Lon Varnadore's Author Blog

Sci-Fi and Fantasy with a noir edge

Category: WIPs

Day 14 (I think) and WIP of Wrath…

Hello all,

I am slowly pushing my way through the next round of re-writes for Wrath of the Empress.  In fact, I have a treat…if you think of some chapters from Wrath as a treat that is.

It isn’t much, still a bit rough.  But, here you go, the first two chapters of Wrath…

 

 

Chapter One

Jonica felt the wind on her face and smiled. She hadn’t felt this free in along time. She took a deep breath and felt that something was amiss. The air was dry and thin and her body felt numb. She tried to grab onto the frame of the Runner’s cockpit, to brace herself against the feeling of falling. Jonica nothing in her grasp. Her eyes snapped open and she realized she wasn’t in the Runner, wasn’t flying through the fields, wasn’t even in her ship. Jonica plummeted towards the red-orange sands and rocks of Mars.

“Slag! Where in the Pit am I!” She screamed.

The wind that howled by her tore at her words. Her ams and legs started to work, pumping around trying to move. Something. She realized she was going to die. ”

A chunk of debris shot by her, firey and smoking piece of the Blood Bitch’s ship. “At least I got the pod out. Meph might find someone,” she whispered to herself. Better find someone, cat.

Skygirl, you are safe.

She felt something take hold of her for a moment. Her stomach lurched. You are safe, sky girl…now wake up…

 

 

“What?”

Jonica snapped awake in crash webbing. Reality slammed into her. Kesh coming into her life. Lyra coming out of the pod, the Collector, Pryce appeared and Kesh leaving with the Eridani. She shook her head, trying to figure out where she was. Looking around, it looked a little familiar. Then, she saw Zas and she let out a curse.

She flailed for a moment, coming out of the Gate sleep suspension,c asking her mind to blank out for a moment. She wasn’t sure why Zas demanded that they do that. But, that was the deal. And for her left hand to be whole and for Lyra to be safe, she had to do what Zas said. She hoped that Lyra and Meph were safe on Poveglia.

“You awake?” Quick asked, far to close to Jonica’s ear to be comfortable.

Jonica snapped her head to the side to see the mismatched eyes of Quick staring back at her. “Yeah. Can you get me out of—”

Before she finished, Quick snapped the release. Jonica dropped into a kneeling squat. She spun around, trying to strike Quick. She overextended her hand and struck the grav-chair with a speed that shocked her. She let out a hiss of pain. Slag this speed thing needs some getting use to.

“Have you taken the last of the Gods’ Blood we gave you?” Quick asked.

Jonica revealed the empty ampule. “Yeah,” she said before tossing it to the thief. Quick snapped it out of the air with more speed than Jonica had. “How long have you been taking this…blood?”

“Of the God of Speed? For some time,” Quick said. She slipped form the door hatch to standing besides Jonica before the latter could blink. “And it has made us all better.”

Jonica rolled her eyes. God of Speed, what a backworld concept. There had to be a rational explanation for it.

Quick smiled under her half mask, the faint pulling of her eyes was enough of an indicator to Jonica after the time she had spent with the masked women and Zas. “You still don’t believe?”

“No. It is The Bloodied nobles of the Empire. You, your sisters and Zas all assimilate the powers of the Blood the same way.”

“Why does it work on you as well?”

Joncia was silent. “Random mutation,” she said.

Quick shrugged. “If that is what you believe.”

“Come,” Zas’s deep baritone voice announced over the intercom. “The ship is close. Is Jonica awake?”

“Yeah, I am,” Joncia shouted back. Her head hurt, body hurt. Bad dreams, nothing more.

 

 

 

Chapter Two

Kesh looked up from the gunmetal grey metal desk he had been given by his Master. 38-Jorrin hovering nearby in his grav-chair, droning on and on about gravity theory. Kesh’s hand and part of his mind kept up, writing down everything with a stylus on an off electric orange script on a half filled computer slate. He had sectioned off of his mind to record things. It allowed him to think about something else while 38-Jorrin spoke. It was the only way he had been able to survive the mind numbing drudgery the first time around. It hadn’t been half a day before Kesh had been “shown” the desk nd chair and the lessons began anew.

“What is the name of therom for solving this?” 38-Jorrin asked, touching a complex problem with a slender finger which illuminated with a red hue. The problem floated above Kesh’s head. Dancing in a slow constant rhythm to “help memory,” according to 38-Jorrin. Kesh still didn’t understand why they called themselves by their number first and then their name. It was a strange thing, as were most things that the Eridani did.

Kesh blinked for a moment, looking at the strange glowing forms before him. 38-Jorrin’s fingers tapped softly on one arm of his hovering chair, waiting.

