An epic trilogy of rebellion, passion and the struggle to survive in a universe crushed beneath the draconian thumb of the Fed
The Viridian Convict
The Indigo Operative
The Cerulean Insurgent
Welcome to Viridian, a prison moon full of aliens…who want to eat you.
Being the only human on a moon full of criminal aliens isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it sucks rocks. But Tig has managed to survive by working for Granny, the Creel mob boss who is as badass as his name is ridiculous.
When Granny gives Tig a simple pick-up and deliver job, things get decidedly more complicated. He is approached by his nemesis, an agent of the Fed—the governing body of the Known Universe—and ordered to escort the package to the Barrens, far away from Granny’s aegis.
And speaking of a package, Tig checks his when he gets a load of the hot piece of ass he’s supposed to deliver—a gorgeous, tantalizing Seraph Novitiate who has her own agenda. One that doesn’t include an Earthie guard dog.
In a case of lose/lose/lose, Tig struggles to keep himself and this truculent Angel safe as they run from a veritable army of blood-thirsty aliens. As they descend deeper into danger, a mystery unfolds. To Tig’s dismay, seemingly disparate pieces begin to fit together into a much larger, nastier, please-screw-me-again puzzle.
Releases April 10th, 2018
READ AN EXCERPT!
Kaww Settlement, Viridian Moon, Federation Penal Colony
The call came in just as I was about to clock out, but then, munis in my position never really clock out. Not on the moon of Viridian. Not when they work for Granny.
“This one’s for you, Tig,” Marmot said with a smirk as he handed me the slip.
Annoyance fizzled and spat.
God, I hated that rat-faced weasely piece of Scard excrement.
Too bad he was my boss.
Well, technically my shift supervisor. Granny was the real boss and everyone knew it.
No one was more powerful on Viridian. Except the Fed.
But then, Fed agents, those blue bastards, rarely came on planet.
For one thing, this place was a shithole that made Lord of the Flies look like Disneyland. For another, there really wasn’t much to police here. Nothing they cared about anyway. Their job was to sit up there in their luxurious space station and make sure none of the cons escaped the planetary shield.
Occasionally one of them would drop down—usually to indulge their darker appetites—but they never stayed long. Just long enough to fuck shit up.
My gut clenched as the memory of my last tangle with a particular Fed scorched my brain. I tried to push all thoughts of Mia from my mind, but it was hard to forget what that blue bitch had done.
“Well?” Marmot’s pointy nose quivered.
“What is it?” I snapped.
He grinned. His razor-sharp teeth glinted in the light. “DB. Out in Harleytown.”
“Awesome.” I scrubbed at my face. My day beard scratched at my palm. I was tired. I wanted to go home and take a load off. Maybe get shitfaced. I glanced at the other munis lounging in the lobby: a couple Trogs, a Raven, and some random Frogs. They all avoided eye contact. With a sigh, I dropped the annoying assignment. The paper fluttered onto the desk. “I’m off in two.”
Marmot pushed the slip right back at me. “Special request. Asked for you.”
Yeah. I loved being popular. “Who?”
That Dink had saved my ass last week in a sting that went sour—way sour. I’d be rolling around in an Ozzie stew about now if it hadn’t been for him. I owed him. And here, on Viridian, a prison moon filled to the gills with all manner of vengeful species, you always paid your debts.
“Fine.” I snatched the slip from Marmot’s bony fingers and wheeled away.
I glanced back at him. His nose wiggled. His whiskers quivered. His beady little eyes glinted. “Take the Skeeg.”
“Seriously?” I’d spent most of my day trying to shake that tail.
Marmot waggled his furry eyebrows. “Take the Skeeg.”
Each flatfoot working for Granny was assigned a Skeeg for “protection,” which was a fucking joke. Those frogs could barely protect their own eggs. I suspected Granny was just doing them a favor, offering them a place in his kingdom in exchange for licking rights. Some creatures on this rock would kill or die for Skeeg pglet. In addition to having rumored regenerative properties, it was, apparently, a most excellent high.
I’d never been tempted. The thought of licking one of those repugnant creatures made me want to vomit. Besides, I had my own dark cravings to deal with. Last thing I needed was another addiction.
At any rate, on Granny’s behest, I spent my shifts being trailed by a tall, skinny, green douchebag with one eye on a stalk. It creeped me out, the way he looked around, that stalk all bendy like it was. The way he smelled wasn’t orgasmic either. But Granny was God. We did what he said. No matter what.
We knew we were damn lucky to have the job. Some vestige of power in a world where power equaled survival.
Viridian wasn’t a penal colony so much as a Federation garbage dump. A first-uni Australia of the 19th century … only with aliens. Who wanted to eat you. Loads of fun.
