Novellas

Captured by the Hawk - Space Opera with non-stop action and sweet romance. 


A Science Fiction Novella. Spaceships crash across the galaxy in the comic misadventures of spy Grey Kat and pirate Black Hawk. 
   Intrepid spy, Grey Kat, is escaping though Hassam Space Port with key codes stolen from the Emperor’s Revenge when she is trapped by the notorious pirate, Black Hawk. He persuades her to assist in his next piracy attempt, and they are thrust into a series of mishaps, dashing across the galaxy to avoid the Emperor’s ships. While dodging pursuit, Kat struggles to uncover the secret hidden behind Black Hawk’s mask before she suffers the tragic fate of his unfortunate wife. 
   If you enjoy science fiction with fast-paced action, mystery and romance, grab a copy of Captured by the Hawk. 

Buy links: Amazon  iBooks  Kobo  Scribd




Rosemary's Quest - a young adult, coming of age story with an untrained witch opposed to the invasion of a demon king. 

What would you do if an evil force threatened your home? A coming-of-age fantasy novella set in medieval times. 
Seventeen year old Rosemary Summers has no friends. The village children call her a witch, but she doesn’t know how to work magic. When the shadows of the Demon King Kafkad threaten her family’s farm, she sets out on a desperate quest for the White Wizard. Rosemary does not know if the mysterious wizard still lives or if he will help her. She must learn to harness her own magic to save her homeland from the Demon’s attack.


Buy links:



