Just a quick update today. I’m busy editing Oath of Duty and chomping at the bit to turn my full attention to Clanblades Book 2.
(Tangent: It’s really easy to accidentally call this book OAT OF DUTY. Which sounds yummy but far less dramatic.)
After this puppy is running free, I hope to get more retrospective on the series and all that inspired it, as well as eventually release the digital boxed set, but for now, I’m busy recovering from the last round of edits, so I’m ready to sprint across the finish line. I hope you’re comin’ with me!
Tosses out some prose and runs…
Six blonde women stood at the edge of the water, steel beneath their feet, water lapping against the edge of the enormous tank below.
“We shouldn’t have trusted Davenmore to kill her,” one said. Her eyes, nearly black, glinted with anger.
“There is always a risk of failure in any operation,” said another. She was nearly identical to the first woman, save for a small scar by her eyebrow. “Our calculations had suggested chances were good.”
“Well, the calculations were wrong. It didn’t work.” The dark, angry eyes smoldered as the first woman glared off into the distance.
“So?” A third woman shrugged. She, too, resembled the others almost exactly, except for a single blemish, a bruise on her left temple that never seemed to fade away. “Why does the deserter concern us so much? Let her come. We will crush her.”
“Yes, let her come,” chimed in a fourth, another perfect replica aside from a misshapen twist to her nose that left her looking especially cruel. “We are in agreement, are we not?”
Indeed, the women talked to each other, but they were one mind, thinking aloud.
“We are too many,” said the bruised one. “It is far too late for her to stop us.”
“Be practical,” chided the scarred woman. “She knows our location. That means she can attack us at our heart. The fewer people who can attack us, the better. The logic is extremely simple. Limiting the knowledge of our location is only expedient.”
“Let us kill her then,” offered the fourth, wrinkling her twisted nose.
“Fine.” The scarred one waved her hand. “But if not through Davenmore, then how?”
“We have options.”
“But the deserter can’t reach us,” pointed out a fifth. This one, too, was an apparent mirror image of the others, aside from a poor posture that left her seeming shorter than the rest. “She’s in Union custody. They are taking her to trial at the Inner Planets, a trial over which we have plenty of control.”
The angry-eyed one jabbed a finger. “And at this trial, she could tell the Union—along with the rest of the galaxy—everything she knows.”
“Our agents can prevent that,” said the scarred one calmly.
“Can we be sure?” Her angry eyes pinned each of them in turn in their bitterness. “We must not allow them to discover any part of our infiltration. Our takeover is not yet complete. Much progress would be lost.”
“Hmm. Colonel Tauber has shown us he is not fully in control of the situation,” the bruised one granted. “How can we be sure our agents on the Inner Planets will be successful? What if they fail as well?”
The slouching one nodded. “True. Humans are so likely to overestimate their potency.”
The one with the angry eyes balled a hand into a fist and punched it into her other palm. “We must move to act ourselves. If we prevent the trial from happening, we can be certain. Let the knowledge of us die with the deserter.
“Ellen Ryu,” whispered a sixth.
“Shut up. There’s no need to say it,” snapped the first.
“This is Mother’s fault. Mother’s betrayal—” started the bruised one.
The second with the scar cut her off. “Her betrayal cannot be undone, but we can repair the damage.”
“Yes. Yes. It must end.” The fifth one slouched further, as if all her nodding sank her deeper into the steel beneath them.
“Loose ends. Too many of them.” The fourth one shook her head, twisted nose and all.
“Yes.” There was still anger in the eyes of the first as she smiled, a cold and brutal smile. “End it shall.”Snippet from OATH OF DUTY, by RK Thorne, unedited and subject to change
Have you pre-ordered OATH yet? It’s quite the rollicking 135,000 word adventure, let me tell you.
I hope you’re as excited about this book as I am! Stay tuned…
PS: Weird art above by me + Midjourney AI.