Devi Morris isn’t your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. It’s a combination that’s going to get her killed one day – but not just yet.
That is, until she just gets a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn’t misnamed: it likes to get into trouble, so much so that one year of security work under its captain is equal to five years everywhere else. With odds like that, Devi knows she’s found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her Plan. But the Fool doesn’t give up its secrets without a fight, and one year on this ship might be more than even Devi can handle.
If Sigouney Weaver in Alien met Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica, you’d get Deviana Morris — a hot new mercenary earning her stripes to join an elite fighting force. Until one alien bite throws her whole future into jeopardy.
Devi Morris wants nothing more in life than to become a Devastator – the elite personal guard of the King of Paradox himself. So when an opportunity comes knocking to drop ten years from the wait, Devi follows it, and becomes security detail on the Glorious Fool. The only problem is, the Fool is notorious for being cursed. Crewmen don’t live long on her jobs, despite her being a trading ship. Still, nothing is more stubborn than a mercenary’s ambition (or at least this mercenary) and Devi’s dream is on its course – until she starts hearing screams that short out her powered armour, screams cried by invisible tentacled monsters and killed only by vacant little girls and faceless black aliens. But Deviana Morris is nothing if not adaptable, and these things she can overlook.
That is, until she starts seeing glowing, translucent, many-legged bugs immune to time, space, and atmosphere.
Bugs that no one else can see.
This is one job that’s going to stretch her to the limit, unlike any other. Continue reading →
“Anything that denotes the colour of blood we consider unsacred. Nobody wears or paints anything red.”
Macready laughed and ran a hand through his hair. “Should’ve left me on the ship, Commander. Apparently I’m bad luck.”
Alison grinned and opened her mouth to retort, but before she could make a sound a low rumble jarred the floor. The blue glow of the holographs flickered and jumped, and a yellow light switched on overhead.
“What was that?” Alison asked.
M’Jin’s brows furrowed even deeper and she studied the yellow glow for a long moment.
“What does the light mean?” Macready said. He was losing patience; Alison could hear it in his voice.
“Yellow is for a storm that has breached the integrity of the city’s barriers,” she said, shaking her head. “But there was no warning of a storm that bad today and we were not warned of any sort of test.”
“What could—” But before she could finish her thought, static issued through the speaker in her ear, followed by a male voice she recognized.
“Commander, do you read me?”
“We’ve got a problem.”
Alison touched a hand to her ear, hating the flimsy comm system there. The setup in their helmets was infinitely more sophisticated. “What is it?”
“—yellow lights everywhere,” Hawthorne said, voice crackling in and out of the static. “M’Kra—ey say it’s a shield breach, but the storm isn’t—” Continue reading →
Alison brushed back her short, sandy blonde hair with one hand and pulled a tight hood overtop, before fitting the helmet snugly over her head. “All set, boys?” she asked.
“Yes, ma’am.” Hawthorne’s voice was tinny in her ear, coming through the speaker on their communication channel. Through the visor of her helmet, she could see him doing a strange little dance as he finished strapping together the exoskeleton.
Tom Warren and Kieran Macready sat on the bench opposite her, already prepared and strapping themselves in. It was impossible to tell who was who when they wore their helmets; only the names etched on the breastplates of their matching armour made it possible for her to tell them apart.
“I’ve set the course for Sarkoth’s main city and port, ma’am,” Oakes said from the cockpit. “H’Krin, looks like. Strap in. It won’t be an easy ride once we’ve entered the atmosphere.”
Hawthorne grabbed her elbow to steady her as the shuttle lifted off the ground with a whirr. “Better have a seat, Commander,” he said, his voice in her ear and his grin visible behind their helmets. Alison laughed and settled on the bench between him and Macready.
“At least he can’t pinch your bum in these suits, eh, ma’am?” Macready teased. Hawthorne growled and lunged over to smack him, but Alison sat between them and shoved his shoulder before he could strike.
“Hormones, boys,” she scolded, mocking. “Keep yourselves in check. I doubt the beren like naughty humans.” Continue reading →