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Blog Tour: The Cronian Incident by Matthew Williams @storybywill @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #TheCronianIncident #Scifi

To celebrate the upcoming release of the final installment of The Formist series, we’re going back to where it all started in The Cronian Incident! 

Read on for details, excerpt, and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

The Cronian Incident by Matthew Williams
(The Formist #1)
Genre: Science Fiction
Publication Date: September 2017

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Jeremiah Ward was just another convict, a disgraced investigator who once worked the Martian beat, now serving his sentence in a mining colony on Mercury. When a member of a powerful faction goes missing on Titan, Ward is given an opportunity he cannot pass up. In exchange for investigating the disappearance of this figure, he gets a clean slate and a second chance.

But, the deeper Ward digs the more secrets he finds. Instead of investigating a missing person’s case he becomes embroiled in a centuries-old conspiracy and Ward comes to realize his one shot at redemption may cost him his life.

Prologue

They stood two by two. In standard squad formation, moving onto their target area.

In front, Bern and Valeri stood, there arms held squarely at their sides. Durand could see that their hands were twitching. Valeri was attempting to hide it by crossing her arms and tapping out the rhythm of some unheard melody against her bicep. Bern however couldn’t decide what to do with his hands, and kept wiping them against his trouser legs.

Durand and Chayond were fortunate that way. In their hands, the equipment bags hung. Though relatively light, they were just burdensome enough to require both hands to carry them. They did not have to worry about idle hands or telltale signs of nervousness as they waited for the elevator to finish descending.

“Remember, no talking,” said Valeri, reminding them as the elevator came to a stop. The doors slid open to admit them to the station’s main hub. Bern nodded forward, and the four stepped out onto the platform.

Evening was now upon them, with several bright lights shining down from the station’s vaulted ceiling. Through the station’s dome, a thick grey haze was just visible. The faint traces of light reflected off of Saturn’s disc turned what would have been the black night into a deep, murky twilight.

The four of them were quickly swallowed up by the din of chatter, footsteps, and the sounds of a computerized voice making announcements in Anglish, Franz, Deutsch, Chin and Swahili.

The station was filled with hundreds of locals milling about, moving from one transit lane to another. Few paid them any attention as they walked through the crowds. Why should they? To onlookers, the group’s blue and orange coveralls designated them as maintenance staff. To all recording devices and sensors in the area, their ID tags also designed them as such.

Still, Chayond felt a tinge of panic every time the bag he carried rattled. None of their party would fare too well if they were stopped for inspection. Chayond felt himself looking at the few Gendarmes mixed in with the commuters out of the corner of his eye. If Bern saw him, she would certainly backhand him across the face. Of course, she would wait until they were no longer in public before doing so.

It seemed to take a terribly long time to cross the main floor. At the far end, they began to descend a flight of stairs, and Chayond felt a little better. The bag was rattling louder, luckily it was being drowned out by the whooshing noise of hypertrains coming and going inside their tubes. The dull, monotone computerized voice continued to announce the arrival and departure of trains, though it was becoming more difficult to hear. The noise was like a cushion that began to cloak their every move.

Valerni motioned to their left as they reached the bottom of the stairs. Commuter traffic continued to pour around them, which made maintaining their tight formation somewhat difficult. Still, they held in their two-by-two stance, moving towards the left track – and to the small door that led to the maintenance tunnel. No one followed them there. All the commuter traffic was drawn to the tubes and left what appeared to be a maintenance crew alone.

As soon as they were through the hatch, the noise stopped. The busy station was now sealed behind the pressure door. The only sounds now the gentle hissing of the tunnel’s pressure controls.  of course, Valeri’s commanding voice. Checking her chrono, she made a quick consult of their timetable.

“We’re on schedule,” she said. “Let’s keep it that way. Move out.”

The four collapsed into a single line, moving down the tight tunnel as quickly as they could. Durand threw the strap of his bag over his shoulder and Chayond did the same. Their steps became fast and heavy, their work boots striking hard against the metal grates that lined the floor. Heavy pipes and ducts controlling the settlements flow of fresh water and air whizzed by their heads. The high pressure and heat combined to make the going very uncomfortable.

Yet still, they moved. Rigid discipline and a clear purpose driving them onward. Until they reached their destination and set up, they could not relax.

When they finally came to the hatch that would admit them onto the platform that they wanted, they had all broken a good sweat. Only Valeri appeared to not be out of breath.

“Alright, pay attention because we don’t have time to dither.” Reaching into the pocket of her coveralls, she retrieved a small handheld. She held the transparent device up. Displayed on it was a single-frame. A man’s face.

