Shult, Karol's family of assassins, tracks down Hituuri, Karol's dead beat client, in a small town less than four hours from their estate. Overly eager to pay him a visit, Karol comes to town only to find Hituuri buying shots at a bar. With no way to answer for his bounced check, Karol squeezes the trigger taking Hituuri's life as payment. Thinking her day is over; Karol takes ease, until a big ass Siddian mothership pulls across the sky blocking out the sun brandishing a weapon capable of destroying the city.
Completely caught off guard, Karol begs Erika, her master and confidant to get her out of the city. When Erika reveals the payday this new threat presents, however, Karol's cowardice turns to bravery. With dollar signs flashing in her eyes, Karol summons the indomitable strength to do whatever it takes to bring the alien menace to its knees.
With action scenes that pay homage to R. A. Salvatore, a story as massive as World of Warcraft, and characters as memorable as Die Hard's John McClane, Rapture of Worlds is a sci-fi epic intended for a mature audience but intriguing to readers of all ages.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.52(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Rapture of Worlds
A Hero's Dawn
By David Andrews
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013 David Andrews
All rights reserved.
My Mark Is Making a Run for It
Deadly silence filled Kilyda City's night air. Immense shadows cast by mountainous dilapidated structures provided room for danger at every turn. On the corner of Abnath and Horoi where Karol Shult waited, there were no passersby. All of the legitimate business of the day had come to an end.
Prostitutes, thieves, thugs, and murderers ruled Kilyda's night. With careful consideration of this, Karol Shult had taken the contract. Jacques, a ruthless thug within Kilyda's dangerous underground had blackmailed Hituuri, a local parts supplier, out of seventy percent of his business. A week before tonight, Hituuri contracted Karol to eliminate Jacques. For the last seven days, Karol had been tracking Jacques. After studying his movements, habits, and security, Karol hatched the perfect plan. On this night, Jacques had planned to meet with Merrick another crime lord to purchase goods that had been lifted from a shipyard in neighboring Mokoto City.
Waiting for an hour, Karol had begun to doubt if Jacques would actually show. Enveloped by her thick black cloak, standing in the murky shadow of the cathedral,
"Come on mark," Karol groaned impatiently. "I don't got all day."
Like clockwork, a Derin, a long black flight car, pulled up and parked along the corner across the street from Karol. As Karol carefully watched, the Derin powered down lowering to the street. Slowly, the back door, which faced Karol, opened.
Immediately, Karol reached into the blackness of her cloak and pulled out her silvery Dagmai handgun. Soon, Merrick emerged from the door of the black Derin. Crouching low in the shadows, Karol avoided detection.
"I thought I was late," Merrick laughed to his men as they exited the Derin quickly approaching its trunk.
One of the men began to open the trunk. Merrick quickly stopped him,
"Hold on there, Thoenin," Merrick held up his hand. "That trunk doesn't open until Jacques shows up and shows us the money."
On Merrick's words, a white Derin with gold accents running across the doors pulled up behind Merrick's vehicle. The driver side door opened and a large dark skinned man stepped out with a Tulsar Rifle tucked beneath his arm. Seeing the high powered Tulsar brandished by the tall dark man made Karol a bit uneasy, to say the least. Granted limited invulnerability beneath the magic of her wraith cloak, Karol waited anxiously. The gaze of the brazen thugs had yet to find her location; most likely she hadn't been spotted. With that thought, Karol took comfort.
"Gitonga!" Merrick demanded fists proudly planted on his hips. "Where's that lanky bastard you call boss?"
Pointing the Tulsar at Merrick, Gitonga remained stone-faced and deathly silent. Thoenin and the other four Merrick had brought drew their single-shot Atok pistols.
"Well Gitonga, if you wanna grill," Merrick chuckled, "I'll bring the beef."
Karol nodded from beneath the cloak as she watched the situation progress. This might make the night even easier, Karol thought to herself. If a gunfight ensued it would most certainly grant Karol an opportunity to kill Jacques and escape completely unnoticed.
Jacques and four others emerged from the white Derin. Wielding Tulsars, the four goons moved to Jacques's side.
"Glad you could make it to this little meeting of ours ... you know with your busy schedule," Merrick exclaimed to Jacques with a careless flutter of the hands.
A wry smirk inched across the wicked lips of Jacques as he nodded,
"Just show me the damn shipment, Merrick so I can be on my way."
"Hasty, hasty," Merrick replied as he made his way to the trunk of his Derin.
Before Merrick opened the trunk, however, he turned to Jacques,
"And how do I know that your boys won't pull the trigger on me as soon as this sucker's opened?"