https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/rosemary-s-quest-1

Read Chapter 1 of Captured by the Hawk: Rogue Star


    A slight brown figure climbed down the ladder from the cargo hold at the rear of the Emperor’s Revenge. It paused to scan the space dock. Nobody was in sight. Grey Kat, in her covert persona of ghost thief and spy extraordinaire, slipped into the shadows. She crept out of the Revenge’s docking bay, and raced through the connecting passage toward the sector barrier. The secret codes were tucked into a pocket of her dingy brown coveralls. She had to deliver the codes safely to the Solarian Intelligence Service, or SIS, as it was colloquially named, without being spotted by the guards.
     Kat paused before the exit ramp, hearing excited voices from the space cruiser. She rotated on her toes, staring behind. No one was visible, so she strode boldly around the corner and departed from the Emperor’s sector. She ran along the passageway to the adjacent sector. Kat darted into the crowds milling through the central hub of Hassam port. Hearing no sound of hunters at her heels, she breathed a sigh of relief. Soon she could return to her official persona of the Mistress Trina Sligo, the daughter of the famous diplomat, Master Fingal Sligo, the Solarian ambassador.
     Loud yells from the Emperor’s sector alerted her to pursuit. The cruiser’s guards had found traces of her forced entry. The crowds were moving toward Neiman’s sector for the tradeshow and circus. She weaved in and out of the lively groups of people, aiming for the relative safety of the Solarian sector.
     Shouting from the rear, and the stamp of footsteps from the guards propelled her into a narrow side street. Kat dashed to the end, dodged around the corner, and raced past the sleazy inns and brothels of the old portside town. After another turn, she entered a broad thoroughfare lined with tourist shops,. She ran past cafes with tables spilling out into the street.
     Slowing her frantic pace, she matched the casual stride of a tourist visiting the old town. She strolled down the crowded street, scanning the passersby for a potential ally. At length, she spotted two junior officers of the Solarian interstellar fleet. The grey uniformed men lounged at a small table in a cafe, drinks in tall glasses in front of them. Kat sidled over to their table and leaned nervously toward the younger of the two officers.
      She offered the codes, and whispered in a conspiratorial manner, “Take this package to your intelligence officer. It’s a gift from the Grey Kat.” The officer stared at her ragged clothes in disbelief. “Take it,” she insisted. “I’m in great danger!” 
     Almost unwillingly, he stretched out his hand and clasped the com. Then, he glanced at his companion and nodded. As she sped away, they lifted their glasses, sipping as casually as if nothing had happened. Good, she mused, they would deliver the urgent codes to SIS. Now, she had to escape and switch her identity into the wealthy Mistress Trina.
     A line of blue uniformed troops advanced toward her from the far end of the street. Kat halted in dismay. Swinging around, she saw the Emperor’s guards emerging from a side street.
     Where could she hide? Kat dashed inside a small art gallery, forced her way past the confused owner and raced through his living quarters. She leapt into the back street, and fled down a narrow alley. A six foot barrier blocked the end. She scrambled over the wall, and clung to the top while she examined the other side. The area beyond the wall was littered with ancient rusty vehicles. She dodged around the messy clutter, vaulted the barrier on the other side, and crouched beside a smelly dumpster at the rear door of a shop.
     Kat waited until the distant crashing of her pursuers faded into an uneasy silence. She had evaded the guards. She stood quietly and brushed the dirt from her coveralls. Then, she marched boldly in the direction of the docks as if she owned the place. Indeed, she mused, parts of the spaceport were likely to be the property of her alter ego, Mistress Sligo. Finances were not her forte. She aimed to gain the safety of the Solarian sector, where her compatriots waited with their fast scout ship.
     Her best route led through the Independent sector. She paused warily before entering the sector. Would her enemies be waiting for her there? Surely, they would avoid the lawless Independents. She peeked swiftly around the wall. To her relief, no one was visible.
     Kat slipped into the narrow passage, with a nagging premonition of disaster. Leaning against the smooth wall, she scanned with all her senses alert for unusual motions or sounds. Still nothing! She set off to join her companions in their scout ship, the Shamrock. In a few steps, she reached the walkway, which extended along the whole length of the sector. Individual docking bays branched off at regular intervals. Kat stepped into the open space, and walked cautiously through the Independent sector. She exhaled her breath in a long sigh. She was almost to the safety of her sector.
     Suddenly, she heard soft voices approaching and the heavy tread of booted feet. She dived into the nearest bay, and hid behind a large container that was ready to load into the hold. Two men strode past the container where she crouched in silence. They spoke in low, cheerful voices as if their business had prospered in the port. Kat did not recognize their nondescript dark clothes, but they bore stunners in their belts. She watched them walk down the bay toward the ship, which was blocked from her sight by a stack of boxes. When they vanished behind the stack, she turned quietly, intending to creep away. She squeaked involuntarily, as her arm was grabbed roughly from behind.
     A man said in a gruff voice, “It’s the thief.” Kat wriggled vigorously, trying to escape his grip, to no avail.
     Footsteps sounded, and a second man came up behind her. “The Captain wants to question the thief,” he said. “She stole something from the Emperor’s Revenge.”
     They dragged Kat, kicking and wriggling, down the docking bay and into the spacecraft. Everything she saw was colored black. A black ship crewed by black clothed men. They towed her, still struggling, through the ship’s passages to a storage room. No one spoke to her. One man searched her dirty overalls, and removed her knife. Then, he flung her into a small featureless room.