Got a problem you wanna make disappear? Send it to Viridian with the scumbags and lowlifes of the uni, let nature take its course.
I’d been somebody’s problem.
I suspect we all had been. At some point.
For many, a conviction and transport to Viridian was a death sentence. Pity it wasn’t for most. Fact was, the ones who thrived here were the most brutal, pitiless, soulless creatures in the known universe. Savages who would do anything to survive.
No one expected me to make it a week.
Soft Earthie? Pretty boy? I didn’t have venom, no spines, no secret weapons. To make matters worse, of all the creatures in this universe, humans and Feds looked far too much alike. Except for my non-blue skin color, I could have been one. That alone made humans exceedingly unpopular.
Yeah. I shoulda died. Expected to.
No one could have predicted I’d land on my feet, first day out the gate. I sure as shit didn’t. But fortune fell in my lap in the holding cell in intake, up on the Fed station orbiting this moon. My dumbshit noble sensibilities clicked on when I saw two Ozzies making a move on a kid. A young, stupid Ferrod, with velvet still on his antlers. He was utterly out of his league here in this hell hole, but connected. The Ozzies wanted to chow down—they’ll eat anything and they have these long, razor-sharp teeth to make the job easier. You could call them fangs. Or straws.
Any rate, I snapped a couple off, saved the sniveling kid and got him through the gate. To daddy. I had no idea “daddy” was Big Jogn. That furry, fat fence set me up with his capo and that led me to Granny. I’d been working under his banner ever since. Ten years. Or what passes for a year on this rock.
My official title was Enforcer, but we all knew we were errand boys. Bag men, cleaners, muscle. Whatever Granny demanded, we did it.
Even consort with Skeegs.
I glanced over to my office where my partner sat slumped in a chair at his desk, wiping the slime from his green skin. Great. He was oozing again. I knew what that meant.
Of course, I was assuming One Eye was a “he.” Skeegs didn’t have a gender, not until it was mating season, then they’d do whatever Skeegs needed to do.
God. Skeeg mating season. What a mess.
“Hey, Frog,” I called. One Eye’s earhole twitched. He looked up. His long, stalky eye settled on me and he blinked, slow, steady, like he did. I waved the slip. “We got a call.”
I crossed my arms and watched as he unfolded his long, leggy body from the chair and made his way through the stationhouse toward me, his flat, webbed feet slapping wetly on the hardwood floor. He left a trail behind him. The other munis curled their noses—and other various appendages—when he passed. When Skeegs started going into musth, they stank to high heaven. And dripped.
He moved like molasses in winter, but I was in no hurry. I owed it to Jimmy to respond to whatever emergency he had, but seriously, there was no call to go overboard. At least tonight I’d be able to clear an annoying debt.
And Jimmy was annoying.
We headed down to the garage and hopped into my skimmer, but I took the precaution of pulling some towels out of the trunk and draping them over the passenger seat first. I didn’t have a fancy ride, but it was mine, and the last thing I wanted was to get Skeeg cum all over the leather.
I was assuming it was cum.
One Eye and I weren’t close enough to ask.
I never wanted to be that close.
Point being, it was a wise precaution. You could never get that stank out.
Once we were both settled, I flicked on my hovers and headed out onto the street. It was a dark night, but hardly quiet. There were few quiet nights in this town. In fact, nighttime was when it came alive, started to hum, sometimes scream. When I’d first arrived here I’d hated it, the constant thrum of excitement, expectation, and malicious intent. But you get used to everything. Eventually. And sometimes you even start liking it.
We hit a snag in the Prospect District. Some riot in progress. I switched on my lights and a path cleared through the melee. It wasn’t like back on Earth, where people had respect for the law and pulled over when they saw a unit coming. Here they cleared a path because they knew if they didn’t I would blast my way through them.
I didn’t miss the snarls they flashed me as I flew by, but I didn’t care.
They all knew who I worked for, and no one pissed on Granny’s parade.
We turned onto the flyway and I jetted into gear. One Eye gasped and grabbed the handgrip as I accelerated, which sent a curl of annoyance through me. Skeegs never liked going fast and One Eye had never been a fan of my driving.
“Chill, Frog,” I muttered, as I shifted gears and roared into seventh gear. The skimmer shot forward with a howl.
One Eye didn’t respond, other than to level that big, glassy orb on me. I hated when he stared.
I angled my skimmer up to the top lane where we could really fly. Aside from the speed, I liked the view. Nothing overhead but the great expanse of the city dome—the dome that kept out the brutal storms of the Barrens and served as climate control for the settlement. Tonight, the sky was clear and myriad stars speckled the firmament.
I turned on the radio and let the Earth tunes wash over me as we wailed along the flyway. It helped me ignore my partner’s unnerving, silent stare. When he didn’t quit staring, I turned the volume up. And sang along.
