Category: podcast (page 2 of 10)

Dark Spectrum – Episode 10

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 HAD THE CAB stop when we passed a gas station I remembered from the night before. I preferred to take a bus or walk, but as I had somewhere to be in a few hours, I justified the expense. Money wasn’t tight as long as my accounts weren’t discovered by law enforcement. I dreaded every time I needed to go to an ATM. The cameras recording my every move bothered me. I realized the chance of somebody reviewing the footage and recognizing me through one of my disguises was remote but it was still a risk.

I’d been careful to alter my voice when telling the cabbie my destination but had smiled when he took a call on an old flip phone.

Spectrum didn’t work on those.

After that, I’d engaged the man in conversation. It felt good to converse without the threat of some silent app picking up my conversation and alerting the police to my whereabouts. I’d become so used to giving gruff one-word responses, that I was surprised when I realized a grin had split my face.

Had I missed human interaction so much that a conversation with a cab driver named Jeremiah Thompson was the highlight of my week?

It turned out that I had.

“Take care,” I said before stepping out of the cab. I slung my messenger bag over my shoulder. It was a little bit heavier because I’d put in a spare pistol. I felt naked without a subcompact Glock strapped to my ankle. In a strange way, it was a relief to no longer have the gun I’d used to kill Beltran. Under normal circumstances, I might have tossed it off a bridge but considering there was a video of me shooting him, it hadn’t made sense to get rid of it. If I were arrested, they wouldn’t need a gun to convict me.

Dark Spectrum – Episode 9

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:

MY PHONE BEEPED, ROUSING me from a fitful sleep as it chased away my dreams. I stared at the yellow ceiling, reliving the previous night and wondering what I might have done differently.

In the heat of the moment, I rarely doubted my actions. It was usually obvious what I needed to do, so I acted, wrangling with the consequences afterward.

I wasn’t so sure that acting on instinct and falling back to my Black Brick training was the best way for me to operate but I was yet to come up with a better way when the bullets started to fly.

The doubts always came later, most often in the dead of night.

It had taken me hours to fall asleep. Once I did, questions plagued my subconscious, keeping me from ever reaching a restful repose. I had turned that situation with Reed into a bloody mess quickly.

My phone beeped again but I ignored it.

Two men were dead and another was wounded. I’d have thought that with all the death I’d seen I would have become used to it by now but every single one bothered me. The faces of the people I’d killed haunted my dreams.

Even Beltran.

A man I knew the world was better off without. Now that I was awake, I reviewed my actions without the warped logic that prevails when trying to sleep and was unable to come up with an alternative way out of the situation.

Before I’d attacked Sam, I’d already learned enough to know I would never work for Reed. He’d done a careful job of constructing his public image but he’d made no effort to hide who he was.

My phone beeped and I sat up, taking a deep breath and coughing. My apartment smelled, there was no getting around it. But it was cheap and the old woman who was my landlord never turned on the television or read a newspaper. Her children didn’t live with her and she never had visitors. I was convinced the smell alone made my allergies worse but considering my need for anonymity and my status as a fugitive, my pad was a veritable paradise.

Dark Spectrum – Episode 8

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:

“SIR,” SAM SAID, HIS back straight and his eyes wary, “we cannot work with this man.” His face was red. He still held the knife with the blade pointed at me.

“He’s not the terrorist he’s made out to be,” Reed said. “You’re making me regret I brought you tonight.”

“If word gets out—”

“And how would that happen?” Reed’s voice was cold. He clasped his hands in front of him, staring straight at Sam. While Sam was bulkier, Reed was a head taller. “Would you be the leak? No one from my leadership team will say a word. I’ve tried each of them. They won’t go against me.”

Sam looked away and muttered something I didn’t catch. I was surprised Reed let his men speak so openly.

I assumed he meant the DataRader leadership team but perhaps he was referring to something else. It was becoming apparent Reed ran a criminal organization of some sort. It was a safe bet to assume those who had been here tonight worked for both.

The argument had distracted me from attacking Sam. I wasn’t going to leave the man unbloodied if I could help it. An eye for an eye. Wasn’t that what the Bible taught? I thought of Sister Bautista and imagined her frowning.

She had condemned the idea of an eye for an eye.

Her lofty principles might have worked for her. They may have even worked for me if I hadn’t been brought up by a criminal and set on a pathway of wanton destruction.

“This won’t work—”

“Quiet, Sam. I’ve had enough of your insubordination.”

Sam clapped his mouth shut. His free hand rested on his pistol but he made no move to pull it out.

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 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.

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.

 

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