Risen from Ashes: Legacy Preview

I told myself I wasn’t going to write it, but I am now so emotionally invested in this novel that I have to. Hope you all enjoy! 🙂

 

Chapter XVI

“Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death”
Omar Bradley

June 11, 2060
Vienna, Austria
23:02 UTC

It was quiet, the first quiet night the Iron Wolves had since being deployed in Vienna, Austria. Lance Corporal Logan Adams and Corporal Sora Byrne were keeping watch from the bell tower of St. Stephen’s Cathedral Church. They, and the rest of the platoon had been holed up for three days, their comm-links were dead, and they were in the middle of a war zone, in enemy territory.
     Only six months ago did Myriad take the city by force, killing all those who opposed and even those who hadn’t, they were just in the way. As the first class of specialized soldiers, the Wolves were to be sent in under cover of night, helping the allies by eliminating the threat. However, they were set up and paid heavily for it.
     While they had a moment of peace, watching the clear starry night, Byrne tried to think of another time she had been so frightened for her and her team. Yes, three years ago during her graduation ceremony; she could almost recall the smell of smoke and blood. She hadn’t talked to her parents after that chain of events set off and now, she was an ocean away from everyone she loved. Despite their possible outcome, Byrne knew she’d rather be here, fighting to take back this once gorgeous city, rather than sitting at home and watching the world pass her by.
     “We need a plan of attack.” her team leader, Second Lieutenant Elis Grant glanced around the small crew. Out of the twelve that were involved with the Iron Wolves, only nine remained. They managed to carry their dead comrades’ corpse into the church, but their ammunition stock was low, they were mentally and physically exhausted from three months of non-stop fighting, and they were quickly running out of options.
     “Grant, what are we going to do? We don’t have enough ammo for an assault. We step outside and we’re dead. We wait for morning, we’re dead. We try to move positions…” Charles fought back.
     Grant sighed and finished his sentence, “…We’re dead.”
     “If we just sit here we’re dead anyway!” Andrews chimed in irritably.      Watching the heated discussion, seeing what depravity could do to the dispositional, wishing they would all just be quiet, Byrne glanced at Adams, the neck of marksman rifle clutched tightly in her hands. “They’re going to blow our cover if they carry on like that.”
     He shrugged, “This is what happens when you have hungry alphas all packed in tight quarters. They’ll bicker and bitch until a solution falls in their lap.”
     Not content with his attitude, Byrne knew that when the others were hungry, they were pissed off, when Adams was hungry, he cared about little else.
     “Hey!” Sora finally called to them in her loudest whisper, they froze and stared at her incredulously. “Shut the hell up, you all keep arguing like this, you’ll blow our cover and we’ll be dead sooner than later.”
     Everyone fell into silence, they knew Byrne was an excellent marine, but they never knew that she could take command with a natural air of superiority. She was always quiet and obedient; now, they knew that while she rarely spoke, she had a darker side that watched and waited for the perfect moment to strike; like a true marksman. Glaring at them, Byrne stood, careful to avoid being seen through the cracked window. “Andrews, since you’re the lightest and smallest, go downstairs and search for a hidden pathway. This is a church, right? It’s not uncommon for old churches like these to have a mausoleum.”
