Hitting bookshelves next month is an anthology I co-edited with Richard Brewer entitled Occupied Earth from the fine folks at Polis Books. It’s a collection of original stories about life under space alien occupation some twenty years on under the book heel of the Mahk-Ra.
But of course there is resistance of an organized nature in the form of the Red Spear and freelances for want of a better term. The following excerpt concerns such a freelancer, a character Richard and I created codenamed Hunter X. He is a bad muthaforya.
Occupied Earth is out on October 15 and we are also having a giveaway over on Goodreads.
I had previously mapped out the streets in my head. I took a shortcut and zoomed through a swath of dockworker housing, mostly nondescript concrete apartment blocks that reminded me of the crap housing I grew up in back in Sacramento near the downtown arena where I use to sneak in to watch the Kings basketball team. The area is decently cared for and it was a bitch secreting away one of my caches, but I’d eventually found a spot behind an old senior center.
In a freestanding little used outside storage shed, long in need of repair, I fetched my case from behind some adult diaper boxes and took off again. Traffic was light that time of day. I passed an over-sheriff patrol car, a Ra and Re in the vehicle. They gave me the once over and I nodded back, a nervous smile on my mug just like any other civilian hoping to be left alone to do their job without any trouble. They rolled past and I gave the rig some gas, heading back toward the roadway at a clip.
It’s pretty much a straight line to the Department and if I was moving that shitheel, that’s the way I’d have done it. No rigmarole, no fancy ducking and dodging. No time for that kind of bullshit ’cause maybe there’s some floating IEDs around or a clear plastic, nigh invisible Symtex Bouncing Betties about. I figured they’d want to get him safe and secured as fast as possible.
In the case I had a few special items, including an RPPG, a rocket-propelled pulse grenade launcher. I parked in a handicap zone near the front of a housing complex that bordered the route as I heard the sirens approach. I’d bet the noise wasn’t Harper’s idea but Maastas-ra, being the self-important prick he is, would have insisted so that the humans would know somebody important was coming through and to make way.
My phone’s lock pick app easily overcame the circuitry of the apartment’s entrance gate, and like that I was inside. The rain had let up for a few minutes and even though it was still overcast, there were a couple of good lookin’ babes in spray-on bikinis laying by the pool.
From the bit of chit-chat I heard between them it sounded like they worked at the casino. I tipped my cap to the ladies as I walked by. Maybe they thought I was there to repair the washing machines what with my work clothes and the case I was hefting.
I hurried up an enclosed stairwell and gained the top floor, the third landing, and blew out the lock of an apartment door with my handgun. I lucked out and no one was home. I made my way to a rear window and opened it. The small convoy was coming straight up the road and I got out the RPPG; sited it, took in a breath slowly, and let loose the grenade. It struck the hood of the lead vehicle, the skimmer, blowing up the engine. The vehicle dropped like a rock, fishtailing, and the Lincoln, unable to stop in time, T-boned it at full speed.
Given its armor, I figured nobody inside the limo would have been injured too badly. But now they were stalled on the road and I was that much closer to my kill shot. Staying in the apartment would be sure death as their tech would probably already be zeroing in on the origin of the assault. Odds were they wouldn’t exit the vehicle. They’d sit tight and wait for back up. Then the trailing skimmer hit the Limo.
I ran down the stairs. Ascending was a cop, a Mahk-Ra. The fuck? Was he one of the uniforms I passed in the patrol car? How could they have responded so quickly?
“Halt. Hands up,” he said, his gun already starting out of its holster and starting to rise.
I shot the deputy in the face, his dark blood staining the compact stairwell’s walls. I kept going, stepping over his crumpled corpse. I was traveling light. I only had the one shell for the RPPG so I’d left it upstairs. I wasn’t wearing gloves or a DNA blocker. Fuck it. It wasn’t like they didn’t know me.
For more Occupied Earth goodness and to read stories, bonus tracks as it were, not in the book, check out the website.