Weathering The Past
Our hero spins, a dervish with a Raptor pressed in each hand, spitting venom bullets in wild arcs. Her shoulder blades, elbows, and hips jostle against the hard surface of her partner’s back as they dance a reaper’s tango across cold durocrete pavement.
Ana and Memo went in with the sun at their backs but came out to a downpour of bullets. The opposition was still marshaling their forces, giving the former Valkyrie and her brother just enough time to take them down while racing down the alley.
The empty drive they’d come in with brimmed with what they hoped was data on the Continuum’s Reset Weapon. It sat tucked in a pocket under a layer of duroweave armor wrapping nearly all of Ana’s body.
A bullet whizzed by. Ana locked on the source and plugged the hulking box of a man with a quick three round burst.
Small round peg. Big square hole. Works every time.
In the months since Ana’s departure from the Agency and simultaneous arrival to the Weathermen, the latter group had gathered intel indicating that the Reset Weapon, despite its name, was the key to The Continuum’s plan to keep control of their dystopian future. Any info the Weatherman could get was worth its weight in platinum. Or given the weight of the drive pressing gently against Ana’s breastbone, several times the platinum market rate.
“Moze, there’s two more coming out the back door.” The voice of Sera Costas grated in Ana’s ear. Her use of Memo’s annoying nickname didn’t help.
Ana and Memo turned so he could keep the two behind at bay while she continued to clear a path back to the extraction point.
It had been a hot day. Even in the shadows between tall buildings, heat rose from piles of refuse, causing the air to waver, looking thin, as though an alternate reality lay just on the other side. Now those same piles spat up their contents as though being interrogated by the bullets that tore through them.
One of the bullets from Ana’s guns struck an assailant near the mouth of the alley. He went down, but she couldn’t be sure if that meant for good.
Memo’s guns discharged behind her. Sera chirped “Two more ahead and you’re free to the LZ.”
Free to peruse the pile of data that Ana hadn’t been able to decrypt before the Continuum’s alarm sounded. She thought they would have a bit more time to get past the architectural specs of the Continuum’s heavily insulated fallout shelters to more important topics before being forced to cut and run.
She’d started to protest when Memo said “Shut up and dance with me.”
Twin bursts shuttled the last two Continuum agents into the afterlife.
“Okay guys! Let’s go!” Sera cheered.
“What about —” Ana started, remembering the one at the end of the alley that she had only hit in the leg.
In her moment of hesitation, Memo broke away, leaving Ana stuck to the ground like a monument to stupidity, watching as a head and gun rose from the ground just long enough to speak of impending doom.
The bullets pounded Ana’s body, stealing her breath and her ability to stand. For a split second she forgot who she was and how she got there.
It came back in a flash and from her new position prone on the ground, Ana checked that the drive was intact.
Oh thank god.
She pushed herself up to inspect the locations at her stomach and leg where the bullets had hit, but Memo reappeared, looking like an angel with the sun shining down from behind.
“There’s more coming,” he said. “I’ll carry you.”
“Just give me a hand up.”
Ana prevented the pain from overtaking her long enough to get to the hovervan waiting at the end of the alley, ready to fly away.
She collapsed inside, hands pressed to the drive, holding it to her heart like a love letter.
Weathering the Past, the pulse-pounding second novel in The Valkyrie Project series is out now! Head to Amazon to download a sample to any Kindle app or eReader or continue reading right from your browser!