Oct 30, 2017

NoQS Agent Round: Into the Dark

Genre: Adult science fiction with psychological thriller elements
Word Count: 107,000

My MC and MA (main antagonist) are dressed as:

Bianca dons the outfit she wears most nights: her sash with crudely cut eye holes, a purple leotard, and the multitude of knives sheathed in forearm and garter belt holsters. Unaware it’s Halloween, she searches for a fight to drive away her restlessness. Jonas walks the same street dressed as Deadpool, taking advantage of the one night he’s able to carry sharpened swords and loaded guns visibly into crowds without suspicion – ironically by donning the threads of a superhero.


Bianca has been forced to fight for the boss’s entertainment since her kidnapping at age eight. When she eventually escapes and tries to kill the man who enslaved her, failure leaves her drowning in his experimental formula intended to turn any fabric into Kevlar. Instead of dying, Bianca awakes to find herself alone, free, seemingly indestructible, and dead set on suppressing her PTSD by hunting down the man who destroyed her life.

Seven years have passed when Bianca tracks the boss’s global human-trafficking organization to Capers City where she’s ready to orchestrate gang wars, blow up bakeries, and tear his industries to rubble until she finds and kills him. But staying in one city long-term comes with unforeseen complications: she builds connections by deciding to partner with Sara, a middle-aged apathetic heroin baker, as well as Owen, a clumsy well-meaning psychology PhD candidate. She’s also in the same city as Jonas, the man who helped normalize her brutal life under the boss and taught her the skills needed to take her revenge.

As hypervigilance, restlessness, and insomnia push her to the edge of her sanity, Bianca is forced to determine if her new relationships are to blame for the instability or if the revenge that has held her together for seven years is also what’s tearing her apart. For the first time, she questions whether killing the boss will free her to live a normal life untethered to her past or leave her abandoned in the black abyss of total dissociation.

First 250:

Mosquitoes flew relentlessly at twilight in early summer by the docks, swarming in the humid haze that dampened sounds from the distant highway and distorted factories along the water’s edge. For every insect Ronnie slapped away, two more pierced his skin.

He checked his watch: 8:09. “They’re late.”

The man next to him shrugged, leaning his muscular frame against a wooden piling. He continued to toss stones into the water below.

Ronnie looked back down the gravel road. Once they secured the delivery, he’d be cutting across the Gulf, where there’d be a breeze and no blood-sucking creatures.

“A few more minutes, we’ll be late too,” he said. “It’s unprofessional.”

“We’re not in a professional trade.” His partner spared Ronnie a glance. “The boss knows that. Also…” he nodded to the street where a tow truck with a storage trailer strapped to its flatbed lumbered down the road. “Here it comes. No harm, no foul.”

Ronnie frowned as the truck slowed, made a three-point turn, and sat idling thirty feet from them. “He needs to back up to the boat.”

“I’ll tell him. You stay with the mosquitoes.” His partner abandoned his post. As he neared the driver’s opened window, he started, “Buenos–”

A hand shot out, and the unmistakable glint of steel sliced across his throat. Ronnie grabbed for his gun as his partner’s body hit the ground.

He aimed with shaking hands. “Get out, you son of a bitch.”

“Daughter.” The driver’s door swung open. “But the rest is accurate.”

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