Book four of The Navelan Chronicles is here!


Hello Readers,

I would like to let everybody know that book four of The Navelan Chronicles is now available for purchase. I am extremely exited to have finally finished the series and really looking forward to some feedback. I am very proud to have completed this and hope that people will check it out and enjoy it. Here is a sample chapter to check out hope you like it.

Chapter 1

Velanario surveyed his growing army with an increasing sense of pride. He had spent several weeks drilling the hodgepodge force and he was finally beginning to see the fruits of his labors. He watched one hundred elven spears march in tight formation while centaurs and saytors alongside Rock Elve, practiced moving around the formation as they would in battle. He watched the crisp maneuvers with satisfaction, confident this force that had once been a random collection of beings was now ready to face the dreaded Imperial Legion.

He thought of the many hours of work it had taken to get them to this point. He could not help but recall the first days of the army’s formation and the stress he had endured for his effort. The recruits had been raw and undisciplined, speaking a multitude of languages and mistrusting each other. He had first had to break down those barriers before he could even begin to form them into a cohesive unit.

He had built his unusual army around the strengths of its members and by their ability to work together. The process had taken some time and was still not perfect but he had made far more progress than he had expected. He had organized them into units of one hundred and by type of soldier, infantry, cavalry or artillery. He made sure to mix them up so that no unit was made up of any great concentration of a single race or type. He also decreed that all orders were to be given in Navelen so they would have a single common language in battle.

The infantry was made up of elves, goblins, and humans for the most part. They were armed mostly with spears and carried shield of various design. They looked like a pageant of color as they marched the greens, browns, and other hues of the elves and the variety of their dress nearly overwhelming the senses. They spoke the widest variety of languages as well and teaching them to march together had been one of the greatest nightmares of the whole process.

The cavalry was composed primarily of hooved creatures, centaurs, saytors, and even a few fierce, half bull minatours. A group of about one hundred Rock Elve goat riders were also a part of the mounted wing of the force. The rest was a spattering of Properiens, humans and any other creature that could ride. They equaled about five hundred and had thus far proven to be the best of the newly formed army.

The artillery was comprised mostly of the little folk who had pledged themselves to the cause of freedom. The halfens, gnomes, and dwarves. The hob-goblins and dwelfs as well as a group of satyrs had also joined the force. They were armed with slings, javelins and short bows, more of a skirmishing force than true archers. They were the least disciplined of the army for the most part except for what was fast becoming known as Kilgren’s Legion.

The group was comprised of two hundred dwarves, heavy infantry meant to guard the archers in case of attack. They had first resented the assignment, thinking they were not being taken seriously. The knowledge that they were responsible for keeping their fellow warriors safe had soothed their anger and they soon looked on their job with a sense of pride. They had been trained under the watchful eye of Kilgren and Velanario believed they would prove to be terrible foes.

He found his thoughts pulled away from matters military as the Southern Mountains came into his line of sight a moment later. The news that his dear friend Powhak had brought to him from the mountains had stunned and shocked the young Navelen more than he would have thought possible beforehand. The recent development of a relationship with Myela only complicated the issue and he did not know what to do.

Pokkahenna had named the elvling Libertus Rock Elvatore, according to her brother. He had shared the mind blowing news with his friend as soon as the two were reunited; still unaware that Velanario was now seeing Myela. He had not been angry when he had found out but had clearly been disappointed. Velanario felt horribly guilty and now did not know what to do.

He had become involved with Myela, but did not believe that he was in love with her. He had first fostered the relationship to enlist her aid in his rebellion. He had soon found himself drawn to and involved with the infamous outlaw. She had brought a large number of recruits to the army and he did not want to lose them because he broke her heart. He also did not want to hurt the female who had become his friend and lover though he knew in his heart there was no future for them.

He was now a father and Pokkahenna not Myela was the child’s mothher. He had shared much more intimate relationship with the Rock elve, though they had been together physically only one time. He had once planned to build a life with her but had given up that dream due to the danger he faced from the Imperials pursuit of him. He now wondered if he might still find a way to build a life with the elve who had helped to sooth his broken heart and who had given birth to a son he had not yet seen.

He would see the child soon though, he vowed to himself as he watched the army drill. He would soon be leading a mission into the mountains to scout the way for the army and approach Divine Lords about joining their cause. He had decided he would go and see the child on the way, a day or two added to the journey would be more than worth it. He planned to go and see his father as well, to show him he was wrong about him and offer him a chance to join him.

He would be leaving in a few days, a handful of knights joining him on his quest. He hoped they would be able to find a path through the mountains for the army. He too hoped he would be able to convince a least a few nobles to join them, their wealth and fighting elves were resources they would greatly need in the days ahead. He was still doubtful they could succeed but he believed in his goddess and the leaders of her faith.

He called an end to the day’s training and headed toward the large tent that was serving as his chambers. He had moved into the camp in the valley, thinking it prudent to live among the beings he hoped to lead to freedom. He entered the tent and poured a mug of water from the large pitcher that sat on a small table in the corner of the tent. He blew out a long sigh and fell back onto his cot, relaxing his mind for the first time since waking several hours before dawn.

He tried to push all of his cares away as he lay there, needing time to sort through his many conflicting feelings. He needed to have his mind clearly focused on coming events but found himself unable to concentrate. The news that he was now a father had given him a lot to think about, on top of all the things he was dealing with. He felt quite overwhelmed by recent events, the weight of the world seeming to be resting on his shoulders.

He heard activity around the door of his tent and knew his peace was soon to be disturbed. He heard Frugge try to tell the visitor that Velanario did not want to be disturbed. He also knew that the visitor would not be turned away. He recognized Myela’s voice and knew he would not be able to ignore her any longer. He had avoided her since learning of the birth of his son, a fact he did not feel particularly good about.

The Half Navelen, half Forest Elve female walked into the tent angrily, having already sent Frugge, the large and fierce Orc running. She stormed directly to Velanario as she entered, beginning to yell almost immediately. “Why have you been avoiding me, you bastard”.

He did not have an immediate response, being unsure how to put his news into words. The alluring female took his silence as indifference, which sent her into an even greater tyraid. “You have some nerve. Laying with me in the wild, then avoiding me once you are home.” She yelled at him angrily. “I had thought you a better elve than this, you bastard.” She finished before bursting into tears.

“Myela, I am sorry, but there is something I have to tell you.” Velanario said softly, feeling guilty for the hurt he was causing the female elve, who had already been hurt so much. “I have recently learned that a female I had a relationship with before you has given birth to a son.” He told her, hoping she would understand why he had avoided her.

“Do you love this elve?” She asked him through her tears.

“I did once. I do not know how I feel about her now.” He told her honestly, unsure how she might react.

“Do you love me?” She asked him a look somewhere between curious and hopeful stamped on her green and white molted face.

“I don’t know that either”, he admitted wishing he was somewhere far away having a different conversation or facing a pack of angry Commandario’s. “I will be leaving soon to make the way for our army”, he began uncomfortably. “I plan to go and see the child and his mother. I hope to figure out how I feel about her then.” He told unsure whether he should share that with her or not.

“Do you see a future for us or not?” She interrupted her tears stopping, her heart needing him to address their situation first.

“I care for you very much Myela”, he told her slowly, struggling to find the right words. “I do not believe we have a future together though.” He confessed, guilt showing on his face. “I know you wish to return to your forest home and I would not be happy there”. He pointed out needing her to understand he did not want to hurt her. “I also now have a son, a son who will need me to teach him how to be strong and brave.” He told her, his thoughts becoming clearer on the subject.

“I understand”, she said, the look in her eye changing from desire to a look of acceptance. “I will avoid you from now on”, she said stiffly.

“I do not want you to avoid me Myela.” He said strongly, placing his hands gently on her shoulders as she spoke. “I cherish your friendship and appreciate what you have to offer greatly.” He assured, needing her to know his choice was not meant as an evaluation of her worth. “I just do not believe that we have enough in common for our romance to last.” He told her, sad that his relationship with the female was going to be changing forever.

“I know you are right Velanatio. I have known since this began,” she told him with dry eyes. “Just promise me we will remain friends.” She told him, knowing in her heart they were making the right choice.

“I promise Myela”, he said tears trying to take his voice.

She left the tent a moment later, nothing left to say. Velanario felt both upset and relieved once she was gone. He would miss her and think fondly of the time they had spent together but he knew he was doing the right thing. He did not know if he would end up with Pokkahenna but she had his son, whose life he wanted to be a part of.

He heard the sound of Kilgren clearing his voice a moment later, the rough one eyed dwarf seeming to know something was wrong without word being said. He wondered what his friend wanted but figured it would be a problem he did not want to deal with at that moment. He sat up anyway knowing that the dwarf would not go away until he had taken care of whatever he wanted.

“What is it now Kilgren?” he asked tired of the mantle of leadership he now carried.

“Some news has come in you need to hear, Magia has commanded it.” He told his already overburdened companion.

“I will be right there”, Velanario replied more sharply than he intended, his voice somewhat louder than one would use in normal conversation.

“I’ll wait outside”, the dwarf responded sympathetically.

Velanario stood up and walked to the large wash bowl by the door. He poured some water into the dish and washed his hands and face. He could not let his cares show in front of his soldiers, their fragile unity would not bear it, he knew in his heart. He let out one long deep sigh as he put on his cloak.

He then walked out of the tent to join Kilgren and answer the summons of Magia. The ancient priestess of Ilumini was the last of the first elves and a powerful sorceress. They had found her deep in the mountains while fleeing from Prince Ilindor, her assistance proving to be instrumental in his defeat. She was now their spiritual and political leader, her wisdom guiding their actions.

“I am sorry I snapped at you friend.” He offered to his best friend as he moved to join him.

“I understand it’s been a long day”, he replied, having already forgotten his friend outburst.

“What can you tell me about the news?” He asked wanting to arrive with some idea what to expect.

“Just that it caused the folks that do know go about looney.” He observed wishing he had more to offer his friend.

“Well let’s get going then. It sounds like it might be important.

The two friends walked out of the camp together, telling the two elven sentries that would return shortly. They then began the climb to the caves of Ilumini and the quarters of Magia. They expertly navigated the maze twisting tunnels that honey combed the mountain, picking the inclining tunnel whenever they had a choice. They soon found themselves standing outside Magia’s door, on the highest level of the complex.

The pair entered to find several others had also been summoned and had arrived before them. He worked his way to the front of the small ground, finding Magia sitting calmly on a small cushion on the floor, Leodamus and Cornrilius at her side. They each kneeled down and bowed to her in respect before stepping back into the crowd. Leodamus stood up a second later, clearing his throat and straightening his robe before he began to speak.

“I thank you all for answering our summons so promptly, it is greatly appreciated.” He began as the assembled being began to quiet. “We have received an extremely alarming report from Properia. We will need you to remain calm once we share it with you. Once I have finished we will then discuss it.” He told them before even began to share his news.

