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The Spectator's Gambit: Part. 1, Chapter 1

by HB1103

The Spectator’s Gambit


From Professor Sideris ('The Spectator')

What is my biggest motivation in Life? Money, power? No, those are a fool's motivation. My top motivation is the feeling of being able to say, ‘It was me.’ Sure, it mean I'd be confessing to my cries and would send me behind bars. But, I've always had an insatiable desire to be the mastermind behind every great feat, to push the boundaries of what is possible and achieve what others believe is impossible. Soon, my legacy will live on for eternity, like the great Achilles. But what is it all worth in the end?

Perhaps it's time to reassess my priorities and seek out some human connection. People that can carry out my plans precisely as ordered, people who have nothing to lose, people who will blindly follow my lead without question. However, finding such individuals is not an easy task. It requires patience, cunning, and an understanding of the human psyche. But once I find my loyal followers, this world will be at my mercy, and I will be the one moving the pawns. Together, we will achieve things beyond our wildest imaginations and leave a mark on this world that will never be forgotten. The world will finally know that It Was Me.

Chapter 1: Homecoming

It was midnight. Special Agent Daniel Espinosa was driving through the winding roads of California back home. The aching exhaustion from a week's worth of intense investigation in New York had him grasping for any semblance of comfort, and the mellifluous melodies of Billie Holiday's jazz ballads emanating from the radio offered a momentary respite from his lingering fatigue. To tell the truth, Daniel was a bit upset that his wife and son, Jacob, weren’t waiting for him at the airport when he arrived. The melancholy of his lonely journey was only exacerbated by the knowledge that his prolonged absences had numbed them to his departures and arrivals. Arriving home, he got out of his Rover and knocked on the door. He looked down and waited. It was no use; his family were probably asleep by now. Fumbling in his pockets for his keys, the door suddenly swung open abruptly, and he saw his wife and son at the door.

“Daniel! You’re back!” Eleanor Rhode, Daniel’s wife exclaimed.

“Yep, finally,” Daniel smiled, trying to conceal his exhaustion. “Hey there kiddo! How’s it going?”

“Good dad,” Jacob said with a yawn, “I missed you.”

“Missed you too little guy. Now, you better go sleep. It’s way past your bedtime and you got school tomorrow.”

“Aw, dad!” Jacob pouted, making his way trudging slowly up the stairs, “G’Night then!”

Daniel looked up and smiled at him. Once Jacob was gone, he turned to his wife, Lauren, who stood there, arms folded, and head tilted, her eyes fixed on him with intensity.

“Well, what?” She asked.

“Oh, uh nothing. ‘Was just remembering New York. It’s good to be home,” Daniel smiled. The weight of his job often made him feel like he was living in a different world, disconnected from his family and the life he so dearly cherished.

The next day, as Daniel was dropping his son off at school, he felt a sense of relief that he was able to take the day off.

“Bye dad! Will you pick me up after school?” Jacob asked as he jumped out of the car.

"Of course, kiddo! Have fun at school, okay?” Daniel said, smiling.

“I will dad!”

Daniel watched as his son walked off into the crowd, the sound of his little footsteps fading into the distance. At that moment, Daniel’s phone buzzed. It was a message from his work partner, Mr. Patrowski.

“Daniel Espinosa,” the message read, “We need you at the FBI Office immediately. When can you arrive.”

Daniel frowned; he couldn’t even take a single day off.

“What’s the issue?” he replied.

“Just tell me when you can arrive, how long will it take?” Mr. Patrowski responded, almost instantly.

Daniel heaved a sigh and typed, "50 minutes."

As Daniel made his way towards the towering edifice of the FBI offices, his eyes were drawn upwards towards the magnificence of the structure. It was a behemoth of a building, a proud symbol of the United States, standing tall and resplendent amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. Memories of his time as a humble, naive intern came flooding back to him, when he first learned of the building's significance and the weight of the responsibility that came with being a part of such an esteemed institution. Entering the building and into the gleaming lobby, he made his way towards the polished silver elevator. The smooth metal doors slid open effortlessly as he approached, and he stepped inside, taking a deep breath. The walls were covered in sleek, black marble, and the air was tinged with the scent of fresh flowers.

