First 500 Words Sneak Peek—The Depredides Dance

The Depredides Dancei releases on Friday, July 7, 2018, US time. It follows directly on from Mack ‘n’ Me: Origins, and continues the tale of Cutter’s struggle with Mack and Odyssey’s claims on her time.
What’s it About?

All I had to do was disappear. That was it: disappear and stay out of sight. Hard enough with Abs running an auction for the last location she left me, but then I poked the Depredides communications network—and everything else looked downright easy… I’m not even sure there is a way out of this…

The DepredidesDance is a stand-alone short story set in the Odyssey universe. However, if you’re into reading things in order, it tells the story of what happened to Cutter after the end of Mack ‘n’ Me: Origins, and thus forms story 1-1 of the Mack ‘n’ Me ‘n’ Odyssey series.

NOTE: The main character swears like a sailor, and the support cast aren’t much better. If swears bother you, then this story may not be to your taste.

Here are the first 500 words of that story:

The Depredides Dance

First 500 Words

Abby dropped me off on Depredides, just like I paid her to. She even booked me into a cheap motel which would give me lots of places to run to, and she did that free of charge.
Because we’re friends, she said, even though we both knew she’d be running an auction in seventy-two hours’ time to give away my drop-off point. She’s a transporter; it comes with the territory, and I couldn’t pay for an extension to her silence.
Friendship and business, we both knew where the lines met, and, because of friendship, we didn’t hold our business actions against each other. We’d travelled across several systems, fast enough to avoid both Delight and Mack, and get me out from under Odyssey’s radar. As a situation, it wasn’t going to last.
Before I left the hatch, Abby removed the extra locks she’d put on the links Mack, Delight and Tens had added to my implant.
“What you’ve got should last for a while,” she said, “especially as you’re out of range. Try and stay that way.”
I paused, on the steps leading from her cockpit down to the tarmac, reached up to touch her hull. I had no words for what I felt, but she seemed to understand.
“Safe travels,” she said, and slid the hatch door shut.
She retracted the stairs, as soon as I’d stepped off them, and I heard the engine note start to build. I didn’t look back as I hurried away, not even when I felt the wash of her engines as she took off. When I reached the edge of the tarmac, she was just a twin-starred speck, retreating to the void above.
“Papers,” said the man behind the counter, and I realised I’d forgotten to plan one, important aspect of my arrival.
Damn. I’d thought that had been part of Abby’s service.
It was too late, so I gestured at the computer terminal.
“It was a late notice trip,” I said. “The company rerouted me. They should have forwarded the paperwork to your department.”
He didn’t look impressed.
I struggled to keep my features bland. Fuckit. I hadn’t thought of this. Why hadn’t I thought of this? I thought fast, instead.
“I’m under cover. Need to pick my dossier up. Are you sure my picture doesn’t call up anything.”
“Which company do you work for?”
And I felt colour rise to my cheeks, was left with my mouth open and nothing to say.
‘I did not think you were this unprepared. I am sorry. You do not have enough to cover the cost of a new identity.’ At least she sounded contrite, rather than amused.
Double damn. If I’d been thinking I would have thought of this myself, would have found a different path off the tarmac, not waltzed straight up to the guys who were likely to put me into a database that would totally wreck Abby’s auction.
‘Honey, you put it that way, and I’ll give you all the help you need.’
Would you like to read more?
The Depredides Dance, is set directly after the events in Mack 'n' Me: Origins and is available direct from Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, and multiple stores via Books2Read, as well as via Smashwords and Draft2Digital distribution.