“The Imperials have slaughtered every non-navelen in the city”. He said in a melancholy tone. “The Regent has also ordered the killing of all non-elves on the estates. We do not yet know if the Lords have obeyed or not.” He informed them while trying not to imagine the horror of the events he was describing. “He also executed the councilors he held prisoner along with a few thousand other Navelens who opposed him.” he concluded as the news set in among the group, an uncomfortably long silence taking over the gathering.

Velanario’s brother Petrolani was now dead. He felt a twinge of remorse at the news but not nearly as much as he would have expected. He had never been terribly close to his eldest brother. He was nearly two hundred years older than Velanario and had been gone to the Imperial city before Velanario had even been born. He had really only seen him on his infrequent visits.

The news that the regent had killed thousands of innocents in cold blood disturbed him much more, he found. He his blood was soon boiling as he thought more about the horrifying situation. The very idea that something so horrible could happen when they were so close to ending the regent’s reign. He now wanted to kill Adolphus even more, which he had not thought was possible before that moment.

“What are we going to do?” Velanario called out in a loud monotone, his mind already planning his foes death as he spoke.

“We have decided that we will move up our invasion plan.” Cornrilius said rising to his feet as he spoke. “I will lead a small unit to make sure the army will have a clear path. Then I will go into Properia and rally what support again from among the nobles.” He told the gathered beings, each chosen by Magia to go on the appointed mission.

“What if they will not rise for you?” Nevos asked his doubts clear in his tone.

“Then then they will die a traitors death”, the young Emperor responded with angry dripping from his voice.

“I will be leaving in the morning.” He told them with a steely edge to his tone, anger simmering just below the surface. “Magia has chosen each one of you to accompany me on my journey.” He informed them as they began to show there surprise. “She tells me that you represent the best of the warriors of Navela”, he said. “I have faith that we will rally the nobles to our cause and bring justice to our land, but if anyone does not wish to join me then you are free to stay here. I thank you for your time.” He said before returning to his place next to the sorceress.

“Well that’s the plan guys”, Leodamus said a moment later. “If anyone is not going let me know. Everyone who is going is to meet me in front of Velanario’s tent at dawn.” He said, knowing none of the hand-picked warriors would retreat from the duty being placed before them.

Thanks for checking my sample out hope you liked it. If you are interested in reading The Navelan Chronicles al  four Volumes are available on Amazon, they are in order, The Liberator, The Hunted, The Abductor and The Revolutionary. I hope you will check them out and enjoy.

Lee’s World Update


Hello Readers,

I would first like to say thanks for reading as always. I would also like to apologize for having taken so long to post again. I have been busy working on a new novel and trying to get myself straitened out. I hate to admit I am having much better luck with the book than life at this point. I sure that any of you who regularly read my blog or know me will probably not be surprised by the news but I figured I would share any way.

The new novel I am working on is a fantasy(shocker right) based on the early middle ages and the beginning of the Viking age. The main character of the story is a young man named Rune who is about to celebrate his twenty first birthday. He is given a ship as a present and must work to fill his crew. He then sails off in search of adventure and new lands for his people who badly need them. This is going to be a full length novel of about one hundred thousand words. I am still debating with myself on whether I should self publish or try to go the traditional route.

I am still working on The Navelen Chronicles and hope to conclude the series this year. I have book three written but have been so busy with Rune I have not had a chance to finish editing it. I am sorry if you are one of the people waiting for the next book. I promise I have not forgot about you or Velanario.

I guess it is time to get a little serious now that I have talked about the fun stuff. I recently saw my therapist for the first time and was actually quite pleased with her approach. I did not expect this to be the case at all. I really thought it would be like my experiences in the past when I did not feel comfortable or like we had the same goals. I am now looking forward to continuing my treatment in hopes of becoming a healthier, happier, and more functional person.

I am glad to say that while I still struggle I am doing much better and thankfully my meds continue to work. I cannot put into words how good it feels to be able to have a thought or feel something without be so overwhelmed by a flood of others that I stop functioning. I am also finding that as I feel better and continue to take positive steps many of the things that terrified and confused me no longer seem quite as scary or mysterious. I find I am regaining an interest in having a social life and even romance, something I thought impossible only two months ago.

I would like to say one more thing before signing off, any one who reads regular you have heard it before(Sorry). If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness or emotional problems, get them/yourself some help. You are worth it, its worth it! I myself dodged treatment for many years because of shame and the stigma of mental illness and I have to confess it was one of the worst mistakes I have ever made in my life. The consequences of a lifetime of untreated mental illness now another set of obstacles for me to overcome.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy life’s to hear what I have to say! Please checkout The Navelen Chronicles and be looking out for news of book three’s release.

Jack Finder and the Brain Harvesters PT. 3


Hello Readers,

Here is part 3 of Jack’s story. I hope you have enjoyed following my newest character. This is the last part of this story but i would like to write more about him in the future. Please let me know what you think and if you would like to go on another case with Jack or not. 

 

 

Pt 3 Jack Finder and the case of the Brain Harvesters

          Jack returned home to find his fears were in fact quite well founded. He saw the heavy door of his house hanging on one hinge and knew in his heart that Michelle was now in great danger. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and dialed Jesse’s number, hoping against all odds that his friend and caretaker was safe with her brother. He was shocked when a women’s voice answered his call, the voice was not Michelle’s as he expected but that of the mysterious Juliet.

          “I have programed your phone so that I am the only one you can call”, the mystery women told him as soon as the phone was answered.

          “Where is Michelle?” Jack said calmly, while struggling to keep his composure.

          “She is safe for now.” The feminine said coldly. “Whether she remains that way is now up to you.” She told him next, a sense of enjoyment clear in her tone.

          “What do you want from me?” Jack asked his tone one of defeat.

          “I want you”, she told him her voice turning cold. “The women’s life for yours, that is the deal. Do we have a deal Mr. Finder?” She asked already knowing the answer to the question.

          “Why did you warn me to leave this case alone if you were going to move on me anyway?” He asked instead wondering why they had even bothered with the first call.

          “You have a reputation for paranoia Mr. Finder and we wanted to get some leverage before we let you in the plan.” She told him arrogantly. “Now do we have a deal or not?” She asked in a hard edged tone.

           “You know we do you wretched bitch.” He answered his fear and anger threatening to overwhelm him at any moment.

          “Watch your tone when you speak to me worm!” She said loudly and angrily, real emotion evident in her voice for the first time. “I will send your little slut back to you in pieces.” She warned him, her anger seeming to dissipate in the blink of an eye.

          “If you harm her, I will dedicate the rest of my life to finding you.” He told the women coolly, trying to remain calm for the sake of Michelle.

          “I will not need to harm her as long as you do as you’re told.” She offered, both knowing that she held the cards as long as she had Michelle.

          “How do I know you will release her if I do what you want?” He asked knowing he would not believe her no matter what she said.

          “You have no choice but to trust me. I have the women and I am the only one that knows where she is.” The voice he knew as Juliet reminded him arrogantly.

          “Alright, what do you want me to do?” He asked in a resigned tone, accepting he would have to trade his life for the wellbeing of the women who had come to mean so much to him.

          “Go to the corner of 7th and Wabash. A car will come for you”, she instructed him. “And Mr. Finder, I would recommend leaving you pistol at home”. She told him before the line went dead.

          Jack walked back out into the street unsure what to do. He had a strong suspicion that both he and Michelle would die if he followed the instructions he had been given. He also could not help but believe that Michelle would be killed if he did not. He could not stop it this time, the stress finally more than he could bear.

          The feeling began to come over him suddenly, silently and invisibly just like it always did. He noticed the anxiety in his chest first, feeling like someone had shot a bolt of electricity through his soul. His heart picked up next soon feeling like it was about to explode out of his chest. He began to sweat next, salty droplets beading up on his forehead as he fought to surpress the dark and primal urges and fears beginning their assault on his mind.

          The normally fearless man stood crippled by a sudden rush of guilt, fear, and self-doubt, his many years of mental training not standing a chance against the storm of negative thoughts racing through his mind faster than he could possibly hope to process them. He watched the kaleidoscope of misery flash by in his mind, the images so vivid they almost felt real. The world around seemed to be moving so slow, while his thoughts were moving with the speed of firing neurons making him feel disoriented and confused.  He fought the storm with everything he had, knowing the life of his closest companion hung delicately in the balance.

He was suddenly battered by feeling of regret as he thought of her and the relationship they had. He had never told her how much he loved her, or how badly he wished he could. He gave those thoughts and any other a mental shove, forcing his mind to go blank. He could not afford to lose control of himself now, refusing to fail Michelle again, he forced himself to head for the meeting. He knew that he had no other hope of saving the women who had tried for many years to save him from himself.

He arrived at his destination after about twenty minutes of walking, the horror of a few minutes before giving way to an immense feeling of dread. He did not even care now if he survived his coming ordeal, as long as Michelle was safe. He would gladly die a thousand times if he knew that it would mean that she would live. He was almost looking forward to death now, hoping in death he might find a release from the pain of his existence.

He watched the black Mercedes pulled up to the curb ready to accept his fate. He approached the car like a man going to the gallows without hope of a reprieve. He had watched members of this shadow organization gun a man down in cold blood and held no delusions about what he might be in for. He watched the rear door of the sedan open and nearly fell over, relief exploded through his entire being as a fear stricken Michelle rushed into his arms.

He held her for a moment thankful she was still alive. He let her go hesitantly, thinking this would be the last time he would ever hold her or anyone else. He looked at her tear streaked face trying to burn that image into his mind. He wanted to make sure it was the last thing he thought about. He feared his death might not be painless and wanted to remember what he was dying for when that moment came.

“I have to take a ride with these people. I’ll see you at home shortly. We have a lot of cleaning up to do.” He said whishing he could say what he was really thinking.

“Don’t lie to me Jack. I know what you did.” She told him with a fresh tears in her eyes.

“I have to go now”, was all Jack could say before he climbed into the waiting car.

He was shocked to see none other than Special Agent Souza waiting for him. He could not hide his shock at the sight of the federal officer and she was clearly amused by his reaction. Jack could not even speak as he sat next to what was supposed to be a member of law enforcements. He could not help but think that just maybe he was not quite ready to die just yet as she began to speak.

“Hello again Mr. Finder”, she began with an amused smirk on her coldly beautiful features.

“Why did you do this? I just got the warning.” He demanded to know, as he looked for good place to make his move.

“The decision came from my leader, Jack. She didn’t believe you would leave us alone, I guess. ” She informed him smugly, her arrogance aggravating Jack to no end.

“What happened to Alexi?” He asked as his eyes scanned the road ahead.

“He’s dead but Mr. Andrazy already told you that”, she replied shortly.

“What did he do?” He inquired probing for information.

“I am not going to answer any more of your questions Mr. Finder.” She told in a flat bored sounding tone.

He watched out the windshield as the car approached a red light thinking his chance to escape had finally come. He first tried to open the door; not at all surprised to find it locked, he drove his elbow into the window as hard as he could, repeating the motion over and over as he tried to shatter the glass. He found his efforts greeted by laughter, his captor seeming to enjoy the spectacle. He stopped swinging as soon as he heard her laughter, realizing his efforts were futile.