“This is David Lee,” Valeri said. “He’s the Formist the Chandrasekhar’s sent on ahead to do their dirty work. Our intel says he’ll be travelling alone by the time he gets to the line. So that’s when we take him down.”

She tapped the screen. Lee’s image was replaced by a video feed of him standing with a woman. They stood close to each other, a degree of intimacy clearly implied by their body language.

“This is our contact. She is the one who provided us with Lee’s itinerary. According to her, Lee will be here at the time indicated, and he will be alone. However, if we find that they are together, then something’s gone wrong and we’ll need to take them both down. There can’t be any suspicion on her.”

“Who is she?” Durand asked.

Valeri shrugged. “Didn’t ask.  neither should you. All you need to know is, she’s not our target. If it comes down to it, we take them both down.  we leave her behind for the authorities to collect. Any other stupid questions?”

Durand was sufficiently shamed and shut up. Bern though had some thoughts on that score and offered them freely.

“Probably some just whore from the Yellow Light District. Point is, she’s a fucking patriot and gave us this information. So she’ll understand, I’m sure.”

All heads in the group nodded. A rumble shook the tube, indicating that a hypertrain was going by. It was nothing more than a passing tremor. No sound made it through the sealed pressure doors.

“That’ll be the 2115 to Cassini now,” she said, smiling. “Our Dr. Lee will be making the next one. Better suit up.”

Durand dropped his equipment bag on the ground, kneeling down to open it. Chayond did the same, placing his bag on the floor and separating the tabs on the seal. As Durand began removing their change of clothes, the others began to disrobe. The suits Durand passed out looked like something reptilian, scaly surfaces the same color as mercury. They were thin, no heavier than a stack of thermal blankets, with hoods at the top and small terminals on the left arms.

Valeri and Bern quickly became half-naked, their sweating frames glistening from the tube’s lighting. Quickly, they pulled the silver skins over their coveralls and began doing up all the clasps, sealing the suits around themselves and firing up the cells that powered them.

Durand tossed a suit aside for himself before handing one over to Chayond, who hesitated. His head was swimming from all the heat, the run had left him drained and full of endorphins. Still, he was aware enough to feel damn apprehensive. Accepting the suit seemed like a terrible step, one from which there was no turning back.

Durand noticed his hesitation. “Hey, you good?” he asked. Chayond glanced quickly in Valeri direction. She looked up from her suit to shoot him a look of disapproval and he quickly averted his eyes.

“Yeah, I’m good,” he replied, taking the suit in hand and unzipping his coveralls. Somehow, one look from Vslero was enough to silence any doubts, or enough to scare him into compliance.

A moment later, all four members of the team were suited up in their new vestments. Everything from their necks down was now covered in specialized material. Valeri pulled the last piece into place, pulling the hood up and covering her hair.

“Remember,” she admonished. “Make sure your sticks are charged just right. Too much, and his implants might rupture.  that’s the last thing we want.”

All heads nodded again. Chayond interpreted the mention of the sticks as an order to distribute them. Reaching down into the bag, he began pulling them out, one by one. Four slender truncheons, a small console on one side, contained a power indicator, an electrical port, and a few controls. He handed the first to Valeri, passed out the second and third, kept the fourth for himself.

Each team member inspected the sticks to ensure that they were set at exactly the right power level before sliding them neatly into the waistband of their outfits. Each stick connected with the suit’s internal power supply.

“Alright, let’s power them up,” ordered Valeri. “Let’s see if these things were worth the price.”

“Doubt that,” Bern said sarcastically. “ they still better work.”

As one, Bern, Durand and Chayond pulled the hoods up over their heads and engaged the suit’s power supply. Three low-frequency squeals sounded out in the tube, and where three men with silver skins stood, suddenly there were just three faces. The rest of their heads, like their bodies, were now cloaked in advanced stealth fields.

Valeri smiled. “Not bad.” She pulled her mask into place over her mouth and eyes and put her finger to the terminal on her arm. It took less than a second before she completely disappeared from view.

“How do I look?” she asked, her voice filtered and modulated by the mask.

“Like nothing at all,” replied Durand.

“Good.” She suddenly reappeared, removing the mask and hood. “Then be ready. If the target escapes, we may not get another chance. So make this one count.”

International Giveaway!!

To be entered to win a signed copy of The Cronian Incident Enter HERE!

