Snippet 1: Impersonation, Ghost Squadron #5 (Unedited)

Chapter One

Dex’s Parts and Manufacturing, Planet Kezza, Tangki System

Julianna peeked through the spokes of the old Stutz Bearcat at the six greasy pirates who had just entered the old warehouse. She slid out of sight, behind a tall shelf that rose to the ceiling in the giant warehouse. The rusty old car was parked on the second shelf and provided enough coverage from the pirates who had just entered the warehouse. The pirates sauntered into the mechanic’s shop, on time.

Fucking pirates stole and destroyed, but at least they were punctual, Julianna thought.

You know what I’m thinking right now? Pip asked in Julianna’s head.

She rolled her eyes, but smiled still. That it’s the perfect time to distract me?

Oh, dear Julianna. It’s not always about you, you know? One of these days I’m going to get a life of my own and it will be about me.

Is there a reason you’re bothering me right now? Julianna squinted, watching the backs of the Kezzin pirates as they huddled around Dex, the owner of the warehouse.

There’s a few things, actually. The first is about this car. I know someone who would like it.

Julianna looked over the rusty old vehicle. That’s very thoughtful of you.

I’m considered extremely thoughtful. Ask anyone. But I realize you don’t notice always because you have a lot on your mind, Pip said with a loud laugh in Julianna’s head.

Mind! Get it?

Julianna shook her head, securing her pistol into her holster just as the largest pirate shoved Dex in the chest. He was a sizeable man with a round belly and thick arms, but in comparison to the alien he was no match.

Also, I’ve been thinking about going on a health kick. Thoughts? Pip continued.

I don’t even know what to say about that. You’re an AI.

With feelings!

Fine, fine. What does this health kick involve? Julianna asked, humoring him. Two of the pirates had picked up long pipes and were slapping them into their palms. It was almost show time.

Well, a cleanse would be necessary. I’ve been considering going vegan. What do you think?

I don’t have the first clue as to how that would work. You don’t eat, Pip.

It’s mostly just food for thought.

Oh, no. You didn’t…

In fact, I did. But maybe you should consider going vegan.

Let’s discuss this later. Right now, I’m busy.

Dex shook his head furiously. “I don’t have what you want,” he yelled at the pirate. The Kezzin grabbed Dex’s shirt and lifted him in the air.

“Then if you don’t have our money, we’ll be taking parts,” the pirate bellowed. He turned his ugly lizard face to the brutes beside him. “Load up everything we can carry. We’ll sell it.”

Julianna slid soundlessly around the Stutz Bearcat, still mostly out of view. The pirates were too busy creating havoc to notice her standing on the large shelf, roughly ten feet off the ground.

The Kezzin holding Dex in the air laughed. “We were going to take the parts anyway and the money. Now we’ll just take more.”

“I’m going to need you to lower Dex,” Julianna yelled from the shelf.

All the Kezzin froze. The lead pirate turned, his narrow eyes enlarging. “Well, hey there sweetheart. You want me to pick you up? I can do that.” He looked at the closest Kezzin. “Let’s take her too.”

With a hungry look on his face, the Kezzin ambled forward. He dropped the pipe he’d had in his hands. That was a big mistake.

“Come here, little human,” the fuck head said.

“You want me to come over there? Okay.” Julianna backed up a step, careful to not bump into the car. She ran forward and leapt through the air. The Kezzin hadn’t expected the assault and like the cowardly assface that he was, he covered his head with his arms.

Julianna’s heel of her boot careened with his torso and he slammed to the ground at once. The pirate holding Dex, shoved the mechanic forward, spinning around to Julianna.

“Men, get her,” he commanded.

Julianna squatted down low, plucking the steel pipe from the ground. She spun around, bringing it across the face of the closest Kezzin. He flew back from the force, stumbling to the ground.

Two more pirates rushed Julianna, but she was already ready, having plotted this attack from high up on the shelf. She darted for the plane stationed in the middle of the warehouse, taking up most of one side. Leading the Kezzin, she ducked under the giant propellers. The pirates followed and Julianna spun the first propeller as she passed. It knocked the first pirate out, making him slam into the one behind him.

With the two pirates momentarily disoriented, Julianna took the opportunity to pick up a large wooden crate. She dropped it on the top of the fallen Kezzin and it smashed into pieces, knocking both of them out.

“Get her already!” the biggest pirate ordered.

Two more pirates rushed after her. She darted for the tarp that was on the other side of the plane. Jumping she cleared the spot that was splattered with grease. The Kezzin on her heels didn’t think to leap though and slipped, losing his balance he fell to his back side hard. The Kezzin behind the pirate corrected and darted around him.

Julianna spun around when she’d cleared the large tarp. Crouching down, she grabbed the edge of the tarp and ripped it forward, making the Kezzin fall on his back as well.

In a flash, Julianna yanked her pistol from her holster and spun around, pointing her weapon at the leader of the group. The coward thought he could sneak around behind her and jump her back. The fucker froze, putting his hands in the air.

Julianna released the safety and took a steadying breath. “If you want to live then get the fuck out of and never return.”

“Y-y-yeah,” the pirate stuttered, stumbling backwards.

“If I find out that you’ve ever bothered Dex then I’m going to tear off your balls and shove them down your throat.” Julianna said, her arm steady and eyes intense. “Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes,” the pirate said, and turned and ran, his men following him.

Julianna waited until she was sure they were gone before putting her pistol back in its holster. Damn it, Ghost Squadron needed to get better weapons. And soon.

For now, the weapons were fine since she was mostly fighting poor pirates that used their fist because they couldn’t get ahold of anything else. The control on weapons was the handiwork of Ghost Squadron. They’d been cleaning up illegal dealers, but for everyone they shut down, two more opened. That’s why there was no time to sleep, not that rest was entirely necessary.

Julianna looked around, impressed that she hadn’t made as big of a mess as she’d expected.

Dex, however, had his shirt ripped and looked to sustain a bash to his head when thrown back by the pirate. Still he was mostly unharmed. He scanned the warehouse, catching his breath.

“Is it was just you?” he asked, like expecting more people to jump out from behind the shelves.

“Yeah, you said there was roughly six pirates that bullied you.” Julianna stretched her neck from side to side, loosening up after the fight. She hadn’t even broken a sweat, but the adrenaline rush was sure nice.

“Oh…well, I just expected… When we talked, you said that your team would help with the pirates,” Dex said, confusion making his forehead fill with wrinkles.

“The team is busy.” Julianna swept her arm at the warehouse filled with parts. “We still have a deal, right? I got rid of your pirate problem. Can you load up my ship with supplies?”

Dex nodded. “Yeah, I’m a man of my word. I’ve got you covered. However, I’ve got a question. I saw your list of things you need and it’s quite a lot.”

“Those pirates were going to take a whole lot more than what I’m asking for,” Julianna said.

“No, no. It’s not that,” Dex began. “It’s just that based on what all you asked for… well, you must be outfitting a massive ship.”

Julianna smiled to herself, a new pride in her chest at the thought of Ricky Bobby. “Oh yeah. It’s an impressive battle cruiser.”

“It must be, to hold all the parts you’ve requested,” Dex said, awe written on his face. “Just one more question. And you don’t have to answer it if you don’t want to.”

“Go on then,” Julianna said. She liked the old mechanic. He was a good man, one who had suffered for too long being bullied on the planet of Kezza that he’d tried to make his home.

“Who does this battle cruiser belong to?” Dex asked.

Julianna smiled wide. “Me. It’s my ship.”

Impersonation releases Feb. 27th.

Feb 20, 2018 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Snippet 1: Impersonation, Ghost Squadron #5 (Unedited)