“That is shatter proof, bullet proof glass.” She informed him as her laughter subsided.

He fell silent after that, hoping he might get another chance to try something after he got out of the car. He cursed silently as he felt the needle slide into his arm. The point went into his muscles and injected him with some unknown substance. He looked at the agent with an alarmed look on his face, fearing he might be about to suffer the effects of some horribly painful poison.

“You will go to sleep in a few moments. When you wake up you will be in a highly secure location. Do not try and escape again, if you do our deal concerning the women will be null and void.” She informed him as he began to feel the drug take effect.

He drifted off into a drug induced sleep, slumping over and onto Special Agent Souza. He was lost in a strange world of odd, vivid dreams where witches chanted incantations and cruel beast growled and gnashed their teeth. He tried to wake up but found his way back blocked, his body refusing to answer his summons. He floated along for what seemed like forever trapped in a world that seemed to have lost all reason.

He woke strapped to a gurney, still groggy from the drugs he had been given some time before. He looked around slowly trying not to move his head and alert his captors to the fact he was awake. He saw a trio of women standing around stainless steel table, on the table he could see a man struggling against his bonds. He then saw one of the women draw a blade from somewhere and slide the blade across the doomed stranger’s throat.

He saw one of the women turn their attention toward him and quickly closed his eyes. He listened with his ears straining as the sound of footsteps scraping across the floor drew closer. He heard a power tool kick on near the table and corpse, wondering what was happening but not daring to open his eyes. He felt a cool smooth hand being laid on his chest and worked to breathe like someone who was still unconscious.

He was unable to fool the murderous woman, who had done this many, many times in the past. She calmly turned to her fellow killers and said, “He is ready sisters. I know you are awake Mr. Finder. You can stop trying to pretend”. She said addressing Jack directly for the first time.

He opened his eyes and saw all three of the women now standing around his gurney. He was not surprised to see that Special Agent Souza was one of the trios. He saw that one of the women was of Asian descent, the other being a statuesque blonde. They were both exceeding beautiful women just a agent Souza was, a fact that jack found strange even in his current state.

“You must be Juliet”, he said to the blonde, wanting to know the identity of the women before he died.

“I am”, she said smiling with evil grin that was  both sexy and alarming at the same time.

“What are you going to do with me?” He asked thinking he was going to get the same treatment as the unknown murder victim still lying on the table.

“We are going to harvest the chemicals in your brain to make the elixir that allows us to maintain our perpetual youth and beauty.” She informed him happily with a twinkle in her eye.

“How does that work?” He asked while his eyes scanned the immediate area in hopes of seeing something he could use to free himself from his bonds.

“We will kill, just as we did the poor fellow on the table.” The women known as Juliet told him. “Then we will take your brain to refine into the substance that sustains us. It is an ancient science that originated in the days when science was called magic.” She answered, leaving Jack truly confused.

“How old are you?” He asked still unable to believe that such methods or formula’s existed.

“I am one thousand years old.” She told him, amused by his confusion.

“That is not possible.” Jack replied still having trouble wrapping his mind around what he was hearing.

“Oh, you would be amazed by what is possible Jack.” She told him with another superior smile on her face.

“You enjoy this don’t you? You sick whore.” He said next, his rage and disgust at what he was hearing mixing with his doubt and causing him to become quite agitated.

“I enjoy every aspect of my existence Mr. Finder, which is why you are here.” She told him, the smile wiped from her face by Jack’s crude language. “We knew you would not give up on this case and we could not allow you to destroy what has taken a millennium to build.”

“Is this what happened to Alexi?” He asked fearing he would soon meet a similar fate to the man he was searching for.

“Alexi was not a good candidate for our purposes. The Hepatitis C he contracted a result of his drug use made him useless for our purpose. He is now buried behind the compound along with several other undesirables.” She told him, seeming to be proud of the fact she was a mass murderer.

“Sister we must finish our work on the first source of material.” The Asian conspirator interrupted a moment later.

“Yes of course Yoko, this worm can wait.” Juliet said without a hint of feeling in her voice, like she was talking about putting up the groceries.

The three women returned to the body together the one he knew as Juliet picking up the electric bone saw he had heard running a few moments before to begin harvesting the brain of their first victim.. Jack watched horrified as they expertly processed the body, quickly removing the brain. He watched them pull a pail of the man’s blood out from under the table and pour a healthy dose of salt into the mix to keep it from coagulating. He then saw them exit the room leaving him alone for the first time.

He began to franticly test his bonds, hoping they were not as strong as they appeared. He was soon disappointed, realizing they were in fact quite strong, too strong for him to break. His wrists and ankles were soon covered in blood from the restraints cutting into his skin. He stopped struggling as the wounded areas began to feel like they were burning from where his now exposed flesh made contact with the leather straps holding him down.

He lay on the gurney for several minutes waiting for the fierce pain in his wrists and ankles to subside. He was surprised by the amount of blood that now pumped from his extremities, figuring he must have been given some sort of anti-coagulant. He had an idea at that moment, figuring he could use the blood as a lubricant to free him from his restraints. He now began to try to pull his arm out of the cuff instead of trying to break it.

He worked his wrist towards himself, trying to ignore the pain burning in his arm. He found himself making progress that was slow and painful. He kept his eyes on the door the women had used to leave the room, hoping he would have time to free himself before they returned. He could not help but let out a little yelp of excitement as his right hand came free of the thick leather cuff that had been holding it.

He was quickly able to undo the other three cuffs that held him to the gurney. He climbed to his feet but found he could not move particularly well, his ankles burned painfully from his first attempt to liberate himself. He hobbled over to the table that held the dead man, hoping to find something he could use as a weapon. He found a large knife, the one used to kill the man on the table, he assumed from the still fresh blood on the razor sharp blade.

He heard the voices of the three women returning and quickly hid under the table. He hoped he would get a chance to strike before the twisted trio realized he was no longer strapped down and helpless. He saw a pair of feminine legs pass within a foot of the table right before one of the women said,” He is not here and there is blood everywhere”

He took that as his cue to strike and plunged the knife into one of the legs in front of him. He heard a scream and saw Special Agent Souza fall to the floor clutching her now badly bleeding calf. He did not want to give the dangerous woman a chance to recover, scrambling out of cover he plunged his stolen blade into her chest over and over. He did not stop striking until he saw her chest stop moving his anger spent.

Jack then turned to see his remaining two captors approaching him with blades of their own drawn and vengeance in their hearts. He stood ready for the fiendish women his adrenaline causing his aches go away and making him want to kill the remaining two sorceresses. He did not give the pair a chance to take advantage of their superior numbers, instead going on the attack. He went at Juliet with abandon, deciding she would die no matter what the outcome of the conflict.

He closed the distance between them quickly, trapping her arm as she attempted slash at him. He then used his superior size and strength to overpower his adversary, driving his own blade in her diaphragm. He watched her body fall to the floor and she began to choke on her own blood. He was so transfixed by the sight of his foes final moments he forgot about the last remaining foe. He was reminded by a sharp pain in his back followed by a burning sensation a moment later.

He turned quickly, his movement dislodging the blade from his back and knocking it out of the woman’s hand. He heard the blade go sliding along the floor noisily and struck. He launched a vicious right hand straight into the face of the last of the evil witches, knocking her down and out with the force of the blow. He then stood over the fallen women, knowing what he had to do. He bent over the evil but still exceptionally good looking women and laid his blade across her throat.

He did not want to kill the now harmless women but he could let her life he knew. This group was obviously well connected and he did not want his few loved ones to come to harm because he could not do what was necessary. He thought of Michelle then, bringing his last image of her to his mind. He pictured her scared, tear streaked face and found the resolve he needed to do what was needed. The fountain of blood that followed his cut disturbed him but too gave him a grim sense of satisfaction.

          He looked around the room as the woman gave up her last hold on the land of the living. He surveyed the scene of carnage with a sickened feeling, wondering not for the first time how people could do things like this to other people. He also wondered how he might explain what he had witnessed here to anyone. He knew that because of his mental illness he would more than likely be accused of murder no matter what he said. The truth of the situation was simply too impossible for the average cop or anyone else to believe he knew. He had in fact been a witness to the scene and barely believed it himself.

          He saw a large cabinet in the corner of the room and went to investigate it. He opened the door and was pleasantly surprised to find several chemicals that he knew were combustible when mixed. He grabbed the ingredients and closed the door. He then found an empty bucket and began to mix the volatile blend carefully. Once he was finished he dumped the mixture on the floor and pulled out his lighter, one that had been a gift from Michelle.

          He watched the flames lick their way across the floor and begin to make its way up a nearby wall. He then realized he did not know how to get out of the building. He saw only one way out, the door the three women had used to dispose of the unknown man’s corpse. He made his way down the hall quickly hoping it would lead to the exit, knowing he would die as a result of a fire he started if it did not.

          He saw a door at the end of the hall and hurried toward passing several more openings on his way toward the one he thought might lead to freedom, as the heat and smoke from the fire began to make its way down the hall. He tried to open the door only to find it locked. He began to kick the door furiously, determined to knock down the portal and escape the twisted hell he was now in. He felt the door begin to give at the same time he began to have trouble breathing.

          He heard the telltale crack of the door frame giving way just in the nick of time. The flow of fresh air that began to seep into the hall gave Jack a second wind, which allowed him to finish the destruction of his last obstacle to escape. He stumbled gratefully into a large foyer, the air clean and easily breathable. He continued his flight into the night beyond what he found to be the front door of a large and opulent home.

          He watched the flames engulf the structure with a sense of accomplishment. He had found out what happened to Alexi, had saved Michelle and made sure that the three evil women would never be able to hurt anyone again. He heard the sound of approaching sirens in the distance and knew it was time to get going. He did not want to be found at the scene or have to try and explain what had happened here.

          Jack snuck away using the surrounding forest for cover. He soon found a road and a gas station, one he knew was not more than ten miles from his home. He asked to use the phone and called Jesse, knowing his friend would come to his aid and maybe even believe what had happened to him. He waited patiently for his friend to answer, ecstatic once he finally did.

          “What happened man?” The detective and Jack’s best friend asked once he had picked up his friend.

          Jack told his friend the story of what had happened leaving nothing out, which took the entire ride home. The normally unshakeable man was simply floored but what his friend told him. He drove speechless for some time trying to absorb what he had learned. He would not have believed Jack at all if he had not already spoken to his sister, who had already told part of the story.

          “Man I’m not sure I shouldn’t take you in.” Jesse said first, his duty to the people of his community always his first concern. “They would never believe this shit though.” He admitted still unsure whether he believed it or not. “You did sacrifice yourself to save Michelle too, but I’m going to warn you homie. If you ever do something to endanger my sister again I will kill you myself.” He said finally, deciding once again to help his friend despite the fact that he would end up in prison with him if half of what Jack had told him was uncovered.

