Beware the woman who does not exist, yet is everywhere. Paymaster Stenstrom and his Countess-in-Waiting, Lady Gwendolyn of Prentiss, are paid a bounty of riches to perform a simple task, and then everything changes. The weight of the Universe comes down upon them. Paymaster Stenstrom learns he is in the gaze of the destroyer of universes, the Shadow tech Goddess, and also that he is in a race with sinister forces hoping to curry her favor and bring about the end of all things. It is a race he and Gwendolyn must win. They will investigate ancient places hidden in plain sight and travel to long lost worlds unseen in ages. They will feel fear such as they have never known and walk in a Garden of Horrors where all is revealed and Stenstrom comes to know the truth of his place in the universe. The Shadow tech Goddess silently watches the doings from her throne in the Hall of Mirrors, seeing all, collecting information, and her verdict might finally be cast one way or the other.
Ren Garcia is a Science Fiction/Fantasy author and Texas native who grew up in western Ohio. He has been writing since before he could write, often scribbling alien lingo on any available wall or floor with assorted crayons. He attended The Ohio State University and majored in English Literature. Ren has been an avid lover of anything surreal since childhood, he also has a passion for caving, urban archeology and architecture. His highly imaginative "League of Elder" book series is published by Loconeal Publishing
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“The knob, Bel, the knob! Did you turn it?”
Through the dull, fear-clouded passes of his mind he recalled the Anatameter and its innocuous little knob. “Yes…”
“How many times?”
His mind was numb. “One, I think …”
The woman shrieked and shook him. “EIGHT TIMES, BEL!!! EIGHT TIMES, NOT ONE!!!”
--The Woman with the Gun to Paymaster Stenstrom in the Ruins of Clovis
Alesta, on the other hand, after coming to terms with the idea, seemed enchanted. A memento from Kat the Black Hat, even a sinister one oftoxic Shadow tech, seemed to place her stamp on the proceedings, to validate them for her. “Oh, Bel, that sounds so romantic,” she said. “To meet as enemies in the forlorn mountains only to find love later on. I’m actually looking forward to meeting her. I imagine she must be an amazing woman, once the Black Hat in her has been properly dealt with, of course—we’ll leave that process up to you.”
--Lady Alesta speaking to Paymaster Stenstrom regarding the possibility of courting a deadly Black Hat
The man had time to scream and drop his hammer as the NTH shot sizzled into his chest. He fell to the ground in a heap of newly dead flesh and did not move, his mouth locked into a distended 'O' shape.
The woman, however, was a different story. She grit her teeth and watched the shot come in. To Stenstrom’s horror, the NTH shot stoppedin mid-air and burned like a tiny green sun before her. He felt TK pouring out of her. She had stopped his shot with her mind, only a Sister had such power.
She gasped in wicked delight. “Huh? You like that? Huh?”
Before Stenstrom knew what was happening, she sent the NTH shot back at them. “This is yours, I think! Here!” she cried as the speeding shot hit Gwendolyn square in the chest. She fell backward and dropped her FEDULA as she crashed into the grass.
-Paymaster Stenstrom and Lt. Gwendolyn facing a deadly Lacerta, a fallen Sister, in the Ruins of Caroline
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