London Bridges Falling Down...and werewolves, too!
The Vegas PPD is loaded with dirty jokes, adult language, and pervy situations. No, it's NOT erotica (sorry). ;)
Power, struggle, and misery fill the Netherworld factions living in London. Their history is vast and their connections are made of steel. In particular, the werewolves have built up a stronghold that has stood the test of time.
Unfortunately, there is a new uberwolf who has taken over the werewolves of London and he's bent on proving that he is the most powerful creature in all of the supernatural community.
In an effort to prove himself, he has kidnapped Ian Dex's ex-partner, Rachel Cress, using her as bait to lure Ian across the pond.
Life sure has its moments.
In order to track down Rachel, Ian must team up with her current London PPD partner. The guy seriously idolizes James Bond. Worse, the cop Ian brought along from Vegas is Harvey, a werebear who fancies himself as being like Sherlock Holmes.
But it turns out there's more to this than simply liberating Rachel. Ian must win the battle against the biggest werewolf he's ever seen. If he fails, the meager expanse between life and death may just open up and swallow them all.
Release date: January 10, 2018
Publisher: Crimson Myth Press
Print pages: 204
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Listen to a sample
John P. Logsdon
The guy cut down into the west parking garage of the Palms faster than anyone I’d ever chased before.
To be fair, he was a djinn.
And a naughty one at that.
During my years in the Las Vegas Paranormal Police Department, I had learned a thing or two about the complexities of dealing with various supernatural races. Vampires were at the top on the scale of pains in the ass because they believed they were better than everyone else. Werewolves came in second, not because they thought themselves better, but because when they slipped into full wolf form they tended to forget that they weren’t supposed to eat people. Mages were next. Power corrupts, you know.
Djinn, however, had a tendency to be somewhat easygoing. At least that was true in the Overworld. This was because they were paid quite well to provide mental excursions to wealthy customers. That meant they were in demand. It also meant that they didn’t have to resort to fear tactics, forced-comas, and all the other fun things that they tended to be capable of inflicting on folks.
This guy, however, was being a real dick.
It seemed that there had been a Netherworld prison break a few days back. A flurry of escapees flooded the Netherworld areas, bringing their PPD to their knees as they worked to corral everyone before too many people got hurt.
But some of them got topside.
That meant we had to deal with them along with Retriever units. These weren’t canines, and I’d learned the hard way that you didn’t want to refer to them as that. They really didn’t like it. Retrievers were cops who didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the crowd. Doing standard police work for them was like sitting in a dentist’s chair and having a root canal—without pain killers. But Retrievers also tended to be those who could possibly end up in a life of crime were there no better alternatives. They were thrill-seekers, rebellious types, who were often outcasts or badasses. They also tended to be entrepreneurially minded. While they collected a standard paycheck, like any cop, they were paid much less. This was because they were paid commissions for every perp that got brought back alive. Kind of like bounty hunters, who were also on payroll. Before the PPD went with this method of payment, very few perps made it back alive.
The djinn we were chasing was one of the escaped from the Netherworld. That put us in a bad spot in three ways. First, he had nothing to lose but his freedom, meaning he was more than willing to cause as much damage as he could in order to avoid going back to prison. Second, we couldn’t just outright kill him unless he was killing people in our city, which he wouldn’t do because he knew that would give us carte blanche to knock his ass out. Third, while we had to keep the guy busy, we knew full well that it was only a matter of time before a Retriever team showed up to claim him.
It was at times like these that I wished Rachel Cress, my partner of seven years, was still by my side. But she’d left after our last battle against an ubernatural, claiming it was too painful to work side by side with me anymore. This was because we used to be an item…before I’d become the chief of the Vegas PPD.
For now, I had Harvey as my partner. He was a werebear who was new to the force. We’d brought him in because he’d helped us fight against a nutty necromancer a number of months back. He wasn’t exactly cop material. At least not in the traditional sense. In his mind, being a cop was doing stuff like cops did in old TV shows. Currently he was wearing a cowboy hat, but I wasn’t sure which show that was supposed to represent. Anyway, he was a good guy and his heart was in the right place. He just needed time to get the hang of things.
“Harvey,” I said, “you have to keep your gun at the ready.”
“Right,” he replied as we continued chasing after the djinn. “I keep forgetting. I’m used to just turning into a bear when threatened.”
I gave him a sidelong glance. “Which would go over swell in a casino full of normals.”
“Can’t see how a six-foot-five guy running around with a .50 caliber Desert Eagle is much better.”
The fact was that every weapon used by PPD officers was imbued with its own null zone. This made it so people didn’t freak out about the fact that we were carrying weapons. The null zones rendered them effectively invisible. Some cops asked for them to have particular visuals when mortals saw them, like a flashlight or something. I’d considered having Boomy made to look like a dildo, but that probably would have been worse than people just seeing a gun. I did laugh pretty heartily at the thought of someone yelling, “Look out, he’s got a dildo!”