          “I would never put her in danger intentionally man, you know that.” Jack countered his friend’s statement a little offended by his speech.

          “I know but intentional or not, don’t do it again, man.” He said not nearly as angry as he was making out to be.

          The car pulled up in front of his house as they finished their conversation. The door had been rehung already and a light was on in the living room. He looked at his friend with a question clearly stamped on his face. The two had been friends long enough that words were not necessary, Jesse already knowing what the question was.

          “I fixed the door a few hours ago. Michelle wouldn’t leave; she wanted to be here if you came back.” He told his friend, while wondering what his relationship with his sister really was right before realizing he didn’t want to know.

          “Thank you for everything man.” Jack said before climbing out of the car.

He stood outside looking at his home for several minutes. He wanted to see Michelle, to hold her and tell her finally he loved her. He wouldn’t he knew, his fear of both intimacy and rejection would not allow it, not yet at least. He would have to work on that he decided as he looked at the house that had become his home in a way nowhere else had ever been. He did not know how long it would take but he would tell her, the idea that he might someday lose her if he did not was just not an acceptable outcome for him.

          He walked in the front door happier than he had ever been to return home. He felt like the luckiest nut case in the world that night, a person that meant so much to him was inside and safe. He had survived a harrowing ordeal and now knew exactly how he felt about her, had been forced to come to terms with those feelings in the face of death. He would never again take her for granted he knew, he could not now that he knew how much he truly needed her to be a part of his life, even if it was not the part he truly whished her to be.

                                      The End

 

 Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed it and really hope you will return. 

PT. 2 Jack Finder and the Case of the Brain Harvesters


Hello Readers,

I would like to present part two of Jack’s story as promised. I hope you enjoyed part 1 and will come back tomorrow for the conclusion.

Pt2- Jack Founder and the Case of the Brain Harvesters

“He is in the witness protection program man, you need to stay away from him”, Jesse implored his friend in a tone that was as excited as the cool demeanered man spoke.

“He’s knows something about what happened to Alexi and I’m going to find out.” He replied strongly, wishing his friend would just give him information and save the lectures.

“He might and he might not but he is under the protection of the FBI.” He told Jack, envoking the name of the FBI in hopes of getting through to him.

“Yes and why is that?” He asked hoping to find a link to Alexi and Tony beyond roofing. The theory that Alexi’s past may have caught up with him again taking hold.

“I don’t man, it’s above my pay grade.” He told his friend in frustration, his own curiosity now peaked.

“See what else you can learn. I’ll go rattle his cage a little and see what happens.” The now private eye told his former partner, knowing he would find a way to get the information he needed.

“I told you man they won’t tell me anything.” He insisted knowing his stubborn friend would not take no for an answer.

“Don’t let me down man”, he said ignoring Jesse’s statement. He then hung up the phone quickly not giving the other mam a chance to respond.

He rose from his comfy chair and headed for the door. He had finally escaped the worst of his hangover and he was ready to see one Tony Delvecio. The roofer had some questions to answer and Jack was quite eager to see what he would say. He grabbed his Sox cap as always before heading out the door and climbing into his tired old car. He breathed a sigh of relief as the engine roared to life. He pulled away from the curb, heading toward the job sight that Mr. Delvecio’s company had been working at the day before.

He pulled up to the work sight to find all the employees on sight milling about unsure what to do. He scanned the site, quickly realizing that Delvecio was nowhere in sight. He climbed out of the car and surveyed the scene in front of him with a scrutinizing eye. He would have to speak to at least one, maybe even several of the workers and he felt a panic attack coming on. He tried to calm his breathing, his racing heart and sweaty brow, focusing, searching for one of the men on the scene to stand out as a supervisor of some kind.

He thought he saw what he was looking for after a few moments, spotting an older gentleman, who the workers repeatedly approached to ask questions. Jack figured that if the roofers saw him as the man in the know, it would be a good place to start. He approached the portly man nervously, needing to rub his sweaty palms against his pants several times, while he silently hoped he would not want to shake hands.

“Hello sir, I am looking for Tony”, he told him with difficulty.

“Yea me too budy. I got twenty guys here and no tools. The cheap skate better not try to get out of paying us for this either.” He complained bitterly, obviously not liking his boss. “Who are you?” He asked wondering what the degenerate looking man in front of him could want with his boss.

“I am a private detective. I’m working for Alexi’s sister. Did you know he was missing?” He asked the man, thinking he may know something helpful.

“I knew he had not been at work but guys come and go around here all the time. I didn’t think much of it.” He responded bluntly.

“Did you talk to Alexi much?” He continued to question, hoping this trip would prove to be a waste of time.

“I didn’t, couldn’t understand half of what he said. He seemed like an alright guy though.” The man told him sighing as he spoke. “You really think something bad happened to him?” He asked with concern in his voice.

“I don’t know but I am more convinced all the time that he is in trouble.” He told the man honestly.

“He hung with this guy name Joe real tough. Joe Martinez, he’s here this morning, over their by the blue ranger he said, pointing to a short Latino man who was smoking a cigarette.

He thanked the foremen for his time before he approached the smoker. He almost did not even bother, feeling like he was running out of leads. The man looked up at him when he was about ten feet away, a suspicious look in his dark brown eyes. “Hello Joe, I am a private detective. I am working for Alexi’s sister and would like to ask you a few questions.” He said hoping the man would speak to him.

“I heard he was missing. I tell you whatever I can.” He said with a slight accent.

“Alexi had told several people he had a new girlfriend but I can’t figure out who she is. You wouldn’t happen to know something about her would you?” He asked thinking this would be his last chance to ID the women.

“He said her name was Juliet. He met her at some bar.” He said hoping he would be able to help the private detective.

“Did he say ever say anything else about her?” He questioned, knowing even the smallest detail could help him.

“No, but I got the vibe she was a rich people of some sort. He said Tony introduced them.” He offered trying to remember any fact he could.

“Why do you say that?” Jack wondered, wealth now being mentioned twice, its connection to the case still unknown.

“He mention a room with marble floors and named some really expensive booze.” He answered wondering why the local police had not been this thorough.

“Thank you Joe you have been really helpful.” Jack said as Joe stuck out his hand. Jack took the hand and his skin crawled as they made contact. He hated to be touched but could not avoid the gesture without seeming rude.

“What are you going to do now?” Joe asked wanting to make sure his friend was not going to be forgotten.

“I need to find your boss. He seems to be the last one to see Alexi.” He said wondering how he would find the man.

“Let’s go to his place. I know right where it is.” He said excitedly, grabbing his coat and rolling up the windows on his truck as he spoke.

“Yes let’s do that”, Jack replied, before turning quickly to head for the car.

The two arrived at the small somewhat ran down house that was owned by Tony Delvecio. They noticed his work truck sitting in the driveway, both figuring they had found the man. They approached the front door together, Joe knocking several times, getting no answer. The pair was about to leave when the door opened and a hoarse voice called out to them, “What do you want?”

“Mr. Delveecio we need to talk”, jack told the obviously distressed man.

“I told you everything I know,” He insisted.

“No you didn’t”, jack countered quickly. “You can talk to me or I can call the FBI and see what they have to say about your activities. I understand they want people on witness protection to keep a low profile.” He threatened the man, hoping his bluff would work.

“Come in, let’s make this quick”, he said as his eyes darted around as if he thought he was being watched.

The pair entered the house cautiously the owner’s strange behavior putting them on their guard. The house stank of stale smoke and body odor, it’s occupant an obvious slob. They both sat on the worn brown couch in the living room, both silently wondering if that had been a good decision. They were joined by their host, who took a seat in a beat up old lounger nearby.

“What do you want to know?” He asked, in an agitated voice, sweat beading on his brow.

“I want you to tell me what happened after you left the bar Friday night and I want you to tell me who the woman was that was with you.” He demanded thinking he would soon know the truth.

“I don’t know what happened after they left the bar. We parted ways after that. I went to get something to eat at Greg’s Dinner.” He claimed, honestly from what jack could tell. “I can’t tell you who the woman is. I am sorry.” He finished a pleading look on his face.

“You know who the woman is. If you don’t tell me, you will tell the PD and FBI.” He said again using threats to compel the man to talk.

“I ain’t going to tell you shit about her. I don’t want to die.” He said looking Jack hard in the eye as he did so.

“Tell me who she is Tony. The FBI will protect you.” He said trying to coerce the frightened man.

“Yea and who’s going to protect me from them?” He asked cryptically.

“What do you mean? Jack asked surprised by his reaction.

“You don’t have a clue what’s going on here pal”. He said breaking into a hoarse cynical laugh. “Alexi is dead or wishes he was and there is nothing either one of us can do about it.” He said sounding resigned to his fate. “Hell they are going to kill me if they learn I’ve even told you what I have.” He informed the stunned pare fear evident in his voice.

“Who will kill you? I can’t help you if you don’t tell me.” He persuaded feeling like he was close to a break through.

“You can’t help me dick! You will be lucky if you can help yourself. They will know who you are now.” He told him in a threatening tone.

The two had forgotten about Joe as they had been going back and forth. He pulled them away from their conversation when he looked out the window and said, “We have company”.

“What are you talking about?” Tony asked nervously, seeming less than surprised by the news.

“Five men with masks and assault rifles,” he announced in response, his eyes now bulging with the fear that was quickly taking hold over him.

“We have to get out of here!” Jack said loudly his eyes scanning the room.

He spotted a back door and sprang into action, flinging open the portal and charging through it. He turned his head to see Joe right behind him with Tony a few feet behind, the larger man breathing hard. He found himself standing in a small back yard, surrounded by a decrepit wooden privacy fence. The sound of the front door being kicked in carried through the house, alarming the frightened, desperate trio. Jack noticed a spot in the fence that had started to lean. He charged the weak point wildly, crashing into and through the rotting barrier, tumbling into the gravel lined alley that ran behind the house.

The three desperate men were fleeing down the alley way when the air around them lit up with the sounds of gunfire. The world around them became a whizzing, swirling cloud of terror as the heavy rounds began to hit all around them, ricocheting off of and smashing  into every object near them. The fat man went down as a half dozen rounds tore through his body. The exit wounds sprayed blood and gore all over the fleeing men as they ran, the terror they felt making them unaware of the gore they were now covered in.

The sounds of gunfire continued to follow them as they ran for their lives. The shots were less accurate now, their pursuers having a hard time shooting while running. The pair continued to run as fast as their tiring legs would allow, even after the horrific sound of machine guns faded in the distance. They did not stop until a police car pulled up in front of them, siren flashing. Jack heard a familiar voice, though in a different tone than normal say, “Hit the fucking ground”.

“Jesse it’s me Jack”, he called out to his former partner with his hands in the air.

“What the hell is going on man?” He asked wondering what sort of catastrophe his friend had triggered with his meddling this time.

“We were attacked by gunmen while questioning Alexi Emelinenko’s boss”. He told his friend honestly, knowing he would not be happy.

“You mean Tony Delvecio, the federally protected witness I told you to stay away from.” He said next, a hint of anger in his tone.