      Kat was left alone in the room. The familiar noises and vibrations marked the ship disengaging from the dock, and lifting into orbit around the spaceport.  She stared around the windowless room. A simple bed platform on one side and a utility pot relieved the monotony of the white walls. She sensed the shift as the spacecraft left orbit and ventured into interstellar space. The vibrations damped as the ship entered the eerie vacuum of hyperspace.
      After several hours of isolation, Kat grew increasingly uneasy. She paced anxiously up and down the small room, and questions churned through her mind. Why had they captured her? Had they identified her as Grey Kat? Did they mean to starve her? She hoped that the young Solarian officers had taken the com with the stolen codes to their intelligence officer. They might easily have ignored her grimy figure and strange request.
     At last, an armed man entered her prison cell and left her plain food and a bottle of water. Her spirits rose; they did not mean her to starve. She ate and drank, and then lay down on the narrow cot and slept.
     In the morning, more food and water appeared, and her pot was emptied. Wrinkling her forehead, she wrestled with the decision as to which persona she should adopt when questioned. Should she appear as Grey Kat, the notorious code thief, or as Mistress Trina Sligo, the high class diplomat’s daughter?  She decided her story would depend on what her captors knew.
     Finally, she had her interrogation. Two armed men escorted her through the ship’s narrow passages into a large cabin. A tall man stood by a table displaying galactic charts. Strikingly, he was clothed entirely in black. He wore black leather boots, black gloves and a black turban covered his head. His face was wrapped in folds of black cloth, exposing only his piercing green eyes. She stared at him curiously. Sexy outfit, she mused, and judging by his broad shoulders, he would strip well. But, why did he have that black mask over his face? Was it a cultural obligation, or was he hiding some hideous facial deformity?
     Her interrogator scrutinized her small figure with equal intensity. He saw a slim woman with alert tawny eyes, short brown hair and skin. Her coveralls were a faded, nondescript brown, almost matching the color of her skin.
     His voice was cold, “My men claim you are the thief who stole the secret codes from the Emperor’s Revenge. Where are the codes?”
     She stared back without speaking, tilting her chin in defiance. Who was he to question her?
     “I am the Black Hawk. You are on my ship, the Rogue Star, and utterly in my power. I recommend you tell me what you know.” His deep voice sent a shiver down her spine.
     Kat had heard of the Black Hawk. He was a renegade captain of uncertain allegiance who terrorized interstellar space. His spaceship raided isolated ports and boarded lone ships. Some rumors claimed he preferred to prey on ships registered in the Emperor’s sector. She could never admit to her identity as the wealthy Mistress Sligo to such a rapacious pirate. Only her secret persona as the thief, Grey Kat, from the sleazy side of the docks was viable in this situation.
     “Ain’t got nothing!” Kat whined like a wretched dock rat, resuming her role as the thief in the dialect of the seedier docks.  
     His fierce eyes probed her. She flinched involuntarily and lowered her eyes, while stalling for time or inspiration.
     “Are you afraid of me?” he asked.
     Kat raised her head, gazing boldly into his green eyes, and sneered, intending to confound him, “What me? Why’d I fear a slick spacer like ye?”
     “What did you steal from the Emperor’s Revenge?” he said in accusation.
     “Wha’ ship? Didn’t take nothing from no ship!” she spat out, pursing her lips as if in perplexed anger.
     “My men saw you creep out of the Revenge’s cargo bay.” 
     Oh, no, Kat thought, I must be getting careless. I didn’t spot his men. “Ain’t bin in no ship. Ye put me back on dock,” she pleaded, chin tipped impudently. “Ain’t done nothing wrong.”
     “My ship has lifted from the spaceport. You cannot return to Hassam.” He stared at her for a minute, noting the unconscious challenge in her eyes and her defiant stance. “You intrigue me. You’re not afraid, and your replies are too prompt and recalcitrant for the usual dockside thief. 
     Kat remained silent. She locked her gaze onto his green eyes, and pondered her best approach in dealing with this confident pirate.
     “Are you ready to talk?” he insisted in a harsh voice, evidently unused to opposition. “What’s your name, thief?”
     It was time to switch her guise and bemuse him with the story of her life. She spoke, enunciating her words carefully, “I am called Grey Kat, and I am no common thief.”
     “Proceed with your story.” His tone hinted of derision.
     She spoke in a swift transition from the lingo of the unkempt underclass to the educated voice of a skilled narrator, “With your permission, Sir, I shall begin my story. I was born into a wealthy family on the planet Terra in the center of the Solarian sector. My fortunate childhood did not last for many years. My family lost its wealth to the predations of a financial genius affiliated with the Emperor. We were forced to beg for a livelihood. My talents led me in divergent directions. I roamed the streets at night in the service of criminals. During the day, I learned the skills necessary for the Solarian Intelligence Service.” She paused, noting a gleam of interest in his shadowed eyes.
     “I wish to know what you have done, not your life history,” he demanded in an attempt to forestall her digressions.
     “You can’t keep me in prison here,” she countered in her sweetest tone, despite her fear that he had kidnapped her for profit.
     His eyes scanned down her slight figure, lingering over her slender anatomy. Kat stiffened defensively. What was he thinking? Then, he lowered his gaze to the table, as if he pondered some unwelcome decision.
     After a moment’s silence, he raised his penetrating green eyes to her face, and said, “I realize you are more than a scrubby dock thief. We can provide better accommodations for you on the Rogue Star.”
     “Thank you, Captain Hawk,” she murmured politely, unsure what he meant by suitable accommodation.
     He called the guard and spoke quietly to him. She could not hear their words, although the guard looked surprised. He shook his head as if he were raising an objection. 
     Black Hawk glanced back at her. “Take her away, feed her, and bring her back at the same time tomorrow.”

  

No comments:

Post a Comment