Page 99 from The Emperor's Edge
A Fantasy Adventure novel by Lindsay Buroker
Reprinted with Permission. Copyright 2010 by Lindsay Buroker. All Rights Reserved
Book Description: Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed....
She had to look. Stepping toe first, as lightly as she could, she eased around the corner of the building and crept along the dock toward the street. Something crunched on the snow in front of the building. Amaranthe froze, knife ready, though she doubted her insignificant blade could do anything against that creature.
Akstyr and Sicarius trotted around the corner.
Before she could sag in relief, Sicarius said, “Inside.”
“We just passed a big bloody body in the street,” Akstyr blurted. “It was still gushing!”
“Inside is good.” Amaranthe meant to jog before them at a calm and confident pace. Nerves nipped at her heels though, and she sprinted down the side of the building and through the door.
Sicarius and Akstyr followed right behind. Sicarius shut the door.
“Think we need to be in the rafters?” Amaranthe pointed at the ropes and wondered if she should yell to wake Maldynado and Books. If that creature was nearby, yelling might attract attention.
“Perhaps not,” Sicarius said. “It’s near dawn.”
“You think the creature is nocturnal?” she asked.
“It’s been hunting at night thus far.”
“Because that’s its natural time, or because it’s trying to remain unseen?” She eyed her two male companions, wondering if she was being silly for ascribing intelligence to this creature. “Either of you have any idea what we’re dealing with?”
“I’d be guessing at this point,” Sicarius said.
“That’s allowed,” she said.
He did not extrapolate.
The screech sounded again.
“That’s it,” Amaranthe said. “Up to the beams.” She ran to the bunks and shook Maldynado and Books.
Maldynado groaned and stuffed his head under his arm. “What time is it?”
Books sat up, his beard sticking out in all directions.
“Early,” Amaranthe said. “We need to make a short trip.”
A scuffle sounded from above as a climbing Akstyr reached the top and threw himself over the beam. Books mumbled under his breath but grabbed his boots and headed for the swaying rope, apparently accepting the need to do so without a big explanation.
“Up there?” Maldynado, less accepting, stared. “Is there a reason you’re encouraging pre-dawn climbing calisthenics?”
“What’s that!” shouted a muffled male voice from the warehouse on the nearby dock.
A musket fired, and for a moment all grew still. Then a scream of pain sent a chill hurtling down
Amaranthe’s spine. The sound broke off with a crunch.
“There’s a reason,” she answered Maldynado grimly.
“Uh huh, got that.” He scrambled out of his bunk, shoved Books aside, and flew up one of the ropes.
Lindsay Buroker has been publishing web content and blogging for a living since 2004 (yes, she says, you really can work from home in your pajamas and make money in your sleep). Now, She's going to see if she can make some money e-publishing her fiction. Lindsay Buroker YA, MG, and adult fantasy, and sometimes a bit of science fiction creeps in. Her first ebook was a collection of children’s stories.
Her other interests include tennis, gardening, reading, traveling, inline skating, and roaming around outdoors with a couple of rescue vizslas who are more spoiled than most people’s kids.
If you would like The Podpeople to feature your Page 99, send us an email to: podpeep at gmail dot com with the subject line Page 99. Please include a link to your preferred e-commerce site, a cover jpeg, and paste your page 99 into the body of the email or attach it as a .TXT file. If your page 99 happens to be a chapter start or chapter end and does not contain a full page, you may use the full page before or after your page 99. One page only please.