jueves, 27 de septiembre de 2012

SDIV El Juego Chapter 20 Part 2

Lucretia smirked at her sister, who even now was feeding, the slurping and sucking was such sweet music to her ears. Two thin trails of blood ran from her mouth, spots patterning her blouse where they had fallen.

It had been an unexpectedly profitable day; their flight from the last town had been precipitous to say the least. Locals could be so pedantic in their beliefs, imagine, they had thought that she would wait for their justice.

She laughed wryly, and shouldered her sister aside, who snarled at her, but gave way. Whoever these new humans were, they tasted good, not like the insipid villagers from their last stop. Her mentor had told her that this world held a bounty of delicacies to tickle the palate and she had been surprisingly pleased to find out that he had been right. His recent arrival had interrupted their excesses, and his chastisement had been less than welcome.

He looked good. His recent sojourn on the flagship seemed to signal a kind of rebirth and Lucretia had been tempted to keep him, if only for a moment. Mammon was such a dear, and so easy to take advantage of. He actually believed her excuses and tried to talk to the villagers for her. Idiot.

Such a shame that he had been caught, helping their escape. Of course, the fact that she had shot him the back, physically rather than metaphorically, as he faced their pursuers had of course little to do with it. The quarrelled bolt had actually punched through his hand, pinning him to a tree and he roared his anger and desperation to the skies in such a delightful way. That too had been entertaining though.

She decided to have a little nap and lay down next to the rapidly cooling body of Sargeant Harms. There was so much to look forward to, a bounteous feast would be held once the sun fell and then there were other pleasures to be had with her minions.


Mammon was angry; in a towering rage, not only because of Lucretia’s betrayal, but also because he had needed to kill a useful food source. She would pay, of that he was sure, he thought, feeling the bulk of the transmitter in his pocket. Only he knew how the portals could be opened; a thing he had done regularly on his previous visit here. That a beautiful girl and her sister should have captivated him so, after all of these centuries, was laughable. That was, if he could only admit it, a pattern of his, which all of his brethren took advantage of.

It was on a previous jaunt to the planet that he had found this place, and he constantly came back, replenishing himself. After his close call with Alana, he made straight for the comforting arms of his girls. Time seemed to have brought out their true characters. Demons were just so fickle.

That was of course the reason he told himself, but deep down, the savage beast within him wanted to rend and tear, so repaying the disloyalty and removing the evidence of his mistake. He shook his head, driving the reverie away and stopped, breathing in deeply, tasting the night air.

Silently, he advanced; he was close now, the smell of freshly spilt blood, mixed with something fouler drew him on. Vengeance was a dish best served cold, but he had always thought it tasted better hot and steaming. Blood was blood, after all.

Renard never heard a thing, death came upon him unexpectedly, yet he did not miss experiencing it. A pair of strong hands closed about his neck, lifting him easily off the floor. He managed a choked gasp, as he was swung around, his foot lashing out reflexively. It felt as though he had slammed his boot into a solid post, and he silently screamed. His training kicked in and he drew his combat knife, his vision even now blurring as his oxygen-starved brain began shutting down. With an ultimate expenditure of energy, he stabbed into the body before him, wondering why there was no sound.

With a crack, Mammon snapped Renard’s neck and tossed his limp body to the floor. He glanced disdainfully at the knife, sliding it free from his chest and stood for a moment listening carefully. All was well, he thought, as he wiped the blade on Renard’s tunic. Then knife in hand, he stalked his next prey, the rush of anticipation filling him.

Lucretia woke, her hunger fierce and called out for her minions. Her only reply was silence, so she tried again. Cursing them and spitting forth a venous tirade of what pain she would inflict on them for their lethargy of reply, she pulled by the rear covering. A fist exploded into her face, the strength of the blow throwing half way across the wagon bed.

“Mammon!” she cried in fear.
“Yes, my love,” he replied, climbing slowly inside, “we have some unfinished business I believe?”

He pulled the flap closed behind him, as he climbed into the wagon, and shortly afterwards the screaming began.

Llorente was the only one of his companions left alive, for some reason the ravening beast, the abomination who had attacked the camp had spared him. A face from hell itself had stared icily into his eyes, fangs glistening with recently spilt blood and then had moved away.

There could only be one fate left for him, and so he began to pray. He called to the Prelate, to the Taurans’ Demons, to anyone who would listen. Nothing.

