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Excerpt for Resotek Elite: Life Force by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Resotek Elite

Life Force

Prometheus Arc Episode Five

Brett P. S.



Copyright © 2018 Brett P. S.

Smashwords Edition

All rights reserved.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.



Table of Contents



PROLOGUE

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

EPILOGUE



Prologue

Overgrowth Reborn

Overpass, Outside Chicago



Baylee Ryder wept. Soft tears rolled down her cheek as she lay beneath an overpass. The blackened shadow of an unfeeling city consumed her, wrapped her heart. Night blanketed the land around her. Her face and body met concrete. Her tattered dress and everything that Jack had provided … withering away. His dreams, his ambitions, it all relied on living, and she cursed herself for not being wiser and stronger.

She should have seen it coming, warned him in time. Baylee tightened her fist and sighed. He wouldn’t have listened anyway. He tried to hide it, but he was just like Pa, a good man in principle, a monster in the flesh. But he was her brother. No matter what he’d done, it wasn’t his fault. He just didn’t know any better. He just … footsteps.

A breeze blew through her hair, ruffling the blades of grass that had popped through the concrete to fit inside her hand. She let go and climbed to her feet as a tall, well-postured figure sauntered into the shade of the overpass. Cars and trucks barreled above them as the man approached. He switched on a flashlight that erupted in her eyes. It hurt to look directly at him, so much that she raised her hands to block it out, but he continued his approach.

“Officer Deacon of the RTF,” he said. “We’ve received reports of someone squatting …”

“Turn it off!”

He paused. “Excuse me, ma’am?”

Balyee grunted. “The light. Turn it off!”

The officer obliged with hesitation. After a moment, he switched off the glaring beam and snapped it to his belt. Then, as if to add to the insult, he reached for his firearm. Baylee caught a glimpse of the Model 9 he held in his hand. Weaponry armed with a Model 9 Resotek Core was easy enough to spot. Jack taught her how. The bulge was at the rear of the weapon, near the part of the chamber where the ignition occurred.

She sized up the officer, noticed the way he trembled as he looked at her. He gripped his gun with both hands but kept the barrel pointed low to the ground. He didn’t point it directly at her, but he didn’t have to. She was a threat, and his heart was pumping faster than normal. She paused at the thought. How did she know that?

Baylee peered through the layers of fascia and muscle. Bone and sinew wrapped by veins, blood, and cellular structures. Something was happening to her. Something was changing inside, and she didn’t know whether to feel joy or terror. Baylee scoffed and shook off her fear. This breed of person took Jack’s life. Cowards, all of them. They cling to their magic rocks and metals, hoping that God in heaven can sort out the rest. She strode toward him, watching as he backed away.

“Hold it right there!” he shouted, raising his gun.

Baylee didn’t stop. She pursued him with a gleeful spring in her step. She raised a hand, reached out, and touched his insides with her resonance. Cells divided in his stomach, filling the cavity with a cancerous mass that brought him to his knees. The man crouched, vomiting up stomach acid, unable to swallow or breathe as the cells divided inside his windpipe.

Choking, gasping for air, he raised his weapon and fired. Baylee’s world blacked out for what seemed like an instant. She came to, feeling a bead of dripping blood rolling down her forehead and across her brow. She touched her temple, feeling the closing wound as a smile widened on her face.

Baylee Ryder lived. Where Jack died a miserable death, she’d survived. The strain of losing someone dear to her had transformed her into an agent of retribution, someone worthy of carrying on her brother’s dreams. Baylee sneered at the dying officer and raised an open palm to his temple.

“An eye for an eye,” she said. “It’s only fair, you see.”

Cells divided inside his body as she reached out with her mind and soul. She tempted the grass and veins of the earth to spring forth, enveloping him. She felt the muscles of his larynx fluctuate. He was screaming on the inside, unable to move the muscles of his mouth.

“You will be missed,” she said. “But you will never be found.”

The man’s body erupted into a husk of flesh and blood, darkened by the burning division of cells in his body. A searing fire inside sealed his expression, one fixed in terror as the strands of grass pulled him deep into the earth.