     “Belay that, Andrews.” Grant glared at Byrne. “You’re not in charge here. You’re not the leader, I am.”
     “Then act like it, you stubborn pig!” she snarled back.
     Angry sparks flew between them, although she was shorter by several inches, she looked daggers at him with unblinking eyes. After a minute of dead silence, Grant said, without looking away. “Alright. Fine. Drew, go.”
     Ready to escape the heavy tension in the air, Andrews slid down the aged ladder and into the dark abyss of the church.
     While they waited for the scout to report back, Adams watched as Grant and Byrne still glared at each other with nothing but extreme loathing.
     Peters, who was working on trying to repair the comm-link only managed to get their own fixed with consequence as the entire platoon heard a painful ringing noise in their head. “Damnit,” he muttered under his breath before looking up. “Well, at least we can finally communicate with each other, just not with the outside world.”
     “What happened?” Grant asked tugging at his earlobe. “Why did we go silent all of a sudden?”
     “Remember when we were grounded at that café on the corner? When we heard that screeching noise?”
     “How could I forget?” How could anyone forget? That was when their successful push had done a complete one-eighty.
     “That was caused by an EMP. They shut down the entire city by planting an EMP at the power plant, it completely blew the system. Unfortunately, it also shut down our radio links, I managed to only get us a short-range frequency. But, it won’t last long, plus, if they find our number, it’ll be easy for Myriad to track us.”
     A loud creak silenced everyone, they aimed their weapons at the ladder as they heard someone approaching, climbing slowly. Ready to fire at the intruder, waiting for the enemy, Andrews popped his head up but quickly dipped it again, afraid someone would fire first. “Mother of God, it’s me, you assholes!”
     Lowering their weapons, Grant went over and helped him up, “Might’ve been nice if you could tell us, Drew.”
     “Sorry, but, I found the catacombs.”
     “Really?” everyone, even Sora, was surprised.
     “Yeah, but… there’s a problem, it’s really hard to get through and…” he glanced downward, wondering how to phrase the next statement. “About eighty civilians have taken refuge there.”
     This was followed by the loudest silence.
     Grant was the first to recover. “Eighty? I thought everyone evacuated or died.”
     “No.” Andrews shook his head. “From what I could gather, they’ve been hiding with small rations and nothing else for months. I talked to one, he said that the catacombs lead back to the Belvedere Museum.”
     “That’s near our base.” Grant and the others had his full attention. “If we can get back there, we can pass the information along.”
     “What about the refugees?” Byrne asked. “They can’t just stay there, they have to go along with you.”
     Grant was about to agree when he stopped and asked. “What do you mean you?”
     “I’m saying the moment we leave this nest, Myriad will be on our tail. They haven’t approached because they know Adams and I have higher ground and they have no chance to get past us. Once they see us on the move, there’ll be hell to pay.”
     “I’ll stay back with Byrne. We’ll hold them off. Peters, you said the short-range frequency is working? That’s great, as soon as you guys make it out of the church vicinity, tell us and Byrne and I will follow.”
     “Do we have any spare charges?” Byrne asked the group at large.
     “One.” Casey answered, due to her injured leg, she spent most of the night nursing her wounds and preserving her remaining strength. “Why?”
     “We can’t have them following us in the catacombs.”

