UNEDITED

Michael left the ArchAngel and took off in the direction of the pirate ship. The vibrations in the night, up here in the sky, were a bit overwhelming and he was having difficulty focusing on the power source of the ship.

Since he couldn’t see it.

As he went one direction, he missed three small power sources heading in the other.

The ship drew nearer and the lights powered by their own energy flared into the clouds as they roiled around in the wind.

Michael solidified on the main deck and looked around. Like time memorial, pirates might have a bad reputation, but many could and would be excellent at their jobs.

Almost like their lives depended on it.

Seeking out minds in the night, he found one that was outside, but had hidden themselves deep in the protective leeway of the lookout area.

Michael grinned and looked up to the location of the man trying to hide from the night. This man’s one job, to protect the ship should someone unknown attack them, now a failure.

His scream of death would alert those on this ship that something was not right.

Mark noticed the two lights in the night on his umpteenth view looking around and grinned. He vacillated over whether he should inform Jacqueline that they had incoming or not.  On the one hand, he would have the chance to learn just how well he could throw those coming to attack them over the edge by himself.

Or, he could find out if Jacqueline would throw him over the edge in her annoyance for not being a part of the party.

Prudence won.

He double-checked the distance the three attack ships were, and how careful they were working on their safe arrival and decided that going inside wasn’t going to cut it.  He reached over and grabbed a small metal bar and tapped out a pre-decided message.  Three taps, pause.  Two taps, pause.

One tap.

Mark started checking his weapons were secure, his knives in place and his pistol locked in. He had a jacket now, not quite the length of Michael’s, but it helped hide most of his weaponry.  He stood up, bracing himself as the wind whipped around him and grabbed the ladder that allowed him to jump down to the deck of the ship.  With his hand on the rail, he at least didn’t worry about being flung out into the night by an unexpected gust of wind.

Then again, he wondered, what gusts were expected?

His landing noise was lost in the wind, and Jacqueline’s opening of the door to the inside was only seen due to the extra light it threw out into the night, not by the sound so much.

Well, for a human.

Mark raised an eyebrow to his friend and she laughed at him, “Are you shitting me?” She called out, looking around, “Someone is stupid enough to attack in this weather and Michael didn’t kill them?”

Jacqueline was looking to starboard, before she turned back to Mark, pointing a finger at him, “If you are shitting me, I’ll throw your skinny vampire ass off this ship!  That would be no way to let down a lady.”

Mark opened his mouth but soon had two female fingers pinching his lips, Jacqueline had moved close to him, “If you say something that puts ‘lady’ and a disparaging remark that connects the two together into one sentence, the phantasmal pirates are going to have to take a back seat and wait until after the ass-kicking I give you!”

Mark heard the wind shifting around new ships in the air before she did, so he looked to his left, and raised his eyebrows.  She never let go of his lips as she turned in the darkness.  Seconds later, she caught the sound.  Her fingers released his lips and the tiny ‘squee’ of delight at the anticipation of fighting some pirates flowed through her body.

Mark rolled his eyes.

He reached inside his coat and made sure all of the knives and the pistol were locked down.  “I have the first to land, you wll take the second.”

Jacqueline’s head snapped around, “Who died and made you the boss?”

Mark smiled, “If you want to be included the next time people come to play, you won’t act like a spoiled princess making demands.”

Jacqueline’s lips pressed together. If there was one thing she had learned about Mark since their first fateful meeting with Michael, it was he could be annoyingly stubborn. She had tried overwhelming him with nudity.

That worked against her.  Now, he probably could draw her naked from memory and she hadn’t even seen a nice moon of his.

Fucking prudish vampires. The hot new body he had developed since receiving Michael’s blood and energy was driving her nuts.

So, she tried to use her intelligence against him.

Fucking computer hacking prudish vampires. The bastard was well read and very intelligent. Seems that his type didn’t go out much and he tried to read all the time so he was damned smart.

Finally, she tried to dominate him like an Alpha.

Fucking passive aggressive computer hacking prudish vampires. He wasn’t being dominated, he was just biding his time to assert his “you’re not the boss of me” comments.

Which, she had to admit, were damned hot.

She needed to kill some pirates, then take a cold shower.

 

Pirate Ship Folly

 

“What the hell was that?” Billy asked, hearing a shriek that didn’t sound like it came from the wind buffeting the ship.

“Billy,” Sally David called out, “I can’t raise Tim from outside.”

“Stupid fucker is probably sleeping,” Billy responded. “Why he wants the nest duty in a storm is beyond me.” He thought about it a moment, “Tell Amanda and Arnold to go see what’s up. Amanda cause she will do it, and Arnold because she doesn’t weight more than fifteen pounds and the wind will throw her off the ship.”

There were snickers around the bridge.

Michael switched back to Myst when he heard a door open.  He had looked around, but apparently, these ships were more air tight than he would have given them credit for.

Two people came out, a man and a woman.  The man was large, the woman, in comparison, was quite small.  The one thing that caused Michael to pause was they had something in their hearts he wasn’t expecting to find inside those that flew on a Pirate ship.