“You didn’t really think I would listen did you?” Jack countered, wondering how someone who knew him so well was surprised.

“I guess not”, he admitted his mood mellowing as he spoke. The simple truth of his friend’s statement calming him, only because he knew his friend was right. “Wheres Delvecio?” He asked hoping the man could provide some answers to his mounting questions.

“Dead in the alley behind his house”, Jack offered.

“You guys okay?” The detective asked next, wanting to make sure the pair was not injured.

“I’m good”, Joe said first, still breathing heavy from their flight and his addiction to nicotine.

“Me too”, Jack said a moment later, both grateful to be alive.

“Show me the body and tell me what happened. I need to make sure you’re not going to prison before I call this in.” he said silently praying this would not be the time that the man who was like a brother to him would cost him his job.

“Calm down man, it’s not like that.” He assured his friend, understanding his concern and enjoying it a little. Jesse was always so calm and cool; Jack could not help but get a rise out of ruffling him up a little. “Five guys all armed with AKs or AR-15s kicked in the door and wasted your witness while we were trying to run out the back.” He informed his friend hoping that knowing he had not fired a shot would calm his friend.

The trio was soon back at the scene of the murder, waiting for back up and the crime scene squad. Jack took the opportunity to pick up a few shell casings and take the victims phone, all done without Jesse’s knowledge. He felt bad hiding things from his friend but knew it would go better for the detective if he was unaware of his activity. He gave the police a statement when they at last arrived, sharing everything he uncovered with them.

He and Joe were then taken to the station where they were questioned for several hours. The questioning was interrupted around midnight when a pair of FBI agents arrived, claiming they had jurisdiction. The murder of a federally protected witness was not a common occurrence and they were eager to find his killer. The pair of federal agents began the questioning process all over, a gorgeous female agent of about forty leading the questioning.

Jack smoked his cigarette slowly, irritated after hours of telling the same story over and over. He had told the police over and over why he had been talking to Mr. Delvecio but they had showed no interest in Alexi or his disappearance. They kept insisting that he knew something about Andrazi’s life before witness protection no matter how many times he told them otherwise. He had been on the verge of exploding with rage when the agents arrived.

The male agent introduced himself first, identifying himself as agent Russel. He looked to be in his early twenties. He was good looking and appeared muscular under his poorly cut government suit. He also looked like he was fresh from the academy, a certain naivety still showing on his young face. Jack looked at him thinking that look would not last long; it never did in their line of work.

The female agent was about five ten with long shapely legs. She had long wavy brown hair that she had tucked into a neat bun on top of her head. She still had of a woman many years younger than Jack figured her age to be. He pulled his eyes from her shapely assets and focused on her face. He noticed her full pouty lips and high cheek bones, hardly a wrinkle creased her face. He looked into her warm lively brown eyes, pools that threatened to swallow him up.

“I am Special Agent Souza”, she told him formally before sitting down.

“Mr. Finder I understand you were with Tony Delvecio when he was murdered?” She asked, the interrogation beginning once again.

“Yea I was there. I already told the local PD that. I’m sure they have the tape.” He replied letting his annoyance show.

“I know it has been a long night Mr. Finder but we need to figure out what you know about the victim and the people you claim killed him.” She said calmly as she opened the file in front of her.

“Now please tell us again why Mr. Andrazi was of interest to you.” She requested in the same calm almost friendly tone.

“I had been searching for a man who worked for him named Alexi Emilinenko.” He began for what felt like the thousandth time that day. “Mr. Delvecio as I knew him told me several lies about his whereabouts on the night Alexi disappeared and I went to his home to confront him.” He explained hoping they would be more helpful than the locals had been.

“So you didn’t know that he was Anthony Andrazi, Chicago mob informant?” She asked, watching him closely for a reaction as she spoke.

“No, I knew him as Tony Delvecio, owner of a small roofing company in a small Midwestern city.” He told them, now quite intrigued by what he was hearing.

“So, a former detective like you has never heard of the Andrazi case?” The young agent who had called himself Russel chimed in.

“I never said I hadn’t heard about it. I just didn’t know he was Andrazi.” Jack countered unwilling to let the rookie put words in his mouth.

“Tell us about the men who shot him.” She requested next, while giving her partner a look that implied he should be quiet.

“Five came in the front, ski masks, military grade hardware.” He told them trying to remain calm, fighting the anxiety attack that threatened to boil over at any moment as he recalled the traumatic event. “We ran out the back of the house and through the fence”, he explained as his speech became more rapid, the pulsing sensation that was a precursor to panic rippling through his chest. “The victim was struck by gunfire that was coming down the alley at us as we fled in terror.” He told them as a single bead of sweat formed on his brow.

“Are you nervous Mr. Finder?” The cocky younger agent asked thinking he was about to break the older man. “Why are you sweating?”

“I have bipolar disorder and am having a minor panic attack as I recall the event of this afternoon.” He said quite rapidly his voice rising.

“Is there anything we can get for you?” The beautiful Special Agent asked, this time putting her arm on her partners and giving him a much sterner look.

“No I’m fine, let’s just continue. I would like to get this over with so I can go home.” He replied somewhat sourly. “But thank for the consideration”, he told her appreciating her concern for his condition.

“I have only one more question Mr. Finder”, she offered kindly. “Did anything you found in your investigation lead you to believe you knew who was responsible for the disappearance of Alexi Emilinenko or the murder of Anthony Andrazi, aka Tony Delvecio?” She asked looking him straight in the eye as she did so.

“I did not”, he told her with disappointment. “Mr. Andrazi was my only lead I had.” He told them, wanting to get out of there and begin to trace the new leads they had found.

“Thank you for your time Mr. Finder. We will be in touch in we need anything else. Oh, one more thing Mr. Finder, stay away from this case from here on out, leave it to the professionals.” She told him, a stern but still polite edge to her voice.

Jack walked out of the police station a few minutes later, glad to be free and even more determined to figure out what happened to Alexi. He heard the phone in his pocket ringing and pulled it from his pocket. He quickly realized that it was the victim’s phone and looked at the contact’s name. He was pleasantly surprised to see the name Juliet on the screen.

“Hello”, he answered, hoping the caller would not realize he was not Mr. Andrazi.

“Hello Mr. Finder”, the electronically altered voice said in response.

“How did you know I had the phone?” He asked the strange voice.

“I know a lot about you Jack”, the voice claimed. “How is Michelle?” the voice taunted before breaking into a cackle.

“What do you want from me?” He asked beginning to feel like he was being watched.

“Leave this case alone Jack. I promise you it will not be worth it, think about your friends”. The voice said before the line went dead.

He hung of his own phone and looked around with a wary eye, now fearing he was being watched by well informed and probably powerful new enemy. He was now convinced that Alexi was involved in some very high level criminal activity, no matter what his sister believed. He also now wondered just how honest the young women had been, silently admitting to himself; he may have been taken in by the good looking victim routine.

He needed to regroup he realized quickly as his thoughts began to race in multiple directions. He had too many questions to consider and found he needed some to time to decompress and consider his next course of action. He did not feel particularly safe out in the open at this point either. The threats of the mystery voice did give Jack the impression they were  not idle and he was not yet ready to die.

He took out his phone and dialed Michelle, hoping she would be able to come and pick him up. He would then send her out of town until this thing was over, he decided as the phone rang. He had now been threatened personally and could not now abandon the case. He began to grow concerned as he waited for his assistant to answer, the threats of his newest adversary still echoing in his head.

He became truly alarmed when her voicemail picked up, rarely did his calls go unanswered by the young women who meant so much to him. She did always call him back in short order and he figured she would do so as soon as possible. He then turned his attention to the more immediate problem of how he was going to get home. He was about to call a cab when he saw Joe, fellow witness to the death of Tony Delvecio, aka Anthony Andrazy. He waved to the young man and began to walk toward him, hoping for a ride and some  more answers.

“What was Alexi and your boss like at work?” Jack asked hoping the young roofer might shed some light on the identity of the caller, who no doubt had sent the gunmen.

“I don’t know man,” Joe began hesitantly. “They always talked in private, mostly about money I think.” Joe said without much confidence. I saw him give Alexi money a few times when it wasn’t payday”. He said, as a light bulb went off in Jack’s head.

He slammed his hand down of the arm of Joe’s truck door as the two rode back toward his office. He knew why Andrazy wanted Alexi gone and why he had been giving the man extra cash. Alexi had been black mailing him, offering to keep his whereabouts a secret in return for cash. He ignored the drivers unsteady look as it all clicked into place.

Alexi had discovered his bosses true identity and began shaking his boss down for cash in exchange for his silence. Andrazi must have whent to some element from his past for help with the problem, figuring it would be safer to kill the man than pay him. Jack had then stumbled onto the case and angered this criminal element that was backing Andrazi. This Juliet seemed to know both Alex and Mr. Andrazy, she must be the connection to the group now threatening him, if he could find her, he would find out what had happened to Alexi.

He would start by speaking with Ivana Emilinenko, the sister of the missing man. He was beginning to wonder how much she really knew about what her brother had been up too. He hoped the young women had not been a part of this plot, had not tried to make him look like a fool. He hoped the women would be able to offer some clue to the identity of the women know as Juliet even more than he wanted her not to be involved, his anger at being threatened bringing his resolve to new heights.

He looked at his phone a moment later, realizing that Michelle still had not called him back. He tried to suppress his concern, telling himself she was probably taking a shower or something like that. He would probably arrive home to find her drying her hair and putting on lotion. They would share a good laugh at his worry and get back on the case, or so he hoped.

TO BE CONTINUED………..

I hope you enjoyed. Thank you for reading! Please come back tomorrow for the finale.

Pt. 1 of Jack Finder and the Case of the Brain Harvesters


Hello Readers,

I have finished what is a three part series about a private detective named Jack Finder. I will be posting one part each day for the next few days. I hope you will enjoy Jack and his adventure. I Present!

Jack Finder and the Case of The Brain Harvesters

Jack woke to the sound of banging on the door of his small bedroom. He rose from his bed groggily, the affects of the gin he had drank the night before and his psych drugs making him wobble as he attempted to answer his morning summons. He eventually stumbled his way close enough to grasp the doorknob and swing the portal open. He already knew who it was and was not surprised to find his roommate Michelle was the one doing the knocking.

Michelle was much more than just his roommate. She also acted as his secretary confidante and caretaker. They had once been involved romantically when Jack had still been capable of intimacy. His mental illness had killed any hopes for their relationship going any where and after several failed attempts they had decided that they could only be friends. Michelle was also the little sister of his best friend and former partner. He had no idea the two had ever been involved and they had agreed to keep it that way.

“What do you want Michelle?” He asked in her in a groggy voice, his thoughts no were near clear.

“There is a women downstairs asking for you”, she informed him crossly, annoyed to find her friend in such a state, even though she had become accustom to Jack’s destructive behavior, she did not approve of it.

“What does she want?” He asked figuring he had done something foolish the night before, having blacked out about midnight.

