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Dawn of Vengeance
(The Droseran Saga #2)
By Ronie Kendig
Sci-Fi, Space Opera Hardcover & ebook, 416 Pages December 8, 2020 by Enclave Publishing
A haunting prophecy upended his identity. Now it demands his life.
Once a formidable bounty hunter, Marco Dusan is plagued by insecurity as he tours the realm he now rules. This quiet, backwater planet is not as untouched as he’d once thought. Evidence of collusion between Droseran factions and the powerful Symmachians with their forbidden technology litters his encounters. Worse, all signs indicate Xisya, the alien who tortured him, is still snatching Kynigos Brethren–but to what end?
Lance Corporal Eija Zacdari works hard to win a coveted place on the Symmachian hyperjump program, but instinct tells her their intel is flawed. Despite nearly failing the tests, she is assigned to the team-and lands in the middle of a bewildering conspiracy.
Haunted by a prophecy that promises pain and war, Marco forges alliances to protect the primitive world against Symmachia’s devastating influence. But one truth becomes painfully clear: the biggest threat to their world may be much, much closer to home.
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“Zacdari! What in Void’s Embrace are you waiting for?”
Claxons rang in her helmet, a grating noise that made it hard to think. Her heads-up gave a visual on the target station, and another on the left displayed the corvette’s actual trajectory. The dots were not aligned.
Lance Corporal Eija Zacdari could handle it. She might be a mere candidate for the Tertian Intergalactic Hyperjump Program for Exploration. She might be a Tryssinian orphan with more scars than fingers. But she wasn’t a quitter. Getting onto the Prevenire, the first HyPE ship to access the hyperaccelerated slipstream to Kuru System, was her last hope.
She nudged the controls, bringing the corvette into alignment with the great metal flower that was her target.
A wave of heat speared her mind, and with it came a strange visual. A realization. The vectors were wrong. Her angle of approach wrong.
It was all djelling wrong.
And you know that how? Nobody knew Kuru System because nobody had been there. How did Command know this was right? How did anyone? Even her? That alone made her hesitate. Throw this away and she threw away a gift.
“Nobody can know, Eija. Do you understand?”
She glanced up, wide-eyed, at the one offering her the world—a whole new world and life.
The woman wore slacks and a blouse. Nothing fancy. But a lot nicer than anything Eija’s orphaned self ever wore. “If they find out, this all goes away. And there will be nothing here to return to. Am I clear?”
“Look around you, Eija. The others—they’re hurting, too. That’s what we are supposed to change. They are the ones we need to protect; the ones who can’t do anything for themselves.” Her bright eyes seemed less blue just then. “So, tell me. Are you the warrior I think you to be?”
“But nobody from Tryss—”
“No. Never mention that place again. Do, and your dream of escape dies as soon as the name falls from your lips. Do you understand?”
“So, what are you, then?”
“Napian,” she replied obediently.
Napian. By record only. But Eija had grown up on Tryssinia, where everyone was taught from birth to distrust the government, and the Academy was as close to government as one could get out in the black.
“Nice and easy, Z. Guide her in,” came the calm, unaffected tone of her flight training instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Sevart “Rhinn” Crafter. “That’s right.”
His words pushed her attention back to the panels. The simulation said it was right. So just shut up and do it. Pass the stupid test. If she failed, she wouldn’t get assigned to the Prevenire.
Eija’s vision blurred, and a thrum of heat against her palms warned her of a fatal mistake. Something beeped. She glanced down. Her thumb slid across the rounded surface of the control instruments. A small but significant gesture that shifted her trajectory.
“Zacdari! What’re you scuzzing doing?”
Her gaze snapped to the blue ring gliding farther from the white blip of her craft on the screen. No. She couldn’t scuz this. Breathing a little harder, she jerked right.
Too hard! Too hard!
The sim ship decelerated sharply, and she could feel it itching for a spin.
Exiting slipstream at Kuru Station One in five . . . four . . .
“C’mon,” Eija muttered as she hit thrusters to compensate for the variance in distance. If she didn’t get it corrected soon, she’d fling into the atmosphere or collide with the station rings, which guided ships safely through Kuru to the anchor point station, where she’d dock.
According to the intelligence.
Which was slagged.
“Just . . . pass the . . . djelling test,” she murmured to herself.
The hard deceleration flipped her couch and pressed hard against her body, fluids snaking into her system to keep her from being crushed alive. The fast-attack craft finished its deceleration. But like everything in her life, it wasn’t enough. The first ring was barreling toward her. She tensed. Her sweaty hands slipped off the control. A whimper lashed out, fogging the helmet. “No no no,” she muttered.
Warnings glared in red block letters: Impact imminent. Alter course.
Eija tried to comply, but the ship shuddered as if it, too, were appalled by her insanity. The screen flashed searing white. Her fluids went cold, a painful punishment for failing the sim.
Like her own deflating hopes, the couch sagged and lowered her to the deck. Snakes retracted, sucking away her last vestige of self-respect. Growling, Eija pounded her console. With a huff, she extricated herself from the simulator.
“What the slag was that?” barked Gunny as the walls drew up.
A swarm of nerves invaded Eija at the sight of the forbidding former Eidolon charging across the simdeck. “It messed up—”
“No, that’s what you did!” Gunny growled. “You just blew up everyone on your ship, Corporal!”
Excerpted from Dawn of Vengeance by Ronie Kendig. Copyright © Ronie Kendig. Published by Enclave Publishing.
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About the Author
Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author of over twenty-five titles. She grew up an Army brat, and now she and her Army-veteran husband live a short train ride from New York City with their twin sons and their fur-sons, VVolt N629 (retired military working dog) and Benning the Stealth Golden. Ronie’s degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of intense, raw characters.
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Open internationally Ends December 19, 2020