Now available – Conviction, the third book in the Razia series! Catch up on this fun, sassy space opera about a wayward scientist living a double life as a space pirate bounty hunter.
Razia is in trouble. Captured by a fellow pirate, she now finds herself back on probation with a bounty worth zero credits. In the cold reality, she begins to question herself and everything she has been working towards all of her life–and what she’s willing to do to reclaim her glory.
Piracy is a game. What do you stand for?
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Razia’s eyes snapped open and she grasped at the wall to steady herself. She stood outside the supposed poker game location, in a dimly lit alley that smelled like trash. There was something wet leaking from the bin next to her, so she didn’t dare sit down. She had fallen asleep against the dirty brick wall for a split second, but was now wide awake and ready for Loeb to come out.
The door remained closed.
Poker, she reasoned, must be Loeb’s chosen vice because he’d been there playing this game for over an hour. She wondered how many times he’d have to go to Temple to ask the Great Creator for forgiveness for this break in his piety.
She snorted at her own joke then burped a little beer. She rubbed her face roughly, hoping the increased blood flow would wake her up. She wished she hadn’t had that that third beer (or however many she had from Sage’s pitcher) at Eamon’s, she wished she had some coffee, and she wished Loeb would just get a move on already. She had other pirates to capture, and he was being awfully selfish with her time.
She jutted her lip out and stared at the door, and her eyes began drooping again.
Her mini-computer began buzzing at her hip and she jumped ten feet. Scowling, she answered it without thinking.
“What.” She blinked at the face looking back at her and for a brief moment saw Vel. With another shake of her head she realized it was Heelin scowling back at her. “Oh, it’s you.”
“Yes, it’s me.” Heelin looked nothing short of livid. “The brother with whom you are supposed to be working.”
She grimaced. “Oh God in Leveman’s, I don’t have time for this.”
“Well you’d better make time, because this stupid planet was approved for membership, so Dorst wants me to accompany you on your next excavation.”
Excavation, what was that again? She rubbed her eyes, trying to make sense of the word. Slowly, her brain readjusted from a month of bounty hunting back to her life as Lyssa Peate.
Wait…Heelin wanted to go on an excavation with her? “I don’t think so.”
“I think that you have to since Dorst ordered you to.”
“I think that Dorst can get sucked.”
“What is with you lately? You look different.”
“I…what?” she said, looking down at the mini-computer.
“And where are you anyway? Are you in some kind of dark alley? Where are your glasses?”
Razia realized with a jolt of fear that she was, in fact, Razia and not Lyssa—her hair down, no lab coat, no glasses.
She ended the call quickly and breathed a sigh of relief. She didn’t expect Heelin to recognize Razia from just a simple phone call. Unlike Lizbeth, who was sharp as a tack and made the connection almost immediately, the Peates seemed more eager to ignore that Lyssa ever existed.
She swallowed the lump in her throat, hating herself and her drunkenness for bringing him up. She still had no idea why she’d saved him. She’d told Lizbeth at the time it was because she wanted to believe he was a good person, but there was more to it than that. She was still harboring a little bit of guilt that she had been chosen as Sostas’ assistant, and not Jukin.
And perhaps she felt a little responsible for everything Jukin had done.
She belched loudly in the alleyway, ending the drunken philosophical train of thought. In some part of her mind, she wondered if it was a good idea to be out in her current state, but then again, she was simply stalking Loeb. He wasn’t going to surprise her and walk out…
Her eyes nearly fell out of her head as Jarvis Loeb exited the bar all by himself.
She braced herself against the wall, waiting to see if his body men were going to join him. Loeb got almost a block before she realized that he was alone. Whether this was some great twist of fate, or maybe some gift from the Great Creator, she didn’t know, but it was definitely an opportunity.
She nearly tripped over her own two feet as she barreled after him, the beer sloshing in her stomach uncomfortably.
“OI!” she called out, standing in the middle of the deserted street.
Loeb turned to watch her with an amused look on his face. “Hello there, dear. Are you here to capture me finally?”
“Sure am!” she announced, perhaps louder than she should have.
She walked up to Loeb, who seemed awfully sober to her, and she reared back her fist to strike him. But she was moving so slow—slower than ever—and Loeb easily ducked it. She lurched forward, her center of gravity completely off, and watched the pavement fly up towards her face.
Loeb’s hand clamped down on her wrist and she felt cold steel encircle it.
About the Author
S. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit. Evans is the author of the Razia series and Empath, both published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.
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