As I continue to celebrate the launch of my first sci-fi novel … ok, it’s more space opera and science anything, but you see where I’m going with it, I thought I would share the opening pages with you all.
I still love how this book came out, and I am enjoying playing with different ideas for the sequel.
Denreth was the third planet in the Beta Seven system: the environment was harsh and the inhabitants were even harsher. To survive the Denrethians had built a biosphere, a geodesic dome of energy which created a forcefield that sheltered them, and their city, from the hundred mile an hour winds, the biting cold and electrical storms.
Lucian Hawke, a bounty hunter and space traveller, had followed a lead on his target, Gelson Nandu. Lucian had been chasing Gelson for three months across four different planets, although technically the stop-off at the third moon was for supplies. He could smell that he was close to getting his man.
Dressed in combat-armour he walked into one of the city’s more down-to-earth bars. He headed over to a man he suspected of having information about Gelson. Without preamble he grabbed the man’s head and slammed him into the countertop with enough force to break his nose, and add a stream of blood to the pool of cheap whiskey gathering on the table.
“Tell me where I can find Gelson?” Lucian snarled.
“Fuck you!” the injured man growled.
“Have it your way”” Lucian’s voice had an aggressive tone to it. He dragged the man around the square bar, using the man’s face to clear the surfaces. Cheap spirits, and greasy glasses went flying in all directions.
The man tried to resist, but Lucian held his neck in an iron grip. By the time they’d made it back to where the fight had begun, the man’s face had been reduced to a mass of broken, bleeding flesh.
“I’m going to ask you again, where’s Gelson?” Lucian said, leaning in close, and whispering his question through clenched teeth. “I don’t have time for this crap.”
The man said nothing, but spat a wad of bloody spit, and a broken tooth, up at Lucian.
Leaning down but still holding onto his captive Lucian grabbed a cheap unlabelled and unbroken bottle of clear spirits, Lucian smashed it on the edge of the counter, moving to stab the man with its jagged remains.
“Come on man, he’ll kill me if I tell! the man cried, his words mumbled through fear and broken teeth.
“Well, I’ll kill you if you don’t. So why not tell me, and you can live a little longer. Help me catch this motherfucker, and put his head in a fucking noose.” The anger dropped from Lucian’s voice as he changed his tactics.
The man gasped as Lucian tightened his grip on the back of his neck. The broken bottle drew closer, the longest tip a matter of millimetres away from piercing the victim’s broken flesh.
“Fine, fine, he’s in the back,” the man wept. “Just let me go, let me get away.”
“You’re pathetic,” Lucian sneered, releasing the man and letting the broken bottle fall to the floor.
Turning, he walked to the back of the bar, his passage unimpeded, as patrons moved like the fabled Red Sea in order to let him through.
Lucian grabbed the rear door’s handle, when a gunshot made him spin around. He held a bolt revolver in each hand before he finished the turn, drawing them quicker than most human eyes could see.
Lucian’s keen eyes scanned the bar, in an instant, identifying the bartender as the only threat. The smoking shotgun he held clenched in his white-knuckled, trembling hands giving him away. The man Lucian had questioned still lay on the floor, not even halfway to the door. His now headless body twitched as thick black blood oozed from the mangled stump.
Lucian stared at the barman for a moment, before raising both his revolvers.
“No, no, please. I don’t know why I did it,” he whimpered.
Lucian gave no answer, but fired both of his weapons. The high-powered bolts tore the barman apart. The first blast hit him square in the centre of the face, the force of the impact blooming it open like a flower of flesh, sinew and bone. The second pierced his chest, tearing a hole the size of a dinner plate in his unarmoured body.
“Ah shit,” Lucian said, staring at the damage he’d caused.
You can grab your copy from Amazon today, if you feel so inclined.
I would sure appreciate it.