"Guns down," Jacques calmly instructed his goons.
Merrick smirked nervously as Jacques's men followed the order,
"Comforting," Merrick replied sarcastically as he popped the trunk.
Quickly, Thoenin came to Merrick's side and assisted in bringing out a large crate. Jacques approached the crate with a slight limp in his right leg. Merrick smirked impiously as he noticed a slight wince of agony in the visage of his sometimes friend.
"This looks short," Jacques remarked dryly.
"What do you mean?" Merrick demanded as his sly smile faded.
"There's no way on Isa's planet that four hundred units could fit in one crate," Jacques concluded flatly.
As if guided by an invisible cue, Jacques and Merrick's men simultaneously drew their weapons. The air grew still. Intensely, the rivals eyed each other through the sights of their shiny weaponry. Insatiable rage loomed behind Jacques's fiery brow as he stared straight through Merrick right to the end of Merrick's life. Merrick's single-shot Atok pistols were as good as squirt guns against the fully automatic Tulsars. Trying to remain calm, Merrick ventured to return a measure of Jacques's heated glower, but the nerve failed him and his eyes grew wide with fear. It was as though Jacques's vision of Merrick's demise now played clearly in Merrick's own mind.
Sensing the moment, Karol became desperate to seize it. Hastily, Karol brought forth her Dagmai from its hiding place and lined up a clean headshot on Jacques, her mark. Already, that satisfactory sensation associated with a job well done had overwhelmed Karol. Adrenaline raced through her blood. Karol's heart thumped so excitedly that she feared it would be heard through the still of the shadowy streets.
When Karol began to squeeze down on the trigger, however, the most untimely and scandalous of events occurred; her phone rang. Immediately, the attention of the twelve armed men across the street rushed to her position. It was the distraction that Merrick couldn't have hoped for.
"Son of a bitch," Karol sighed completely deflated as the phone continued to ring from beneath her cloak.
"Who the hell are you?" Jacques demanded angrily with confusion troubling his brow.
"Um ...," Karol paused. "Merrick, hired me," she nodded assuringly. "... to kill you."
Jacques turned to Merrick,
"She's stalling!" Merrick exclaimed, "Shoot her!"
In unison, the twelve armed men locked onto Karol and fired. When the blazing rounds zipped toward Karol; she swiftly veered right nearly being torn to pieces by the barrage of gunfire. Tracing Karol's every step with fiery rounds as she darted along the façade of the massive cathedral, the twelve continued their assault. Skillfully, Karol vaulted through a stain glass window onto the first floor of the church. As her supple body violently burst through the glass, Karol opened her eyes. An onslaught of gunfire streamed toward her in what seemed an eternity of time. Once she had cleared the window, Karol's back smacked the hard marble floor beneath her.
Karol had crashed through the window too fast for any of the men to make out whether she had actually been struck by their fire. Dubious about the origin of the assassin, an austere gaze settled onto Jacques's visage.
"You double-crossed me!" Jacques said quickly refocusing his glower to Merrick.
"Really?" Merrick replied in disbelief. "If I double-crossed you, why would I give the order to shoot?"
Jacques shook his head unable to answer Merrick's question,
"Fine," Jacques muttered irritably, "We need to capture the girl and find out who sent her."
"Agreed," Merrick replied as the twelve men cautiously approached the stain glass window through which Karol had crashed.
Ceaselessly, Karol's phone rang from within the darkness of her cloak. Karol grinned disingenuously quickly retrieving her earpiece and placing it beneath a golden braid upon her ear.
"Master Erika!" Karol answered.
In great contrast to Karol's current plight, Erika Shult resided within the peaceful confines of East Shult Complex's enormous walls. Comfortably, Erika eased back upon a hovering chair at her computer desk. Completely, unaware of Karol's situation, yet sensing the slightest animosity in Karol's tone, Erika couldn't help but ask,
"Is this a bad time?"
Just then, the twelve thugs outside the window reengaged Karol with a second barrage of vicious yet pitifully inaccurate gunfire. Kicking up copious amounts of dust and debris, several rounds broke through the stone wall behind Karol zipping over her shoulder. Patiently, Karol lay on the floor with her back against the wall.
"No, it's not a bad time," Karol replied calmly. "It's the worst possible time!" She roared. "It's like you actually planned this or something!" Karol complained as a searing round blazed past her cheek.
"Well ...," Erika gulped digesting Karol's response, "Where are you?"
"Ass deep in lead!" Karol replied without reservation.
"Language, young woman," Erika reminded.