“She did not say and it was not my business to ask”, she responded with irritation.

“You are my secretary, it actually is your business”, he insisted with a sleepy, yet still sly smile.

“Yes if its business related not the results of your drunken screw ups”, she argued unable to stay annoyed with her outrageous friend and boss.

“How do you know it isn’t business related? Did you even bother to ask?” He questioned her, knowing she had not and not particularly blaming her.

“I assumed”, she said already knowing what was coming.

“Ah yes ass sumed you said?” He asked her sarcastically, making a point of leaving a space between the two syllables. “So now that you have made an ass of yourself, what would you like me to do?” he questioned believing he would win one, something that did not happen often when verbally sparring with the willful woman.

“Put on some damn pants and come see what this woman wants. You still need twenty five hundred to cover expenses this month.” She reminded him, as she did every month.

“Pants are probably good. I’ll be there in a minute, get her some coffee or something”, he advised her before closing the door to get dressed.

He grabbed the jeans he had taken last night before climbing into bed and pulled them back on. He next scanned the room for a hoodie to pull on over the plain white t-shirt he was now wearing. He quickly spotted his cleanest one and put it on. He then walked out of his room and down the old wooden staircase of the building he leased. When he got to the bottom of the stairs he found Michelle waiting for him.

“Her name is Ivana and she is looking for a missing brother”, she told him while handing him a pill and a small glass of water.

“Has she spoken to the police?” He asked already wondering why police assistance was not enough in this case.

“I did not get that far, I figured you would ask those sort of question. You are the detective after all.” She said with sarcasm.

“You have a point If you start asking the questions too there won’t be any use for me”, he replied as he walked toward his office.

“You got that right”, he heard her say just loud enough for him to hear.

He just smiled and accepted the barb, knowing she meant nothing by the remark. He opened the door and entered his office finding a young women waiting for him as promised. He was surprised to see that she was both young and attractive, also taking note of the fact that she was quite well dressed to be in the small Midwestern town where his private detective agency was located.

“Hello I am Jack” he said uncomfortably after a somewhat long silence. His social anxiety again showing it’s face as it was prone to do whenever he was meeting new people. He looked at the floor quickly, painfully aware of how awkward he had probably sounded. He hated himself every time he had one of these moments but tried not avoid hoping he would one day be able to overcome his irritating idiosyncrasies.

The beautiful young women had pale skin with dark hair and eyes that gave her a Eastern European look. She was polite enough to act like she did not notice the detective’s odd behavior. “My name is Ivana Emelinenko”, she said by way of introduction offering her hand, which he shook gingerly his discomfort with human contact quite evident.

“What brings you in today Ivana?”, he asked hoping his discomfort would pass once they began to discuss the case.

“My brother did not return how from work Friday night”, she said tears threatening to overtake her speech. “He always comes straight home to give mama the money for the bills.” She said her sobs growing more intense as she finished her statement.

“Have you gone to the police?” He asked beginning with the most obvious question.

“Yes they took a police report but they did not take me seriously”, she said her thick accent forcing him to listen to her even more closely than he normally did.

“My brother was a drug addict, methamphetamine”, she said sadly, her tears no longer falling, her eyes red from the act. “They told me they think he is strung out somewhere and will turn up once he has spent his pay check.

“You do not believe he’s on a binge?” He asked without a hint of emotion, not even considering how the question might affect her.

“No he had been clean for the last three years. He promised me and mama he was done with that awful stuff.” She said her voice pleading to be believed after she had been ignored once already.

“You’re sure he did not relapse?” Jack asked trying to make sure he was not wasting his time. He ignored the hurt look on her face knowing that uncovering the truth was often an ugly business, so he saw no need to be delicate, the information that the missing man’s sister might have was more important than emotions.

“I told he had been clean for three years! Why do you not believe me?” She yelled her anguish rising and exploding in her tone.

“I did not say I do not believe you, but I do need to first eliminate the most obvious explanations”, he told hir firmly but without much feeling.

She calmed visibly once he had explained himself, a hard cold look coming on to her face before she flatly said, “Alexi was not on drugs. I know something bad must have happened to him it is the only he would not come home.”

“Do you know of anyone who would want to hurt your brother?” He asked wondering if maybe his sorted past had come back to bite him in the ass.

“No one that I know of”, she said, “ he never brought any of his friends home”. She said to him in a flat dead tone.

“Where did he work?” He questioned hoping it would at least prove to be a starting point for the investigation.

“He was a roofer, working for a small contractor named Tony Delvecio.” She replied in the same monotone, focusing on answering the questions in an effort to keep her emotions in check.

“You said your brother was a recovering drug addict. Did he have a criminal record?” He probed thinking that most likely drugs would prove to be the culprit whether Alexi Emilinenko was dead or not.

“Yes, he had been to prison for robbery once and burglary twice.” She admitted with a hint of embarrassment. “Mr. Finder, we are already discussing my case but we have not discussed payment.” She stated wondering why she had told him so much already.

“Ah the money right,” he said another part of his job that made him uncomfortable rearing its ugly head. “I don’t know; how much you do you have?” He asked hoping she would not say something small because he already knew he would take whatever she had even if it was only a dollar. He did not really care about the money, other than it was the fuel that allowed him to live his life in a manner that he found tolerable.

“I have only five hundred dollars.” She said reaching into her purse and placing the money on his beat up old desk.

“That’s fine I’m officially on the case.” He told her a little disappointed by the amount but doing his best not to let it show.

“I just have one more question for you before I can get to work”, he said apologetically.

“What is that?” she asked him wondering what else he could need to know.

“Is there anywhere your brother used to go, AA, a bar, church?” He asked wanting at least one more angle to approach the case from.

“He never mentioned anywhere to me but he did go out sometimes when he did not have to work the next day.” She offered though it was not particularly helpful.

“Well Ivana I think I have enough to get started”, give your contact information to my secretary and I will contact you as soon as I have more information for you”, he promised the distraught women before he stood up and left the room somewhat abruptly.

He waited impatiently for Michelle to finish with Ivana, needing her to call this Tony Delvecio and set up a meeting while he called his former partner and best friend to see if he could give him more information about one Alexi Emilinenko. He watched through the glass in his office door as the women gave his secretary and keeper her contact information, a background on her would not be a bad idea he figured. He did not know the women and he wanted to make sure she was on the level, he had fallen for the damsel in distress routine before and he was wary whenever beautiful women just came waltzing into his life. He was glad to see his newest client walk out the front door of the dilapidated old two story building that was both his office and home. He now had a case and purpose once again and was eager to get started.

He pounced on poor Michelle as soon as she came through the door telling her to, “ set up a meeting with Tony Delvecio as soon as possible. “I have a feeling he will prove important”. He ordered his tone blunt but not impolite. I will be in my library I have a call to make”, he finished before climbing the stairs to his sanctuary that he called his library, though it served many other purposes.

The library was the largest room in the former brewery, the space had once been used to store the hops used in the brewing process and the room still smelled of it faintly as well as  the cigarettes which Jack often when smoked when deep in thought. It contained four large book shelves that were crammed with volumes of every type from, historical, to technical to fantasy fiction, the shelves contents reflecting the eclectic nature of their owners intrest.

He took a seat in his large arm chair and pulled his cell phone from his pocket. He quickly dialed his former partner’s number and listened to it ring several times. He was just about to give up when he finally heard the familiar voice of his former partner say, “What’s up man”.

“What’s up man? How are things in the streets of the big city?” he asked joking referring to the small city they called home.

“Same old shit man”, he replied like he always did.

“I need you to do a favor for me”, Jack said, hoping his last request had not emptied the favor bucket.

“What do you want man? The last time I helped you I almost got fired.” He complained into the phone.

“I told the chief I was sorry. I had no idea it was his sister in those photos or I would have shown more discretion in whom I showed them too.” He said defensively.

“Well maybe you should have checked before projected them against the wall and turning off the lights on the whole floor.

“I figured it would save time, besides I found out who she was and what she was doing at that club.” He told his friend again feeling the need to defend himself from the completely true accusations.

“What do you need this time man?” he asked enjoying busting his friend’s chops but also having long come to accept and expect his friend’s wild behavior.

“I need everything you can get me on Alexi and Ivana Emilinenko”, he told his friend.

“Shit that’s it”, man I was getting nervous for nothing, he said laughing. “Alexi is the Russian dope head right?” He asked being a drug cop; he was already familiar with the man and his past.

“Yea what do you know about him?” Jack asked hoping Jesse could shed some light on the person that was Alexi.

“He’s a Russian who came to the states when he was ten, got hooked on meth about sixteen and spent several years in and out of prison.” He told his friend confirming what Ivana had told him on the subject. “What do you need info on some Russian tweeker for anyway?” He asked wondering what type of craziness his friend was getting involved in now.

“His sister wants me to find him”, he said bluntly.

“She call the police?” the detective asked hoping his friend was not over stepping his bounds in this case.

“Yes she said they didn’t sound like they believed her, seemed to think he ran off on a binge.” He informed him wondering what his take on the matter would be.

“That would be my first thought”, the cop admitted. “It’s not like drug addicts are not know for that type of stuff, he offered.

“You are probably right but I have been payed to make sure.” He said in no mood to banter.

“I’ll see what I can find out and I’ll get back to you tomorrow sometime”, he promised before hanging up the phone.

Jack too hung up his phone content that Jesse would find even more information than he would require. His thoughts were disturbed a moment later when Michelle came knocking on the door of his sanctuary. He called out, “Come in” and the door swung open instantly the curvy figure of Michelle entering the room.

“I got ahold of Mr. Delvecio he said he could see us any time before five if we come to his job sight”, she told him.

“Well then I guess I had better get my ass moving”, he suggested, “it is almost four now.”

“He will be expecting you”, she agreed before he walked away hurrying to get over to the building the roofer was working on.

He was on his way in less than five minutes his aged sedan speeding off down the road. He took only about ten minutes to get to the building sight on the south end of town. He had no trouble finding the place which was clearly visible from highway forty one, the cities retail area. He pulled into the sight and parked his car quickly eager to find the missing man’s boss and learn what he knew about his employee. He felt his heart begin to race and an intense tingle began to pulse in his chest as he approached the shop, an anxiety attack threatening to halt his forward progress.

Jack stopped and began to walk back to his car, thinking he would leave and come back tomorrow when he was feeling better. He almost believed the lie as he told it to himself, knowing that if he let his illogical fear drive him away now he would never return and his case would go unsolved. He had taken Ivana’s money in good faith and had promised to find her brother; he could not let the pretty young women down. He took a deep breath, reminding himself he was expected, the owner having already agreed to see him, Michelle no doubt warning the man of his discomfort with social interactions. He turned back around and walked toward the man he believed to be Tony Delvecio, a barrel of  man with thick black hair who bellowed orders from the ground at the mostly Latino work crew busy on the roof above.

“Excuse me, are you Tony Delvecio?” Jack asked the portly middle aged man.

