The sequel to Tabitha, Sky Queen, should be live in the Amazon Kindle store in March/April. I’m hammering it now, getting everything tied up to try to give you the sequel you deserve. Come February I’m going to be working with Indonesian artist Gerry Arthur on the sequel’s cover art.
In the meantime I wanted to give you a taste of things to come with Sky Queen’s short opening chapter, and everyone’s favourite superpowered murdering psychopath, Alex. Some of you may have seen this already; some maybe not. Let me know what you think in the comments below. (Excuse the lack of indents; I can’t code them here.)
Alex roared and tore the watcher limb from limb in a screaming burst of golden blood. Punched another to the sidewalk and laughed as he wrenched its skull with a savage snap. He dodged sudden screeching lasershots and sprinted for cover in the city ruins; a wild animal running from the hunt. Beyond the rubble of toppled skyscrapers, the alien army spread out into the corpse of New York to find him. Kill him. The anomaly.
Running watchers planted living barriers in the asphalt that swelled and branched into tall ribbed barricades. Gunners rushed up the new ramparts to lock scaly cannons in place. White-eyed helmets scoured the streets for any sign of him. Heaving black monsters galloped up the road ahead like oil-spill primates, ripping rubble apart to sniff hungrily for his scent.
Alex hid in a ruined tower block and grinned his sharp black smile. Gulped hot gold blood from an alien limb and felt its slick surge set his veins on fire. He sat and waited in the shadows for the cautious watchers to stalk through the dead traffic below. Wandering into his trap. He burst from the tower block wall. Leapt into the air and threw screaming arcs of light into the cars beneath him. The street exploded in deafening hellfire, flaring orange in the dead grey world. Thick black smokeclouds rolled into the sky; concrete pebbles rained down and clattered in the fresh silence. Some watchers escaped; many more were writhing and screaming and flailing for lost limbs in the flaming carnage. Then, they saw him. The cannons on the distant barricade screeched shots into the sky. Alex floated there above it all, grinning. Blew the barricade apart with a lightning bolt, sudden and blinding. Watchers screaming and bleeding among the crackling corpses. His wild stark eyes drank in the dancing flames of New York. His New York.
‘How many times do we need to do this?’ he called up at the creeping mothership, death-black and colossal. Crawling its vast shadow over the toppled city streets. The winter wind blew the ashes of humanity into high winding spirals over Manhattan. Flames danced a glowing zig-zag trail of destruction through entire city blocks; a hundred failed attempts to bring him down. He’d tried over and over to bring the ship down too. But the thing ate every volt he threw at it. Drank it in through that rubbery black skin. Stalemate.
‘Guess I’ll need to knock,’ Alex sighed, descending a couple of streets away. He’d need something to hit that armour with; looked around him for something heavy. Glanced down the road at something moving there. Perfect.
‘Come on big guy,’ he told the hulking black monster, stepping out into the street as its white staring eyes fixed on him. Whistled to it like he was calling a dog. With a crackling furnace growl it came thumping and crashing up the road towards him; fiery red throat glowing fierce behind bear-trap teeth. Alex leapt and burst into a human lightning storm. Pounced down on the stunned creature in a flurry of sparks and smoke. Sank his claws in deep, and ripped it apart in a rage. For a few glorious moments he didn’t know where he was, or what was going on. That same quiet voice of reason nagged in the back of his mind. The rest of him strangled it into silence. All he knew was the spilling, slopping, steaming silver gush of violence that made his heart race. He buried a clawed hand in the monster’s screaming head and pulled its brain apart. Shoved a slick gory fistful in his mouth and minced it; gulped it down and felt the rush. He tore the thick spine from the creature’s back in a succession of squelching snaps, and walked out onto the road with it dragging and dripping in his hands. Watchers came running to open fire on him. With a lightning arc and a sweep of his hand he electrocuted them in a blinding white thunderclap. Grinned savage. In a burst of light he shot into the sky to meet the mothership overhead. He landed with a bang that echoed through New York and swung the severed spine over and over, smashing dents in the ship’s armoured plates.
‘How many times do I need to ask!?’ he roared at it, tearing holes in its rubbery black skin. ‘I’d like to negotiate, please!’ A door melted open above him in the ship’s hull. A team of watchers peered down and opened fire.
‘Finally!’ Alex said happily, pouncing up into the doorway and butchering the screaming troops where they stood. Breaking limbs. Gouging heads. Strangled screams. As the gurgling corpses thumped down on the floor, the last watcher just stared at the smiling anomaly in fright. Didn’t even raise its rifle.
‘Smart,’ Alex growled with a black-fanged grin, gulping gold blood from a severed alien limb. Licking the gore off his claws. ‘Now take me to your fucking leader.’