"Apologies," Karol grumbled insincerely as she rolled over onto her hands and knees.
Suddenly, the shooting stopped. Karol quickly sprang to her feet. Hoping to get the jump on the two crime lords and their goons, Karol charged for the door of the cathedral.
"I have some bad news, Karol." Erika interjected as Karol dashed madly toward the door.
"That's not good," Karol replied stating the obvious, "What is it?"
"Hituuri's transaction didn't go through," Erika explained apologetically. "You're not getting paid."
"What!" Karol shrieked as she closed on the door.
"VOOSH!" The massive arched doors of the cathedral burst open nearly smashing into Karol's face. Stopping short of having the wind knocked out of her, Karol carefully positioned herself in the corner space behind the opening door's path. With a firm grip, Karol clenched the Dagmai's cold metallic handle.
Dashing anxiously, Thoenin entered the cathedral first. Rapidly, Karol swung the Dagmai up toward Thoenin. In the selfsame motion, Karol fired. Suddenly, the pitch black sanctuary lit violently with a spell of fantastic ruby light. Nearly blinded by the unexpected flash, the thugs crouched shielding their eyes. Wisely, Karol used the thick cathedral door to shield herself from the effects of the sudden vibrant illumination. With the goons disoriented, Karol vaulted from behind the door leaping over the first pew in front of her.
Stunned momentarily by the violent array of light, Merrick soon found Theonin lying motionlessly on the floor. A dark crimson pool seeped from a gaping hole in the back of Thoenin's head. The ghastly sight frightened Merrick tremendously. For a crime lord, Merrick had a poor tolerance for the sight of death. Merrick's hands and lips trembled frantically as he searched for the words to convey his feelings. Finally, it came to him,
"Spread out!" He instructed anxiously.
Just as the word "out" escaped from Merrick's mouth Karol leaped from her inconspicuous hiding place and made a beeline for the pew across the aisle adjacent to the entrance of the sanctuary. Indiscriminately, Karol fired at Merrick and the goons eyeing for Jacques but narrowly missing. In her dash, Karol severely wound three of the goons. Although in her direct line of fire, Merrick, who stood trembling in his boots, remained miraculously untouched.
Suspecting that his would-be assassin was an agent of Shult, Jacques hesitated to go inside. Assassins from Shult never failed to eliminate their marks. Entering the cathedral would have made Jacques a dead man for sure.
"What do you want me to do?" Gitonga asked looking back to Jacques, who remained on the stairs leading to cathedral's entrance.
"Find her," Jacques instructed dryly, "I'll be right behind you."
Unintentionally, Jacques's eyes shifted to the street in the direction of the white Derin. Gitonga had been in the service of Jacques for ten years now as his right hand man. Although Jacques hadn't intended for Gitonga to get the message, it was loud and clear.
Gitonga bowed his head,
"Let's go," Gitonga instructed his fellow goons as Jacques slowly backed off the steps and started toward his car.
Despite the tremendous speed at which Karol darted across the aisle, she noticed that Jacques had yet to enter the cathedral. Astutely, Karol noticed no new sound of footsteps entering into the building. Instead, outside of the cathedral Karol heard the faint noise of a limping stride dragging hastily against the pavement. That was Jacques, Karol knew.
"What's your situation?" Erika suddenly interjected from Karol's earpiece.
"My mark is making a run for it," Karol whispered inaudibly, "Should I pursue?"
"You signed a contract," Erika explained. "Hituuri may have defaulted on his part but you must fulfill yours. You can make Hituuri pay later."
"Oh, he'll pay," Karol replied cynically. "One way or another."
Suddenly rising to her feet with her Dagmai up to the side, Karol startled the seven thugs. Alarmed, the men lock onto her position. When they prepared to fire, however, Karol held out her hand with a commanding halt,
"Wait!" Karol spoke quickly. To her surprise and great relief the seven men stopped. "I was hired to kill Jacques," Karol explained. "I was not contracted to kill anyone else."
On those words, Karol heard the door to Jacques's Derin open.
"If you let me go," Karol continued, "I promise no one else in this room will be hurt ... unless of course, at a later point in time, my services are indeed contracted to kill you."
Outside the cathedral the Derin's door closed and the vehicle started up.
"I need an answer ... quickly!" Karol insisted determinedly, "or I will be forced to make an executive decision."
At this point Merrick was closest to the exit. Slowly, he inched out of the cathedral onto the porch. When Merrick made it outside, the six men that remained inside opened fire. As they fired, Karol charged them at full sprint. On each anxious stride, her thick black cloak consumed copious amounts of fire, but Karol's pace hadn't slowed in the least.
