In less than twenty-four hours I will be releasing my story, Clone, the Book of Eva. This work has been in progress for over five years. And I promise it is different from anything else I have written. For Clone isn’t a romance—it’s a love story, with a twist.
So, please join me Thanksgiving Day, November 28th 2013 as I launch the first book in the series.
When a world leader’s daughter meets a clone, a doomed love affair begins.
In the year 2087, a great war erupts on the planet and a struggle to survive begins. One hundred-fifty years later, the continent of America is divided into two factions, Aeropia and The United Regions. There is a shortage of food and an abundance of illness, leaving most to live on the scraps of the wealthy who wallow in excess.
This is the world Olivia Braun inherits. Sick from birth, she wakes up from surgery with a new heart, only to discover she is the youngest president of Aeropia, an empire that has created and used clones to maintain their position of supremacy since the war. However, Olivia’s rise to power is no accident. Before her transplant, she conspired with a clone to free those enslaved, but the outcome is not what she expected.
Now, enemies hide among the population, and even friends can no longer be trusted. Olivia must make a choice that will decide the fate of an empire. Before her tale of corruption, forbidden love and war ends, the mighty will be brought to their knees.
By a clone.
Eva stared at the crowd forty floors below. Her toes hung over the ledge. She didn’t draw a breath or feel alarm in the tightening of her belly as most would when they faced death. The people clustered around the gates and paced along the street, appearing as nothing more than bugs she could squash under her heel. Tininess aside, the roar of fright reached her, rumbling through flesh and bone.
They’d gathered around the palace because of the riots. They wanted her sympathy, her reassurance things would continue as usual, that the towers they’d built for themselves would not collapse.
The Aeropite Commander of Joint Forces, General Michael Axis, stood near her on the deck, clutching the rail, as though he dared not get any closer than the ten feet that separated them. His knuckles were as white as his face, and for the first time since they’d met, he truly looked frightened. All he’d worked for threatened to die with her, and his soldiers, collared for the moment, were about to be released. He could do nothing about it.
The wind whipped loose tendrils of her coif, beating the strands against her face in an angry assault. The fine silk of her suit snapped around her like a banner in a hurricane. For the first time in her life, she knew her purpose, had no fears. Concede. Die. Fight. Live forever.
“Madam President, you need to come off the edge.” He trimmed his soft words with a threat no one else could hear. Sharp like a razor, cold like forged metal, Michael used his coercive blade as he always did, but this time, it had no effect. She’d stopped caring. “Ana.” Angrier, a little harder, more pronounced. He might as well scream, “heel, heel.”
Not today. He knew her name, and it wasn’t Ana. He’d put her here, given her this power. When his plan failed, and he realized he could no longer force her to do his bidding, Michael had stooped to begging. Pathetic as it was, she savored every moment. No, you heel. The smile came, tied to joy, something she’d waited a lifetime for. Oh, she planned to finish this, but not as he intended. “They’re free.”
“Don’t do this. Your country needs you. The people are frightened. I have no idea what to tell them. There have been murders, clones that have somehow broken free of their girdles.”
Eva twisted slightly, enough to make eye contact with Michael and catch the outline of several figures clustered inside the room. There they stood, his grand audience, inside the balcony doors, flash frozen puppets with no voice. Eva surmised they’d accompanied him to talk her down, yet they did nothing to help. If they discovered she wasn’t their leader, they’d certainly push her over.
The trigger he held, well, that was different. Designed to bend her to his will. Useless now. She didn’t care if he took her life. Her time had come, and he could not win this standoff.
“Not somehow,” she said. Hundreds of thousands were free of their bonds and tasting liberty for the first time. In a few minutes, the soldier clones would follow, their collars falling from their necks, their hands filled with weapons he’d put there. Michael was a general with no control of his army, and they were about to turn on him.
The people of Aeropia would suffer for the pain they’d heaped upon the clones. He would pay for what he’d done, and when the sun set and his body lay broken in the street, no one would take pity on his corpse—or his human soul. If he had one. He could not escape his fate any more than she.
“I feel for you that you’ve lost your husband and friend. It’s a tragedy, but the people need you. Your daughter needs you. Come down.”
