Sep 11 2014

Zephyr 1.9 “Older, Less Interesting, But Even More Essential”

IN THE WALLSPACE, once the window is secure, I switch on the light and fire up the computer on its small folding trolley. As the iMac goes through its start-up, I shuck out of my leathers and sniff my armpit and check my breath and squint into the small round wall mirror and then I put my Enercom phone and Miss Black’s business card (“For all sorceries, great and small”) on the pile of disorganised paraphernalia on the shelf unit built into the support struts at the back of my neighbours’ wall. The piles of business cards, scrawled notes, spiked receipts and creased paperwork seem to stare back at me like a mistreated pet. Not for the first time, I imagine what it would be like to have a secretary, a personal assistant as they call them these days, but because of my talk with Miss Black I start seeing the idea in a new light.

An agent?

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Sep 6 2014

Zephyr 1.8 “Between The Greetings And The Disconsolate Sighs”

ANOTHER NIGHT AND we’re piling out of Mastodon’s armoured limo on the perennial red carpet at Mechano’s. Doormen dressed as robots give me the creeps. But I’m with British hero Lionheart, Adam Sandler, and actors Jason Statham and Stanley Tucci, though I don’t actually know which one is which, though one has an English accent and seems to be keeping Lionheart amused and that’s all that matters because Mastodon and I are trying to show him a good time. He’s been in the country a week on a film promotion for his new documentary on the evils of forgotten land mines, a passion he developed apparently after being intimate with a certain formerly alive British princess, not that he’ll admit it, the cause like a torch he’s carrying in her memory. I don’t know why he bothers. He’s plenty interested in the local variety of “tottie,” so it’s not like he’s a monk.

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Aug 31 2014

Zephyr 1.7 “Knowing When To Fold”

I LAND ON the roof of the Jenssen Building without a sound. Having extricated myself from the pomp and formality of the mayor’s little shindig, my bladder is aching and my ears are sore from Senator Keenan’s profuse thanks. I’m still not sure she was suggesting what I think she was suggesting when she slipped me her business card. The fact she tried to put it in my back pocket herself is suspicious. And I don’t have any back pockets.

I scout around in case Doro is early, which wouldn’t be unusual. Instead, it’s just me and the pigeons on the roof, so I start thinking about trying to change the ring-tone on my phone and I scoot around behind the protruding back of the roof stairwell to take a leak.

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Aug 17 2014

Zephyr 1.6 “Real Superhero Behaviour”

VULCANA HAS OF course turned blue since we went public. Once I manage to get out of the threesome with Miss Black and the mad scientist, I can’t help noticing her and Chamber arguing at the back of the room. Animal Boy is close by, watching and saying nothing, and it occurs to me a name upgrade might not be such a bad idea for him too.

“I can’t believe you, Mike,” Vulcana hisses as I move within earshot.

“Hey, what’s the problem?” I ask.

“It’s nothing,” she snaps.

“Chamber says he can’t remember Vulcana saving him from Infernus,” Animal Boy offers.

“Ooh, so the cat hasn’t lost his tongue after all,” says I.

“Careful, Zephyr. You know cats love to scratch leather.”

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Aug 9 2014

Zephyr 1.5 “A Guarded Sense Of Caution”

IT IS WARM in the apartment. The wall of white tiles in the bathroom slips gently back into place and I press down on it hard until I hear the magnets click and engage. I’ve already stripped in the narrow wall space, the best I get as far as secret bases go, and so I have a quick hot shower just because it seems the thing to do. From there to bed is a short journey, and a mercifully quick one.

There’s all sorts of things I mean to do. Perhaps it is leftover sentimentality from my confessional with Twilight, but I want to watch my daughter sleeping and then hold my wife in the dark. I even want to give the cat a midnight dinner. I must be high, I reason, as I slip into the cold empty bed. I assume Elisabeth is passed out on the couch where she was watching TV. The moment my head hits the pillow and I only just realise I am alone, it’s like I have fallen into a trap set by my enemy, Mr Sleep (that’s me being metaphoric again folks). My eyes lag shut – and then it’s morning.

