Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Son of a Pitch: The Proxy Initiative (take 2)

The Proxy Initiative
Adult Science-Fiction Thriller
80,000 Words


The Proxy Initiative is a government cybersecurity contractor founded to infiltrate people's minds through their wetware – computers implanted directly in the skull – and Ethan Pryce is their lead programmer. When he finds out the people he's working for are more interested in their own power than using the tools he developed to fight terrorism, Ethan goes rogue. He downloads a head full of damning data that could destroy The Proxy Initiative and he taps into their system, so the next time they hack someone he'll take over instead.

When unforeseen glitch overloads his wetware, he loses control and his life becomes irrevocably twined with the lives of strangers.

Now, every night Ethan is forced into the bodies of strangers. He experiences the world through their eyes, feels their pain, and controls their bodies while a trio of psychopaths working for The Proxy Initiative hunt these bodies down. To locate the real Ethan, they'll murder and torture him as many times as they have to because he's the only one with the power to stop them.

Due to the glitch in his wetware, the data that he sacrificed so much to get is inaccessible without specialized hardware. Hardware owned and guarded by the very people hunting him down. With only the help of a rebellious young woman he'll have to find a way to destroy the Proxy Initiative before they destroy him and use their technology to overthrow the government.

First 250 Words

Drive full.

The message flashes in my brain. I grab the cable jacked into the base of my skull with sweat slicked fingers and scan the list of documents.

Shit. The Proxy software isn’t downloaded. I rearrange the files and send mental instructions to override the wetware-brain barrier. It will overwrite some personal memories, but I need that software.

My past is best forgotten anyhow.

“It's time, Ethan.” Meridian takes her eyes off the view of Central Park, and rises from my couch, dark face crinkling with anticipation. “Got everything?”

“Not quite. Proxy ‘ware’s incomplete.”

“You didn’t download it first?” Meridian scowls at me. "I thought you were supposed to be smart."

“Just a few seconds.” I flick a nervous smile at her. "You can give me that much more of this life."

Meridian takes in my penthouse apartment. "You got it good here, but you'll adapt." Her face twitches. She's a surprisingly bad liar for a double agent betraying one of the most secretive and powerful companies in America.

"I'm tougher than I look." I puff out what little there is of my chest. "What's it like… being poor?"

"For starters, don't say shit like that or you'll get a punch in the—"

Loud popping noises from the hall outside my penthouse apartment cut her off mid-sentence.

“Time to go.” Meridian draws a pistol from inside her jacket and chambers a round.

"You're going to kill them?"

"What the fuck you think, Ethan?"

1 comment:

Amy said...

Dropping an f-bomb in the first 250 words—bold. What’s more disconcerting is how similar this is to my own novel. Hmm.

Anyway, to business.

This is very well written and engaging. I not only like the idea of the book, but the way you’ve written it and the voices of your characters. I want to know more, and that can only be a good thing. You have a great beginning—“drive full” is an interesting way to start, and the throw-away line about his past makes me want to know more.

You might want to slip a line into your query somewhere about how on earth it became normal for people to have “wetware,” or how one agency was put in charge of it all. If possible, you might also want to trim the query just a bit. I feel badly saying that, as I think it’s perfect as-is, but agents and publishers really seem to value brevity.

You might want to consider changing the word “psychopaths.” For some reason this is the only false note (for me) in the query.

Aside from that, I don’t have any criticism. I think you’ve done a fabulous job, and I hope I get a chance to read your book :}