First 500 Words—The Songster & the Pirates

The Songster & the Pirates released on September 10,2018. It is a stand-alone science-fiction short story with elements of fantasy set in the same universe as Odyssey, and the Lunar Wolves.
What’s it About?
Once a space merc, now a singer, Taran keeps her identity as a siren secret. When spacewolves join the audience at her current gig, she knows what they’re looking for. The only question is can she slip away, before the wolves and her past can catch up with her?
Here are the first 500 words of that story:

The Songster & the Pirates

First 500 Words

Taran looked out into the audience, noting the four hulking figures in dark grey ship suits, mingling amongst them. She knew spacers when she saw them, and she knew werewolves, too—and these were trying way too hard to blend in to be interested in anyone but her. She studied them, as she continued to sing, letting her eyes rove over the audience, and snatching details of her targets as she went. It wouldn’t do to stare, or they might do something rash—like try to take her before she’d finished her set.
And Taran wanted to be paid. She needed the credits for the next fare out to the most deserted backwater planet she could find. She needed to be able to stretch her wings where someone wasn’t going to try and pluck them, or force her to sing something she didn’t want to. In the meantime, she’d made the bartender a promise, and she intended to keep it… Right after she dusted the four furry knuckleheads setting up to spoil her day.
Once she was sure they hadn’t come with sound suppression—and what idiot would come after her without it?—she ruffled the lyrics of what she was singing, added a spike to the pitch, and smoothed the subsonics. There was a brief surge of patrons to the bar, and one of the wolves’ eyes widened.
Sucks to be you, Taran thought, adding an extra layer to the ultrasonics only they could hear. It came out as a brief yip in the lyrics, and she wove ultra and sub together, smiling as she sang of wickedness and desire. The only wolf that had registered the change clapped its hands over its ears and bolted for the nearest exit.
One of the others reached out and grabbed hold of a passing waitress, and the other two… Well, that made it difficult to focus on her song. Taran grabbed hold of the urge to laugh, and kept the song running for another twenty seconds, and then she slipped quietly from the stage. No one was going to notice her with the wolves providing that kind of entertainment. That, and the waitress, had a friend or three, and the first punch had already been thrown. Taran sighed.
Maybe she was going to need another gig to pay for the next shuttle out.
With any luck, she’d gained herself a five minute start, and there’d be a cab waiting in the ranks at the back of the club. Having a dressing room had its advantages, but she didn’t go back to it. If she’d been chasing her, she’d have snuck someone into the dressing room, or just back stage. She glanced at the shadowed recesses behind the wings, and was relieved when nothing moved.
For just a moment, she regretted turning down the Mentraden Security offer. She’d told them she wanted to leave that kind of work behind. After what had happened to the Knights… Taran shook her head, trying to dispel the memories of ships on fire, atmospheres venting to space, of men trying to beat their way through bulkheads to save those already dead. She tried…
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TheSongster & the Pirates is set in the Lunar Wolves universe and is available direct from Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, GooglePlay, DriveThruFiction, and multiplestores via Books2Read, as well as via Smashwords and Draft2Digital distribution.