Her wrist monitor beeped as the last code locked into place and the satellite transmitted the order to the soldier clone’s collars, releasing every last one. Michael glanced at the blinking band. His face grew paler and he swallowed, as though he choked on his own bile.
“You, bitch.” Boom. Loud blasts sounded around the city, coming from every direction. “No,” he muttered. “You can’t do this to me.” His slid his thumb over a button on the device in his palm and pressed.
Eva gritted her teeth.
Jab, jab, jab. Michael poked the button over and over, before he lifted his chin and scowled. “How did you…?”
For several seconds she held his gaze, waiting for the pain in her head, the ending he’d promised if she didn’t do as told. Dante. “He didn’t lie.” The words were not for General Axis, but to herself as she came face-to-face with the truth. Dante had loved her. He’d freed her.
She’d killed him.
“Who didn’t lie? What are you talking about?” General Axis’s eyes popped wide and his mouth fell open. “You can’t do this. I…. What do I tell the citizens to reassure them of their safety?”
“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.” Let them eat cake. At least one queen could really say it. And today, she was a queen. She spread her arms and greeted the open air, falling forward into the storm, and back to the arms of the man she loved.
As forty floors rushed by, a young woman in the same tower began her tale about the clone who freed the world. For the first time, she spoke of treason, lies, and a forbidden love born in a time of darkness.
While you wait to enter my world, take a peek at the other side of the planet—into the unknown. I will be posting a chapter online every week until the story is finished, and then it will be offered for free on Amazon, as part of the series.
Clone, the Lost Chapters
Him. “You are....”
I blinked, unable to do anything else. I’d heard power was an aphrodisiac, but never had I believed it. Until now. The room began to spin and I leaned back against the wall to avoid collapsing. He was against everything I stood for, all I believed in. I’d seen his face on wanted billboards. The ultimate bad boy. A man who could, as he’d said, save me, or drag me down to the valley of the shadow of death, and in damn quick order.
Slut. Tramp. Hussy. We had a thousand names for girls that acted on the thoughts rolling through my head, and body. As he stared at me, my flesh, the betrayer, continued to express ideas my mind refused to register. My nipples hurt. They were so hard, I didn’t dare to draw a breath, for fear the fabric of my top would rub against them. My clit throbbed. My heart pounded and deep in my belly, a tension coiled, drawer tighter with each second. Whore. I would be considered a traitor to even feel an attraction to this man, let alone the obvious way my body responded. The room began to shrink, but I couldn’t turn away. He held me hostage in more ways than one.
He continued to hold my gaze. Enemy of the people—the most dangerous man in Sententia. His name should have been a clue. But my mind hadn’t absorbed that, too busy I was noticing his scent, the intense blue of his eyes, the way his voice moved through me like a seductive storm, saturating every inch of my body, bringing a heightened awareness of the primal masculinity before my.
“So, you recognize me.” The corner of his mouth twitched.
Oh, like he couldn’t tell. I’d never been good at keeping my thoughts off my face. “Yes.” Iia’s breath hitched. Run! Escape! I’d be a fool to continue to stand there and make ga-ga eyes at him. . Yet I did. The leader of the radicals stood in my home and I didn’t make a move to call for help, or alert my processor to contact the authorities. This was it. I’d lost my fucking mind, and deep down I had a feeling he knew it.
“Iia Danner, I need your help.”
“I can’t help you,” I said, giving a slight shake of my head. No, I couldn’t. Wouldn’t. Everything I’d worked for would be gone, and for what. Delusions?
“You can’t, or won’t?”
“Then you leave me no choice but to prove that I haven’t lied.”
“We can’t go out. Curfew. We’ll....”
“That wasn’t what I was going to say.”
“But you thought it. Haven’t you wondered what they do with those they catch breaking curfew—or any who oppose them?”
He raised a brow and shrugged a pack off his shoulders. Reaching into it, he pulled out a blue rubber ensemble identical to his and tossed it to me. “Change.”
“Oh, hell no.”
“Suit yourself, but we’re traveling through the sewers and you might find that you’ll come out cleaner after wearing that.”
