Tesla’s Stepdaughters – Chapter 7 Excerpt

Tesla's StepdaughtersAfter breakfast, Andrews ordered a cab which drove them to a large park a short distance away. Atlanta was a beautiful city with white buildings and blue skies, a stark contrast to the smoky and black cities of the north. The city park was filled with trees and fountains, with a winding path wandering through them and eventually circling around to where it began. Just beyond the path was the playground with ten or twelve children spinning on the merry-go-round, sliding down the metal slide only to run around and back up to slide down again, or swinging in singles or pairs. Andrews watched for a moment, all the time it took to determine that all the children were girls.

“Shall we take a stroll around?”

Ruth nodded.

They slowly made the circuit of the park, enjoying the sun on their skin.

“This is kind of strange,” said Ruth.

“What is?”

“I haven’t seen any black faces since we arrived in Atlanta—not in the airport, not at the hotel, and not here at the park.”

“I hadn’t noticed.”

“Well, you wouldn’t, would you? In Chicago, maybe one in ten women was of African descent. Even in New York…”

“Well, there are black people in this region, right? They didn’t all move north during the Great War?”

“A lot of them did move, enough for historians to call it the Great Migration anyway. But yes, there should still be some here.”

They had just about completed the circuit and were approaching the playground again, when Andrews saw two Atlanta police officers walking across the grass toward them. Placing his hand on Ruth’s lower back, he altered their course slightly toward them. Both officers were women, wearing blue uniforms with six pointed stars and leather-billed eight point caps.

“Hold it right there, ladies,” said one of the cops, lazily laying a hand on her sidearm.

Andrews moved his hand to Ruth’s stomach and gently moved her behind him.

“Science Police,” he said, loudly.

The two officers stopped, their eyes opening, though whether startled by the tone of his voice or by the statement of his affiliation, it was impossible to say.

“Do you have some identification to that effect… um, sir?” asked the one who had spoken before in a pronounced southern accent.

Andrews carefully withdrew his wallet from his right breast pocket, and holding it open so that both the picture ID and the badge were in clear view, he stepped toward them.

“Alright, Agent Andrews. We were just checking out a call.”

“A call about what?”

“A citizen reported two suspicious-looking people in the park.”

“Suspicious-looking because they thought I was a woman dressed like a man, or because of her color?”

The officer looked like she had something foul in her mouth. She said. “The colored women usually frequent the park on the other side of the train tracks.”

“The other side of the tracks… how… cliché. Segregation is illegal. The Science Council outlawed it in 1963.”

“We don’t work for your Science Council…” the other officer started, but was silenced when the first raised her hand.

“There’s no segregation here. They just usually spend their time at the other park. You have a nice day now.” She turned and started back toward the black and white Packard beside the road. Her partner stood for just a minute, as though she wanted to say something else, then she too headed back toward the cruiser.

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Tesla’s Stepdaughters – Chapter 6 Excerpt

Tesla's StepdaughtersThe last known residence of Miss Athena Kesting was in Bolingbrook, which with traffic took almost forty minutes to reach. The quaint little village was covered by a large glass and steel dome to protect residents from the acrid smoke and acid rain that was the bane of the Midwest. The address in question proved to be huge house on a large, fenced estate.

“Not what I was expecting,” commented Loginova, as she pulled the car up the driveway, passed extensive gardens.

The two agents parked and got out. On either side of the front door were life-sized marble statues of women in long flowing dresses. Andrews knocked, using the brass door knocker, and when the door opened, he was surprised to find a woman who was the spitting image of the statue on the left.

“Good morning,” said Loginova, showing her badge. “We would like to speak to Miss Athena Kesting.”

“Oh. She doesn’t live here anymore.”

“Can you give us her forwarding address?”

“Won’t you come in please?”

The two agents entered a home that was as opulent inside as the outside had hinted. Passing through a foyer covered in rich wood paneling, they entered a stunningly decorated living room and sat down on a beautiful antique sofa. Two other women were seated when they came in, but both rose to their feet.

“Inga, would you ask Mr. Larkin to come down?” asked the woman with whom they had entered. “My husband will very much want to speak with you.”

A few minutes later, the gentleman in question entered the room. He was an average looking man, wearing casual though expensive clothes. He was slightly balding, something that he had chosen not to try to cover up by combing his hair over.

“Good Morning,” he said, shaking hands with both agents. “I’m Evan Larkin, and these are my wives Elke Lom-Larkin, Angelina Redmond-Larkin, and Inga Lom-Larkin.”

“Agent Andrews, and this is Agent Loginova.”

“So what can we do for you,” Larkin asked sitting down across from them. Elke sat to his right, while Angelina and Inga stood behind them.