Still, he had a point.
“Fair enough,” I admitted and pointed ahead. “Looks like Tats is heading up the elevator.”
“He’s covered with tattoos,” I explained an instant before we burst through the doors to the stairs.
There were already a few twitching bodies on the ground as we ran through the main casino floor. He was heading straight toward Garduño’s, which used to be Hooters. This day would have been a whole lot better if it still was Hooters. Not that I had anything against Garduño’s. In fact, I rather liked it. But…Hooters!
“Lydia,” I called through the connector to our A.I. dispatch back at base, “I need you to inform The Spin that we’ve got a bunch of bodies on the ground here.”
“Dead, sweetie?” she replied with a voice of concern.
“No, just in la-la land, having either the best fantasies of their lives or the worst nightmares.”
“We’ve got bodies over at the Bellagio, too,” Jasmine chimed in. “Serena’s going to be working overtime clearing all these heads.”
“She’ll need help,” I noted. “Have her get in touch with the head of the Djinn Ink Club and work a deal. They’ll do what they can since they don’t want any trouble.”
“You got it, puddin’,” Lydia replied, always one to flirt with me. “And just so you know, in addition to Jasmine’s report, I’m also getting reports from all the officers about masses of bodies in the various casinos.”
“Paula ought to have a field day with this,” I stated, almost wanting to laugh but knowing better. I wasn’t worried she could hear me or anything, but seeing that she was one of my ex-girlfriends, the thought of doing or saying anything that could even potentially cause a karmic shift in the universe that resulted in pouring her wrath in my direction wasn’t worth it. “Let her know we’ll help however we can, once we get everything under control.”
We wouldn’t. We never did. But it’d appease Paula to hear that we would help, if asked.
Lydia acknowledged just as Tats hit the elevator and headed down to the east garage.
“Why do I have the feeling that this fucker is just running us in circles?” I said aloud.
“Looks like he might be,” agreed Harvey, who was panting from the run. “Want me to go back the other way?”
“No,” I replied. “You keep on his tail and I’ll circle back. I have the feeling he’s having way too much fun with this little game, so one more round is quite likely.” I grabbed Harvey by the arm. “Keep your gun at the ready and only shoot him in the leg or something.”
“And, Harvey,” I yelled back as we broke apart, “don’t let him touch you.”
I got back to the west garage and turned on the jets to get to the entrance.
Sure enough, Tats was there.
Fortunately, he hadn’t seen me.
He was pressed against the wall with a creepy grin on his face. Obviously he had something planned. What that was, I couldn’t say, but seeing as how he was really enjoying his small window of freedom, it couldn’t be good.
I moved slowly with Boomy at the ready. Technically, we weren’t supposed to kill the guy, but my finger was feeling pretty itchy. If I channeled what I’m certain Paula Rose was going to be feeling about having to clean up the mess Tats was making, I’d have busted multiple caps in his ass already.
One thing I could do was target his shins or feet. It wouldn’t kill him, but it’d sure make his running a lot slower. Plus, the pain he’d feel would make me a whole lot happier.
I just had to get closer to do it, since all I could see was his upper body. There were too many cars in the way.
Just as I was getting in range, Harvey turned the corner and ran right into him.
Tats smiled even bigger as he reached out and put his hand on Harvey’s shoulder.
Harvey’s eyes rolled up into his head, but he stayed standing.
I knew Tats was planning something naughty.
As if in response to that thought, Tats turned and looked right at me. He’d obviously known I was creeping up on him because he wore a face of joyful menace.
This really wasn’t good.
Harvey shook for a couple of seconds and then went deathly still.
Tats removed his hand from the werebear’s shoulder and then turned to me and crossed his arms in smug defiance.
My new partner opened his eyes and stared into mine. It was a cold stare. It was one of those stares that made you think you were about to get hurt.
Most of the officers on my squad were deadly. It was part of the gig, after all. But there was something about a werebear, in human form or not, that chilled you to the core. They were fierce, huge, and deadly. Yeah, I was an amalgamite, so I had the ability to do a lot of different things, and I was pretty strong, agile, and fast, but going head to head with Harvey in a death match wasn’t exactly what I’d call fun. If he got hold of me, it’d hurt. It may even be one of those hurts that I wouldn’t come back from.
At the same time, it wasn’t like I could just shoot him. Well, I could, but I wouldn’t feel great about it. He was a fellow officer. And he wasn’t himself. Tats had clearly done something to mess with his mind….it’s what djinns did. I also wasn’t going to pull the old “Harvey, are you in there?” bullshit in the hopes that he’d fight against his mental imprisonment and not cause me any grave discomfort. It wouldn’t work. That’s just stuff they did in movies to solve a difficult plot point.