“Morning Daniel!” a cheerful voice called out from behind him, causing him to turn around. It was Espinosa, one of his colleagues, who was standing a few feet away with a wide grin on his face.

Daniel nodded at him.

“G’day Espinosa!”

Daniel smiled.

As soon as he stepped out of the elevator, he was greeted by a swarm of people from the Department of Criminal Investigation, most noticeably his colleague Mr. Patrowski who was shaking his hand and greeting him and leading him to his office.

“Daniel! Welcome, welcome!” Mr. Patrowski repeated, “You look different, did you get a new tattoo? How’s our Second-Best Agent?”

“Cut to the chase please,” Daniel said firmly, he was still annoyed he had to go to work at such short notice.

"Right, Daniel," Mr. Patrowski replied, clasping his hands together in a gesture of excitement. "We're going to Washington!"

Daniel raised his eyebrows, intrigued by the way his work-partner had phrased it, as if they were visiting the President himself.

"...for a rather interesting case."

Daniel glowered, the prospect of another investigation leaving him feeling drained.

"A billionaire was found dead in his office this morning," Mr. Patrowski continued. "We have reason to suspect that this was a murder."

"Carry on," Daniel said, resigned to his fate.

Mr. Patrowski leaned forward, his voice lowering to a whisper. "This man was known for his lavish parties, extravagant lifestyle, and a few shady deals. Our job is to find out who had the motive and the means to kill him."

Daniel nodded thoughtfully, his mind already racing with possibilities. "What's our first step?"

"We start by interviewing his closest associates and family members. I've already arranged a meeting with his brother tomorrow morning."

Just then, Daniel's phone started ringing. It was his wife, Eleanor.

"Give me a second," Daniel said, gesturing for Mr.Patrowski to wait.

"Who's calling?" Mr. Patrowski asked, his curiosity getting the better of him.

"My wife," Daniel replied, trying to keep the irritation out of his voice.

"Oh, uh, good luck," Mr. Patrowski said awkwardly, retreating to the corner of the room.

"Daniel!" Lauren's voice echoed through the phone. "Where are you?"

"Lauren, look. I got a message from Patrowski saying that I must go to Washington for a case."

"Seriously? You just came back from New York! Can't you take a break?" Lauren spluttered.

"Look, you know what? Why don't you and Jacob come with me? You guys can stay in the hotel. It can be like a little holiday," Daniel suggested, desperate to see his family after spending so much time away.

"A-are you sure?" Eleanor replied, her voice obviously nervous.

"I'll negotiate with Patrowski to get you to come on the same plane as me," he said, his voice steady and composed. He hung up and started to exhale slowly, turning around to look at his colleague.

"Patrowski, my family is coming with me to Washington," Daniel announced, turning round to tell him. The weight of the decision sat heavy on his chest as he waited for his partner's reaction.

Mr. Patrowski looked confused, furrowing his brows in disbelief. Daniel could see the disbelief etched on his face, his eyes darting around the room as if searching for a solution to this unexpected problem.

“B-but that’s not protocol!” he cried, waving his arms in frustration. Daniel could feel his heart racing as the tension mounted between them.

“Tell the Head of Department that I won’t be able to work my best without my family with me, I just came back from New York! A Private Jet would be fine, I'm the boss of this mission,” he said, his tone firm and unwavering.

Patrowski frowned, his mind racing as he tried to find a way to make this work. He knew his partner would be mad if he didn’t do as he said, and the pressure was mounting.

“I- I’ll see what I can do,” he stammered, turning to leave.

“Wait,” Daniel said, his back to Patrowski as he gazed out of the window. The sunlight filtered through the leaves of the trees, casting intricate patterns on the wall.

“What?” Patrowski asked, his voice tense.

“Who did you say we’re going to interview tomorrow?” Daniel asked, his eyes still fixed on the beauty of the natural world outside.

“A...” Patrowski turned again and strode to his desk, his footsteps echoing in the silence. He rifled through the files on his desk, his movements quick. “A Professor... Professor J. Sideris,”

Daniel Above Mr. Patrowski Above

Writer's Note:

Hey there! This is my first time writing a novel and I've only just begun, I hope y'all liked it and I'd really appreciate any suggestions for improvement. Chapter. 2 Coming Soon!