The animalistic cries from the wagon, the heaving of its sides, all had ceased. He saw something appear from behind the rear wheels and he began to plead, in a childish and plaintively whimpering voice. Still on it came, teeth bared, eyes bloodshot, and it was smiling.

miércoles, 12 de septiembre de 2012

SDIV El Juego Chapter 20 Part 1

Chapter Twenty

Emerald Forest
Zone I

Harms and his men were spaced out evenly to the rear of the Taurans, they had managed to take out the various sentries positioned around their position and now they waited. Their level of weaponry was greatly improved by their impromptu shopping spree, although the Tauran troopers seemed to take little pride in their equipment. Irrespective of this fact, Harms felt better than he had done in a while and they were as ready as they were ever going to be.

Movement stirred the soldiers below and from further along the trail they heard voices raised in song. Slowly the caravan came into view; two Knights at the front, pennants flying gaily in the light breeze. There were another two at the rear of the column and a group of mail-shirted soldiers to either side of the two wagons, in the centre.

Whatever was within the wagons must be important, to merit such an honour guard. Harms’ eyes narrowed, as the order was given and the Taurans charged. His urgent hand signals were obeyed instantly and he and his men moved forward, flitting from cover to cover, always keeping the enemy soldiers in sight.

As they reached the edge of the woodland, they saw two of the Knights down and those at the rear charging. The soldiers had formed a protective cordon around the wagons but they died uselessly, unable to do little more than receive the incoming fire.

With a curt chopping motion of his hand he opened fire, the disciplined volley from his men punching into the rear of the Taurans, taking them completely by surprise. Quickly they regrouped, half of their forces splitting off from their unprovoked attack and concentrating their fire on Harms and his men.

Dividing their forces proved their undoing as the two Knights crashed into their rear, bowling a number of them over. Seeing the change in fortune, the mail-shirted troops charged, their swords ripping into the disoriented troopers.

Harms and his men moved down to the road, their rate of fire never slacking and it began to take its toll. With a shout of “Close quarters”, Harms dragged his knife free and leapt into the fray. He blocked his first opponent’s attack with his forearm, slicing his blade across the Tauran’s stomach. He heard the crunch of a descending rifle butt and continued on his way. There were a small knot of Taurans who had closed upon the wagons and he powered forward, his shoulder slamming into the rearmost of them.

He cried out as he felt the cut of a blade across his back and span, his booted foot connecting solidly. Grabbing the back of the Tauran’s neck, he rammed his knee upwards and was rewarded with a satisfying spurt of blood. His forgotten rifle slapped against his thigh and he swung it forward, burying its muzzle into the soldier's body and pulling the trigger.

In a brief moment of respite, he looked around and it was then he felt the crushing blow to his ribs and darkness closed in.


Harms was dead, of that he was sure; a coolness caressed his forehead and opening his eyes he stared directly into the face of an angel. She smiled; perfect teeth in a cherry-lipped mouth. Her lips parted, she bent down and he thrilled with the expectation of the kiss, his body unconsciously stirring in response to the beauty before him.

I must be in one of the wagons, he thought, looking past her. The thick canvas let diffuse light through, framing her head in a nimbus of understated light. Relaxing, he felt the touch of her lips against his forehead, the tip of his nose and then his throat. Blood surged through his veins, his pulse pounding in his head and he waited.

The brush of her lips was unusually cold, numbing at the point of contact. Then came the pain as she bit savagely into his flesh. He struggled, writhing and thrashing in desperation, determined to break free. It was no use, his arms and legs were firmly bound and he watched helplessly as the bloodstained mouth rose once more into his line of sight. A short pink tongue swiped across the now savage fangs and she hissed in pleasure. Slowly she bent once more, and fed.

Llorente shuddered as he heard the Sargeant scream again, a long drawn-out cry of pain. There was nothing that they could do, they had been roughly tied together, a sharpened pole hammered into the ground between them. Arms were stretched backwards to breaking point, their weapons had been seized after the surprise attack. At least Renard had gotten away, killing one of the soldiers in the struggle and disappearing into the forest.

It was a forlorn hope, that of escape, night was closing in and he knew he was next. The soldiers had graphically described their fate, grinning in anticipation of the pain and suffering to follow.

Renard watched from the shadows, wincing with each scream, thankfully the volume was weakening and he knew what that meant. There was little or no chance of saving the Sargeant, but maybe, just maybe he could do something about the others.

Crawling forward slowly, he approached the edge of the forest. Llorente was the closest, his back towards the wagons. One thing Renard knew for sure was that he did not want to be alone here, come nightfall.

domingo, 9 de septiembre de 2012

Sudden Dearth Now on Twitter

Yeah, I know, it's taken me long enough, but you can now follow my progress towards publishing the next two books on Twitter.

You can find me at  @suddendearth and I will be updating the progress towards the publication of A Cold Dish and Eldrid, Officer Of The Guard.

Sudden Dearth IV will continue to be published here FREE on my blog.