“Who’s askin?” He replied while he studied Jack’s rumpled somewhat unkempt appearance.

“I am Jack Finder. I believe you spoke to my secretary, Michelle.” He prompted as he felt his anxiety find an even higher speed, becoming harder to hide by the moment.

“You’re the private dick?” He said laughing before adding, “sorry I always wanted to say that.”  “How can I help? Alexi was a good worker and a decent guy. I’d like to help you out if I can.” He assured the private investigator.

“Well you answered my first to questions already. Did Alexi have problems with any of your other employees?” He asked watching the boss closely to see how he reacted physically to each question.

“Alexi got along great with everybody. He did this impression of a cartoon bear, killed the guys every time.” He said no signs of deception in his facial expressions.

“What did you know about Alexi when you hired him?” He asked wondering if he was aware of the man’s checkered past.

“I knew he had had some trouble with dope when he was younger and had been to the joint once or twice.” He said again showing no sign he was not on the level.

“This didn’t bother you?” He asked knowing there were not many employers with such an indifferent attitude toward such matters.

“Most the guys I hire have either been to prison or don’t speak good English or some shit like that. No one else wants to do this crap believe me.” He said again only confirming the truth of his statements.

“Did Alexi ever mention anywhere he went besides work?” He asked hoping the trail was not about to go cold on him already.

“He did say something about some new girl he had met. Claimed he met her at that one dive on Wabash. I didn’t believe it for a second, figured she must be fat as hell or something if she messing with him.” He said insensitively but brutally honest.

“Which dive on Wabash?” He asked trying to ignore the man’s less than pleasant demeanor.

“I can’t remember the name of it.” He said uncomfortably, showing signs of deception for the first time.

“I am sure I can find the place. Did he happen to mention the girl’s name?” He questioned wondering if the man was going to lie to him again.

“I don’t think so.” He claimed, unable to maintain eye contact as he spoke the lie.

“Well Mr. Delvecio thank you for your time. I believe I have everything I need from you.” He said, turning on his heels and heading back to his car, with a series of new questions. He also had another place to look, once he found it.

He got back into his care and started while he wondered why Mr. Delvecio lied about the bar and Alexi’s new girlfriend. The detective did not think he was involved in Alexi’s disappearance but the man was definitely hiding something. He needed to go home and sort through the information he had uncovered already then he would go find the bar in question. He had a gut feeling that he was on the right track and he wanted to be sure before he pursued his most promising lead. He was increasing beginning to believe that Alexi had in fact found danger, though he had no idea what sort of trouble he might be in.

He arrived back at his office/ apartment and went inside, finding Michelle waiting for him as she always seemed to be doing.

“My brother called he said he had the information you wanted. The Psychiatric center also called. They said you missed your therapy session yesterday.” She said in a scolding tone.

“I was otherwise occupied.” He said defensively.

“You were getting drunk off your ass”, she countered in the same matriarchal tone.

“Yes entirely too drunk to go to therapy”, he argued, thinking he was making perfect sense.

“You are impossible”, she exclaimed with resignation a moment later, having long ago learned that he would do or not do what he wanted if it was in his own best interest or not.

“I need to go to bar hoping tonight. Do you want to go?” He asked figuring he could only be  referring a few places that could be the dive that tony had claimed was a hangout of Alexi’s.

“Really more drinking? I would have thought last night was enough for you.” She said fearing he was on the verge of one of his epic binges.

“It is for work. Alexi was said to go to one of the bars on wabaash. In fact his boss claimed it is where he met his new girlfriend.” He informed her in a superior tone.

“I really don’t want to but if I let you go alone you will spend too much money and drink yourself stupid.” She predicted her tone now superior.

“We will leave around nine”, he said on his way toward the stairs. “I will be in the library till then”, he finished before he disappeared from view.

He took his normal place in his favorite chair and stared off into space, letting the details of the case swirl around in his mind. He tried the best he could to find an individual strand of thought and grab onto it. He just could not find one idea that held special interest, continued to let the process go on. He began to grow tired of the merry-go-round and decided to start at the and trace his thoughts from there.

Alexi had once been a heavy drug user but seemed to have been clean. He had a girlfriend and hung out at local bar but neither his sister or anyone else knew anything about either. He got along with everyone by all reports but he could not be found. His boss was withholding information but there was no evidence he was involved, his relative honesty making it quite difficult to figure out why he would lie.

He now believed that this girlfriend now was his last hope, if he could find her. He figured he could start by finding the bar, maybe one of the bartenders or regulars would know one of the pair. He knew it was a long shot but he was quickly running out of ideas. He also needed to call Jesse; maybe he had learned something that would be helpful.

He called his friend as he began to take off his clothes and get into the shower. The phone only rang twice before it was answered by a deep calm voice. “What’s good man?”

“I heard you got the backgrounds back.” He told his former partner, not wasting time on formalities.

“Yea kinda interesting story; came from Russia in two thousand four after they claimed government men killed their farther.” He offered first, pausing for effect before continuing. “Alexi got hooked on meth went up a few times been out of trouble for about three years. The sister was clean, takes English classes through adult ed. No arrests.” He informed him; sorry he could not offer more.

“Did you talk to the lead detective on the case?” He asked nowing the diligent detective would have as a matter of course.

“You know I did”, he said mocking offense. “They think he fell off the wagon and will turn up at home or the drunk tank in no time.” He said a hint of suspicion is his tone.

Jack knew his former partner as well as he knew anyone and picked up on the implication immediately. “What are you thinking partner?” He asked wondering if perhaps he was overlooking something.

“They just seemed real uncomfortable; like they weren’t happy someone else was taking an interest.” He confided in his best friend, concerned that the unstable private eye might be biting off more than he could chew.

“They thought you were stepping on their toes”, Jack insisted used to his friend’s constant worrying.

“Maybe but it seemed like more than that man, can’t put my finger on it, just be careful”, he advised knowing there was almost no chance that his friend would take his advice.

“I’m always careful”, Jack said unconvincingly.

“Yea bullshit, is there anything else you need from me man?” He asked hoping there wasn’t.

“Yea I need to know about a guy named Tony, maybe Anthony Delvecio. He is late forties, early fifties. Owns a local roofing company,” He told him, “was Alexi’s boss and he’s hiding something, just not sure what it is yet.” He confided in his oldest friend.

“I’ll see what I can do. I call you when I got something.” He assured Jack before hanging up the phone.

Jack jumped in the shower quickly, nine o’clock was coming fast and he had told Michelle they would be departing at that hour. She did not like to be kept waiting and he was in no mood for one of her lectures regarding his lack of consideration. He threw on a clean pair of jeans and a fresh hoody before going down stairs to find his friend and caretaker waiting for him.

“It is nine o’clock. Are you ready?” He asked hoping he would not have to wait on her.

“Yea I’m ready when you are”, she replied happily, the prospect of a night out lifting her spirits, even if it was a search of hole in the wall places and for a case.

The pair walked the short distance from their home to the local watering holes. Jack was a familiar face at many of the bars and the pair figured they would be able to find the women fairly easy, attractive women generally did not enter most of these establishments. The sight of one would be memorable, unless of course Alexi’s girlfriend was not as good look as the man claimed she was.

They entered the first dark and seedy bar to find it mostly empty as usual. The middle aged female bartender was talking to a pair of rough looking men at the bar and there was a homeless looking women sitting at a nearby table with a pitcher and a glass. The two newcomers grabbed a pair of seats at the bar and waited to be served.

“What can I get ya?” The bartender asked them shortly after they sat down.

“A beer and a shot of Irish Whisky please”, jack replied quickly nearly always uncomfortable in public.

“I’ll have a fuzzy navel”, Michelle responded, taking a much more moderate approach to her alcohol consumption.

“Anything else I can get ya?” She asked before going to fill their order.

“Yea I was wondering if you know a man named Alexi? He was supposed to get ahold of me about a job but I have not heard from him.” He said hoping she might shed some light on things.

“I haven’t seen him since he was here with some blonde and his boss.” She told them, thinking she was doing her Russian friend a favor.

“When was that?” Jack asked already having a good idea what she was going to say.

“Friday night, they closed the place down. Alexi was hammered and hanging all over some women I’ve never seen before.” She informed the pair, happy to have something to do besides entertain the two morons that had been there since she opened.

“He was with his boss? You’re sure?” He questioned while beginning to think he had his first suspect.

“Yes Tony comes in all the time. He brought Alexi here to begin with.” She answered quickly and honestly Jack could tell.

“You had never seen the women before?” He asked wondering who this mystery women could be.

“No, but Alexi called her his girlfriend.” She said skeptically.

“You don’t believe it?” He continued to probe, feeling he was getting close to some answers.

“She was obviously wealthy and hate to say but way too hot for Alexi”. She said apologetically to the pair still believing them to be his friends.

“What would a women like that be doing here with Alexi do you think?” He asked her hoping her firsthand knowledge of the missing man and her familiarity with his life might be insightful.

“I don’t know but Tony seemed to know her. You have his number don’t you? You should just give him a call.” She said suddenly realizing she was sharing Alexi’s personal business with complete strangers.

“I do and I will thank you.” He replied as his mind began to absorb the new information he had been given.

Tony Delvecio had lied to him he knew, why he was not yet sure. The roofer had claimed to not even know the name of the seedy tavern, yet the bartender knew him by name. He had also denied knowing anything about this girlfriend Alexi had been talking about, a fact again refuted by the bartender. It was time to call Jesse and see what he had uncovered about the man and then he would go and confront him with the facts and see what shook loose.

TO BE CONTINUED!

I hope you enjoyed part one and will return tomorrow for part two. Thank you for reading!

A Preview of The Abductor; The Navelen Chronicles Volume 3


Hello Readers,

I hope all is well with you. I’ve been editing Volume 3 of the Navelen Chronicles and would like to share a sample with you. I’m getting close to being done with my first edit and hope to have it ready soon. I am once again going to post the prologue. If you have been following my blog you will know i have done for each book of the series. This is the first time I’ve posted the preview before the book was published. I hope you like it, thanks for reading, please let me know what you think.

Prologue

Leodamus slipped out of his room quietly making his way down the dimly lit corridor. He crept slowly toward the sound of voices coming from down the hall. He stopped outside the door that the noise seemed to be coming from, pressing his ear to the portal firmly. He listened intently to the two voices within straining to make out the words of their conversation. He sighed in frustration a moment later, unable to make sense of the noble’s garbled words.

His heart nearly leapt out of his chest a moment later when he looked through the keyhole of the door and saw two figures coming toward the door he was now hiding behind. The Emperor searched franticly for a place to move to, not wanting the Navelens to known he had been attempting to spy on them. He spotted a dark corner a second later, the only cover he could find. He darted to the relative safety of the shadows as quickly and quietly as he could, getting out of the main corridor just in time.

The two lords strolled into the hallway unaware of Cornrilius’s presence. They passed within a few feet of his hiding place, luck alone saving him from discovery. They continued down the corridor oblivious, talking about the recent developments in the Imperial city. News the Emperor was very eager to hear.