I smirked when he grimaced.
Yeah, I’m pretty tone deaf.
“Call?” One Eye asked over the cacophony. A croak.
One Eye let out something that might have been a burbly sigh. Yup. I hated dead bodies too. Freaking pain in the ass. Way too much paperwork. Not that anyone cared, but Granny liked to keep tabs. On everything.
Viridian was his kingdom.
We came to the Harleytown exit and I veered onto the ramp, a glittering, silver beam of light ribboning off into the darkness. The howl of the flyway receded as we whipped down into the bowels of the city.
As we slid onto the street in one of the dirtiest districts of town, One Eye turned off the radio. I shot him a glare as I hovered to the address on the call and switched off, tugging on my gloves in an almost-automatic motion. One Eye did the same. His took a little more work, on account of the slime and everything. But no way was I helping him. No way was I touching that.
It might have been my imagination, but he seemed to be seeping more than usual.
“You ready?” I asked.
He did a quick weapons check and then nodded to me. Together, we eased from the skimmer.
The buildings towered over us, shutting out the light of the night moons. The streets were quiet. Eerily quiet. It was odd for Harleytown, which was usually crawling with johns and hookers seeking out depraved companionship, drug dealers, predators and not-so-petty thieves. But tonight it was as though something, some dark whisper in the night, had spooked them all back into their hidey-holes.
A shiver danced down my spine and I gave my gloves a tug.
This was a perfect place for a crime.
But, hell, what was I saying? Any place on this rock was the perfect place for a crime.
A rat skittered through the garbage piled on the street and someone peered out at us through the curtains of a window on the first floor of a seedy brownstone. When they noticed my attention, the curtain fluttered closed. Light flicked off.
Yeah. No one in this part of town wanted to tangle with one of Granny’s munis. They’d lose.
“Oh God, oh God, oh God.” Jimmy’s nasally voice echoed through the shadows, bouncing off the stones. “You’re here. Thank God.”
God had nothing to do with it.
I narrowed my eyes against the gloom and spotted him, hunkering in a debris-strewn alley. Jimmy was a jumpy gecko, but the way he was shuddering, the way his gaze kept skipping over the empty street, the way his left eye twitched, made me think this was something more than his usual paranoia. “What is it, Jimmy?” I called.
“Here. Come ’ere.” He waved me over, a frantic flutter of fingers. “Pflerg, Tig. Hurry.”
I shot a glance at One Eye and sighed. My partner held up his scanner and pointed it at the slender slit between the buildings. A beam of iridescent light walked its way over the crumbling bricks and scattered refuse with a low hum. The scanner beeped, a harsh intonation. One Eye nodded. Clear.
Nice to know the Dink wasn’t leading me into an ambush.
I headed toward him and One Eye took up position at the mouth of the alley, facing out, watching the street. Granted, we were Granny’s munis, but experience had taught us never to let down our guard. There was always someone watching. Always some shit in play.
I strolled down the long alley to Jimmy, adjusting my gloves. Not to make a point or anything. His gaze fixated on them, his slit pupils dilated, and his throat worked. Sweat beaded his scaly forehead … and Dinks sweated in pus. Great, gooey globs of it. And they were green. Great gooey green globs. Rolling down the side of his face. Jesus, it was gross. Almost as bad as the Skeeg.
“What is it, Jimmy?” Goddamn it. I knew this was going to be a pain in the ass, whatever it was. Just knew.
He stubbed out his draw and scuttled over. “I swear to God, Tig. I didn’t know.” His eyes bugged out. His way of emphasizing his innocence—or his ignorance. Hard to tell. He had little of one and a lot of the other.
“You didn’t know what, Jimmy?”
“Oh pflerg, Tig. Over here. Pflerg.”
Damn. I’d seen the little lizard in a wad more than once, was used to his mouth, but this …. This was weird.
I shook my head and followed him back into the corner of the alley barely lit by a faint streetlamp. It was a dead end, a box in. Stone walls on all sides. No escape but the mouth of the cave. Ideal for a surprise attack. The body lay at the far end, a jumbled pile of clothes draped over a stack of wooden pallets.
“We was just, you know, tanging a little. Just playing around. It got a little rough and … I swear. I swear, Tig. I didn’t know.”
I leaned closer and shone my light on the scene with a tsk. “Jimmy, Jimmy. What did you—?”
About the Author
Blessed (or cursed) with dyslexia and ADD, author Sam York has always loved creating worlds, tantalizing readers, and having complete and utter control over the universe. What could be better than writing snarky stories in a variety of genres?
Under various pen names, Sam has won multiple writing awards and hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller list several times.
Interested parties can learn more at http://sabrinayork.com/samyork/
Sam lives in seclusion east of Seattle with a really drooly Rottweiler.