Sunday, July 21, 2019

RELEASE DAY: Saving Sawyer

Mech Warriors 2
Allied Defense Force soldier Stefan Andres lost the love of his life two years ago in a terrifying mech attack. He harbored hatred in his heart until his friends convinced him Sawyer might still be alive. Dealing with the guilt of shooting his commander isn't nearly as overwhelming as discovering Sawyer is actually alive. What he learns when he finds the man might be more than even he can handle.
Lewis Sawyer loved Stefan more than his next breath, which was the only reason he forced himself to stay away from the man after escaping the mechs. What was done to him could put Stefan's life in danger. When a nighttime attack forces him to come out of hiding, he has to face his demons, and the love he left behind, but will Stefan see him as the man he was or the monster the mechs made him?
Stefan stiffed and spun when he heard someone coming up fast behind him. It was Sam and Butler and they were hauling ass. When the two men waved their arms in the universal sign to get moving, Stefan turned and started running right along with everyone else. He had no idea what was coming, and he didn't really want to find out. If it was enough to send Sam and Butler running, it couldn't be good.
As he ran, he scanned the area for any place they could all hide as well as a high vantage point where he might be able to get off a few good shots. He spotted a parking garage about half a block down.
When Roark looked back at him, he pointed. Roark looked to where Stefan pointed then nodded even as he grabbed Frankie's arm and started pulling toward the garage.
They were lucky in the fact that the rebar in the building was build from steel and not iron or the place would be nothing but a pile of rubble. If they were lucky, the staircase would still be intact and they could take that up instead of running up the ramp.
"Stefan, find a place to roost," Roark called out. "Foster, track Dahl down and then get your ass back here. Sam, see if this place has a basement leading to the sewer. Butler, booby trap the entry. We'll meet on the top floor."
Stefan wanted to stay and make sure his friends stayed safe while they did as their commander ordered, but he knew he'd be of better use high up somewhere. He ran inside the parking garage and searched for the staircase. As soon as he spotted a sign for the stairs, he headed right for it.
As he ran up the stairs, Stefan noticed something that seemed odd to him. Just another line in odd things. Footprints in the dust. They looked too fresh to have been there since the city was destroyed years ago.
Stefan pushed his curiosity and confusion to the back of his mind and ran up the stairs until he reached the top floor. He wasn't thrilled with how open it was on the top deck of the parking garage, but he didn't have a whole lot of choices.
He hurried over to the edge facing the street they'd been running down. He set everything down except his rifle. He kept crouched down as he looked over the solid cement wall, trying to spot whatever had spooked Sam and Butler so damn bad.
The scorpion wasn't hard to spot and easily explained why Sam and Butler had been running for their lives. The only one of them who'd taken on a scorpion and lived to tell the tale was Roark, and he swore it had been blind luck.
The damn things had six legs and a tail that shot a phaser. They were faster, stronger, and deadlier than any of the other mechs. The consensus was that they were the mechs in charge of all the others. So, the question was, what was a scorpion doing in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado?
Stefan glanced in the other direction. He wasn't sure if Dhal and Foster had made it back yet and leaving the guy to run into a scorpion wasn't a choice he was ready to make.
"What do you see?" Roark whispered as he crouched down beside him. Frankie James, Roark's lover, crouched down beside him.
"It's a scorpion."
"Here?" Roark leaned up and peeked over the edge. "Damn."
He leaned back down. His eyes grew a little wild there for a moment before they landed on the building next to them. "Do you think we can get over to that building?"
"You don't want to wait it out?" Stefan asked.
Roark shook his head. "I think they're looking for us. It might have been that silver flier and those two scarabs you took out at the cryogenics facility or maybe they have a new way of tracking us, but we can't chance that that damn thing knows we're here."
"There's too much of a gap between the two buildings, Commander," Butler said. "I checked that when I was coming up."
"What about the basement?" Frankie asked. "Is this place hooked up to the sewer system?"
"I won't know until Sam gets up here."
It was a parking garage, but surely it had some sort of sewer access. At least a maintenance room in the basement for the electrical system. Something.
"Fuck! Silver flier!" Roark shouted as he jumped to his feet, grabbed Frankie and yanked him up, then started running back toward the stairs. "Hide."
Stefan grabbed his stuff and started to jump to his feet when an explosion rocked him back on his ass. The silver flier that was just about on his position when it changed directions and took off toward the explosion.
Stefan climbed to his feet, but as he went to take a step, he glanced back toward where the scorpion had been. He frowned as he turned and gave his full attention to the scene below. The scorpion was nothing but smoldering metal.
The silver flier flew into his line of vision as it circled the destroyed scorpion. Stefan brought his rifle up and took aim, but before he could pull the trigger the silver flier exploded into a million tiny metal shards.
"What the fuck?"
Stefan used the scope on his rifle to search the surrounding area. There had to be someone out there. As much as he wished otherwise, mechs didn't explode on their own. He couldn't see anything out of place.
Just as he was about to lower his rifle, a flash of movement caught his attention. Strangely enough it came from the same tower he'd been in not ten minutes before. The world fell out from beneath Stefan when he sighted in on the one face he'd never thought to see again.

1 comment:

Muriel I Campbell said...

The first book in this series just "haunted" me. I kept going back to reread it. The second book is just as great. If readers like the "true love" conquers (homophobic parents, alien invaders and the end of the world) then they too will love these books. Thank you for writing them.