Mike and I have been insanely busy (he got married just last weekend) but that hasn’t stopped us from making headway on the second book of Broken Nights (The Book That Hath Not Been Named). We’ve put together an entire outline for the second book, as well as developed some great new characters.
I don’t want to give away any spoilers for book 1, so, if you haven’t read the first book, please go pick up a copy either digitally or in paperback over on Amazon.
The theme of this series is all about family and relationships, but we have sub-themes that guide the stories as well. In book 1, the sub-theme was technology versus man, with a surprising result. In this book, we’ve decided to turn this story toward something else that Jason Night has never come face to face with before…
I’d like to give you a short I put together that will still need some polishing before we put it in the final draft, but this is when Jason, as The Guardian, meets a magic user in his city. In this short, you’ll get a taste of some of the fun stuff from book 1, but also get a hint as to where the next novel is going, including familial dynamics and new equipment.
Once again, please don’t read this if you don’t want spoilers. I encourage you to go to Amazon and get yourself a copy of Broken Nights!
The Guardian Meets Coven!
The Guardian peeked around the corner of the Darden Valley Credit Union. Floating in the middle of the street was a hooded figure facing away from him. From the reports, he knew that the figure was a woman.
She wore a hooded cloak that went almost entirely down her back. It was forest green with brown trim. In the brown trim were golden letters that Jason didn’t recognize.
“Can you see those markings?” Jason asked Amy over his comm.
“Yes,” she replied almost instantly. “I’m scanning them now. I’ll let you know if I find anything.” She paused for only a second. “If you can get in front of her, I can try to run facial recognition on her and maybe drop her picture into Google Image Search.”
Jason frowned. “You’re a living supercomputer and you want to use Google Image Search?”
“I know when my skills are outmatched. I might be a living supercomputer, but Google Image Search is something…more,” Amy replied with an almost too serious tone. Jason suddenly wondered if The Guardian needed to drop into Google headquarters and check on things.
The hooded figure flung her hand out and toward the nearest building. An orange aura surrounded her hand as a man was yanked by an invisible force out of one of the building’s second floor windows and propelled toward her hand.
Jason sighed. “More magic.”
“How do you plan on confronting her?” Amy asked.
“I’ll let you know when I figure it out.” Jason stepped out of the shadows when he realized that he couldn’t hear what the hooded figure was saying.
The Guardian slapped his knuckles together and called out, “Put him down.”
The hooded figure rotated in the air, pulling the man along in the invisible field that she controlled, and turned to face The Guardian.
Through the hood, The Guardian could almost make out her eyes, but there was an unnatural shadow that clouded her face.
Mumbling to Amy, The Guardian asked, “Can you see through that?”
“No,” she answered. “I’ve changed my mind. Magic is very quickly losing its cool factor.”
“I don’t have time for this,” the hooded woman flicked her fingers and the man held in her invisible grip fell to the pavement. She was only floating about six feet off of the ground. The man recovered as he landed on the pavement and then took off away from the two of them.
The Guardian tried diplomacy one more time, “Why don’t you come down so we can talk about this.”
He wasn’t surprised when his feet were no longer on the ground and the same invisible force that had grabbed onto that previous man began pulling him toward the flying gal with the mysterious powers.
As she brought him to eye level, and almost within arm’s reach, she squinted at him through her shadow. “What do you know about the man calling himself Samson?”
He wiggled only a little bit, testing the grip that she held on him. It seemed that she only seemed to have him held in the air, but not necessarily immobile. To test it further, The Guardian put his hands on his hips. There was no resistance.
“Is this your first time in Darden Valley?” He asked.
Pressure exerted itself on The Guardian’s body. She was using his outfit to crush him.
“Jason,” Amy said, “the suit readings aren’t making any sense. What’s going on?”
“I’m aware of who you are,” the magic-user said instead of answering. “What do you know about Samson?”
The Guardian wondered if he could get to his tonfa quickly enough to knock her out. His nerve and muscle responses might have been faster than most people, but the movement to retrieve the tonfa on his back and bring it forward wouldn’t go unnoticed.
“He’s the strongman who has been doing the break ins,” he answered.
The only affirmation that she showed was in the releasing of the pressure in The Guardian’s suit.
“Who are you?” he asked.
While he couldn’t see her face, he was under the impression that she was frowning before finally answering.
“I’m the one responsible for collecting Samson.” She paused and The Guardian got the feeling that she was thinking about the next sentence carefully. “You can call me Coven.”
“Well, Coven,” The Guardian let out a sigh. “I’m going to tell you only once, and I’m going to do it politely; You need to leave my city. I’ll handle Samson. Darden Valley doesn’t need any more magic users here.”
Coven smiled as The Guardian’s suit began to tighten again. “You have no power over me, Guardian. Samson is my responsibility and any who stand in my way will be removed.”
Coven’s hand that wasn’t holding The Guardian in place was suddenly on fire. A ball of fire leapt from her palm and hit his chest with enough force to knock The Guardian from her grip and send him sailing back about twenty feet and down onto the pavement.
The entire scene slowed down for him and he twisted in the air , drawing his new tonfa and bringing himself into a roll as he touched the pavement. As he came up, he activated the tonfa’s new trick and a sticky grappler cable launched from the tip and slammed into the sole of Coven’s shoe. He hit the retract button almost immediately and yanked hard on the tonfa.
Coven was in the middle of launching her next fireball at him as The Guardian brought her slamming down into the pavement. The fire went wild and into a blue mailbox on the corner of the street.
Taking the briefest of moments, The Guardian glanced down at his chest and put out the small flames that were still there from Coven’s first attack.
“How are you so fast?” Coven shouted as The Guardian was suddenly closing on her.
He retracted the cable into the tonfa and ran at her. She gripped him in another invisible hand, but The Guardian had been waiting for her to use that trick again. With his tonfa out, he used the momentum behind his run to throw the tonfa at her.
She reacted on instinct and used her invisible hand to grab the tonfa, dropping The Guardian to do so.
He continued his run as his feet touched the pavement, closing the distance. He brought his fist toward her abdomen and was surprised when her own hand slapped the charged shocker-sleeve out of the way. He turned with the move and came around with his other fist at the same time that Coven spun as well, bringing another ball of flame around.
The Guardian’s shocker sleeve slammed into Coven’s ribcage and released its charge at the same time that her blast of fire slammed into his shoulder.
The resulting blasts of energy propelled them away from each other. The Guardian landed on his feet again after spinning away and righting himself in the air. His pain senses were dulled by the procedure that his digital sibling had put him through, but he was still aware of the damage. He looked down at his shoulder and saw a hole in his Kevlar and shirt that was the width of his hand. In that hole was freshly burned and raw flesh. Even with his dulled sense of pain, The Guardian flinched as he flexed his shoulder.
Returning his gaze to Coven, he saw that she was still writhing from the taser touch of his glove.
Not taking any chances, The Guardian slapped his knuckles together and walked toward Coven. He scooped up his tonfa as he passed it and slapped it into its scabbard on his back. He straddled the prone Coven and dropped his knees onto her arms.
She went from dazed to instantly alert, but before she could move, The Guardian touched the side of her head with his shocker-sleeve and watched her black out.
“Amy,” he said into his comm, “we need to figure out how to contain a witch.”
“Already on it.”