Growing up in the 80s and 90s Matthew Williams was born in to science fiction. He enjoyed many of the infamous SF franchises of the time and read many of sci-fi’s most influential works. As an adult, Matt marvelled at those SF novels which stood the test of time, while making valuable observations of the human condition, and he decided to create his own novels.

As a professional writer for Universe Today, Matt is well-versed in many nerdy topics ranging from: spaceflight to terraforming, Earth sciences to physics, and the future of human space exploration. He has interviewed many of today’s top scientific minds and NASA personnel, and been a featured speaker at astronomy societies. His articles have appeared in such publications as Business Insider, Science Alert, Phys.org, HeroX, Pionic, Gizmodo, Futurism and IO9.

January 11th
Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Jessica Belmont (Spotlight) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

January 12th
Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com
@BrendaJeanCombs (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/brendajeancombs/
Bonnie Reads & Writes (Review) https://bonniereadsandwrites.wordpress.com
Rambling Reads (Spotlight/ Review to Follow After Tour) http://ramblingmads.com

January 13th
Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1
The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

January 14th
Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com
Sophril Reads (Spotlight) https://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://tsarinapress.com/blog/

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Reviews

Review: Love Machine: The guardians wanted something else… by N.H Aurelight

Book Review

Love Machine: The guardians wanted something else… by N.H Aurelight
Science Fiction

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Synopsis
In this year, 2050, among the humans on the streets, there are these very few others. Others who are made in the biggest technology company, AITA (artificial intelligence and technological advancements), what humans call, the guardians. They were crossbreeds of humans and animals which had the highest Intelligent Quotient (IQ)they were created to protect all citizens with their special abilities. However, they had one enemy. The citizens called them the poachers. They are from another company, The Royal AI. This company was the second most advanced company and they wanted all the glory of AITA. To win them over, The Royal AI had to prove themselves worthy and they resolved to hunting down the guardians to kill them all off. They have decided to start off with the head of the guardians, 7 different crossbreeds – Aurelia, Jiwon, Hye Kyo, Lena, Darren, Justin and lastly Richard. Aurelia, the chairwoman and Jiwon, the vice chairwoman. Hye Kyo and Lena, the advisors and the three males, heads of defense. Humans just did not understand one thing… These guardians they so often talk about did not want fame. They wanted something else…

What I thought
I received a copy of this book from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This book is written by a thirteen-year-old author, who has a lot of potential and I can not wait to see what they come up with in the future. However, this book was not for me. There is nothing wrong with the book, it was the language I just couldn’t jive with.

The concept of the story was interesting, however, the characters in the book are young and so the way they talk back and forth reflected that, and that just was not for me. This would be perfect for a teenager or a pre-teen to read.

I look forward to what this author puts out in the future they have a great imagination and a lot of potential.

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Reviews

Review: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

Book Review

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
Sci Fi, Space Opera

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Synopsis
Kira Navárez dreamed of life on new worlds.

Now she’s awakened a nightmare.

During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move.

As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human.

While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity’s greatest and final hope . . .”

What I Thought
Thank you Macmillan Audio and Netgalley for giving me an audio copy of this book for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When I heard that Christopher Paolini wrote a Sci-Fi book I was on the fence. I really liked his Eragon series and I wanted to give it a chance; however, I have never been interested in space opera books before. Then I watched a live stream of an interview and when I saw him talk about the book I just knew that I had to give it a chance. I preordered my physical copy and then later found the audiobook on Netgalley and I just had to get it.

When you look at this book it is very intimidating but be assured it is well worth it. This book is a standalone so no worries that by picking this one up you are committing to something bigger. This book is a slow burn story. Yes, there are some action-packed scenes however, for the most part, the story stays at the same pace. Personally, I really enjoyed that I am this is a 32-hour audiobook so the constant pacing was welcome. Plus Jennifer Hale was an amazing narrator.

I felt that this book gave me everything a book this size should: serious content, humor, companionship, and everyday life. I never felt like I was missing something.

Now in regards to Sci-Fi tropes and themes, I can not help you there. This is the first “space” book I have ever picked up so I can not tell you if they are done with new spins.

All in all I really liked this book and it is something I can see myself going back and picking up again.

If this book interests you in any way bite the bullet and pick it up. I think you will enjoy it.

My Rating: /5

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New Releases

September 2020 Books I’m Excited About

Books I'm Excited About

Hey Everyone!

A new month a new set of releases.  There are 4 books that are coming out this month that I am excited about.

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore
(A League of Extraordinary Women #2)
Genre: Regency Romance
Expected publication: September 1, 2020

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A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution – but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans…and her heart.

Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.

Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.

As Lucie tries to out-manoeuvre Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…

The Lost Book of the White by Cassandra Clare
(The Eldest Curses #2)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Expected publication: September 1, 2020

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Life is good for Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood. They’re living together in a fabulous loft, their warlock son, Max, has started learning to walk, and the streets of New York are peaceful and quiet—as peaceful and quiet as they ever are, anyway.

Until the night that two old acquaintances break into Magnus’s apartment and steal the powerful Book of the White. Now Magnus and Alec will have to drop everything to get it back. They need to follow the thieves to Shanghai, they need to call some backup to accompany them, and they need a babysitter.

Also, someone has stabbed Magnus with a strange magical weapon and the wound is glowing, so they have that to worry about too.

Fortunately, their backup consists of Clary, Jace, Isabelle, and newly minted Shadowhunter Simon. In Shanghai, they learn that a much darker threat awaits them. Magnus’s magic is growing unstable, and if they can’t stop the demons flooding into the city, they might have to follow them all the way back to the source—to the very realm of the dead. Can they stop the threat to the world? Will they make it back home before their kid completely wears out Alec’s mom?

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Expected publication: September 15, 2020

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A brand new space opera on an epic scale from the New York Times bestselling author of a beloved YA fantasy series.

It was supposed to be a routine research mission on an uncolonized planet. But when xenobiologist Kira Navárez finds an alien relic beneath the surface of the world, the outcome transforms her forever and will alter the course of human history.

Her journey to discover the truth about the alien civilization will thrust her into the wonders and nightmares of first contact, epic space battles for the fate of humankind, and the farthest reaches of the galaxy.

Crush by Tracy Wolff
(Crave #2)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal
Expected publication: September 29th 2020

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Everything feels off―especially me. I’ve returned to Katmere Academy, but I’m haunted by fragments of days I have no recollection of living and struggling to understand who, or what, I really am.

Just when I start to feel safe again, Hudson is back with a vengeance. He insists there are secrets I don’t know about, threatening to drive a wedge between Jaxon and me forever. But far worse enemies are at our doorstep.

The Circle is caught in a power play and the Vampire Court is trying to drag me out of my world and into theirs. The only thing Hudson and Jaxon agree on is that leaving Katmere would mean my certain death.

And not only am I fighting for my life, but now everyone else’s is at stake―unless we can defeat an unspeakable evil. All I know is that saving the people I love is going to require sacrifice.

Maybe more than I’m able to give.

The Crave series is best enjoyed in order.

Are there any books that you are looking forward to this month?

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen:

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars
by Christopher Paolini
Genre: Science Fiction
Expected Publication: September 15, 2020
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Kira Navárez dreamed of life on new worlds.

Now she’s awakened a nightmare.

During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move.

As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human.

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New Releases

Book Blitz: Defense of Exeter Station by Thom Bedford @ThomBedford and @Shalini_G26

The Defense of Exeter Station
by Thom Bedford
Publication Date: June 27, 2020
Genre: Sci-fi, Space Opera
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Amazon US | Amazon UK | Website

At the turn of the twenty-ninth century, the Milky Way is on the verge of a galactic war. The Combined Systems Alliance continues to expand their territory—much to the displeasure of the Free Planetary Union who, until now, lacked the resources to halt the encroachment. In a bid to wrest control from the Alliance and retake their former colonies, Union agents throughout the Alliance Fleet organize a mass insurgency seizing countless assets. During the ensuing chaos, numerous ships are decimated and millions of lives are lost.

Retired Alliance Commander Tanic Sandorn finds himself stranded on a border station after the Union launches an all-out assault. Fighting against anxieties from the incident that pushed him into early retirement, Sandorn accepts being recalled to active duty and propelled to the front lines. This time, he will protect his crew and the inhabitants of the Exeter star system from any approaching threat—never again will he leave anyone behind.

But outnumbered, outgunned, and outflanked, Exeter Station is left running at a fraction of its operating capacity. Sandorn and the Alliance officers on board must strategize quickly and carefully to hold their ground, or they will be forced to surrender the station, the system, and their lives.

For fans of epic space operas, like Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, Jasper T. Scott’s Dead Space series, and David Weber’s Honor Harrington series. 

Every crew member aboard the Veloz ran from stem to stern working tirelessly to patch every hole in the ship. The damage was critical to the point that nearly half the ship had been evacuated. With so little power available, compartmental force fields were inoperable, leaving only a single fire door between repair crews and the vacuum of space in many areas.

