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Shattered Truth Snippet #3


Did you know we are only 5 days away from the release of Shattered Truth??? I can’t wait! Then it’s only a couple more days before the audio is released! YES!!!

Can I get the pitchforks and matches crew to join forces again and ask for the audio to be released early? Pretty please????

Snippet #3:

Jia’s PNIU chimed, pulling her out of her reflection as her heart rate kicked up. “Now what?” It was that kind of day.

She gasped as she sent the caller ID to her smart lenses. “No way. This is impossible.” It wasn’t her partner, the acting captain, or anyone calling to tell her about a case or a criminal.

It was something far more dangerous.


It was her mother.

Jia would have been less surprised if the UTC prime minister had called her. She tapped her PNIU. Her mother didn’t like to be kept waiting.

“Is everything all right, Mother?” Jia answered, trying to keep the fear out of her voice. Her parents were in good health, but accidents happened. Wealth and money couldn’t save someone from circumstance or the will of “the Lady” Erik liked to talk about.

“Of course, everything is all right,” Lan replied in a crisp tone. “Why wouldn’t it be?”

“Because you’re calling me so late,” Jia explained, thinking “calling me at all” would have been a more appropriate response. She placed a hand over her pounding heart and sucked in a breath. Even if her parents didn’t approve of her career choice, she loved them, and she hated that she couldn’t personally do more to help them, even if they didn’t need it. Faint guilt lingered over the idea that she had disappointed them. Perhaps it would remain until she capitulated to their wishes.

“Oh, it’s not that late,” Lan insisted. “I know you’re up this late all the time, and I often work late, too. It’s not as if you’re a child who needs to go to bed early, Jia.”

“It’s just been a long day. The criminals are feisty lately,” she explained.


“Don’t worry about it.” Jia kicked off her shoes and laid back on her bed. “But I’m happy to talk to you. It’s been a while.”

A few beats of silence passed, as if Lan were crafting her response before offering it. “We’ve both been busy with our respective careers. There’s nothing wrong with that, and there’s no shame in not being able to chat for a period of time.”

“I’m not saying there is, Mother.” Jia sighed. “But let’s be honest. We both deserve that much.”

“I would like to think that if I can pride myself on anything, it’s on my honesty with my children.” A quiet scoff followed. “An honesty that has produced more than an insignificant amount of strain between the two of us. If I weren’t honest, you would be less nervous when I call.”

“Fair enough. I don’t want to fight with you. What did you want?”

“I wanted to congratulate you,” Lan explained with a hint of condescension her voice.

Jia refused to rise to the bait. Even if the call wasn’t intended to be a positive experience, she would make it into one. “Thank you. Congratulate me for what? Mei told me already that you were happy with what I’ve accomplished lately.”

She saw no reason to doubt that report. It wasn’t as if her sister would go out of her way to shield Jia from the truth. Such feeble sentimentality accomplished nothing useful for anyone in their family.

“Good,” Lan replied. “I hoped she would pass that along without too much embellishment. You know how unfortunate indirect conversations can be. But yes, your father and I are pleased with you achieving an unusual level of success in your relatively low-level position. One might even make the argument that the level of attention you’ve received represents a potential peak in your current experience.”

“That’s a possibility.” Jia sat up, her stomach tightening. This was leading somewhere, but she wasn’t sure where. “But there are advancement opportunities in my career. I could be chief someday, or even commissioner. A captaincy is definitely in the future.”

“All true, but let me present a different scenario for your consideration.”

Here it comes, she thought and waited for a moment before asking aloud, “What’s that?”



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