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173 Reviews

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Reviews: 173

Sun Jun 04, 2023 8:26 am
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DreamyAlice wrote a review...

Hey HB1103, Alice here to give a review!


I could already see that you are very passionate about your first novel, you did a great job! The story is gripping and the prologue is neat and direct. The pacing was perfect with the scenes and the storyline. As it was the first chapter you hinted few things and left it for the following chapters. Overall a well thought and structured chapter, nice!


Your narration is marvelous, there was no hecticness and the fashion of your narration was immaculate. The plot is easy to grab people's attention. A lunatic professor is wanting to leave an impression on the world with a big move, wanting followers, a classic.


The tone, pacing, and format of your dialogues were perfect. Not very casual but not very bland as well. It fits with the atmosphere of your storyline and with the character.


I already am interested in the character of the professor, and he was well continued in the first chapter as we come to know they are going to interview him for the case. The character of Daniel as a busy man just wanting to have a rest was well expressed. The part of the wife was shown less but I guess we will get to know more about their relations in the next chapters. The only thing missing was dropping hints of their appearance maybe, like not much just single detail will help us as the audience to really feel immersed within your work. I like it better when it is done in the starting itself but no worries it's just a small detail.


There was absolutely nothing wrong with this chapter, I really liked it. This being your first novel is something really amazing cause it is hard to maintain the pacing in the first chapter, but I can see you really thought this through. A very solid start. Well done! Looking forward to the next chapters.

Keep Writing👍

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172 Reviews

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Reviews: 172

Sat Jun 03, 2023 7:30 pm
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Roxanne wrote a review...

Aloha @HB1103,

I had read this chapter of your story back in May, but had not reviewed it yet. And now I have come across it again, and I think it is time to leave a review with some shell-lightful insights...

First of all, congratulations on choosing an appealing title, as that would be the main reason I decided to read the beginning of your novel. A good title is one of the many things that go into great novels, it already gives a great insight into what the novel is about and usually leaves the reader with several questions that could lead to mysterious answers with twists and turns.

The fact that you included pictures in your work also gives the reader a better idea of the novel, or in this case, the characters. And you definitely made a good choice by choosing pictures of famous actors. Assuming that you chose the pictures based on the characters, it also helps to understand the character better because the personality of the actors.

However, even if you include pictures, it is still very important to work on your character development. In this chapter, we did get a good look at Daniel's life. As someone who mostly likes to find the mystery in the story, I would like to believe that Daniel has a mysterious background, maybe how he got into the FBI. But it could also be that Daniel is just a normal FBI agent who faces various challenges, or the writer could have other mysterious plans...

One of the many secrets to attracting readers is a good title, which you already have, but also a good introduction, which you also have. I'm seriously impressed by this, because our Professor Sideris seems to have a rather fascinating view of the world, which could be considered hauntingly dangerous. I have to say that you have created a very unique character who, despite the fact that he may be the main antagonist in the story, is one of my favorite characters.

The pacing of the story is not really right in my opinion. You could have spent more time in the beginning to explain why Daniel's wife and son didn't pick him up at the airport, or in the scene where he comes home to give us a better idea of what his everyday life at home is like. The description of his house and more of the personality and appearance of his wife and son is also something I missed.
And when Daniel received his partner's texts, his partner seemed quite tense and serious, but when Daniel arrived at the FBI office, he didn't really seem tense and actually quite relaxed.
But for someone who has written the very first novel, I feel like this is a great start.

You have a mixture of several genres in this novel, most of which are my favorite genres, such as action/adventure, mystery, but also, thanks to our professor, thriller. Or should I say psychological thriller, one of my absolute favorites?

You have certainly created an incredible beginning to a novel that could become something very big and fascinating. And I am definitely excited to see where this is going. All the best with it!



Red Riddle Rose

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172 Reviews

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Reviews: 172

Sat Jun 03, 2023 7:28 pm
Roxanne says...

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229 Reviews

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Reviews: 229

Tue May 09, 2023 4:00 pm
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foxmaster says...

Good job! *applauds*👏

HB1103 says...

Thank you! :)

foxmaster says...


If fortis was here, we could have a teal party
— Pompadour