Author: Dan Decker (page 2 of 18)

Dark Spectrum – Episode 7

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

THE BODYGUARDS TENSED when they saw Reed’s snub-nosed pistol. Judging by their surprise, they hadn’t known he carried a gun. As I processed the moment, a single bead of sweat trickled down my face and into my mouth. It tasted like blood, which turned my stomach. Always had, always would. I didn’t enjoy rare steak or even sushi.

Reed appeared to be enjoying himself, he smirked when he noticed his guard’s faces. Bulbous Nose frowned and opened his mouth but didn’t get out a word because Reed spoke first.

“I now have your attention, Mr. Ramsey.” He motioned with his pistol and I saw it was a Smith & Wesson. “I’m not planning to hurt you but I’m not afraid to do so.” He paused for emphasis and smiled without emotion. “I’ll shoot you myself. If you stop acting foolishly, I’ll put this away so we can continue our pleasant conversation.”

Bulbous Nose sneered at me with teeth that were in desperate need of flossing. The guard I’d headbutted had his hand to his nose, trying to stop the flow of blood. The fingers I’d bit were wrapped around the butt of his pistol. His eyes were slits and his face was a scowl. The other guard made a placating gesture he just shrugged off.

Judging by the way the injured guard looked at me, he’d killed before and would do so again. Unless I found a way to free myself, I wasn’t getting out of here alive.

I twisted my hand but there wasn’t any more slack than what had been there before. I put the fingers of both hands together and pushed, trying to spread apart my wrists. For a moment, it felt as if I was making progress and might free a hand, but then it was gone and my wrists would move no further.

Dark Spectrum – Episode 6

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

I GROWLED UNDER MY breath and clenched my hands. The smug look of satisfaction on Bulbous Nose’s face made me want to break his nose.

Call a man a terrorist enough, and you made him want to become one. Perhaps that was what this was all about. They were hoping to provoke me into doing something rash.

Was this Peck, after all, playing a game to trick me into doing his bidding? Was he trying to make me angry and then planning set me loose to see what damage I would do?

A mixture of water and makeup dripped onto my shirt. Gasps of realization came from those in the crowd. Some nodded their heads as they took me in. Others looked on in fear. Somebody said they should give me to the police, I didn’t see who.

I couldn’t get past the fear on most of their faces. Apparently, Bulbous Nose was one of the few who hadn’t bought into the reputation Peck had crafted for me.

Twisting my hand again, I tried to free it from the loosened rope but was unable to make any headway. And even if I did free a hand, my arms were still bound to the wooden chair. My feet and legs were free but I could do nothing with so many people watching my every move.

I continued to work at my bonds, hoping the ugly doll was the only thing that they could see it. The rope chafed my skin but I persisted. I moved the other hand as well, hoping that loosening one would loosen the other but I had no such luck. Whoever had tied the rope had done a thorough job.

Dark Spectrum – Episode 5

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

WHEN I CAME TO, I wondered if there was something to my last thought of slipping away to the other side. I couldn’t see and my body wasn’t responding.

The thought left as my grogginess faded. I became aware I had something covering my head. My hands and arms were bound behind my back to what felt like the back of a chair.

The coarse rope chafed my wrists. I fidgeted in my bonds, testing for slack. There was none. I continued to move but kept my movements small so they would go unnoticed. If I worked at it enough, I might loosen something.

My nose itched and I could do nothing about it.

Judging by all the fibers sticking into my face, I figured I had a burlap sack over my head. I was either in a dark room or something else had been put over the top to keep light from shining through the rough fabric. Sweat trickled into my eyes and when I inhaled, the air was warm and moist.

I wanted nothing more than to rub my nose but I had no way of reaching it. I twisted my head, hoping to find a less itchy position, but the sack came in closer and I itched all the more.

Growling so only I could hear, I pushed out my lower lip and blew, hoping to move the fabric. It didn’t do any good.

Voices came from nearby. The sack muffled the sound such that I was unable to make out what they were saying.

It had to be Peck and my former Black Brick teammates. Who else could have tracked me?

