The wonderful folks at Carrick Publishing accepted one of my case files from the Tactical Paranormal Response Unit for a new crime fiction anthology coming out this fall, World Enough and Crime.
“Ghost Protocol,” once again features Virgil, the chain-smoking, gun-toting psychic, and this time he’s on loan to the FBI. He’s got a new partner, the ghost of hacker, and their current mission is a little bit of corporate espionage. Everyone knows the Stoblenski Arms Corporation is dirty, but no one has been able to prove anything. Until now…
Here’s a quick snippet from the story:
Purgatory, thought Virgil, is a designated smoking area outside of an office building. All of the unclean souls gathered there, reeking of nicotine, huddled together in a feeble attempt to ward off the elements. They stood there every day, unable to pass through the steel and glass gates until their penance, in the form of a tiny white stick was paid out in a cloud of smoke.
Virgil, in his disguise as ‘Algernon P. Stoblenski’, was an outcast amongst the damned. He slouched up to the entrance, took a spot to the left of the doors and tapped a cigarette out of its pack. The real Algernon was sleeping off the mickey Virgil had paid a hooker to drop in the man’s beer the night before. With any luck he wouldn’t make an appearance till long after Virgil was gone.
A few of the other smokers were casting wary glances in his direction. Virgil used his Telepathy to broadcast a mild suggestion that they were seeing Algie sucking down his first cigarette of the day. A slight touch of his Empathic Talent enhanced their natural dislike of the man, (he was a bit of a toad), which made sure no-one would get close enough to see through his disguise.
He hung around outside just long enough to make sure he had plenty of eye witnesses to say that Algie had shown up for work. Then he ground out his cigarette and shoved through the doors into the lobby of Stoblenski Arms Corporation…