This round of edits are done! Just sent back the manuscript to Inkshares incorporating some excellent beta reader feedback. The story definitely got stronger because of it and it gave me a chance to tighten up a few things too.
Looks like line edits then copy edits then we should have a date. Fingers crossed!
The old man led her down the empty hallway in the empty wing. The walls were the grey of an old club. The carpet was deep red and seemed to suck up all the light. She could barely see the dark wooden doors that lined each side of the hall.
“This one,” he said, pointing at one of the wooden doors near the end of the hall. “Your things are in there. No one will bother you.”
“Thank you,” she said.
“All for the order,” the man said, and left her to it.
Inside the room were several stacks of unopened crates and boxes that contained the parts she had worked so hard to get. They had the shipping and customs stamps of multiple worlds on them as she had routed them through complex trade routes in order to make them difficult to trace. She was probably overdoing it. She didn’t need to hide this work so much as keep it a surprise, but she had always been the kind of person to throw herself into things. And besides, what good was the order’s standing offer of help if she couldn’t use it for a private project?
She began opening the packages. Each one contained a different piece of what she hoped would eventually become a working innovative whole. As the packing materials piled up on the floor, the workbenches became populated by dozens of metal boxes in different shapes and with different dials and switches alongside bundles of cables, tubes and other small parts like gauges. It would have been a jumble of incomprehensible nonsense to most people, but to her it looked like notes in a song, just waiting to be arranged into the melody.
She was the conductor. She smiled at that idea. She was going to compose a song to save the world. She’d no longer be ignored and unappreciated by him.
She tried to hum a tune and laughed a bit as she began to assemble things and power up components for testing. She laughed a lot when she saw just how well this was going to work. The parts came together just as she had imagined. The flow felt wonderful. She marveled as what had once been an insane plan turned into a reality under fingers. She felt the thrill of her intelligence matching with her skill at execution. All of her talents served an unassailable purpose.
And nobody in the universe could stop her.