodigious seventeen year old, Elliott, is assigned to work on a global software 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.


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