For the Jane Austen Giveaway Blog Hop, Robin and Laura put together a fun short story … which is refusing to be contained to six posts!
We hope you enjoy The Austen Avengers.
The night was starless and thick with intrigue when Admiral Austen Janeway, the genius behind the Austen Avengers, stood before the Global Security Council. As the liaison officer between the Council and the Austen Avengers, she had been summoned to report on a situation which could pose a threat to the safety of the global population.
“Council members,” she began, “satellite re-con confirms my suspicions. Alien intruders from beyond our galaxy have infiltrated our governments at all levels. They are indistinguishable from human beings in every way except one—”
The council members began to murmur among themselves. Admiral Janeway motioned for silence.
“—and that difference,” she continued, “can be detected only by a device presently being perfected by Iron Will Darcy and his wife, Elizabeth, code-name Iron Lady. The aliens emit rays of color not in the spectrum our eyes can perceive. Iron Will has already perfected the lenses in the helmet of his suit, as well as that of his wife, to detect the aura. Goggles for the other Avengers, as well as the military, are now in production and will be available shortly.”
The screen behind her displayed computer generated images of Iron Will and the Iron Lady, fully dressed in their battle armor and altered headgear. The red, black, and gold simulated figures rotated slowly.
Sir Walter Elliot interrupted. “Those execrable suits! As the Council’s acting Aesthetician, allow me to point out that Iron Will’s taste leaves much to be desired. Saving the earth is one thing. Suffering embarrassment while doing it is quite another.”
General Brandon shifted in his seat. “What does the appearance of the suit have to do with anything?”
“My dear Brandon,” said Sir Walter. “The Avengers have a reputation to maintain. A hero cannot go to battle dressed like a weenie.”
Admiral Janeway ignored this exchange. “The prototype of special goggles for the military,” she said, “is available for your inspection. Production should begin as quickly as possible.”
Sir Walter gave a sigh of aggrieved sensibility. “Craftsmanship cannot be rushed. Therefore the goggles will be ugly.”
“They’ll be functional,” snapped Brandon. “Isn’t that the point?”
Admiral Janeway kept her voice level. “I have summoned the other members of the Austen Avengers,” she said, “and await their replies.”
“And we,” complained Sir Walter, “will be in for a visual treat. Iron Will struts about in a discarded suit of armor. Bulk wears only shredded rags. Captain Wentworthy prefers striped pyjamas. And Thorn is an escapee from a Wagnerian Opera.”
General Brandon set his teeth. “Tell me again,” he said, “why this man is on the Council?”
Sir Walter inclined his head. “Noblesse oblige,” he said.
General Tilney fixed his beady eyes upon Janeway. “What do the aliens want from us?”he demanded. “Perhaps giving them what they desire would be more easily accomplished than fighting them. Maybe they are peaceful.”
Admiral Janeway leaned forward, placing her hands palm down on the conference table.
“General, with respect, we aren’t entirely sure what they want. But I’m fairly certain that we need whatever it is just as much as they do. Would you give them our water supply, our atmosphere, our energy sources, our food? If they are here for peaceful purposes, why have they not identified themselves?” she asked. “Why do they disguise themselves as humans and seek positions of authority in our governments, military branches, and intelligence agencies?”
Tilney was not appeased. “You should have reported to us before you summoned the Austen Avengers,” he barked.
Janeway stood her ground. “Sir, I have no way of knowing which of them will respond. I thought it was prudent to send the message as soon as I had confirmed the danger to our world. The Avengers are scattered across the continents, and some of them make it their business to be difficult to find. I only hope that we are not too late.”
“Of course we are too late!” Lady Catherine’s tone was scornful. “That goes without saying. If I had leadership of the council, we would not be in this predicament.”
Admiral Janeway soldiered on. “Though we can now identify the aliens,” she said, “we do not yet know how to destroy them. We need more time, and there is no guarantee that we will have it. The Avengers are not only superheroes in the physical sense. They are also the brightest, most innovative minds on this planet.”
“That,” said Lady Catherine, “is debatable. Most of them are men.”
“If there is a way for us to win,” Janeway said, “the Austen Avengers will find it—if they have enough time.”
As soon as she finished speaking, pandemonium reigned. Admiral Croft, the chairman of the council, lifted his hand for silence. The room quieted, and he looked at each council member in turn before he turned his attention to Janeway. “Admiral, your preemptive actions were well within your authority and responsibilities. Please keep us apprised of the situation.”
After snapping a smart salute, Janeway strode from the room, headed for the central command center.
To be continued…
Remaining episodes will be posted at Beyond Austen, an exciting on-line community featuring free Austen-inspired stories for everyone.
*** Book Giveaway is now closed ***
Three prizes to three lucky winners.
Robin Helm is offering one (reader’s choice) of her Guardian Trilogy novels and Laura Hile, two copies of Mercy’s Embrace, Book 1.
It’s easy to enter, simply post a comment below. Leave your email address like this: “Laura AT laurahile.com.” Shipment is USA only. One entry per person.
Winners will be chosen and announced on October 25, 2012.
Are you unfamiliar with our books? Read on…
The Guardian Triology by Robin Helm
The powerful and imposing Xander, chief of all guardian angels, has protected exceptional humans from demonic forces over the course of ten millennia. In 1989, he receives an unusual assignment which will forever change his ordered existence. Will he lose the battle for his own heart while guarding supernaturally gifted Elizabeth Bennet from the evil which surrounds her?
Mercy’s Embrace by Laura Hile
Laura Hile’s joyous Regency novels feature Persuasion’s snippy Elizabeth Elliot and her desperate search for a husband. But she’s not as smart as she thinks, and that’s where the fun begins. Romance, adventure, and all your friends from Persuasion are waiting. And then there’s the dashing and dangerous Admiral McGillvary…
Thanks so much for stopping by. Happy blog hopping!
Laura and Robin
Here’s the linky for hopping. Scroll down for the list of blogs.