I narrowed my eyes. Sewers? I’d been a fool to believe he wouldn’t consider it. Yes the waste went to a decomposer and returned to the planet as a sterilized soil, free of diseases, but the path it took to get there wasn’t exactly clean and no way would I crawl through it. “No.”
He grabbed my arm and the room shook. I glanced around for the cause, unable to locate it. The windows vibrated. The lights flickered and snapped off.
“What’s that?” he said.
I shook my head. “I don’t know. Let go of me.” Jerking my arm with as much force as I could muster, I attempted to break free, but he held tight.
“We need to go.”
No sooner than he said it, plaster exploded from the wall, spraying them and pinging off the windows.
“What the hell?” Nicodemus released me and spun around to face whatever came through the wall. It took me seconds to realize it wasn’t through the wall that it had come, but from inside it.
At least seven foot tall, the thing that could only be described as a gray skinned cyborg, and it stared at my kidnapper. Eyes flashed bright red as it launched across the room at Nicodemus with inhuman speed, grabbing him by the throat and lifting him into the air. He gasped and flailed, holding onto the thing’s hand, trying to pry its grip free. It brought him around and slammed his body against the glass. My window spider-webbed at impact.
Iia took several steps back, ready to bolt, regardless the curfew. I’d rather take my chance on the outside than with the gray monster in my home, especially after I’d witnessed a display of its strength. Four inches thick, the glass was made not to fracture, and the android that had the rebel by the throat, made it look as thin as eggshells. What was that thing?
“Shall I kill him, mistress?”
I gasped. The voice, there was no mistaking the voice. “Walter?”
Walter glanced back at me. “It takes seventy-six pounds of pressure to crush a human trachea. I can apply over ten thousand.”
I stepped forward and put my palms up. “No. Please. Let him go.”
“Yes, mistress.” Walter released his grip and Nicodemus dropped at his feet like a bag of stones, gasping as though he sucked air through a flattened straw.
“You’re a robot?” I swallowed and eyed the candlestick, wondering if I could get to it faster than the bot could get to me. And if I did manage to grab it, would it even put a dent in the giant?
“I am a bio-droid. You do not need the weapon. My soul purpose is to protect the Danner family.”
“How did you know...?”
“I calculated the angle in which you focused your optical orbs. You’re heart rate is accelerated and adrenaline has surged into your life fluids. There is a ninety-nine percent chance you will attack.”
“What’s the other one percent?”
He cocked his head. “Faint: To pass out, to lose consciousness for a short period of time, often the result of the lack of oxygen making it to your central processor. Yes, faint.”
“I don’t faint.”
“I did not calculate that you would. I calculated that you would attack. Should I prepare for you to faint, mistress?”
“No, that won’t be necessary.” I took the time to look him over and shivered. I’d lived here for as long as I could remember and didn’t have a clue that he’d been plastered in my wall. “How long have you been here?”
“I was installed by the original owner of this residence, the man who built me and created the power grid. It is no accident you live here. You were guided to this place.”
“My great, great, grandfather.”
“Grandfather: the father of one’s mother or father. Ancestor. Biological creator through procreation. That’s affirmative. He is my father by definition—my creator.”
“So that makes you what, Uncle Walter?” If he was attempting humor, it wasn’t funny. I frowned.
“Yes. I am your Uncle Walter. Would you like me to add this title to my response database?”
“Hell, no.” The last thing I needed was for some rubber covered, giant bio-droid, calling himself my Uncle Walter. It was hard enough to digest that he’d been plastered in my wall for over one hundred and fifty years with orders to protect me, and somehow he’d guided me to purchase this exact apartment. I didn’t really have any friends and adding the title crazy to my list of attributes wouldn’t help.
Nicodemus sat up, rubbing at his throat. His com on his wrist-pad beeped and Walter spun around. “Your communication device states that several armed vehicles are approaching this residence. We have discovered the identity of my mistress.”
“I already explained that to her. I just didn’t expect they’d find her tonight.” Nicodemus said from a raspy voice, still massaging his throat. Guilt clenched my insides. Walter could have killed him and it would have been my fault. I might not agree with what he was attempting to do, but that didn’t mean I wanted him dead.
