Hi, I’d like to welcome my latest guest Libby Doyle.
Alexandra “Zan” O’Gara Lays Some Wisdom on the Rooks
By Libby Doyle, author of the Covalent Series
AGENT TRAINING QUESTIONNNAIRE
This goal of this document is to help agent trainees gain insight into the Bureau’s culture, and to learn how experienced agents have achieved success on the job.
From: Christopher Avondale
To: Alexandra O’Gara
A: After my time in the Army, it seemed like the natural thing to do. I served three tours in Afghanistan. Even though I went to college after I got out, I don’t think I ever moved to the rhythms of civilian life. I like service. I was overjoyed when the Bureau accepted me. I love the strong sense of mission, the history, the camaraderie. I love to keep people safe.
Q: What was the most challenging part of your training?
A: Learning precision shooting. The weapons I used during my service weren’t exactly designed for accuracy. Lucky for me, my partner is the best shot in the Philadelphia field office. I’ve improved a lot since being assigned here.
Q: What has been the most challenging part of being an agent?
A: Learning to be patient. For example, I refused to let go of a case this past summer. We were notified when a park ranger found a human spleen in the bushes in Independence National Historical Park. We tested the DNA and ran it through the database and discovered that the spleen came from a body found that winter by the Philadelphia police. All its internal organs had been removed in some kind of sick ritual sacrifice.
My boss told me to leave the case to Philly PD because they found the body, but I wouldn’t let it go. I asked the boss for permission to pursue it on my own time, which he quite generously granted, but with limits. I blew past those limits. I didn’t listen.
We’re still embroiled in that investigation. In fact, we’ve discovered a snuff pornography ring that may involve human trafficking and murder, so I got lucky. The results glossed over my sins. But I should have explained things to my boss. I shouldn’t have gone behind his back. I need to regain his trust. I need to understand that this is large organization that moves in its own time. I work for the FBI. It doesn’t work for me.
Q: What advice would you give to new agents?
A: Learn whatever you can from the more experienced agents. During your first year, keep your damn mouth shut. If you’re certain you’re right, keep your damn mouth shut, because you don’t know anything and you’re probably wrong. Remember that the law and processes you learn from books are barely recognizable in the real world.
Q: Is work/life balance important to you? Have you managed to achieve this?
A: That’s one of those things that is so subjective, I don’t know if my answer will have any value. Being an FBI agent is not an identity you shed when you leave the federal building at night. Sometimes, it’s an eight to six job. Other times you won’t see your friends for weeks. Stakeouts can seriously erode your hygiene habits and your sanity, but they often result in the apprehension of seriously evil people. When it happens, it’s all worth it.
You can have a life. I play in a rock-n-roll band. Nothing like pouring 120 decibels out of a set of Marshall stacks to relieve stress. I will say that the people in your life need to be understanding. I’ve had to cancel practices and gigs because of my job. As for romantic relationships, I’ll tell you the truth. This job is hell on relationships.
The Pain Season is available now at Amazon: goo.gl/O3MEfT, iBooks: goo.gl/JQIOHL, Barnes & Noble: goo.gl/sSNpSb, & Kobo: goo.gl/AHm51x. Although not a cliffhanger, The Pain Season is not a stand-alone novel. The story begins in The Passion Season and will continue in The Vengeance Season coming in 2017.
Science Fiction Fantasy
Science Fiction Romance
Universal Link = Books 2 Read (Readers can clink through to all the sites below)
Angus & Robertson Bookworld: https://goo.gl/vtr6bJ
Excerpt – Autumnal Equinox – Chapter 1
Set up: Barakiel, a superhuman warrior from another dimension, has just killed a gang of demons who attacked Zan O’Gara, the woman he loves. This shocking introduction to his true identity made Zan run away, but not before she called 911 and made a stand against the demons. Being an FBI agent, she was armed. She killed two of the beasts, but the gunfire resulted in another 911 call. Barakiel became catatonic in the wake of an emotional scene with Zan. The police arrived, and were handled by Pellus, Barakiel’s trusted friend. Pellus is a traveler adept, a type of Covalent who can manipulate the properties of matter and energy.
In a few minutes, Pellus heard the crunch of gravel in the driveway. He looked through the peephole as two police officers emerged from their vehicles, one tall and fat, the other short and muscular. They looked around suspiciously. Pellus thought it best to play a frightened senior citizen, so he adopted the dry, gray hair and shriveled skin of an old human. He opened the side door.
“Officers. I am so glad you are here! I thought I heard gunfire.”
“Yes, sir,” the short one said, as the other headed to the main building and peered in the window. “We received a couple of emergency calls. A woman said she was being attacked at this address, then a few minutes later someone reported shots fired.”
“No woman lives here officers. Maybe she is somewhere nearby.”
“Did you see anyone in your yard?”
“No, but I was afraid to look out.”
“Could you tell where the shots were coming from?” the officer asked, as his tall colleague rejoined them.
“No, I am sorry. It was confusing. They seemed like they were coming from everywhere.”
The two of them stepped away to confer. They obviously didn’t think Pellus could hear them. The tall one told the short one that he couldn’t see anyone in the house. He said the owner was obviously rich, and that the place would appeal to a burglar or a home invader. They stepped back to Pellus.
“Are you sure you didn’t see anyone?”
“Yes, I am sure.”
“Is this your place?”
“No. My nephew’s. I am watching it for him while he is away on a business trip.”
“Your nephew,” said the short one. He poked at a handheld device for a minute or two. “Uh, records show this place is owned by B&P Bridesburg, Ltd. What’s that?”
“My nephew’s company. His name is Rainer Barakiel.”
“Does he own a gun?”
“Not that I know of.”
“What’s with the get up?” asked the tall officer, pointing at Pellus’ brown robes.
“I am from Kyrgyzstan. This is how we dress at home.”
The officer frowned. “Mind if we look around?” he asked.
“Please do.” They headed toward the back of the main building, where the yard was sunk in darkness. Pellus followed. As they neared the edge of the building, the adept noticed goldish glints of color in the grass. For a moment, he was confused. Then he realized.
Shell casings from the gunfire!
He began to cough violently and stumble. The officers stopped walking. The short one grabbed Pellus’ arm.
“Are you all right, sir?”
Pellus waved him off and faced the back of the yard, his hand to his chest. He continued to cough and tremble. It gave him the chance to adjust his vision so he could see molecular structure of the cursed bits of metal against the structure of the grass and soil. He bent forward, pretending to catch his breath as he broke the bonds that held the metal in the form of shell casings. Tiny shards of metal remained in the grass.
I can only hope they do not notice. I have no time for anything else.
“Are you sure you’re all right, sir?” the short officer asked.
“Yes, please. Just give me a moment.”
Although it took much longer than Pellus would have liked, the short officer waited next to him, perhaps afraid he would keel over. The tall one walked over to the hedges that grew next to the compound wall and peered up at the elevated pipeline that ran along the south side of the property, a remnant of the chemical plant that had once operated there.
“I am sorry,” Pellus said when he had finished. “I will be fine. Do what you need to do.”
Libby Doyle is an attorney and former journalist who took a walk around the corporate world and didn’t like it. She escapes the mundane by writing extravagant yarns, filled with sex and violence. She loves absurd humor, travel, punk rock, and her husband. Discover more at http://libbydoyle.com/index.html
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