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Jul 20 2014

Zephyr 1.4 “Spilling My Guts”

IT TAKES TWENTY minutes before I corner the new girl.

Imogen Davies resembles an Irish milk-maid with her long dark hair, dark blue eyes and fair skin, just a smattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose dark enough that I can see them by the streetlights once emergency services gets the power back up on the street. Possibly number one on my top ten, at least this week. Away from the camera crew and without her microphone she’s just a teenager, nervous and adorable and I can’t help falling into the smug, confident, all-powerful role she expects and will probably fantasise about later tonight. Or that’s what I imagine. She’s new to the job, but she’s quick to remind me she’s not fresh out of college, which isn’t something I really want to hear with what I have in mind. But I’m reassuring her that the night news shift is when all the cool stuff happens just as It’s Raining Men starts emanating from my lower back, and if I look horrified, Imogen Davies looks completely gobsmacked. I make a pained face and mutter something about having to change that ring-tone and then I back the hell out of there.

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Jul 17 2014

Zephyr 1.3 “Days Of Yore”

WITH MY FAVOURITE ex-teammate having pipped me in the hostage-rescuing stakes, I figure that leaves me with the madman. I yell again, wordlessly this time, since he seemed pretty on top of his game when last I made a noise and this should make him come again. And I’m not wrong. Office dividers fly out of the path of a wall of dirt and boxes of photocopy paper and busted underground cables and suddenly second-hand computers. It’s all I can do to jet out of the way as the mini-avalanche slams past.

In the vague hope I might be able to track my prey, I jog through the third floor of the bank in the wake of the debris, pebbles and grit leaving a path across the carpet like the skid mark of the world’s biggest itchy-assed dog. Then I’m at the row of back windows, saw-toothed with glass now, looking out the back of the building like I am in a slow-moving car, sienna’d automobiles trampled in the bank’s wake.

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Jul 17 2014

Zephyr 1.2 “Going Walkies”

THE SKY IS a grey curtain like a cataract across the stars. Thanks to me. Free-floating eight-hundred storeys above the tarmac chaos below, there’s nothing like it for fleeing your troubles – and I should know. The heavens are a frequent refuge of mine, even if the irony stinks. I can’t get any closer to heaven than the rest of you.

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Jul 13 2014

Zephyr 1.1 “Bright Red Zed”

FOR A MAN with the power of six-hundred thousand light bulbs or whatever the fuck the advert says, I am feeling kinda wrecked as I stumble up the steps at Halogen, fingers clawing into Red Monolith’s designer cloak as we make a show of laughing and clowning good-naturedly for the cameras. Actresses swirl around us like blowflies on a dead cow, minor grade, firm-bodied, their post-operative breasts stacked and racked as beautifully as the season’s evening wear can hope to provide for, and it isn’t like I am slapping them away. It’s times like these – which means yeah, pretty much every time I stumble into Halogen or the Flyaway or Silver Tower, or sneak in through the back at Transit or Aubergine – that I think about Elisabeth. Funny how someone you love so much can seem like such a nuisance. I blame it on my inner child, knowing she would as well.

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Jul 13 2014

Update 14-07-14

Dear folks,

The chapters some of you have been enjoying of late come from Zephyr: Phase IV, which has been for sale for a number of months (see sidebar) and its sequel Phase V. I’m working on Phase VI at the moment as well as ideas for a few other books.

In the coming weeks I am going to start posting chapters from the start of the Zephyr saga, which means hitting the reset button and going back to Phase I. There’s a variety of reasons behind my decision, including wanting to go through those earlier books with a fine tooth comb and check for inconsistencies. It’s my personal view that with the more recent volumes, the series has become stronger and bigger than I imagined it would be, and I want to ensure Phase I (as the gateway to Zephyr’s world) is up to scratch.

If you’re disappointed with the decision, understand that all the chapters you have been reading (and much more) are available for purchase on my Amazon site http://www.amazon.com/Warren-Hately/e/B00C87J798/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1.

As always, happy to get your feedback direct. If you enjoy what you read, please please consider leaving a review on Amazon and spreading the love through word of mouth. Zephyr is not so wildly successful yet that I am guaranteed to continue into the future, so encouragement is appreciated.

W