He had no idea, but had to try something. He opened and started with, “I—”

“I know you aren’t paying attention, Kesh,” 38-Jorrin said with a sigh. The Eridani’s musk struck Kesh again harder as the Eridani moved a little closer. The overpowering peppermint nauseated Kesh. It had been years and it would take time to acclimate to the smell again. If I stay.

38-Jorrin looked at Kesh with his elongated diamond eyes, “What is wrong, boy?”

Kesh cocked an eyebrow. “I’ve been back on your ship for half a day and already you’re throwing this at me? Again?”

“You have been gone for ten years. Your studies need to renew as soon as possible boy. There is a greater need for you to understand all of this. You don’t know what is coming.”

“You have yet to tell me what you are teaching all of this to me?” Kesh asked. The stylus ends tapping on the slate with a steady cadence.

38-Jorrin let out a long slow sigh. “You have always been a little thick, haven’t you, Kesh?”

Kesh smirked back, stopping the movement of the stylus. “Its a human flaw you’ve said I have.”

The Eridani shook his head and turned away from Kesh. “When I first became Dreamer of the Urtherain, I thought I’d get by on my knowledge.” His voice took on a familiar one to Kesh. The lecturing drone.

Not this story again. Kesh groaned inwardly.

“Yes, this story again,” 38-Jorrin said, turning around with a small smile. It always unsettled Kesh when his Master did that. “I thought that all I needed to was to use the knowledge I had to be the Dreamer. I was wrong. I found that my knowledge wasn’t enough. I had to expand my mind. I had to learn and learn things that I had never thought I would use. All because I needed that knowledge. Dreamers are more than their knowledge. They are forever expanding it to understand, to learn…and to dream. Why?”

“So you can see the universe in a different way.” Kesh said, bored. He took a breath, “To be able to grapple with the complex math for the Gate.” It was always the same.

“Right, and wrong,” the Eridani said with a smile in his voice.

“Alright, then explain,” Kesh said, turing to look at 38-Jorrin.

38-Jorrin waited for him to stop, and smiled. “What would be the point of trying to teach you if I have to lead you by the hand to—”

“Then, I’m a lost cause and you can shove me back where you found me,” Kesh said throwing his hands up, disgusted.

“That won’t happen,” 38-Jorrin said. “I seriously doubt I can even talk to the captain again after what I did.”

“What did you do?” Kesh asked, genuinely curious.

38-Jorrin looked amused. There was something inscrutable about the look. “I think I should let you relax for a time. I will see that the cook brings you food.”

“More like have the servant of 56-Torn will bring it,” Kesh said.

“Kesh, I know you think we are keeping you as slaves, however—”

Kesh stood up with a sudden violent movement that caused 38-Jorrin to stop and push back the hover chair. “Think we’re kept as slaved? There is no think. You keep humans and Quith as slaves.”

“Explain,” 38-Jorrin said.

“We do your menial jobs for you.”

“Because we cannot do man of them, our bodies have broken down to that point.” 38-Jorrin said, gesturing with a palsied left hand to his own emaciated body.

“Yet, you could make robots. I’ve seen them.”

“For many jobs we need an intellect behind it. AI’s are…tricky. If given to much freedom, they rebel. To little and they can be destroyed trying to reason out what to do next.”

Kesh narrowed an eye. “We can’t leave the ship? Not exactly free.”

“Where would you go? We take people who have no home. We—”

“You took my ship when we were going to Centarui,” Kesh said. Though he knew what the Eridani would say next.

“And, as I told you, you would have been killed in the resulting gate explosion.”

“You chose that for us. We had no choice in the matter.” Kesh pushed himself back int he chair, it scrapped against the deck. He folded his arms, looking at the floating problems with a sneer.

“Is that what we are talking about?” 38-Jorrin asked. “You want a choice?”

“Yes!” Kesh shouted. “That is all I have ever wanted. A choice.”

38-Jorrin waved a hand at the end of the classroom chamber with a gesture, the door opened. “There you go. A choice. A simple one.”

“How so?”

“Stay here, learn from me, learn about what you can achieve. Or you leave. I will make sure the ship leaves you alone. You can leave and go back to your pathetic life as it was before I took you.”

Kesh stood up and took a step towards the open door. It was a chance. A chance to leave 38-Jorrin and the Eridani. To go back to Jonica, Blue, and Lyra…even Meph.

“If you leave, you won’t last the week,” 38-Jorrin said, a slight frown on his face.

“What in the Pit is that suppose to mean?” Kesh turned around. “What are you talking about you grayskinned peppermint freak?”