They cared.

In his Myst form, Michael pursed his lips, made a decision and stepped through the opening.  He rematerialized and grabbed the door, yanking it from the man’s grip and slammed it shut.  Locking the door from the inside, he turned around, ignoring the shouts of frustration from outside. He smiled at the first man who came around the corner, in shock that someone was on the ship that he didn’t recognize.

A man whose eyes were glowing red, and whose right hand were growing knives for nails.

Michael, pushing fear out from him to affect those throughout the ship started down the hall to the first man whose feet wouldn’t obey as his mind screamed at him to run.

“You shall be my second, tonight.” Michael, his voice, cold in the night, told the man. “Honor needs to be quenched and the fire is burning bright.

Outside, on the deck Arnold stopped beating on the door, trying to yank it open when the screaming started.  He kept one hand on the handle as a lifeline, the other arm reached out to scoop Amanda into his embrace.  He could feel her hot tears of anger, and now fear, soak a portion of his chest.

He might die tonight, but he would die trying to protect this fragile young woman.

 

Anti-Grav ship ArchAngel

 

“Sir,” Scopes operator Timms called over his shoulder to Captain Miles O’Banion, “Pirate ship is losing distance and changing direction.”

Miles nodded before calling back, “Understood, Timms.”

He reclined in his Captain’s chair and pressed his lips together before blowing out a sigh.  Now, he had to admit half of why he had been afraid of waking the man himself.

Now, Captain Miles O’Banion was guilty of committing murder. He might not be the one who is killing all of the men and women on the pirate ship behind them, but he knew what the end result would be.

“May God have mercy on their souls,” he whispered to himself as he made the sign of the cross over his chest.

“If you don’t like me suggesting sexual positions,” Combs retorted to his partner on this trip over to the target ship, “maybe you shouldn’t reply in kind!” He argued as he piloted their small two-person ship towards their prize.

“Perhaps,” Juliana agreed from behind him, “but come on, there are sexual positions, then there are acrobatics and then what the fuck are you actually suggesting? That shit isn’t even remotely possible for a woman and there is absolutely no chance there could be any pleasure for her at all.”

Combs thought about the last position he had suggested as he concentrated on their approach.  The banter was helping him focus on the task at hand, and ignoring the buffeting winds as he punched the trigger to land on the ship’s deck.  The CLANG sounded as their metal skids connected, then locked tight with the magnetics and gravity locks.

“All ashore who are going ashore.” He called back as he made sure his weapons were locked in. He could hear Juliana doing the same. “Feel free to kill most everyone so our friends can catch up.  Remember what Billy and Cholly said, we are scrapping this…”

Combs’ get ready speech was lost when knocking from the outside interrupted his speech. “What the fuck?” he shouted out, wondering if he should hit the gravs and try to get back to the other ship when metal started squeeking, then squeeling and finally both he and Juliana, shock on both of their faces as the brackets broke and the cockpit ripped off and a young man, his eyes blazing red stood outlined against the darkness.  The lights from their pod illuminating him from in front, the lightening amongst the clouds illuminated him from behind.

“Oh,” he told the two stricken pirates, “you will be going ashore.”  He reached down and slapped Combs’ hand, breaking his wrist when Combs tried to pull his pistol.  He deftly unhooked the seat belts and grabbed Combs’ shirt and belt.

Juliana, mouth open, heart beating wildly watched as the Vampire twisted and Combs was yanked out of the chair, and she heard his screams as he flew out and over the side of the ship.

Those two red eyes turned to her, and she saw her death written plainly.

“But,” she breathed out, trying to catch her breath, “I’m a girl…”

The Vampire didn’t even smile, he merely unhooked her seatbelt and grabbed her like he had Combs.  She heard him say before she was pulled from the ship and thrown over the side.

“So was my sister.”

Juliana closed her eyes, not wishing to know when the end would hit. On her way down, she had to wonder what this Vampire’s sister had done to him before she slammed into the sea, ending her life.

Back on the ship, Mark turned to see the second slip hit the deck and a young female approach it and started walking over to join her.

 


FROM MICHAEL >>>  Oh, Jacqueline and Mark have been a BLAST to write.  I have mentioned before that sometimes, characters write themselves.  As I'm working to finish The Darkest Night, these two have created a very close connection.

I'm in the beginning of a large battle scene, one of at least two or three more in this book as Michael and others take on a large group of Werewolves outside of Paris, France. The fun of The Second Dark Ages books are they remind of the old buddy road flicks of decades ago.

Where two buddies set off on a trip and things happened?

Except, now there are ‘more' buddies as some of our old friends join up, and instead of hijinks (although I imagine those can occur), we get more mayhem.

Just like the doctor ordered.

Then, there is that nasty thing called love that sneaks in.

I look forward to releasing this book within a 14 days…

 

Michael

(If you missed the latest “new addition” to the Kurtherian Gambit Universe – here it is!”  books2read.com/Awakened )