Not a single deck was spared at least some devastation, for as the ship’s superstructure twisted and contorted under heavy firepower, panels came loose and circuits overloaded throughout resulting in debris littering every room and corridor. The floors weren’t only littered with discarded paneling and blown circuitry, but also injured, dying, and dead crew members. The initial unexpected surprise attack caused the most death and destruction, taking over a hundred lives. Then as the battle wore on, further loss of life was inevitable.

The victory was Pyrrhic, but it was a victory, nonetheless.

Thom grew up in suburban Cheshire, England with his parents and brother. During school he had a propensity for creativity, either writing, building models, painting, or programming. Every subject choice was motivated by creating and building, whether it be design technology, graphic design, programming, or creative writing.

After studying Computer Science at The University of Manchester, he started working as a Software Developer. Following in his father’s footsteps, he worked as a Technical Consultant in London for several years, then in Data Warehousing back in Manchester.

In his spare time, Thom still writes, build models, paints, and programs, but nowadays also listens to a lot of music, watches a lot of films, and enjoys playing computer games.

His love for science fiction comes from blockbuster films like Starship Troopers, Star Wars and Star Trek, as well as B-movies like Wing Commander, Pitch Black, and Iron Sky. Computer games like Homeworld, EVE-Online, and Stellaris, and books like Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, Jasper T. Scott’s Dead Space series, and David Weber’s Honor Harrington series. In other words, sci-fi—particularly space opera—in any media.

Thom currently lives in Cheshire, England, with his wife, Helen, and their two cats.

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New Releases

Book Blitz: Belters by Greg Alldredge @MrAlldredge @Shalini_G26

Belters
Belters by Greg Alldredge
(Tales from Far Reach Station Book 1)
Genre:  Science Fiction
Publication Date: June 2, 2020

While humanity races toward the stars…

…They never expected to find company.

The Earth is dying, fractured by conflict, pollution, and disease. Old divisions make the jump to space. Can they survive?

Life spreads, as the Moon, Mars, and Ceres all become hubs for human expansion. Earth provides an ever-ready source of bodies willing to risk all for space.

For the wheelchair-bound Jacob, a chance to leave proves a no brainer…

… Freedom waits for him. Zero gravity becomes his great equalizer.

All is not bliss. Secretive corporations call the shots. Humankind struggles to find a place in the dark, free of Earth’s influence.

An unexplained gamma-ray burst threatens the delicate balance. Weapon, alien, or terrestrial, the cause must be discovered.

Three unlikely ships join together in an extraordinary interplanetary adventure. All to seek the truth and discover what lies beyond.

Follow humanity as they make a leap to the stars, long before discovering Far Reach Station.

Get Belters now.

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Excerpt

Two-liter paint cans were lobbed at the front of the car, covering the front windshield and blocking Lea’s view of the gate into the CBD.

Without help, she would be lucky to reach the safety behind the wall. If the sensors on the car were disabled, she would be screwed. No matter how thick the armor, a determined attack would eventually find a way inside.

A series of pops and white plumes of smoke was the only indication help was on the way. Despite the heavy filtration system of the vehicle, she tasted the sting of pepper spray. Guards on the wall covered her approach.

Never to let passengers stress out over the environment, the car increased the oxygen level in the cabin while turning up the volume of the insipid relaxation music. “Remain calm, the situation is under control.” The inane mechanical voice spoke softly to her.

Today wasn’t the day she’d be pulled from the safety of her ride to be murdered in the streets by club-wielding thugs. Though she expected that might be the way she one day would meet her end.

Lea relaxed slightly. The way to the CBD cleared under the rain of teargas canisters. The defenders of the gate moved to suppress the crowd. A line of plexiglass shields and truncheons marched toward the transport.

On the wall, mounted water cannons poised to strike the mob with high-pressure jets of saltwater.

Lea’s celebration proved to be short-lived. An explosion rocked the car. The storefront next to the gate erupted in a flash, shredding protesters and defenders alike before her eyes. Lea could no longer hear the hum of the drive wheels. The ringing in her ears covered all other sounds. The steady ring of automatic fire pummeled the walls of her chariot.

Author Bio

IMG_2368 (2)
Greg Alldredge grew up reading all the excellent Science Fiction and Fantasy of the past decades. He hopes to add his voice, in a small way, to the giants of the genres. He wants to write stories he himself would want to read and hopes to be successful as a storyteller first.

He is currently living out of a suitcase, with his wife Connie and no pets. They travel too much. Please enjoy the journey.

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