Walter spun around and strode up to me. He grabbed my wrist and pulled me toward the door. “We must go.”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
“They want the key, mistress, and they will kill you to keep anyone else from getting it.”
“So, the rebel spoke the truth?”
“Truth: the state of being the case. Fact. Reality. Veracity. Actual. Yes, he spoke the truth.”
“Then he goes with us.” I yanked free and eyed the rebel.
Walter nodded, released me and walked up to Nicodemus. He reached down and grabbed his collar, lifting him to his feet. “Come with me.”
“I can walk.” Nic glared at my new protector and shoved his hand off him. “And I’m not trusting a machine.”
“We do not have time for you to ambulate from the premise, and it is I that do not trust you.” Walter hauled off and punched him in the chin, knocking him out cold. He lifted him up and slung him over his shoulder. “Now we will go.”
“The key? Where’s the key, Walter?” I glanced around the apartment, my heart pounding. If what the rebel said was true? I couldn’t leave them behind. Straining, I searched my memories for anything that might be tied to it. Nothing. No jewelry, toys or anything from my past that would qualify. “We can’t leave without them.” I shoved a hand in my hair and scrunched my eyes shut. Where was it?
“You are the codes, mistress.”
My eyes snapped open. How could I be the codes. I didn’t have any bio-tags that I was aware of. Nor had anyone told me what it was. Could it have been something subliminal, buried in my brain as an innocent memory? “I don’t understand.”
“DeoxyriboNucleic Acid. It is the genetic material of a cell. It is the key—the code to shut down the system.” Walter’s eyes flashed from red to blue and back. “They have arrived.” He snagged my arm, carrying Nicodemus through the front door and down the hall as he pulled me behind him, moving so fast he nearly took me off my feet. “We must leave now.”
“What? No.” Large glass windows loomed ahead at the end of the corridor. Walter continued to pick up speed, heading straight for them. “We can’t go out that way. It’s seventy stories up. Walter, stop. I order you to stop.” I tried to tug free. My heart seized in my chest. The behemoth wasn’t going to stop.
“It is the only exit. They are too close.”
“No. Stop. There has to be another way.”
“My primary order is to protect you. It overrides all others, mistress. This will not kill you. Hold on tight.”
I opened my mouth, but nothing but silence came out as Walter whirled around, gripped them both to his chest and used his back to shatter the glass. The contents of my stomach rose in my throat when we dropped over the edge. No stopping. Nothing to grab onto.
As we fell, Walter’s body began to shift. Gray skin stretched over an exoskeleton that popped and clanged underneath them. Bio-drone muscle rolled under the silicone-like flesh and his bones became almost liquid for seconds, his body a pillow of water.
His grip released and we rolled off him, freefalling face first toward death. Iia grabbed Nic, clutching the unconscious revolutionary as though it would be a matter between life and death, pulling him tight to me. My fingers went numb and any exposed skin stung. As the street below drew closer, the man beside my remained blissfully unaware we were about to die.
The wind beat at my cheeks, slapping my face and eyes, shoving the screams down my throat. There was so much I had wanted to do with my life. So many places I had wanted to go. I had wanted a child—a family. But as death rushed toward me, I could only review the fuck ups, all I’d done wrong. What if Nic was right. The codes would die with me.
My heart pounded so hard, the veins in my neck felt as though they’d burst. Faster and faster the floors rushed by. We could’ve only free fell twenty feet before he caught them, but Iia could swear it was hours that I plummeted toward my death.
This time, large, metal clawed feet held them. His body continued the transformation, above them. One hundred feet before impact and just as I was certain I would die, a set of giant wings snapped open and caught a current of air, lifting us to glide across several lower rooftops.
My pulse throbbed and darkness swam before my eyes. No. I wasn’t going to black out. Walter leaned right and left, maneuvering between taller buildings. I swayed with him. Bright lights from below rushed by. Wind slapped at my face and clothing, pounding against me in icy rage. I tipped my face back to see what Walter had changed into. His long neck curved and he looked me in the eyes. “You may faint.”
“I’m not going to....” A steel dragon. I blinked and passed out.
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