There was a small smile on 38-Jorrin’s face. “Nothing.”

“You said I had a choice?”

“You do. Leave and stay in ignorance. Stay, gain knowledge and find a possible way to survive the impending doom of the galaxy.”

Kesh felt himself vibrate with anger. Yet, there was as small part of him. That sane portion of him that realized that the Eridani was right. He knows more than you do. Listen to him. For a long moment, Kesh stared at the open door. He bit his lip and the coppery tang of blood made him look back at the Eridani. So small in their chairs. So frail. And yet…

He turned and returned to his seat.

“Very good. Now, what theory?”

“Third Law of Thermodynamics,” Kesh said, defeated.

“Good lad.” 38-Jorrin continued to drone on and on about something while Kesh took notes with his portioned off mind. I’ll find a way out of this. He looked at the Eridani and smirked. I’ll find a way out, with the knowledge I need.

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STARKILLER SEASON ONE…

Is in the can!  Sent the last part off to my editor and from there it should be a quick turn around before I get it out to you all who love this little series.  I do hope you like it.  And don’t worry, there is more coming.

Why did I push through all three parts?  Well, I feel extremely bad for my readers.  They have been waiting for the rest of the series for most of the year.  Also, this is the way to help me push forward with my new publishing schedule.  For the next few months, I shall be working on wrapping up individual series, all four of them, and work on a book at the same time.

I started with Starkiller because even though it was originally one of the serials I liked the least, I grew to love the crew and warped characters of the Starkiller.  And, I had three parts, so I thought I could finish up three easier than say the four I need for Purgatory, the three much longer pieces for Risen part two and three or however many for Janus City. September I am going to work on Purgatory.  Then, I am going to work on Risen in October and then finally Janus City in November.  I don’t know about Purgatory, but Risen and Janus City are also “gateway” serials.  To get the reader interested and push them into a series of novellas that will be slowly released through next year.

And I think Starkiller is going to be one that I like to write the most now.  But, who knows.  I do have a working title for the next Starkiller story, but that is a HUGE spoiler so, can’t release it yet.  I will leave you with the great book cover that is done by Domi at inspired cover design.  She is awesome!  And reason rates.

 

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More updates…

Hey all, just a quick update.

I am almost done with Part Five of Starkiller.  After that, I am splitting my time between Part Six and Wrath of the Empress.  I might put up the first bit from Wrath sometime this weekend.  I will tell you when Part Six is done and when all three are out for purchase.

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A decision has been made…And update on Starkiller Bundle

First off, I have decided to take a small break from working on Wrath.  Probably the weekend and a day.  Monday is my birthday so I might take that day off.  Or not because I want to keep working on something.

I will be working on Janus City and Starkiller for the next few days.

I also have dropped the price of the bundle of Starkiller Part 1-3.  It is currently on sale for $0.99.  It will last until August 7th.

Also, Void Emissary is free until the 7th as well.

And yes, I am currently in the works of writing a sequel to Void Emissary, which I hope to get out before the end of the year.

My current plans are as follows…

Until the 7th of August, work on getting Janus City Part II and Starkiller Part Four out asap.

From the 8th until 20th, work on and turn Wrath of the Empress out.

21st to the 31st, work on Tears of the Empress and the unknown title of Void Emissary II.

Then, in Sept, really pull back into my little writing hermitage and just write and write and write.  By the end of September, I hope to have Tears and Void Emissary II done as well as the skeleton of a series of urban fantasies.  And maybe the spine of an epic fantasy as well.

Why a series for urban fantasy?  Well, I have to say I have been flailing about with sci-fi.  I love it, and always will.  I am not saying urban fantasy or epic is going to do me any favors.  Yet, I want to try and get a few books int he series written instead of dribbling them out once a year or twice a year as I have done with my other books.  I have written, tossed them up and not really done anything to help move things forward.  If I have, say four urban fantasy books written, edited, covers and even some ads ready to go and I pull the trigger, every month dropping another book in the series, I will–hopefully–build up an audience and readers who will look at my catalog on Amazon and read my other stuff.  And hope to pull in more of my thousand true fans.

In November will tell you all now, I will be in Chicago for a day, then heading down to New Orleans.  I might have told you this all before.  But I am joining a few other indie authors and hoping that by the time this confab is over on the 10th of November, the group of indies will have a book or the first draft of a book, that we will send out and sell.  Keep you all updated on that as well.

And I wish to thank you all for continuing to read the blog.

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Work(s) in Progress

So, I am going to do something with this post.