Troyas Neptunis was the second son of the Divine lord, Antoni and the younger brother of the councilor Arilius. He was around two hundred and had recently left the legion to oversee the guarding of Cornrilius. He had greeted the Emperor warmly upon his arrival on the Di Aquis estate promising the unending loyalty of his house. Cornrilius had not trusted the overly friendly elve from that moment forward.

He was joined by Maurice Di Aquis, the Navelen who had led the mission to free Cornrilius from the evil Regent Adolphus Octavorus’s grip. He was of an age with Troyas and had once served in the Commandarios, where he had been an officer. He had resigned his commission following the brutal crushing of a slave uprising in the Northern province, where it was rumored over fifty thousand unarmed slaves were killed. He had then returned to his family estate, leaving public life.

The pair had told Cornrilius they were part of a group that wanted to restore him to his proper place and see Adolphus pay for his crimes when he had first arrived. They had informed him he was on the estate of friends, relatives of Maurice; who would hide him from his enemies. He was in Bloodwood County on the estate of Dalario San Aqua, provincial lords of the forest province. They had painted a pretty picture for the Emperor that day, a little too good of one for the jaded Emperor to believe.

The Emperor’s own paranoia and lack of trust were the very reason he was crouching in the corner at that dark hour. He simply could not believe that a group of Navelen nobles would do anything without wanting something in return. The lifetime he had spent observing the meetings of the Divine Counsel had long ago shown him the truth of that fact. He followed the two as they walked always sticking to the shadows, hoping to hear their plans for him revealed.

“Have you had any more word of your brother?” Maurice asked as they walked.

“Only that he is in the Imperial city in the custody of the Regent”, he responded. “Thanks to you, we now have the leverage we need to free the councilors”, he said a moment later, referring to the Emperor.

The Divine lord’s words shot through Cornrilious like a bolt of lightning, his suspicions beginning to look correct. He was disappointed by the discovery but not terribly surprised, to learn his so called allies had a hidden agenda. He had long ago accepted that greed and ambition were just the normal state of being for a Divine. He listened even more closely now hoping that more helpful information might still be forthcoming.

“Yes we will unseat Adolphus and take the Emperor under our wing. We will then have the Emperor punish our enemies and reward his loyal subjects who restored his throne.” Maurice added smiling sinisterly.

The two plotters entered a door a moment later, one that Cornrilius was unable to follow them through. He tried to keep pace with the pair, very badly wanting to hear the rest of their conversation. He was extremely disappointed to find the portal locked and no other way forward. He got over the feeling quickly figuring he had heard enough already.

He quickly made his way back to his room, angered by what he had heard. He did not want to be the pawn of the counsel, or anyone else. He had not worked so hard to escape his oppressors only to fall prey to the manipulations of another. He would not wait years to be rid of his torment this time. He would not even allow the game to begin this time around; too much time had been taken from him already.

He went to bed with a plan, one he would have to execute quickly if it was to work. He did not know how he would gather the supplies he would need for his road. He would need warmer clothes as well and some sort weapon. He hoped he would be able to find what he needed quick. Divine Lord Antoni Neptunis was on his way to Bloodwood and Cornrilius now wanted to be very far away before he arrived to put his plans into motion.

He went about his business as normally as he could over the next several days. Using the daylight hours to seek items he thought might prove useful and returning in the dark of night to retrieve them. He had to be increasingly careful about his activities, rumors of a thief in the manor causing a tightening of security. It took him nearly two weeks to gather the things he thought he needed, all except for a weapon.

He had figured all along that that would be the most difficult item to acquire and it was proving even harder than he had anticipated. He found that arms were closely guarded on the estate, none were not locked up when not in use. He was also followed everywhere he went, one of the lords guards shadowing him always. He grew increasingly anxious as the days went by, the last item he needed laughing at him.

He had his search interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Maurice one morning while he was looking at the armory searching for a way in. The Divine came and stood beside the emperor looking at him for several seconds before speaking. Cornrilius did not know what to think of the Perigrins behavior and watched him warily, waiting for him to speak. He spent several uncomfortable seconds doing just that before the divine spoke his tone sympathetic.

“I have received some news I think you should hear, your highness”, he began slowly, wishing he did not have to deliver the news. “Your brother is dead, killed in the south by Velanario Elvator and his bunch.” He informed the Emperor bluntly.

Cornrilius was not sure how he felt, as the Navelens words sunk in. He had not been close to his brother, had even wanted to kill him himself but part of him was still sad. Ilindor was his last surviving relative, the only family he had left in this world. He was truly alone now any hope of reconciling with his brother gone forever.

“I should be sad, shouldn’t I?’ He asked Maurice.

“He was you brother, it would be normal”, he responded uncomfortably.

“He was the last family I had”, he told the lord unsure why he felt the need.

“He is with the god’s now and his ancestors now”, Maurice replied stiffly.

“I’m sure they will get sick of him soon enough”, the Emperor said a moment later. “Do you have any other news to share with me?” He asked, hoping he might find out when the Lord Neptunis would arrive.

“I do not at this time, your highness”, he replied carefully. “I thought you should know about your brother”, he offered not having anything else to say. “I bid you a good night highness, sorry about the bad news.” He said in farewell before turning and walking away abruptly, leaving the Emperor to his thoughts.

He decided he could not wait any longer, weapon or not, he was leaving tonight. He could take the chance that lord Antoni would arrive and his chance to escape would pass. The rest of the day passed slowly for Cornrilius, his mind made up he was ready to go. He was scared of what might be prowling the unknown lands beyond the estate’s walls but he knew exactly what would happen if he stayed in the castle and feared that even worse.

He ate his dinner early that night, consuming as much as he could, fearing he may not eat such a fine meal again for some time. When he had finished eating he returned to his room to take a nap, knowing he would need all the strength he had. He fell into a fit full sleep waking every few minutes to find the sun had hardly moved at all. He woke for the final time shortly after dark, eagerly climbing out of bed, the moment of truth at hand.

He reached under his bed and pulled a small brown leather sack from underneath. He slung the sack of supplies over his shoulder and took one last look around the room. He scrutinized his surroundings carefully, wanting to make sure he was not leaving anything important behind. He was as confident he could be as he moved toward the window, throwing open the shutters and letting in the cool night air.

He climbed out the window awkwardly, falling out more than climbing, landing flat on his backside. He climbed back to his feet quickly dusting himself off and looking around to make sure he was not seen. He was happy to see his unceremonious stumble had gone unnoticed and quickly made for the shadow of the castle. He moved along the base of the walls slowly, keeping his eyes open for guards as he made his way toward the outer wall of the estate.

He crossed the open space to the base of the outer wall unobserved his adrenaline pumping wildly. He scanned the immediate area thoroughly wary of watchers on the wall, afraid he would be spotted at any moment. He made his way up a narrow ladder that was leaning against the wall, climbing the ten feet to the top as quickly as he could. He reached the top of the wall, crouching low trying to stay out of sight.

He pulled the sack off his back and fished around inside, taking longer than he would have liked to find what he was looking for. His hand found what he searched for after much fumbling around, the hooks point getting caught on his bag. He pulled the rope out of his bag a second later, attaching it to the hook. He tied the knots nervously, less than confident they would hold. He tossed the end of the rope over the wall and watched as it fell to the ground below.

He took the rope firmly in hand before swinging his legs offer the edge of the wall. He slid down the rope slowly needing every muscle in his body to keep from falling off the rope. His legs were trembling and his hands were raw from rope burn when he reached the ground. He felt surge of relief as his feet hit the ground, thankful he had survived his descent unharmed.

He looked around nervously a moment later, as reality began to set in. He had only been outside of walls once in his life, that being on his journey from the Imperial city to the Di Aquis estate. He looked at the tree line warily, afraid of the unknown dangers that were hidden there. He stood frozen in place for several minutes unsure he could go any further.

Cornrilius looked back at the castle and then back to the castle several times weighing his options.  The castle offered comfort and safety he knew, but it also represented a continuation of the exploitation he had suffered for most of his life. The forest on the other hand was full of unknown danger, as well as the promise of true freedom, something he had never experienced. He ran the two scenarios through his mind side by side, slowly coming to a decision.

The Emperor took one last look at the castle and the world he knew, a feeling of hopelessness overtaking him at the thought of returning to that life. He then headed for the tree line and the unknown that lay beyond its borders. He plunged into the darkness terrified he would devoured by some wild beast at any moment. He breathed a sigh of relieve when he found himself unharmed seconds later.

Cornrilius did not know where he was headed and would have had no idea how to get there even if he had one in mind. He picked a random direction and took off, wanting to put some distance between him and the estate before his absence was noticed. He pushed his way through the forest getting his clothes torn and falling in the tangled undergrowth several times. He collapsed from exhaustion several hours before dawn, a hollow log serving as his bed.

My Own Little World Update


Hello Readers,

I hope life is doing good by you and your loved ones. I as always thank you for showing up and hope I can make the trip worth it. I have been busy working on several projects I’m pretty exited about, one I will be sharing with my blog readers. It is a story about a bipolar private detective. I plan post it in two or three parts about a week apart. I hope you guys will like Jack Finder as much as I do. I think you will enjoy him and I’m really looking forward to sharing it with.

I would also like to let my Navelen Chronicles fan know that I have not stopped working on them. I am editing book three which has a working title of The Abductor. I hope to have it available in the next few months. I am also working on book four which will be an action packed finally to my first novels, a series I am personally very proud of.

I would also like to share an update of a personal nature with you. As I have shared with you before. I was recently diagnosed with a mental illness. I have begun the process of seeking treatment for the first time in my life and would like to catch up any one who has been wondering what has been going since I talked about it. I have been taking a med for about a month now. One which thankfully has greatly lessened the symptoms I have been feeling. I have made an appointment with a therapist so I can begin to work on the emotional issues a life time of untreated mental illness have left me with.

I unfortuanatly do not have health insurance and have no way to pay for treatment or buy my meds, which cost almost $200 dollars a month. As a result I have to use free health services. I have found this process frustrating, confusing, and intimidating. I am also thankful for this system because without I would have no chance of getting well. I have begun to feel like myself again and wish I had of taken this step years ago. I can only imagine the pain, regret and shame I could have avoided. I hope that if you are reading this and struggling you will take the first step toward treatment.(You have nothing to lose, just try it.)

I am still struggling and know that I will for the rest of my life. I do however feel that I am now on a path that offers a lot of promise for me. I find that I feel a little better everyday and even starting to have interests and a desire to connect to the world around me. A feeling I have not felt in a long time. I hope that I can continue to feel better as I move forward and will continue to share my struggles and progress with. In hopes that the general public will have a better understanding of the daily struggles of someone who is mentally ill. I also hope that people who are struggling with mental illness diagnosed or not, will know they are not alone and that help is out there.

Thanks again for reading! It feels so good to be writing again and I’m grateful for somewhere to share it.I hope you were entertained and maybe found something to think about. May the universe smile on you!

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