Thicker Than Bloodwas released on Friday and I’ve been trying to come up with a fun way to celebrate the third book in The Journey Missions series finally entering the world. My husband and I have just finished watching all the Marvel movies (in chronological order cause we’re cool like that) and it reminded me of this scene I wrote for an early draft of Crystal and Flint. It’s basically a Marvel style credit scene where Ryan faces Rank after failing his mission at Soupionia. Ultimately I had to cut it since it didn’t fit in with the dual point of view narrative that the series now has, but I can share it with you all now.
**minor spoiler warning if you haven’t read Crystal and Flint**
“I’m impressed,” Rank said as soon as Ryan entered his office, “most people wouldn’t have the guts to face me after a failure like the one I just witnessed.”
Ryan didn’t question how Rank had seen what had happened in the mayor’s office. Rank had an expert team of hackers at his beck in call, it wouldn’t take much to hack to the video phone in the mayor’s office. Ryan quickly ran through everything that had happened after Rank had left. He was fairly certain that he hadn’t done anything that would come across as a betrayal to Rank. “We both knew that plan was never going to succeed.” Ryan casually took a seat across from Rank. He couldn’t show any signs of weakness in front of him. He had to act like he was in control of the situation, even if every muscle in his body was on high alert. Rank was not the kind of man who accepted failure. “Even if I had gotten Wolf here she never would have helped you.”
“Of course she wouldn’t. As much as I would have enjoyed trying to break her, that was never really the point.”
“Then why bother to pull me off of my current mission if it wasn’t to take down Wolf? It could have risked everything I’ve worked for at Stapleton Farms for the last three years.”
“It was a test.”
“What kind of test?”
“Of loyalty,” Rank said with an evil grin.
“I don’t think we really needed to attack that colony to prove Wolf’s loyalty to LAWON.”
“I’m not concerned with her loyalties. I’m concerned with yours.” Ryan squirmed comfortably in his seat. “War is coming, make no mistake about that. I need to know who I can trust when it does. I had to be sure that you wouldn’t go running back home to daddy if given the chance.”
“Well I hope I passed,” Young said biting back his anger. After everything he had given up for Rank, he couldn’t believe that he still had to prove himself.
“Do you really think you would still be alive if you hadn’t? I was a little concerned for a while there. Miss Wolf is quite the little temptress.”
Young had to fight hard to keep himself from laughing. Crystal was a lot of things, but a temptress was not one of them. He knew that she had been completely sincere with her offer to devote her life to protecting him. A small part of him had even considered taking her up on it, but he had to push that aside. That part of his life was dead, there was no going back to it now. “So what now?”
“Now you return to Stapleton Farms and wait. We’ve almost gotten everything we need from them, it won’t be much longer now.”
“And what about Wolf?”
“All in due time. But don’t worry, I plan on making her pay tenfold for what she’s done,” Rank said as he gingerly touched his black eye.