     Grant knew what they were getting at. “Byrne, we’re not setting those charges and leaving you both here. That’s not going to happen.”
     “What choice do we have?” she asked with a pained tone that unnerved everyone. “There are eighty refugees, and us, if we don’t hold them back then we won’t live to fight another day.”
     “If you get yourself killed you won’t have another day to fight for!”
     “What if,” Adams suggested, “What if you put the charges on a timer? Twenty minutes, as soon as you get safely away, tell us, and Byrne and I will follow.”
      “That’s barely enough time for you both to get to safety.”
     “If that happens, then that happens. Just one thing?”
     “What?” Grant asked.
     “If we don’t make it,” Byrne paused. “For the love of God, don’t tell my parents what we did.”
     “I’m not telling them because that’s not going to happen. You both will make it or I swear I will have you both running so many laps.”
     Grinning at the thought, Byrne nodded. “Yes, sir.”

     After passing and trading what ammunition they had left, leaving enough for the escape crew in case they ran into trouble, Byrne and Adams watched for signs of Myriad soldiers, they wanted to make sure the others made it through the entrance to the catacombs safely, but they had a job to do.
     “You ready for this, Adams?”
     “Are you, Byrne?”
     Over the comm-link, they heard Casey groaning in pain as she said, “Charge is set… twenty minutes starting… now.” Byrne set the timer on her watch so they could keep track of how long they had.
     As if that was the queue, Adams and Byrne watched their enemies making their move. They advanced cautiously, but with eagle eyes, the two marksmen waited until their shots were clear. One after the other, soldiers were shot down in the streets as if this were a mere training exercise, but still Myriad persisted, they would stop at nothing to kill the Marines, and the refugees if it came to that.
     With ten minutes left, and Myriad slowing their attempts, Grant spoke over the comm-link, “We have the refugees, we’re making our way back.”
     “Time to go.” Byrne said to her companion as they holstered their rifles. In time too as they had less than a full clip remaining. They slid down the ladder and jumped down the scaffolding to the ground floor in the dusty church. Outside, they could clearly hear boots running towards them.
     Just as they made it to the nave, Myriad soldiers burst through the door and immediately started firing, hitting the stained glass window, and the statue of Christ on the cross, having little regard and no respect for the ancient structure.
     “Byrne, Adams, you alright?” Grant asked as the two took cover behind the podium, rifles on their backs, they armed themselves with only their pistols.
     As the firing stopped, the two soldiers took their chance to return fire, taking very conservative shots to preserve what remaining ammo they had left.
     “Byrne! Adams! Answer me, damn you!” Grant yelled in the comm.
     “Little busy right now!” Byrne answered as she dodged a round that fired too close to home.
     “Three minutes!” Peters called out in their ears.
     “Adams, let’s go!”
     As she was closest to the entrance of the catacombs that was five yards from them, Adams took his chance and ran to her side of the cover, a shot slicing through the sole of his boot.
     “We gotta go,” Byrne made eye contact with him. “No matter what?”
     “No matter what.” Adams answered, trusting her judgement as he had always trusted her.
     When they heard a pause from their enemies, taking time to reload their ammo, Byrne and Adams bolted for the entrance, firing from the hip to suppress the soldiers. As Adams was behind, he saw a red dot aimed at Byrne’s side.
     “NO!” he leapt forward and took Byrne down just as the discharge went off.
     Screaming in pain, hidden behind the ruined pew, Adams continued screaming loud enough for everyone to hear. His curses and grunts echoing in the darkened cathedral.
     Byrne glanced around to see large amounts of blood seeping from Adams’ hip, staining his clothes and the floor.
     “Can’t move…” Adams winced and grunted “Leg’s broken… Go, you don’t have long.”
     Byrne wouldn’t listen. She pulled the long scarf from her neck and wrapped his hip tightly around his thigh and waist, tightening it as far as she could.
     “GO!”
     “Shut up!” Byrne picked him up, careful to avoid the wound, she felt his right leg dangle without support and it was not hard to guess that his femur had completely severed from his hip.
     With thirty seconds left, Byrne raced while carrying him on her back, through the entrance, avoiding bullets that lodged themselves in the walls and pillars, painting the air with stone and dust.
     Ten seconds and they had just made it to the escape route, the red light on the charge flashing. Exhausted, straining, she put all her efforts into running as hard as she could. She was a survivor, and they were going to survive. They had just made it to the corner when there was a loud explosion and thunderous rumbling that knocked Sora off her feet, dropping Adams in the process. With the smoke and force of the explosion, Byrne quickly shielded Adams with her own body, protecting him from the falling debris and ancient bones that fell from their resting place. She felt burning rock and embers hit her back, singing her armor, creating holes in her fatigues.
     Pushing up just far enough to see his eyes, her throat parched, Byrne asked in a whisper. “You alright?”