There are currently four different work in progress, from hence forth referred to as WIPs, pieces I am working on.  I will also give you a sample of each of them:

Wrath of the Empress:

Jonica felt the wind on her face and smiled. She hadn’t felt this free in a long time. She took a deep breath and felt that something was amiss. The air was dry and thin and her body felt numb. She tried to grab onto the cockpit frame, to brace herself and she felt nothing. Her eyes snapped open and she realized she wasn’t in the Runner, wasn’t flying through the fields, and wasn’t even in a ship. She plummeted towards the red orange sand of Mars without anything except the clothes on her back.

“Slag! Where in the Pit am I!”

Her arms and legs started to work, pumping around trying to move around, flailing around, trying to do something. She knew was going to die. A chunk of debris shot by her, a firey and smoking bit of the Bloody Bitch’s ship.

“At least I got the pod out. Meph might find someone,” she whispered to herself.

Skygirl, you are safe.

 

 

“What?” Jonica came to in the crash webbing of the grav-chair of Zas’ ship. She flailed around for a moment, coming out of the Gate sleep suspension. She wasn’t sure why Zas demanded that they do that. But, that was the deal. And for her left hand to be whole and for Lyra to be safe, she had to do what Zas said. She hoped that Lyra and Meph were safe on Poveglia.

 

Janus City Part Two:

Once outside of the complex, I turned to business. Finding Kenneth’s leg. Soon as the thought came to me, there was a soft orange glow that settled over the glasses and I saw a ribbon of orange extend out away from me. The glasses wouldn’t solve the case for me. But, they were keyed to his DNA and would lead me to where he lived and his daily routine.

There was a danger if I ran into Kenneth, hence the reason I told him to stay home. Otherwise, I’d end up blind. Or worse. The perks of the job I guess.

I wondered to the cable car and hopped on. One good thing about the cable cars was the price. Anyone could ride one anywhere in Janus City. One of the few perks of the city. There was an elf sitting by himself, or herself, you never know with the Fae. And this elf was one of the “heavies.” It had become part of this world more than say, Moira or Mick. They could head back to the Fae whenever they wanted. Granted, I knew both of them would prefer to die than ever go back and deal with the Shadow Court.

The elf looked haunted, his eyes sunken and clung to a thick wooden blanket which he wrapped tight around himself. The thing that drew my attention to the elf in the first place was the orange hued aura around him when I got on. He was connected to Kenneth and his missing leg.

Somehow.

 

Starkiller Chronicle Part Four:

Garret looked at the two Eridani and smirked. “So, what to tell me why I shouldn’t kill you where you stand?”

“Peace, peace, peace…” one of them said, over and over. His spindly arms were up and quivering with effort.

Garret nodded. “Alright, relax. I won’t kill you. Yet. But, if you think I’m going to let you off, you are mistaken. I want to know what the hell is going on?”

The two Eridani cocked their heads to one side. Garret shook his head. “Thought the Eridani were suppose to be smart.”

“They are,” a voice said from behind him. “Humans, usually aren’t.”

Garret turned to see an Eridani that stood over six foot. His thick barrel chest was smooth and rippled with muscle. In his hands was a nasty looking pistol. “I suggest you put your weapon down. From what I understand, they don;t need all of you to make this experiment work.”

“What are you talking about?” Garret asked, making sure to point his weapon down.

“Blaster on the ground, please,” the Eridani said. He smiled and it was more creepy than Garret thought an Eridani could be.

He dropped his weapon with a clatter.

 

Summerland:

I looked at the scumbag in the seat across the desk from me. He gave me his normal smile, without his fangs. “Look, Nash, you know I’m good for it,” Pyke said while dry washing his hands. He opened his mouth, closed it, working his lips for a moment to not fumble his words. “Really, I mean–”

“Uh huh, tell me another.” I held a small silver dagger in my hand, giving him a raised eyebrow. The Witch-Eye flared up, seeing the aura of black around Pyke. It would be black, Pyke’s a vampire after all.

His eyes flicked outside to the window.   I’d purposely left the screen open to make the vampire twitch a little. “Can we hurry this up? I need to get back home.” Best thing is to show them you know what can hurt them, start from a position of strength. Only thing fangheads respond too.

“I still want my money, Pyke,” I said, “Then we can hurry this along.”

“I truly hate that nickname, Nash. Please you know I’m good for it.” Pyke’s voice fumbled back to a slight Irish lilt with the word “hate.”

I continued to give him the cocked eyebrow. “And when can I expect the payment if I do let you go now?”

“Next week.”

I did some math tricks in my head. “Isn’t that when your ancestor’s going to be revived?”

 

Wasn’t that fun?  Now, it is almost 3 am where I am, so I am going to crash.  But, if anyonre has something to say, please don’t hesitate to send me a message on here.  Thank you for reading.

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