The Korpes Agenda is the second book in The Korpes File Series.
Something dark is stirring in Korlune, and there’s only one person who sees it; brilliant, but haunted, Master-Tech Nash Korpes.
Freshly escaped from the clutches of Korlune Military Research and Development he finds safety within the ranks of tech giant Harlo-Fyre. On the surface, the future appears bright, but dangerous forces lurk in the periphery. Nash is plagued by self-doubt, unreliable friends and a punishing work schedule that could tip him over the edge.
As the line between friend and foe blurs and friction between Korlune’s military factions reach boiling point, Nash is forced to act. Will he ever find peace, or will he be distracted just when he needs to focus?
Nash made his way across the vast expanse that was shipping and receiving. The familiar sounds of machinery and the glow of the industrial lights was oddly calming, and he enjoyed having reasons to come down. A sudden gust of wind announced the arrival of a maglev transport via one of the many tunnels that connected this hub to the rest of Korlune. KMR and D was still hunting him, but here he felt safe. Here, he was almost invisible. Close to a thousand people were employed in this section of Harlo-Fyre; everyone was busy, and most of the employees were Diasporan. Nash had even seen a few blonds scattered among them. Pallet-jacks zipped past him in every direction as he approached the Northern loading bay.
“Hi. I’m looking for…” Nash paused to read the name on the form. “Blythe? You have something for the Korpes Lab, and I’m here to pick it up.”
The Receiver turned as she looked up from her manifest. “You’re Diasporan?!”
Nash flashed her the briefest of grins. “What gave me away?”
“Your accent.” She replied without skipping a beat. “You’re from one of the Western Diaspora, aren’t you?”
“Yep,” Nash indicated the largest crate on the platform. “If that’s from Lorsa, then that’s the one I’m after.”
Blythe just stood there, a thoughtful expression on her face.
“Uh… Can I have my crate, please? I have the invoice and release forms right here…” Nash held the digipad out for her to look at.
She took it, compared the numbers, and signed off. “I didn’t think any of our kind made it past manual labor jobs in the big corps. You must be talented.”
“Yeah. I can coax beer out of vend-o-mats,” Nash replied absently as he checked the time.
Nash looked up at the question and was greeted with a genuine smile. He returned it with one of his own. “Yeah, that and cigarettes, good coffee, a passable Polonu soup—”
“Can you fix vend-o-mats as well?” She handed his digipad back.
“You’re hired.” Blythe grabbed him by the arm and began leading him to the breakroom. “Ours crapped out on us a month ago, and we can’t get the time of day from maintenance…” She paused halfway. “I’m sorry, I should have asked if you have time. I hear your boss is…” She bit her lower lip as she looked for a nice way to say what she’d heard. “Demanding.”
Nash opened his mouth to introduce himself and thought better of it. “He’s not in the lab right now. As long as I get things set up today, it won’t upset the schedule.”
Blythe locked arms with him and continued the mission. “So, what’s your name?”
The innocent question caught him off-guard.
Think fast, the Sarcastic voice laughed.
“Xander. It’s an old name.”
“I’d heard that families with Tyran ancestors did that. At least your name’s unique. I have an aunt, a cousin, and a grandmother who are all named Blythe; it gets confusing at reunions. I broke the chain and didn’t name either of my daughters after me. Everyone here calls me Bee.”
Nash chuckled as he opened the door to the breakroom for her. Something playful sparked in him, and he motioned for her to enter with a flourish.
Blythe curtseyed in return. “Smart, handy, and you’re a gentleman, too? Where the hell were you when I was going through the Pairing Protocol?
A Bite Of… J.I. Rogers
- How much of you is in your hero/villain?
Without incriminating myself, I think I can safely say that there’s a little of all my characters in me.
- Have you ever invented a language?
I have. Worldbuilding is a passion of mine, and a few Diasporan conlangs began to emerge as I starting plotting The Korpes File Series. To clarify, the Diasporan are made up from a multi-heritage population, living as refugees in the two countries the first two books explore. Each Diasporan city has a core population based off one of the groups and their ‘Slang’ is a blending of their original language, mixed with words picked up in the 300+ years they’ve shared space. It’s joked in the series that the only thing you can guarantee everyone will understand are the swearwords and a few of the common religious phrases.
- Are you ticklish? If so where?
I know this will never come back to haunt me – my ribs.
About J. I. Rogers