Here is a little raw and unedited snippet from my second book in the Crow series: Crow – Betrayal. Here is a little glimpse of an encounter between Steven’s main antagonist – Laurence, and a Cooperative Chaser sent to give him tools that would enable him to complete his mission against Steven. Laurence is my favorite antagonist in this series.
Laurence meets Miryam
Suddenly Laurence froze. He sensed the slightest movement behind him. In an instant he had his pistol in his hand, swinging around to acquire a target. A petite hand grabbed the weapon before he could get it in position and effortlessly ripped it from his grasp. He followed through with a jab from his other arm, only to have it parried hard enough to knock him around. As Laurence spun, he fired off a kick and it met something. But before he could follow through he was hit hard enough to see stars. Oblivious of the pain, Laurence ducked low and whirled around, prepared for another attack. But, he abruptly didn’t have anything to hit.
Confused, Laurence looked around only to be slammed bodily and knocked into the closet. He briefly blacked out and woke up hanging in the air by his neck. Before he could kick out he was thrown across the bed into the radiator. Laurence shook his head, dazed, and tried to get to his feet. His assailant just stood there casually, as if she was a friend visiting.
“I thought the Order were supposed to be genetically engineered super soldiers,” she said, smirking. She looked at the top of her hand and wiped it on her pants as she regarded him critically.
“You’re an alien,” Laurence croaked as he automatically began sizing the situation up. He deemed that he would probably not survive the encounter, but was determined that she wouldn’t either.
“No. You are.”
Laurence blinked and the next thing he knew, she had him face down on the floor. She moved so fast he couldn’t remember being thrown down. The woman leaned close to him and sniffed. “You smell like Venda.”
Laurence squirmed under her vice-like grip. “You don’t smell so…” He shook his head. “I take that back. You smell peachy.”
The woman smiled and in an instant she was several feet away, regarding him curiously. “I don’t know what he sees in you. Our weakest Chaser proselyte could defeat you. And you, you’re supposed to kill the deviant?”
Laurence blinked as he rolled over painfully and got up to his knees. “What the… What are you? Are you Sadari?”
The laugh was genuine. Laurence apparently struck a nerve. The woman shook her head, wiping her eyes as she fought to bring her mirth under control. “I’m a human.”
“No, I’m human,” Laurence said, shaking his head.
“Wrong. You’re Terran.” The woman smiled. “I was hoping for, well, for more. You’re supposed to be their fiercest warrior.”
“Well, we’re not done yet.” Laurence laughed then winced as he reached for his desk to keep from falling over.
“You cannot contain the deviant.”
“Deviant?” Laurence looked at her.
“It is called Steven Crow.”
“Ah, you’re a friend of his.” Laurence waggled a finger at her.
“No. It is to be terminated. And you’re supposed to do it.”
“You know, every time we get close to Steven, things get broken. Big things,” Laurence said, squinting at her, trying to make sense of just what agenda she was pushing.
She smiled and reached into her bag. “These should help.” She tossed a handful of knit caps on the bed. Laurence looked at them, incredulous.
“You’re kidding, right?”
“According to my master, it nullifies deviants for a little while. And Gatekeepers. Keeps them from gating.” She looked at the caps, frowning. “They should not exist. We were given orders to destroy all Sadari artifacts. But it’s the only way you will be able to defeat Steven.”
“And you get what?” Laurence asked as he stood up.
“It’s just another day in my job.” She crossed her arms. “Baiting doesn’t work with this deviant. And Gatekeepers cannot work here. I can only go a few feet. So you need these.”
“Who are you?” Laurence picked up one of the knit caps.
“You can call me Miryam.”
“Well, Miryam, nice to fight you.” Laurence looked at her, grinning.
Miryam smiled. “That wasn’t a fight. Our kids play harder than that.”
“So, you’re going to stick around and help me bag this deviant?” Laurence turned a cap over in his hands.
“Our intelligence hints that you are a very exclusive organization. You don’t play well with others. Besides, I think you should be able to handle one boy on your own.” Miryam looked at Laurence sideways.
“If you only knew,” Laurence grinned. He looked around the hotel room then looked back. Miryam was gone. Laurence sighed. “Figures.” He glanced at his surveillance display and watched her walk by a hall camera casually, glancing up at the camera as she did. The feed cut abruptly and Laurence sat down, shaking his head.
Book 2: Crow – Acceptance is still under revision and editing, however Book 1: Crow – The Awakening is available at…