My latest novella is available right now from Amazon, Kobo, and Smashwords. Barnes & Noble should be up soon, and the paperback should follow some time next week, assuming no major screwups. I’ll update the table with the appropriate links when they’re available.
I’m pretty excited about this book. It was really fun to write, and I hope you enjoy it.
I’ve included the first chapter below. You can read the first four chapters on the Grim Repo page.
Aboard the Grim Repo, starship repossession specialist Grimm and his crew don’t often fail to repo their targets.
But when his latest repo goes terribly wrong, Grimm finds himself caught between the bank that hired him, the delinquent who tried to kill him, and an ex-lover who may want to help him . . . or may want him dead.
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Pain. I had known pain for as long as I could remember. I’m sure I knew it even before I could remember, all the way back to the day I was born, when I shot out from my mother’s womb with my arm broken.
My father once told me I was already screaming. That they didn’t need to spank my ass to get me going.
“Grimm, are you alive in there?”
The voice came from outside my head, outside the memories, outside the pitch black cocoon I had sealed myself inside.
I didn’t respond. I couldn’t.
“Grimm? Make a noise if you’re alive.”
I even recognized Alice’s voice, the subtle timbre that spoke of love and kindness and things I didn’t understand. But no. Those weren’t there. She was a Synth.
I tried to kick for her, but I couldn’t move. The cocoon had collapsed on me in the crash. They weren’t supposed to do that. Centat Systems claimed they could survive a three hundred gravity collision and keep the occupant alive.
Maybe it had done that. After all, I still lived.
But I couldn’t move enough to make a sound Alice could hear with her ears. If she had been using a listening device, she should have heard my breather, my heartbeat.
That she wasn’t using a device only meant that things were bad outside my cocoon.
I tried, anyway. I attempted to strike out with my right arm, the one limb that didn’t feel broken or crushed, but I couldn’t move it more than a centimeter. The protective gel held me too tight.
I heard two thumps against the exterior of the cocoon.
“Open it up,” Alice said.
I don’t know why I could hear her at all. The protective gel should have kept the noise from reaching me. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t complaining.
“I don’t care if you think it’s a waste of time. Grimm might still be alive in there, and I want it open.”
Thank you, Alice.
One of the problems with the cocoons is that they’re difficult to open. They’re made that way to protect the occupant. Once the cocoon is sealed, the cocoon won’t open for anything except its own electronics or some seriously heavy duty cutting tools. The electronics had to be smashed, or the unlock mechanism damaged. Most likely, both, or they wouldn’t have had to resort to yelling through the cocoon wall.
I just hoped that when they cut me open they didn’t cut my leg off. I didn’t want to spend three months growing yet another leg, or worse. I could tell the damage was already bad enough.
The only thing keeping me alive was the breathing tube that had jammed itself just a little too far down my throat. I wanted to cough, but even that was impossible.
The whine came through tiny and tinny at first when they started up the saw. It must have been Mickey. I hoped it was Mickey.
And then the real sound and light show began as the saw cut into the outer shell. I knew, outside, sparks would be flying everywhere. Inside, the gel stopped them, but I could still see the light, a bright blue flame. The first light I had seen in three days.
Three days since I bailed out of the cruiser I had been trying to repossess. Three days since the owner shot it out of orbit.
The light moved down the length of the cocoon leaving a trail of molten metal-plastic ooze behind it. I had no idea what the cocoons were made of, but it had done its job. A fall from orbit without a parachute, and I was still alive.
As the seam of light grew longer and longer, the pressure on me began to ease, and I felt more and more of my injuries. I’m amazed, honestly, that I even stayed awake that long.
The saw stopped.
The cocoon cracked open.
I looked into Alice’s bright gold eyes.
“Welcome home,” she said.
The pain throughout my broken body erupted and overwhelmed me.
I don’t remember any part of the next three weeks.
Read the first four chapters of Grim Repo!