Baylee turned away and looked to the stars. “I understand how you feel, brother.” She clenched her fists. “They’re cowards, all of them. They deserve what’s coming, and I’ll be the one to make it happen. If it takes a monster to make them see, then so be it.”

She looked back. Not a trace of the encounter. She’d covered the land beside the overpass with a fresh coat of flora. Baylee walked over, knelt down, and patted the coverage with her hands. She no longer felt his heart beat, none of the blood that once coursed through his veins. She killed a man today. It was her first, but it wouldn’t be her last, not even close.

“I hope they’re ready, brother,” she said. “Life Force is coming.”



Chapter 1

On the Job

Residential District, Chicago



Two months following the death of Turbulence …

Gavin Price. RTF Officer, Junior Grade. Working for the JF wasn’t so bad. Hell, the hiring process was a drop in the bucket compared to the UN.C., so he’d take what he could get. Besides, the work suited him, and the job paid well. Not as well as Louise Beckett, but enough to finance his subscriptions and, most of all, his home.

More importantly, it kept him in the city, near the action. Some small part of him hadn’t truly left Prometheus, wanted him to stay close. Something inside of him didn’t quite digest Louise’s words. It took him more than a month to reconcile with his feelings enough to figure out that Chief was still out there. Calico was still out there, watching over him. He couldn’t prove it, but he waved each time he saw a cat on the street, hoping she was on the other side.

Gavin had heard from Clive through private emails that she left shortly after he did. For what it was worth, she made the wrong choice. From what he read, it sounded as if she hadn’t stopped. Prometheus kept turning, but Marguerite found her abilities better suited untethered to Louise’s supervision. The program stank something fierce, and he aimed to find out exactly what.

Gavin’s partner, Bradley Cook, parked their patrol car and leveraged the driver side door. Bradley outranked him, if only by a two grades. He was a larger man, built for brawling, so much so that his uniform and jacket barely fit around his chest. His face was clean-shaven, with a haircut to rival Magnum himself. He heard Bradley was a fan of the theatrics, even though he didn’t have any powers. Most in the RTF didn’t, though they took all kinds. Most cases, Resotek were enough, but a little power helped in a pinch.

“Arm yourself,” he said, reaching for his firearm, a Colt semi-automatic fitted with a Model 9 Resotek Core. Standard issue. “Remember, keep it low until you need it. This’ll blast right through a brick wall.”

Gavin smirked. “It’ll do more than that in my hands.”

“These aren’t toys, Price,” he said. “Just because you have a gift doesn’t give you the right to abuse it, especially when my boss wrings my neck every time you bust OUR gear.”

Gavin drew his gun from his belt holster. “I’ll play nice.” Bradley rolled his eyes.

Geez. Where was his usual lust for theatrics? Something had him spooked, but Gavin couldn’t pin exactly what. Together, they’d confronted two cases involving rogue resonance users in his one month of duty. Admittedly, the last ended with his Model 9 exploding, but he’d gotten better at it since then.

He likened his resonance to flow. He could restrict it to a trickle or bust open the reservoir, though the latter often precluded immediate destruction. He bought out a couple boxes of lighters just to test the waters. At the end of that was a mess of cleaning and a couple burn wounds. The backlash on releasing the restrictions of something as tiny as a lighter resulted in an explosive reaction.

Bradley led him through an alley for an interior search. Squad cars blocked off the city block where the perp was last sighted. Authorities presumed the resonance user still lurked somewhere within the area. Finding most individuals would take time, but the thing about folks with powers was that they overreached themselves. It was easy to think yourself unassailable when you have something most people lack. More often than not, the RTF just needed to be nearby, and sheer arrogance would reveal the mark.

Gavin stopped at the sight of Bradley shifting back his hand. He pointed his Colt up just a shaded, aiming at the sky. Gavin looked up. Nothing but clouds.

“What was it?” he asked.

Bradley lowered his gun. “Nothing, I suppose.”


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