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Traitor’s Code: Freelancer #1

An Obsidian Rim novel

Jane Killick

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When a dying fugitive entrusts Cassy with a forbidden code, she must protect a secret which promises to save humanity – and threatens to get her killed.

Cassy, a freelance spaceship captain, escapes soldiers and calls in favours as she unravels the mystery of the code stolen from the Fertillan royal family. Pursuing her, Prince Stephen suspects her involvement, but an old immunity list drawn up by his father prevents him from keeping her in custody. Following the clues to a hidden past shared by their families, Cassy must confront the death of her mother to reveal a truth kept from her since childhood.

As she leads Stephen in a cat and mouse chase, Cassy understands why the fugitive risked everything to escape Fertilla. To honour his memory, she must complete his mission and deliver the code to scientists who can unlock its power. With Prince Stephen under orders to stop her, only the final battle will decide if Cassy and the code will survive.

A page-turning space adventure, Traitor’s Code mixes murder and intrigue with pirates, gun battles and a ‘will they/won’t they’ teaser in the first, unmissable instalment of the Freelancer trilogy.

  • PAGES: 264 (trade paper)
  • RRP: £2.99/$3.99 (ebook) £9.99/$11.99 (paperback)
  • PUBLICATION: June 2019
  • ISBN: 9781908340269 (ebook) // 9781908340276 (paperback)
  • ASIN:B07RNGMGND

Read an excerpt below…

Excerpt from Traitor’s Code

I took my chance and leapt sideways for my weapon. One hand encircled the grip, the other unclipped it from the holster and I pulled out the handgun as I had rehearsed it in my head.

The pirate woman fired at something outside: the blast boomed down the corridor and her body jolted at the recoil.

I knew my weapon was not as powerful as hers, and if I was going to fire, I would have to make it count. If I only wounded her – or worse, went for a smaller target like her head and missed – she could return fire and I’d be dead.

I glanced around at Freddi. He pulled himself up on his haunches and scampered to hide behind the nearest console.

I stepped lightly and slowly sideways to where the larger captain’s console would provide better cover while also being closer to the target.

Gunfire echoed in the corridor. Not from her rifle, but from someone else’s EE weapon with a still powerful, but higher pitched blast. She pressed her back against the side wall.

I ducked down behind the console, but kept my gaze on the woman and my gun raised.

She edged backwards, with her gun ready at her hip.

An unseen, chillingly familiar voice spoke from the corridor. “You don’t want to shoot me,” he said. “I have a whole fleet of Fertillan Guard between here and any escape route you might try to take. You can take your chances with them, or you could lower your weapon and I can let you live.”

The owner of the voice stepped into the control room and I saw what I already knew: it was Trevel.

He wore an armoured suit in the same brown as his regular uniform and a helmet with the blast shield down. His unmistakable intense eyes stared out from behind the protective barrier as he aimed his military-grade EE rifle at her head.

The woman backed away, but didn’t let her gun drop even a millimetre. “How do I know if I can trust you?” she said.

An explosion shot from Trevel’s rifle and the woman’s body was thrown backwards as the blast ripped into her forehead. Bits of her brain sprayed out into the control room. Her body slammed hard on the floor followed by the rain of her own blood as the echo of the blast rang out around us. Trevel – his EEW still aimed at her – walked up to her corpse and prodded her lifeless stomach with the barrel to make sure she was dead.

“You can’t trust me,” he said.

I think I had made a sound when his gun went off. I had gasped – or maybe I screamed – I don’t remember. Whatever noise it was, it was enough for him to know I was there.

“You can come out now,” he declared to the room.

I stood up from behind the console with my hands above my head. I’m not ashamed to say I was shaking a little.

I was still holding my gun, but with an open palm and with my finger away from the trigger. I showed it to him as I made an exaggerated move of placing it on the floor and kicking it away.

“All of you can come out,” said Trevel.

Freddi emerged from the console behind me: his hands raised.

“Well,” he said, looking at the two of us. “Isn’t this unexpected.”

Jane Killick

Copyright, Jane Killick 2019

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