“They are here about Athena,” said Elke

“Oh yes. Well, no surprises there. She was a troubled girl, I’m afraid.”

“What was your relationship with Miss Kesting?” asked Andrews.

“We were engaged. My wives thought that she might fit in with us here, so she moved in for a trial period. I’m afraid it was not to be though. She left, what has it been now? Six months ago.”

“Do you have a forwarding address?”

“Inga will find that for you. May I ask why you are looking for her?”

“I’m afraid we can’t say. It involves an ongoing investigation.”

“I see. Well, it’s no stretch of the imagination that it involves Athena’s strong feelings. She was brought up in a very religious community in Idaho.”

“They were very strict adherents to morality and believers in a patriarchal lifestyle,” said Elke. “That’s why we thought she might fit in here.”

“And you are all adherents to a patriarchal lifestyle?” asked Loginova.

“Not really,” replied Elke. “We’re more of a pragmatic family. We just thought that having grown up that way, Athena would fit in. It just didn’t work out. She was far too inflexible.”

“She thought that everyone had to believe the way she did,” added Angelina.

Andrews felt rather than saw Loginova cast a glance in his direction.

“Would you ladies mind if I spoke to Agent Andrews alone in my study?” asked Larkin.

Not waiting for a reply, he stood up and started for a door in the back of the room. He turned to see that Andrews was following him, and said. “Inga will get that forwarding address for you, Agent Loginova.”

The study was a spacious room with large windows looking out over a huge swimming pool and beautiful lawn behind the house. There was a large cherry wood desk near the back of the room and shelves filled with books along the wall.

“Would you like a drink?” asked Larkin.

“No, thank you.”

“Have you had a drink yet?”

Andrews grunted noncommittally.

“I was off the enclave for over a year before I took a drink. When was the last time you were there?”

Tesla’s Stepdaughters – Newly revised, edited, and updated!

Tesla’s Stepdaughters has been updated with a number of typographical mistakes fixed.  This new 5th Anniversary Edition also includes the complete guide to the world and music of the Ladybugs.  If you have previously purchased this book, you should be able to download this new 5th Anniversary Edition free from the ebook store from which you purchased it.  If you haven’t yet experienced this bitchin’ rock’n’roll, sic-fi, steampunky, detective adventure, now is the time to do so.  It’s just 99 cents wherever fine ebooks are sold.
In an alternate 1975, where men are almost extinct due to germ warfare, someone is trying to kill history’s greatest rock & roll band. It falls to Science Police Agent John Andrews, only recently arrived from the distant male enclaves, to protect them. As the band continues their come-back tour across North America, Andrews must negotiate a complicated relationship with Ep!phanee, the band’s lead singer; drummer Ruth De Molay, bassist Steffie Sin, and the redheaded clone lead guitarist Penny Dreadful, as he protects them and tries to discover who wants to kill the Ladybugs.

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Tesla's StepdaughtersIn an alternate 1975, where men are almost extinct due to germ warfare, someone is trying to kill history’s greatest rock & roll band. It falls to Science Police Agent John Andrews, only recently arrived from the distant male enclaves, to protect them. As the band continues their come-back tour across North America, Andrews must negotiate a complicated relationship with Ep!phanee, the band’s lead singer; drummer Ruth De Molay, bassist Steffie Sin, and the redheaded clone lead guitarist Penny Dreadful, as he protects them and tries to discover who wants to kill the Ladybugs.

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Tesla's StepdaughtersIn a world where men are almost extinct, someone is trying to kill history’s greatest rock & roll band. Science Police Agent John Andrews must negotiate a complicated relationship with Ep!phanee, the band’s lead singer; drummer Ruth De Molay, bassist Steffie Sin, and the redheaded clone lead guitarist Penny Dreadful, as he protects them and tries to discover who wants to kill the Ladybugs.

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Tesla's StepdaughtersIn an alternate 1975, where men are almost extinct due to germ warfare, someone is trying to kill history’s greatest rock & roll band. It falls to Science Police Agent John Andrews, only recently arrived from the distant male enclaves, to protect them. As the band continues their come-back tour across North America, Andrews must negotiate a complicated relationship with Ep!phanee, the band’s lead singer; drummer Ruth De Molay, bassist Steffie Sin, and the redheaded clone lead guitarist Penny Dreadful, as he protects them and tries to discover who wants to kill the Ladybugs.

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Tesla's StepdaughtersIn a world where men are almost extinct, someone is trying to kill history’s greatest rock & roll band. Science Police Agent John Andrews must negotiate a complicated relationship with Ep!phanee, the band’s lead singer; drummer Ruth De Molay, bassist Steffie Sin, and the redheaded clone lead guitarist Penny Dreadful, as he protects them and tries to discover who wants to kill the Ladybugs.

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