Dark Spectrum – Episode 4

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

I WORKED MY WAY through the crowd, spotting a woman as she helped a man sit on the building steps. Neither seemed to care they were right below where the bomb had gone off or that large chunks of debris had fallen on all sides of where they sat. The woman had kicked away a broken brick so the man could sit.

Cursing, I closed the distance.

A twisted piece of metal jutted out of the man’s side. His hands were wrapped around it, trying to keep it from doing any further damage. It was gnarled and I doubted he could just pull it out. Blood trickled down his side and onto the step.

“Help!” cried the woman. It was the same voice I’d heard before. Even as she spoke, I was already closing in on them.

“You need to move,” I said gruffly, conscious of the risk I was taking by speaking aloud. I gritted my teeth. I wouldn’t leave until they were safe, whatever Peck did to me.

The woman looked up. “What did you say?”

I pointed at the roaring flames ten stories above us.

“Move!” It was hard to distort my voice as I yelled at the top of my lungs to be heard over the crowd.

They likely both had phones in their pockets. I shook my head in frustration, the hair on the back of my neck was beginning to stand on end. The drone was still overhead. Was it just my imagination or was it lower?

I refused to look up.

Dark Spectrum – Episode 3

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

I GRIPPED THE BUTT of my pistol but didn’t pull it out. I tried to not think about the man’s family and those who would mourn his death. Fear seeped into my bones as I approached the van. Using my elbow, I pushed the half-open door until it was fully ajar and examined the cab but found nothing of use.

An empty candy bar wrapper was on the floor, along with some dirt. Perhaps the police could use it to determine something about who’d done this, but that didn’t help me.

The back of the van looked empty but I still went around to the rear. Using the top of my hand to avoid fingerprints, I opened the back door. The van didn’t have any seats other than up front. The back was indeed empty. I’d expected to find a bomb.

What was going on?

It might have been a terrorist attack for just the purpose of stoking fear but I was having a hard time believing it.

No, this was about something else.

Why had they blocked the pedestrian traffic? Now that everybody was free, did they not care any longer? If their goal had just been to stoke fear by creating death and mayhem, they’d had a rich target pool when everybody had been jammed in together. Their moment of opportunity had passed.

As I studied the scene, I noticed another van had been abandoned in the middle of a crosswalk on the other side from where the explosion had happened. It hadn’t blocked traffic as thoroughly as had the first, but it had created an obstacle.

It had all been a trap, but I didn’t see anybody who looked like they were planning to do any more harm.

Dark Spectrum – Episode 2

 

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is an excerpt from the show:

I OPENED MY MOUTH to yell a warning but the words died on my lips. I flinched as the truck driver slammed the brakes and honked the horn, his reactions coming a second or two after he’d hit the man. The poor man had been shoved into his car door, ripping it off. Both went flying as the truck came to a stop.

I wasn’t quick enough, I thought, averting my eyes from the carnage. From what I’d seen of the man’s landing, I doubted he’d live. The turmoil around me covered up almost every sound associated with the accident but I was still able to hear bones crunch as he landed on the asphalt.

Guilt welled up in my chest, but I didn’t allow it to take hold. I hoped I hadn’t spoken because there hadn’t been enough time. If it was my subconscious trying to keep me out of trouble…

I pushed away the thought. I’d spoken no fewer than three times in the last minute, each time without regard for the consequences. It was impossible to keep quiet in a situation like this. Human dignity required I speak up to help people.

If Spectrum picked up my words and Diggon sent their response teams after me, so be it.

I wasn’t going to let Peck and Diggon control how I responded, not when people were in danger. I fixed the thought in mind as I decided what to do next. In the space of five seconds, two men had been hit. The images of both accidents hung in my mind like the aftereffect of a bright light.

I looked back at the van, still expecting something more to come from it. A bomb, armed men, something. Nothing did.

Dark Spectrum – Episode 1

 

This week’s episode features a chapter from Dark Spectrum, Jake Ramsey Book #2, the first book Black Brick is available as a free ebook from most ebook vendors. Here is the book description:

Jake Ramsey has lost everything. His job. His life. His sense of self. He can’t go outside unless he wears a disguise and even if he does all that, he is afraid to speak, fearing his location will be detected.

