Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Virtuous Pagans

Roaring not required.
In honor of International Women’s Day, here’s a sneak peak of the next book in the Flames of Perdition series:

Del kicked the metal door hard.  It shattered the frame, tore free of the hinges, and careened into the floor.  Sparks struck as it skidded across the broken tile and drove itself into a concrete column.  A large chunk of masonry broke free and fell on top the door.

“Breech,” Del yelled, and started through the doorway.  “Go, go, go!”

As point, she entered the room first.  Her team of Ljosalfar and Dokkalfar, light and dark elves, were right behind her.  Four armed and trained soldiers, swept into the room.  Del, her H&K assault rifle snug to her shoulder, turned into the left hand corner.  For the first time in six months, she didn’t feel the tickle of fear that her back was turned to a room of potential bad guys.  She didn’t tense twice as hard with the worry that someone would forget to clear a corner.

“Mortals!” a deep, resonant and particularly scary voice said from the darkness inside room.

Del ignored it.  Her team knew what to do.  She trusted them to do their jobs.

Astrid was a half-step behind her.  The other woman, the only true mortal on the team, veered right to make certain her corner was clear.  Their swift movements meant they crossed into the “fatal funnel” for only a moment, but demons aren’t known for using firearms.  Human servants, on the other hand, are quite partial, if generally untrained—they were as dangerous to themselves as anyone else.  Del and Astrid swept and cleared their corners as two Ljosalfar poured through the door with Kel-Tec combat shotguns.  They immediately opened fire into the rogue demon.  Heavy slugs with cold-forged iron cores slammed into the rogue’s chest.  A roar filled the room, and vibrated through Del’s middle.  Demons didn’t understand most emotions, but anger, righteous or otherwise, was right up their alley.

Del swept her rifle barrel across the blank wall until she saw the rogue.  He was a giant of a man.  Taller than any member of her team, and with the mass to match it.  He topped Del and Astrid by head, shoulders and chest.  He looked like a stereotypical barbarian-slash-bodybuilder from the 80s—the kind they oiled up, slapped on fur-trimmed underwear, and rolled film.

Except now he had two gaping holes in his chest.

“You will all pay for this insult!” the rogue roared at them.

It took two steps toward them.  Del pulled the trigger three times.

The kick from her H&K barely registered against her shoulder as it spat more cold-forged steel.  Two shots slammed into the rogue’s left leg and he crumpled to his right knee.  The third missed and buried itself in the wall behind him.  Del hated to waste the exclusive ammunition, but the result was well worth the attempt.

This is my boomstick!
“I will tear your heads from your bodies,” the rogue yelled.  His voice seemed to come from everywhere at the same time.  “I will drink your heart’s blood from your still-wet skulls.”

“Light him up!” Del ordered.

The two shotguns stepped apart in near unison.  Through the hole they made, her last two team members strode right to the rogue demon.  Their military-grade M26 Taser led the way.  As soon as they were ten feet from the rogue, they shot.  Demons, manifesting in the mortal world, were still damned scary.  The Taser probes shot out and struck the rogue’s chest and stomach.  Immediately, a fifty-thousand volts times two travelled over the wires and into his central nervous system.

The effect was immediate.

The demon screeched.  Its body jerked, arms thrust out and back arched until it seemed its spine might break.

Thanks for reading!

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