Twelve yards out from her attackers, Karol nimbly somersaulted into the air. With each spin of her tumble vault, Karol released a sweeping barrage of fiery rounds. The gunfire, however, did not come from Karol's Dagmai. Instead, the tremendous storm of gunfire ejected from Karol's thick black cloak. Lively rounds returned to their six senders with more force than that with which they had been sent. Rapidly, the savage gunfire shredded through Karol's attackers like heavy rain tearing through leaves.
After a few seconds, the battle with Merrick and Jacques's goons had ended. Landing on her feet, Karol looked up to the entrance. Aware of Merrick's absence in the cathedral, Karol had to be cautious in her exit. Drastically weakened by the fray with the goons, Karol's otherworldly cloak had nearly lost all of its protective power. If Merrick laid in ambush, Karol considered, he might be able to get the upper hand and end her relatively short career.
Coming close to the mouth of the exit, Karol stopped abruptly. Across the street from the cathedral, the white Derin pulled off and took to the air, with Jacques behind the wheel.
Waiting outside the cathedral for the assassin, Merrick sweated heavily. With his Atok pistol firmly clenched in his right hand, Merrick pressed his back against the stone wall behind him and waited silently. He had lost track of how the situation progressed within the cathedral and was uncertain if anyone had survived the vicious gunfight. Closing in on him slowly, Merrick heard Karol's light footsteps. A deep nervous sensation brewed tumultuously in his stomach. It was as though he had consumed a week's worth of rancid milk. Involuntarily, his body trembled with anxiety and fear.
Finally, Merrick could take the suspense no more. Closing his eyes, he took a long heavy breath filling his lungs completely. Leaping from his hiding place to the entrance of the cathedral with his gun drawn out in front of him finger readily poised upon the trigger, Merrick exhaled.
Opening his eyes slowly, Merrick found himself looking down the dark shaft of Karol's Dagmai. Skillfully, Karol had slipped into the space between Merrick's body and his outstretched gun. Startled, Merrick's eyes shot wide open as his lungs pressed desperately for one final gasp.
"BLOOHM!" The Dagmai resounded mightily as Karol squeezed the trigger. Opening a tennis ball-sized pathway through Merrick's cranial cavity, Karol's blistering round echoed.
Merrick's lifeless corpse slowly tumbled toward the ground. Looking across the street, Karol found Merrick's shiny black Derin. Frowning, Karol examined the nearly decapitated body at her feet.
"Isa," Karol sighed penitently to the God of the Tropolans, "don't judge me too hard for this. It was not my intention to desecrate your sanctuary." Stooping down, Karol rummaged the dead man's pockets finding the flight car's keypad.
"Hello?" Erika's voice rang in Karol's ear startling her slightly.
"Master," Karol replied rather embarrassed to be caught off guard, "I didn't know you were there."
"Things sounded a bit sticky," Erika admitted. "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine Master," Karol insisted, "but my mark is getting away," Karol explained as she approached Merrick's black Derin.
When at the Derin, Karol noticed the sizeable crate lying in the street behind the car's open trunk. Karol thought to herself momentarily,
"Since Hituuri failed to pay," Karol said aloud, "I don't see a problem in taking this."
Excerpted from Rapture of Worlds by David Andrews. Copyright © 2013 David Andrews. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsChapter 1 My Mark Is Making a Run for It, 1,
Chapter 2 There's More Where That Came From!, 13,
Chapter 3 No, But I Wish I Were, 27,
Chapter 4 Then He's Only Getting What He Deserves, 33,
Chapter 5 You Sir, Have Terrible Timing, 39,
Chapter 6 My, How Things Change, 45,
Chapter 7 Don't Look At Him!, 55,
Chapter 8 May I Speak?, 62,
Chapter 9 Oh, How Dare?, 73,
Chapter 10 Bonkers? I Don't Like Bonkers, 91,
Chapter 11 Can We Fire Now?, 98,
Chapter 12 So, Shult's Come to Save Us, 111,
Chapter 13 I'm Afraid It's an Or What, Sir, 124,
Chapter 14 I'm Alive, 134,
Chapter 15 Wait! I Know You, 143,
Chapter 16 Well, I Do Hope, 156,
Chapter 17 What! Why the Hell Not?, 163,
Chapter 18 This Is No Place for You and Your Son, 180,
Chapter 19 You Said Eight and there are Nine of Us, 186,
Chapter 20 But I'm Fine, 194,
Chapter 21 Some things can't be taught, 205,