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Children of Junk (Paperback)

Children of Junk (Paperback)

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Book 3 of The Rogue Star Sci-Fi Series

Ebook Version

Audiobook Version

 

There’s no rest for the weary.

 

All Marcus Drake wanted was a nice, quiet vacation with his best friend Solomon Keys and his girlfriend Iaka Kazumi. He figured two weeks on Pleasure Planet 4 would be perfect.

 

But things never seem to work out the way Marcus plans.

 

They’ve barely settled in when Solomon gets kidnapped.

 

The race is on to rescue his friend and recover a galaxy changing weapon before the Children of the Void.

 

Paperback

 

Paperback

145 Pages

Dimensions

5.5 X 8.5

ISBN

978-1-945763-27-4

Publication Date

November 25, 2021

Publisher

Sand Hill Publishing

 

Look Inside

Marcus Drake reclined beside the glittering blue water of the resort pool. The comfort-form chair perfectly molded to his lean, rangy body. Off to his right the steel and glass hotel gleamed in the sun. He took a deep breath, enjoying the scent of flowers in the air.

This was the third day of their two-week vacation on Pleasure Planet 4, all expenses paid by the council as a bonus for their work helping stop the Children of the Void and later rebuilding the council asteroid. Marcus had no idea how much it cost, and since he didn’t have to pay, he didn’t care, but it had to be a lot given the luxury of the suite he and Iaka shared. 

Solomon got a smaller room to himself next door to theirs. He sighed. Solomon seldom left the virtual reality arcade except to sleep and eat. Well, this was his vacation too, so he could spend it however he liked.

From behind his shades he watched as females from half a dozen species swam, lounged, and displayed themselves in the skimpiest swimsuits their anatomies would accommodate. The heat of the tropical, satellite-controlled weather made anything heavier than the light trunks Marcus wore uncomfortable. In a matching chair beside him the most beautiful woman at the resort, and by good fortune his girlfriend, sipped a neon blue drink.

Iaka wore a red bikini every bit as skimpy as anything he’d seen on the other women, and every time he glanced at her he got a warm feeling and not in his heart.

Iaka glanced at him when a particularly well-endowed humanoid female with multicolored feathers in place of hair sauntered by for the third time. Marcus tried his best not to react to her, but Iaka’s raised eyebrow indicated he didn’t succeed.

He turned his head and pulled his glasses down and looked over the top of the frame. “It’s not my fault she keeps walking by.”

“Maybe if you stopped looking at her.”

“I close my eyes every time she goes by, I swear.”

Iaka shot him a mock scowl. “Liar.”

Marcus grinned. “You know me too well. How much do you suppose she charges?”

She waved a fist at him. “Less than the doctor you’ll need if you keep staring at her.”

He laughed, pushed his glasses further up on his nose, and settled back in his chair. He might like to look, but Marcus loved Iaka. Not that he’d told her or anything, but he couldn’t stop thinking about her when they were apart and when they were together he smiled all the time. If that wasn’t love it was a close approximation.

“Marcus!”

He leapt out of his chair at the sound of Solomon’s voice. Something had to be wrong if Solomon was anywhere near the pool. His best friend and navigator, dressed in long black pants and matching, baggy, oversized tee shirt, both soaked in sweat after his walk from the arcade, couldn’t have looked any more out of place among the fit, almost-naked people by the pool if he had on a parka and ski goggles.

“What is it? Something wrong with the ship?” He’d left Gruesome, his modified Void war bot, on guard mode so he doubted anyone had messed with the Star. Gruesome had enough firepower secreted about his alloy body to win a small war on his own, still you just never knew.

Solomon blinked and shook his head, sending his mop of shaggy blond hair flopping back and forth. “The ship’s fine as far as I know. I have a more personal problem and I need your advice.”

Marcus sighed and sat back down. “Shoot.”

“One of them found me, she wants to meet for drinks, and I’m not sure what to do.”

Iaka came over and sat beside Marcus. Having her perfect, bronze leg pressing against him made it hard to concentrate. Lucky for him Iaka asked the question he’d been struggling to put together. “Who found you?”

“One of my fans. None of them have ever tried to meet me face to face. I’m not sure what to do.”

Marcus ran his fingers through his hair. It seemed like nothing, but to Solomon this was a big deal, so one of his usual sarcastic replies wouldn’t cut it. “What do you want to do?”

Solomon just stared at him, unmoving and not blinking, like a computer in need of a reboot. “I don’t know, that’s why I’m asking you what I should do.”

“If you want to meet her I say go for it. If you don’t like her it’s not like someone’s holding a blaster on you and forcing you to stay.”

Solomon chewed the inside of his cheek then nodded once. “You’re right. I’m going to meet her. Thanks, Marcus.”

Without waiting for a reply Solomon spun and stomped back toward the comfort of the hotel. Marcus hoped Solomon remembered to shower before he went to meet his date. He yawned and ran a casual hand along Iaka’s leg earning him a light punch to the shoulder.

“Solomon has fans?” Iaka’s incredulous tone didn’t surprise Marcus. If there was a less likely person to have a fan club Marcus couldn’t imagine who it would be.

“You wouldn’t think it, but Solomon is a big deal on the hypernet hacker boards. He’s quite well-known among the community. Every once in a while one of them sends a message, but no one has tried to make contact in person.”

“How do you suppose she found us?” Iaka looked concerned and Marcus supposed it was a little stalkerish.

“We all checked in under our real names. I don’t imagine it would be hard for a hacker to locate us. I just wonder how she got here, most of them are broke.”

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