So, I ran.
I was almost hoping Harvey was going to turn into a werebear, but he just yelled and came running after me.
That was good and bad.
It was good because I’d be able to cut a corner and knock his ass out. It was bad because if I failed to knock his ass out, he’d knock my ass out…or worse.
I cut behind a van and slipped along the wall as the sound of his pounding feet slowed. He wasn’t going to be able to smell me as well in his current form, especially since the area stank of gas fumes.
But something told me it wasn’t just Harvey’s brain doing the work here. Tats had to have some connection going on.
I dropped to the ground and scanned under the cars. Harvey was pacing along slowly, hunting his prey.
I held my breath.
His shoes angled away slightly and then his hands hit the ground. A second later I saw his eyes locking on to mine. Those eyes did not belong to the Harvey I knew. Well, I mean, technically they did, but the life currently behind them was owned by a madman.
Okay, so I wasn’t dealing with Harvey, and that meant I had no choice but to fight this guy like he was Tats.
With a sigh, I pushed myself up and put Boomy back in his holster.
Then I stepped out.
“Okay, pal,” I said as I cracked my neck from side to side, “you obviously want this to be fun, so let’s have some fun.”
“I’m listening,” said Harvey’s voice, though it clearly wasn’t Harvey’s inflection.
“Let’s go hand to hand on this. No weapons, no mental games, just fists, feet, and grappling.”
Harvey nodded slowly.
“While that does sound interesting,” Tats-through-Harvey said, “I think I’ll just shoot you.”
My partner’s hand came up and his Desert Eagle
pointed right at me.
“Harvey,” I said hopefully, “are you in there?”
I dropped straight to the ground as the first bullet flew overhead. Then I rolled behind a car as the second one bounced off the ground next to me.
It was desperation time.
I yanked Boomy free, peered around the tire I was nestled behind, and shot Harvey in the shin.
He screamed and fell forward as I got up and ran right at him. It only took me a couple of seconds to get there, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway seeing that he was writhing around in pain.
“What the hell did you shoot me for, boss?” he asked through gritted teeth.
“Because you were trying to kill me, Harvey,” I replied calmly. “Well, you weren’t, but Tats had gotten control of your mind and was using you to take me out.”
“I don’t remember any of that,” he said, still groaning.
“Do you remember how you got over here?”
He looked around through his wince. “No.”
“Exactly.” I put a call in to Lydia and told her to get a medic down here right away. “Stay put,” I commanded. “I’m going to get that fucker.”
“Wait,” he said, grabbing my leg. “I can sense him.”
“It’s weird. I guess when he was controlling me, like you said, he somehow either left the channel open or it doesn’t break that easily.” He went to stand up and then clearly remembered that he had a hole in his shin. “Shit! Fuck! Tits! Balls! Ass!”
I knew that feeling.
“Where is he?” I said, trying to get Harvey to focus back on Tats. “I know this hurts, but I’ve got to stop this guy.”
“I know, I know,” Harvey replied through ragged breaths. “He’s…” His eyes opened and he looked right at me. Then he whispered, “He’s waiting for you.”
“Where?” I mouthed.
He pointed and curved his hand to let me know that the djinn was right around the corner.
So he was going to try and control me like he had Harvey? Well, we’d just have to see about that. This guy had just moved into deadly mode, meaning that I had the right to kill him.
Just in case, I snatched up Harvey’s Eagle and stuck it in Boomy’s holster. I had no desire to find out that this was just some kind of ruse to get me to let my guard down so Tats could resume his control of Harvey and drop a few bullets in my back.
I moved like a cat until I was within range of the spot where Tats was supposedly hiding. Then I took a deep breath, pumped my adrenaline, and spun around the corner with Boomy held high.
Unfortunately, I was aiming too high.
Tats was crouched.
By the time I adjusted, Tats had reached out and grabbed my arm.
He didn’t try to disarm me but rather was attempting to control me like he’d done to Harvey.
I didn’t feel anything.
This wasn’t surprising to me, but it was apparent that Tats found his lack of power disturbing at best.
“What the hell?” he rasped as he redoubled his grip, raised a determined eyebrow, and stared into my eyes.
“I don’t understand,” he said, confused. “Are you wearing some type of protection amulet or is there a spell on you?”
“No, dipshit,” I replied, slapping his arm away and shoving him back against the wall. “I’m an amalgamite. Your crazy mind-crap doesn’t work on me.”
“Look it up on the other side of life, pal,” I said, placing Boomy against his head.
His eyes grew frantic. “Wait, wait.”
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