      Adams glanced up at her, his freckled cheeks flustered which clashed with his reddish-brown hair. “Yeah, you?”
     “Fine.”
     Heavy smoke filled the hallway, covered in rubble and human dust, Grant’s frantic voice called through the comm. “Byrne! Adams! Are you there? Come in! Answer me, damnit!”
     Sitting up on her knees, coughing up the smoke from her lungs, the wire having fallen out of her ear, Byrne replaced it and said with a heavy sigh of relief. “It’s Byrne, we’re through. Adams was injured. Just keep going, we’re headed your way.”
     “How’d he get injured? From the blast? We felt the tremors here, we thought you were dead!”
     Wearily, Byrne laughed, “So,” she chided, “You do care. We’ll catch up at base and fill you in there. Byrne out.”
     They needed a moment of rest, but the carbon dioxide was slowly poisoning their lungs. Pushing Adams up against the wall, Byrne straightened his leg and studied the wound.
     “I’m gonna bleed out before we get there.” Adams was too weak to stop her, and he thought it best to preserve his remaining strength. “Go. I’ll be fine.”
     Byrne glanced at the burning rock beside her, it was glowing red and still aflame; it gave her an idea. “You’re not going to bleed out. Besides, you heard Grant. He’ll have my neck, and find you in the afterlife to punish you.”
     Weakly laughing, the two could only imagine Grant using a séance to talk to them and ordering them to run for endless miles.
     She pulled off the scarf that held him together, trying not to cringe from the smell of the heavy gore that stained everything it touched, or his painful grunts and heaves. She tore the cargo jeans a little further to get a better look at the wound, despite having already lost so much blood, more still was escaping. Using his shaking hand, she had him hold the scarf against the wound tightly then pulled out the switchblade, her father had given her, and her trusted torch lighter. “This trail goes on for a few miles, I’m no medic, but the bullet hit an artery, you won’t make it, unless I do something incredibly stupid and excruciating,” activating the lighter, she started heating the blade. After a short while, seeing a faint orange glow. Deactivating the lighter, she finished. “But will ultimately save your life. You have to forgive me.”
     “For what?” He felt a sense of dread; he honestly didn’t know if he could handle more pain.
     “For this.”
     She pulled his hand and scarf away before pressing the flat of the blade against the wound. Adams yelled even louder than when he had gotten shot. His whole body jerked as he threw his head back and gripped her arm tightly, shaking violently, trying to push her off screaming and cursing at her as he felt the searing heat pressing against him.
     When she thought it was safe enough, and the blade was cooling, she glanced down; her plan worked, at least until he could get proper medical attention. The blood had clotted, leaving a visible, blistering shape of a blade.
     “What the shit was that for?” he yelled, his nails dug into the palm of his hand, trying to stem the pain.
     “The heat cauterized the wound temporarily.” Sora explained as she replaced the wrap tightly.
     “Was there no other way?”
     “If you want to live? No. I’m not losing you, Adams.”
     He stared at her, heaving and shaking. What did she mean by that? “Sora…” he whispered her given name for the first time. He finally seemed to calm down.
     “Yeah?” she had just finished tearing her jacket into strips, reaching around Adam’s lower back to help her carry him. They were inches apart, he held her cheek, to stop her from moving away. He wanted to say thank you, but words failed him. Instead, he leaned forward and kissed her.
     Byrne glanced at him in shock, she liked Adams, found him to be a great companion and excellent marksman, but she didn’t like him kissing her.
     For his sake, she accepted it, knowing he was delirious with blood loss. She thought, given the adrenaline and aftermath that she should feel something in this small affection, but, nothing happened. It was the same when Greg had kissed her, was she cold hearted? Or was she destined to live alone, never knowing love or kindness? Resorting only to fighting with fire and valor until her last breath?
     When he pulled away, she said nothing, only picked him up on her back and started walking the only way they could go: forward.

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Huzzah!

My archangel is finally glued together.

Holy moly that took forever. Yet! Now that he is glued up I can primer him :3

I really need to edit my second book….

Projects, Projects, Projects

So, I haven’t been on much and I totally regret that.

Life

‘Nuff said.

Anyway, I have a ton of stories I need to work on and so little time, especially with procrastination, speaking of, I am working on a new model – finished one last week, but this is my new one:

DDcbZoYXoAAaESv

Hmm, kinda depressing. BUT I’ll get him all glued up tonight and post an update. the thing is large, but the detail in this resin model is phenomenal. I can’t wait to see how he turns out.

No Man’s Sky: To Co-Op, or Not to Co-Op

I am one of the many who are excited for the newest, seamless, open world game: No Man’s Sky.

Reading about the updates, the blogs, the articles I see a lot of people asking for an MMO or multiplayer for this game, and I am wondering “Why?”

I feel as if Multiplayer and MMO’s would destroy the gameplay, especially for N.M.S. because it is a space-exploration game, not like Mass Effect or Elite Dangerous. Well, less like M.E. Because you have missions to do, people to save… or destroy if you’re a Renegade.

With Elite Dangerous, you are exploring, trading, but you are also finding rogue ships.

One thing I will say is that if there was a 1-4 player Co-Op as an optional game type for N.M.S. Where you join someone’s game world and travel with them to find resources. Build, explore. That would be interesting, and fun, because you are working together, travelling to the same world, and having a good time.

Despite there not being a Co-Op, I will still play the game. Space Exploration is so fascinating, and I cannot wait to experience it.

 

What Steps Will you Take?