When Jake finds himself engulfed in the middle of a terrorist attack, it isn’t long before he suspects it is connected to him.

Somebody knows Jake is in the area and is setting him up to take the fall.

As Jake digs deeper, he becomes concerned that children have been kidnapped by the man behind the terrorist attack. The way becomes harder as he gets closer to the truth, facing decisions of life and death. If you enjoy thrillers with twists and turns, this book is for you. Pick up your copy today!

 

Here is an excerpt from the show:

THE WOMAN’S SMILE CAUGHT me off guard, and my heart froze in my chest, distracting me from the buzzing sound I’d heard overhead. Her blonde hair reminded me of Shannon; even though I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen Shannon smile like that.

“Hey,” I said before I could stop myself. Her grin widened, but she moved past without stopping as my feet came to a standstill of their own accord.

Foolish! I thought, wishing I’d just kept my mouth shut. How many nearby smartphones had picked it up? I turned to see if she’d stopped too, but she’d continued right on past. A man grumbled as he darted around me but I ignored him.

My heart pounded in my chest. I wanted to chase down the woman, but knew I couldn’t. I was wearing a disguise. Even if I was looking to meet somebody that was no way to do it.

She disappeared into the crowd. I lingered for a moment but didn’t spot her again.

A van lurched up onto the sidewalk, mowing over people and sending them flying. A man was pushed into the wall of a building, securing him between the vehicle and the bricks.

I darted forward, my hand in my messenger bag, searching for my pistol. I didn’t make it far.

An explosion shook the ground and almost knocked me off my feet. I grabbed a nearby light pole to steady myself as I looked behind me. Flames came out the side of the upper part of an office building. Shrapnel and glass fell towards us.

Screams came next as people rushed back from the building, which was a difficult thing to do considering all the foot traffic and cars on the road. Panic surged as they couldn’t get out of the way of the falling debris.

People rushed towards me, looking to fight their way past. Several made it around me before the gaps closed and there was no place for them to go.

The world seemed to slow as I took in the scene. Trying to process it. Trying to figure out what this had to do with me. I looked back at the van but couldn’t see it from my crouched position by the light pole. I straightened, straining for a view of what was happening with the van but couldn’t make anything out.

My hand wrapped around the butt of my pistol but I didn’t pull it out. I didn’t need somebody to see me with it and assume I was responsible for what was happening.

I’d take it out if I had a target, not before.

Peck is setting me up again, I thought as I pulled out my burner phone and dialed 911.

Lord of the Inferno – Chapter Twenty Nine, Part Two

This week’s episode features a chapter from Lord of the Inferno, Volume Two of War of the Fathers. War of the Fathers is available as a free ebook if you sign up for the Dan Decker Newsletter. Here is an excerpt from the show:

“We did it!” Neare dropped his end on the ground as a large piece of shrapnel whizzed by overhead. Adar shrunk to the cobblestones and felt it whip over him too and collide with the ship behind him. When he looked up, he saw Neare sprawling beside the blaster. He thought Neare might have been hit by another piece of shrapnel until he saw Neare had a big stupid grin on his face.

Within a few minutes, it was all over, and they could get to their feet again.

“Good thinking there at the last,” Neare said, clapping Adar on the back. “I’d have been blind for sure.”

“Don’t mention it.”

“I thought you’d lost your mind, wanting to bring down a ship! I ran off, figuring you for dead. I’m still not sure why I came back.”

“I’m just glad you did.” He didn’t want to think about what would have happened if Neare hadn’t returned.

“If somebody would have told me that there was a man that could fight the Hunwei. I would have doubted it. If they had said it was you, I would have been even less likely to believe them.” Neare pounded Adar on the shoulder again. “Do you realize what this means? We can fight them! We can save my family and Ka—”

He stopped short, but Adar already knew what he had been about to say. Karany. Or whatever the name of Polaer’s wife had been.

“I’m going to form an army,” Adar said. “I need a second in command. You interested?”

Lord of the Inferno – Chapter Twenty Nine, Part One

This week’s episode features a chapter from Lord of the Inferno, Volume Two of War of the Fathers. War of the Fathers is available as a free ebook if you sign up for the Dan Decker Newsletter. Here is an excerpt from the show:

Adar felt a chill run down his spine as he examined the town square, the rough edges of the hole he’d made in the ship’s door were just overhead. The Hunwei and turncoats that had been around the tower were gone.

How long had it been since he’d last looked outside? Five minutes, maybe ten? It was probably less than he thought.

The town hall was quiet. A lone stream of smoke wafted up into the sky from the once burning inferno that had been a squad of Hunwei. The mass no longer had flames, but he could still see heat waves distorting the air above it.

He could also make out part of the governor’s mansion and the rubble pile it had become.

There wasn’t a Hunwei or turncoat in sight. The door of the other ship was up as if it was preparing for departure.

Adar had expected they had little time left to live, assuming the Hunwei would attack them once their comrades hadn’t secured the ship. He and the others would have been trapped with little they could do other than continue to fight.

Whoever is in command on the other side will know that, he thought, remembering how the Hunwei bombs had flattened buildings in a blink of an eye. This ship is damaged. They’re not going to waste resources sending others to come after us. Why do that when they can just drop a bomb? While the ship is armored well enough to protect against a blaster, I’m sure they have bombs that would turn us all into a twisting mess of metal and flesh just as fast as they leveled the governor’s mansion.

The thought came with a feeling of certainty. He knew that was what they were going to do because it was what he would have done if their roles had been reversed.

 

Lord of the Inferno – Chapter Twenty Eight

This week’s episode features a chapter from Lord of the Inferno, Volume Two of War of the Fathers. War of the Fathers is available as a free ebook if you sign up for the Dan Decker Newsletter. Here is an excerpt from the show:

The morning light blinded Soret as it reflected off the still pool outside of the arch, causing her to stumble as she stepped out onto the small grassy knoll.

She pushed a hand to the side and clawed at the air as she toppled over. Luckily, she was able to twist so she could avoid landing on a large boulder that would have at least bruised a rib, if not worse.

She landed with an oomph and to her satisfaction managed to avoid crying out. It was difficult to make less sound than that as her forearm had struck a small rock. It stung, but she was going to shrug it off if she could.

The ground had little in the way of vegetation or grass that broke her fall, but it was a great deal more forgiving than the boulder would have been. She felt a little foolish when she realized Jorad had just said something to her about needing to watch her step when coming out of the arch.

He was several steps ahead of her but hadn’t turned, he seemed to be focused on looking around. There was that to be grateful for she supposed.

It wasn’t going to be easy to increase his esteem of her, but at least he hadn’t witnessed yet another action that would further cement his need to protect and care for her. She was doubly glad now she hadn’t cried out.

But that doesn’t mean I need to do everything the hard way, she thought as she ground her teeth. Even though I’m trying to be more independent, I still must heed well-meaning advice, regardless of the source. It’s my own stupid fault for not listening.

Perhaps it had been her subconscious that had caused her to tune out Jorad or maybe she had just become too distracted by her own thoughts again.

Either way, she had to pay better attention to what was going on around her. Xarda might be able to give her a few pointers on that.

Snickering came from behind as she righted herself into a sitting position. She avoided looking back to see who was laughing but it sounded like it was either Leron or Wes. It grated on her, but she would overcome.

With time.

She sighed. It wasn’t even that bad. Everybody lost control and fell at some point or another. She was just frustrated at the way everybody already treated her. To them, she was somebody that either needed protection or scolding. In some cases, derision.

She didn’t know how long it would take to make others see her differently, but she was now trying to change things. That was a start. It would be hard to be patient while she progressed, but she hoped to avoid the misstep of lashing out at people that treated her as though she was daft or soft. That would do nothing but confirm their already low opinion of her.

“Here.” Tere held out a hand. “We all take a spill at one time or another.” If the older man found Soret’s stumble funny, he didn’t let it touch his face or even his eyes.

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