High Demon Series
Genre: Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Audience: General Adult
* * *
Reah has worked in the kitchens of her family's restaurants since the age of eight. The only daughter among Addah Desh's 27 children from eight wives, Reah has been ignored, belittled and abused all her life. When the conscription notice comes from the Regular Alliance Army, Reah is more than happy to report for duty in order to escape her family. Unfortunately, her liberation is short-lived...
And I'm supposed to believe that?
Reah, you're being disrespectful with a superior. I didn't answer him. If he knew how disrespectful I wanted to be—I was staring at Xiri's bones, after all. I sobbed. Reah? Reah, are you still there?
You be respectful, Vice-Director, the next time a friend's bones lie beneath your hand. I cut off the communication. Lendill didn't try again.
* * *
While battling personal grief, Reah is sent after Zellar, who has become one of the worst enemies the Alliance has ever faced. While determined to take down the rogue warlock, Reah learns that Zellar has trained other rogues to follow in his footsteps. Forced to work with the unlikeliest of allies, she pursues Zellar's trained rogues in and outside the Alliance.
"I want to bust his nose," I muttered, making the girl laugh. I hefted the tray up and carried it to his table.
"I had to wait two clicks to get in here."
"I told you to call ahead," I said, settling the tray on a stand and handing off his noodle bowl, followed by the plate of ox-roast.
"I thought you were making that up."
"I never lie about food," I said. "Is there anything else?" I swept the tray off the stand.
"That's what the Director said. And he's not high on my list, unless it's the list of people I never want to see again."
"What's the problem with Director Keef?"
"Where do you want me to start?"
"Start with the most recent."
"My dead daughter," I snapped and walked away.
* * *
After Reah's brush with death, she is understandably distrustful of most of her mates. Striking out on her own, she is determined to investigate a rash of child disappearances across the universes, in and outside the Alliances. The evil she discovers in the course of her investigations could bring all worlds to their knees if Reah doesn't find a way to destroy it.
"Here. It has bourbon in it." I pushed my cup of tea toward him and rose from my seat to make another.
"Land and sky, Reah, this is strong." Lendill took a sip from my cup.
"Yeah. Sit down," I said. "What do you want?"
"Is that any way to treat a mate you haven't seen in months?"
"You only show up when you want something," I said. "So what is it?"
"Bel has disappeared," Lendill swallowed more tea, grimaced and then swallowed more.
"Wizard Bel?" I hadn't seen Bel for years, yet I knew he still worked for the ASD.
"Yes. I sent him to investigate a problem on Surnath, and he vanished. We can't find him."
"What kind of problem?" I asked, sitting down with my freshly poured and spiked tea. I didn't even ask Teeg if he wanted any. I was still pissed at him.
"A worker in an electronics factory went crazy and killed twenty of his coworkers after getting his hands on a laser pistol somehow. And then, two weeks later, a secretary at a legal firm kills six people there. The governor of the Realm on Surnath asked us to investigate. We thought it was just a copy crime. Bel was in so he volunteered. Was there for three days before he came up missing."
"That's terrible," I said. "And you tried mindspeech and everything?"
"Yes. No answer. Bel isn't one to fall easily into a trap. So we're all concerned."
"Me, too," I nodded. I'd known Bel when I was a conscript in the Regular Alliance Army.
"Norian and I are willing to pay top credit if you'll work a special assignment on this."
Wizard Bel is missing, after investigating two crimes on Surnath. Reah agrees to work this special assignment for the ASD, and discovers that Bel's disappearance is linked to far deeper and much darker crimes. The criminals behind these crimes hold the survival of both Alliances in their grip and it is up to Reah to expose them before their final plans become a reality.
"Kev, I have a patient I'd like to put in your clinic," Karzac said, walking in to sit beside his son's beautifully polished wood desk. Kevis, a physician for the past thirty years, ran a private clinic for patients with difficult mental problems.
"Dad, surely not one of the Saa Thalarr," Kevis sat down again and hit an electronic key on his deskcomp. Kevis looked very much like his father—nearly six feet tall with light-brown hair and green-gold eyes. He'd opened his private clinic twenty years earlier on Refizan, his father helping financially. Kevis was doing very well for himself.
"No. Not one of those. And I think when we get her, the Larentii will have already made a great deal of progress in her treatment. What we really need for her, I think, is peace and quiet, where there isn't anyone troubling her with something that needs to be done. She hasn't had a vacation in years, has been attacked and made very ill recently and there are other circumstances that have affected her. She almost killed herself three days ago."
"Is there anything unusual about her?" Kevis lifted an eyebrow at his father. He suspected that the prospective patient might not be completely human.
"She's High Demon, son, and hasn't been treated well for a very long time."
* * *
Reah's mental health is compromised, new enemies appear and Teeg's control of the Campiaan Alliance is threatened. While Reah struggles to regain her health, her mates work to redeem themselves and reclaim her trust. Meanwhile, signs begin to appear—are the God Wars imminent? Only time will tell.