Colin had that usual nervous feeling stinging in the middle of his stomach while he was riding in the front seat of the new car that the CID had given him, Diane, and Kelly. Finally we get a vehicle of our own. No more having to depend on shuttles, taxis, or the subway to get around, he mused. The only drawback to this was having Diane as a driver. Impulsive and bad tempered, she’d just received her driver’s license two weeks ago. Even with the tight safety belt strapped across his torso, Colin was still not feeling secure as he watched Diane jerk the steering wheel to the left and right in order to weave in and out of the four lanes of traffic on the streets of Navarone to reach their destination. Colin imagined that Kelly, riding in the back seat, was feeling the same way – and maybe car sick too. He looked a little green in the face, not a good color for his blond hair he’d recently had cut in a shorter style. Over the sound of their car’s wailing siren, Colin heard Kelly yip as they came up close and fast to another vehicle. Diane swerved at the last moment to avoid a collision.
I should have gotten my license before Diane, Colin scolded himself. He looked over at her wearing a black tee‐shirt and jeans, with a broad smile on her face. The white sneaker on her right foot shifted frequently from the brake to the accelerator pedal. With the air from the open window blowing through her long black hair, she looked like she was on a joy ride, except for the large laser pistol holstered at her right hip.
“Do you mind slowing down?” Colin asked. “We want to at least get there alive.”
“Slow down?” Diane teased with a laugh. “We have to get there before those Reploid jackasses kill the hostages. You heard the report. Their hour deadline is almost up!”
“I know,” Colin replied sourly. What a way to start the morning!
Twenty minutes ago, he was sleeping in his quarters back at the military base when he was awakened by a phone call from CID Captain Melony Carter, informing him that Vendetta terrorists had taken several civilians hostage in an office building and were threatening to kill them, then detonate a nuclear bomb that was hidden somewhere in Navarone, unless the government agreed to release Vendetta operatives from the penal moon Taraxis in the Tacoma System. Carter also reported that one of the terrorists was observed using paranormal abilities – Reploid abilities. And that was why he and Diane and Kelly had been called. Their team, the Silencers, was the only defense against Reploids, because they were Reploids too, reconditioned and turned against Vendetta to serve the Protectorate.
Author: Barry K. Nelson
The three reprogrammed Brelac Reploids forming the special team Silencers still faithfully serve the United Protectorate under the watchful monitoring of the Central Intelligence Division. Stationed on Maseklos Prime, Colin McKenzie, Diane Christy, and Kelly Lytton are called to a hostage scene and end up with clues that lead to the elusive Dr. Arthur Trevors. Although initially a traitor who worked undercover with the Brelac, Trevors was in large part responsible for the capture and reprogramming of Colin, Diane, and Kelly so they could serve their current function as weapons for the Protectorate. The war with the Brelac is not going well, and the Silencers are given an advanced warp-drive ship and sent beyond their home quadrant, Poseidon, to the last known coordinates of a missing ship. Their mission is to locate the missing ship, part of an original task force of five ships sent out to find other human colonies and enlist their help with the war against the Brelac. As soon as Colin and his team leave the quadrant, they run into trouble, and things go downhill from there. They find themselves in the midst of a war between local factions on a planet far from home and feel obliged to aid the human faction against a clearly superior force that seems to have help from a monster who leaves a wake of death and destruction wherever it goes. The more they find out, the weirder things get, and they end up stranded with no way home, much less any hope of completing their original mission to find the lost task force ship. This new enemy they face seems invincible, and they wonder if they’ll survive as everything and everyone around them is destroyed. Maybe this time not even their Reploid powers will save them. But what other hope does humanity have?
A Pennsylvania native, Barry K. Nelson has attended college and has worked at a variety of jobs, including retail and the corporate environment. Barry enjoys reading and gardening and is a fan of science fiction and horror movies, Marvel comic collecting, and the X-box 360.
Barry has written short stories, and his first book in the science fiction series, The McKenzie Files, is soon to be followed by a sequel, Assassination Anxiety.
Barry is a member of Ning and Goodreads, can be found on Facebook, and can also be reached through Penumbra Publishing.