In the corner of his eye, a hand reached out and clamped onto Shakira's shoulder.
"Into the alley," an unfamiliar voice hissed. "Now!"
Before Otto could turn his head, Shakira spun and rammed her left elbow into something, forcing a startled grunt from the voice's owner.
What …? Otto caught a glimpse of a guy in a black hoodie and sunglasses snapping his head back and starting to fall over. Blood trickled from his nose.
A knife slipped from his right hand and clinked onto the sidewalk.
Shakira dropped the Viso and drove her right fist into the guy's chin, channeling the weight of her entire body into the blow, and the guy toppled over like a felled tree.
… the hell? Otto stared at him, only barely able to comprehend what had just happened.
Shakira stared at the guy for several seconds before glancing at the knife and backing away, covering her mouth with her hands. Her eyes opened wider and her whole body shook.
"Oh, shit! I can't believe I just … that guy had a knife! I – I – I gotta sit down." She staggered over to her Humvee, opened the door, and half sat, half collapsed into the seat. She fumbled in her pocket, pulled her phone out, and almost dropped it. "Gotta … gotta call the cops," she muttered.
Otto turned back to the guy she'd dropped, and found him still sprawled face-down. Passersby stopped nearby, flicking their eyes back and forth between him and Shakira.
"Whoa. You knocked him the hell out." Otto grinned at her. "That was awesome! Where'd you learn to fight like that?"
"Growing up with two older brothers." She tried to dial the police and the phone slipped from her trembling fingers. "Had to learn how to fight so they couldn't keep pinning me down and beating the piss out of me."
Otto glanced at the knife guy, turned back to Shakira, and grinned. "That was the hottest thing I've ever seen. You've just become, like, a million times sexier!"
She grimaced as she picked up her phone and tried to dial again. "Ugh. I should've let the bastard mug me."
Shakira Mosely may not be a bioengineered badass or a cyborg soldier, but she still takes no shit.
If you liked this glimpse into the book, please head over to Project Revenant's Kindle Scout page and nominate it. Give it a shot at publication. If it gets enough votes to land a publishing contract, readers who nominated it will get a free copy.
Also, if you'd be so kind, please check out and vote for my entries in several contests over on Inkitt:
Game Over in the "Hidden Gems" novels contest ...
Mission to Bellatrix in the "Entwined" romance contest ...
Fifteen Minutes in the "Reinvent Reality" sci-fi contest ...
Game Changer in the "Fandom" fanfiction contest ...
Game Over, Mission to Bellatrix, and Fifteen Minutes will remain on Inkitt in their entirety, free to read, for the duration of each contest. Once the contest ends, they'll be taken down and will be available only for purchase from Amazon and other sellers.
And please check out my work-in-progress on Inkshares, Uncharted Territory, a full-length novel based on Mission to Bellatrix. I'm planning to begin its pre-order campaign once I've got a the majority of the book finished. After that starts, if it gets at least 750 pre-orders, it'll be published as an ebook, and if it hits at least 1,000 it'll be printed as an actual, physical book. I'll post an announcement when I'm ready to kick off the campaign.
Finally, on upcoming stuff: I'm planning to make a short video about Project Revenant and its scout campaign, which will be uploaded by tomorrow evening, if all goes well. And I'll also whip up a new cover image for Uncharted Territory, aiming for completing and posting it tonight.
More updates coming as more stuff comes together ....