What looks like an easy rescue mission turns out to be a complete horror as Captain Ira “Raven” Byrne’s demon catches up with him in the form of a former friend; one who has supposedly been six feet under for nearly seven years.
Shrewd, cunning, and aloof, Blackbird, who has risen from the ashes and embers of the past, inadvertently leads Ira down a dark path where treachery and deceit lie in every shadow. When the time comes, Ira will have to choose between what is right, and what he wants. However, Blackbird has another agenda in mind, a one-way path to end a brutal war that never should have started.

Get your copy of Risen from Ashes here: http://amzn.to/28TpLho

Edarian Chronicles: A New Chapter

Slowly working on a series of stories – unconnected to Risen – I found myself in need of inspiration and I just so happened to find it among six strangers

Using the format in a Dungeons and Dragons form (which works perfectly) the new main Character, Kayle or the Kindred Witch, found six strange companions who have a deep magical connection even though they look nothing alike.

 

Anvilus: A Drow Paladin with a chip on his shoulder and a taste for revenge

Jharak: A Half Elf-Half Human Draconic Sorcerer who prides in his history and heritage

Sanctus: A Wood Elf Rogue with Robin Hood’s nature, if not his charm
Rykar: A Gnome Wizard, half brother of Sanctus, and a man with a price on his head and a debt to pay back
Garlon: A Forest Gnome who sold his soul because of his lust for knowledge and now, wants it back.
Miku: A Human Bard with a charm for song but with a flaw for spreading rumors

 

Caught in the middle of an age long battle that they have no knowledge of, the six companions will find that there is much more to this dangerous mission and they will have to watch each other’s backs as well as their own.

The Book Has Come!

I have finally published my very first novel, Risen from Ashes. After five long years of editing, writing, editing again, fixing, and much research, mostly under a caffeine-induced haze… (eh.. heh heh…) The novel, a 389-page book is finally for sale on Amazon as a paperback or ebook.

For those who are unaware of what this book is about, allow me to entertain you:

The year is 2028; World War III has broken out among the countries. Many are either dead or missing and still more die as each slow day passes into a haze of horrid memories.

Enter Captain Ira “Raven” Byrne. A strong, dependable, captain who has led his soldiers into battle. For all his stoic façade, he is slowly suffering from the horrors of his past. His parents were in a car accident, his best friend was killed when the first attacks of war had hit close to home, and he lost men in the thicket of battle.

However, Ira’s journey is only beginning. When word reached General Allen about the possibility of an asset, still living, who would know the dregs who started this bloody war, he sees this as an opportunity for Ira to pull himself from the haunts of his past and find a way to move on.

What he did not count on was the fact that said asset was a friend of his and Ira’s – a friend who was supposed to be dead.

Too late to turn back, Allen could only hope that Ira would keep his wits and stay strong when he revealed the supposed dead man.

 

If you would like to read the summary, or buy the book, you can click here

I also encourage reviews if you would like to leave one.

 

Untitled-1

 

Very Interesting Monday

The edits are done, the book submitted.

I was excited, elated, so much so that I did not have a care in the world… Until Monday arrived on my doorstep.

Not even twelve hours after I finished the book, my glasses broke beyond repair. While I am usually right in guessing that it was Karma, I feel as if today was Fate, crushing my lenses and snapping them into Oblivion.

What it felt like was in the scene of Anastasia (FOX Animations) when Rasputin was strangling Bartok the bat. I swear, that scene replayed in my mind.

 

I felt like such an idiot. Maybe if I had moved faster, then my glasses could have survived that terrible Fate!

 

 

Introductions

Good afternoon dear friends and acquaintances!
I trust everyone is having a wonderful day so far, if you are not then look at cute cat pictures. 🙂

Let me first introduce myself. My name is Taylor, but friends call me Abels. I go to college, I love to read, write, draw, and illustrate… you can tell by my logo photo. I also love animals, but cats are my number one. Though, dogs are enjoyable as well.
And, I have an addiction to coffee. You can probably tell by ramblings, but I digress.

As stated before, I love to write, I am currently editing my first novel and I hope it turns out well. I do also love to write about stories I have read. While I will read and review any subject, my favorites are fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance.