A set of naughty ubernaturals, a demon-powered mage, and wealthy amalgamite playboy who is far more than he seems.
Ian Dex is a genetically engineered man who has abilities from all classes in the spectrum. He's also the chief of the Las Vegas Paranormal Police Department (PPD). His job is to monitor all supernaturals and their involvement in the world of normals.
It's been a mostly boring gig, until now.
A new breed of supernaturals has turned up and they're a lot tougher to deal with than your run-of-the-mill vampires and werewolves. These are larger, tougher, and stronger...and they laugh at wood and silver bullets.
But fighting these ubernaturals only gets worse when the mage who created them arrives on the scene. He is bent on world domination, inflicting as much pain as possible, and walking around with his shirt open because he looks like a Chippendale's model. And to make things even more fun, he's using demons to give him an inexhaustible supply of power.
Join Ian and his crew as they fight werewolves, vampires, fae, demons, a succubus, and a mage while trying to stop Vegas from getting flipped on its head!
Release date: September 6, 2017
Publisher: Crimson Myth Press
Print pages: 206
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John P. Logsdon
There are plenty of things to do in Las Vegas on any given night, but chasing a rogue vampire through town doesn’t show up on any of the pamphlets. At least none that I’ve seen.
“Ian,” said Rachel Cress, my partner since joining the Las Vegas Paranormal Police Department, better known as the Las Vegas PPD, “tell me he’s at least done something truly nefarious.”
Her sapphire eyes glistened against her pale skin. Today’s hairstyle was blond with braids here and there. The look was perfect on the backdrop of her brown leather outfit. When she got her hands glowing with magical energy, it was all I could do to keep my libido in check. But I had to control myself. There was a time where Rachel and I were peers in the force. We were allowed to play with each other back then. Well, technically we weren’t, but we did anyway. Actually, pretty much everyone on the squad did because we were the only ones who truly understood what it was like being in the PPD. Five years ago, though, I was promoted to chief. When that happened, I swore off having relations with anyone on my crew because, well, it just wouldn’t be right. I still said inappropriate things… a lot, but everyone understood that was due to my genetic make up and so they let it slide. I was a horndog, plain and simple. Of course, so was everyone in the PPD. It was a side-effect of our genetic engineering.
“He bit a normal,” I replied while taking a turn toward the Bellagio.
“Any other normals witness it?”
“Nothing reported,” I answered.
“So he’ll get a couple years at the most,” Rachel said with a grunt.
I pulled over to the side of the road and took a look around.
There were plenty of normals walking about, laughing and generally having a good time. We lived among them, worked among them, and even vacationed among them. But whenever one of our kind flipped into full vampire or werewolf mode, the normals filtered it out. That filter was easily demolished by magical battles or a direct attack, much like the one done by the vampire we were hunting, but most of the time normals were oblivious.
Fortunately, we had a public relations firm built specifically to handle situations where supernaturals intruded. They were called The Spin, and their job was to make normals believe that these mystical situations were all part of the Vegas experience. Unfortunately, the regional owner of The Spin was one Paula Rose, an ex-girlfriend. What can I say? I have a thing for normals. Not that I don’t have a thing for supernaturals, but there’s something about normals that really got my engines revving. Rachel suggested it had something to do with their being less of a challenge. I found quite the opposite to be true.
I spotted Mr. Vampire seated on the ledge by the water feature, looking sated. Guilty, but satisfied.
“Cleared to move, Lydia?” I asked through the connector, a device all PPD officers had implanted to allow communication between home base and other officers.
“All set, baby,” she replied in her sweet, ultra-perfect voice.
“Thank you, love,” I replied, giving a wink to Rachel at the same time.
“You’re sick, you know that?”
I loved pressing Rachel’s buttons. “What?”
“What?” she mocked while strapping a knife to the outside of her boot. Rachel was the only mage I knew who resorted to weaponry if the magic failed. It made complete sense to me to have a backup, but most mages are a bit snobbish about things like that. “The rest of us get the pedantic drone of Lydia’s artificial intelligence. You get a phone-sex operator.”
I shook my head and snapped up a fresh magazine for my gun, making sure the contents were infused with wood fragments.
Some myths were true, after all.
Wood for the vampires and silver for the werewolves.
The bullets I had were called breakers. They’d been developed specifically for use by members of the PPD. Dastardly things, too. They exploded on impact, driving shards of your favorite monster-killing materials throughout your target in the process.
“Jealous much?” I said before opening the door.
She scoffed and rolled her eyes. “Yes, I’m jealous of a computer. When was the last time you got laid by something non-mechanical?”
“Is that what you said during it?” Then she pulled the handle and exited the car. I laughed and batted my eyelashes at her. “What’s the plan?”
I’m sure we both hoped the perpetrator would decide to fight. It’d been a while since we’d seen any real action.
It all depended on the kind of drunk we were dealing with. When a vampire breaks down and bites into a normal, they either get power-mad or they get laid back. It was a dice roll to know which one you’d get. Being that we were in Vegas, dice rolls were apropos.
“I’ll take left,” I said, jogging to the other side of the street so that Rachel and I could flank him.
The light was waning but I could see in near blackness. It was one of the many traits of an amalgamite.
Our vampire was seated in the little alcove near the center of the Bellagio’s water feature.
When vampires drank blood, it was like they’d downed quite a few shots of whiskey. They got plastered, and that meant they were either lovey, sulky, or power-hungry and violent. From the looks of our perp, I would have guessed he was a calm drunk. Or at least not a violent one. A single kill was rare for those seeking a power rush, after all. This guy appeared to be sulking.
“I’m clear,” I said through the connector, crossing the street a ways down and then cutting back, keeping my gun out but tucked by my side.
“Moving in,” Rachel replied through the connector.
The way she moved reminded me of a lioness. Lithe, smooth, and deadly.
Her hands glowed, signaling she was prepping for a light show.
Between her magic and my bullets, this poor vampire was a goner, assuming he didn’t surrender.
He only had two exits: bolt straight ahead or cut through the fountains.
Whatever his move, we’d catch him eventually.
We always did.
There was a time early on when the job had been a challenge, but Rachel and I had gotten so good that taking down your standard vampire or werewolf was almost mundane. A gang of them could be fun, but singles were just too damn easy.
“Don’t blow up everything,” I warned Rachel as I thought about how The Spin was already going to have to explain how this vampire sank his teeth into a normal. “The last thing I need is Paula on my ass about having to handle public relations on account of a magical battle outside of the Bellagio.”
“Says the guy who wants to start using a fifty-caliber Desert Eagle,” Rachel replied.
I grinned at the thought. “But I’m not using one, am I?”
Our vampire pal had clearly taken notice of us. He stood and began fidgeting.
“Get your hands up,” I called out before he made any decisions. He paused, giving me the opportunity to try the moderately-nice-cop routine. “Look, pal,” I said gently, “I don’t want to have to shoot you, but I will. And if I miss, that mage over there will wreak all sorts of havoc on your flesh in order to give me time to try again.”
He looked at Rachel, whose hands were bouncing little bolts of lightning back and forth between them. Then he turned back at me.
“Doesn’t have to go bad, buddy,” I said, keeping the gun pointed at his chest while continuing to close in. “You’re already in a world of hurt. Don’t bring any more normals into this and you’ll be out in no time.” I motioned with the gun. “Just put your hands up and I won’t unleash a bath of wood fragments throughout your body.”
His hands slowly went up as he gulped.
“I didn’t mean to do it,” he said desperately. “I just…”
“I’m sure you didn’t,” I replied, having heard the excuse a hundred times. “Chomping into a normal’s neck just happens sometimes. We’ve all been there.”
“You’ve done it, too?” he said, looking downright pathetic.
“Well, no,” I replied, relaxing slightly. “I’m not a vampire. I just meant that we’ve all screwed up at some point.”
“Idiot,” Rachel said.
I shot her a look, frowned, and said, “Get down on your knees.”
“Excuse me?” she replied, her head tilting my way.
“No, I meant for him to…” I coughed and then repeated my command directly at Mr. Vampire.
He slowly lowered himself down.
“Dammit,” Rachel hissed, clearly displeased over the fact that there’d be no firefight.
We were within a few feet of him when we noticed a look of instant terror on his face.
His eyes opened wide milliseconds before I heard a growl and felt a blow crush against my right shoulder.
The pain ripped through my body as I landed a good ten feet away.
My head buzzed and my vision was blurred. Whatever the hell just clobbered me had some major power.
directly at me.
I went to dive out of the way, but I was still a bit wobbly and so only managed to fall over.
This worked to my advantage since Fido, Rex, Spot, or whatever the hell his name was, had obviously expected me to side-step. He jumped where I was planning to dive and flew right past me.
“Dammit,” he growled as I fumbled for a mag of silver breakers.
There was no way I was going to get them snapped in place before he reached me, but he didn’t know that. I smacked the bottom of the gun and leveled it at him. The chamber was completely empty, so it was going to take a bit of acting to convince this guy.
He paused and squinted at me.
“Come on, big boy,” I said in as menacing a voice as possible. “I’m sure that silvers will cause you a bit more discomfort than woods.”
“You have no idea what you’re up against,” he said, glaring.
“Then why are you hesitating?”
That’s when a flash of light flew past me and smacked Fido on the side.
Rachel was back up and she was pissed. Fireballs were flying from her hands like it was her last hurrah.
Paula from The Spin was going to have a field day trying to explain this one to the masses.
The wolf howled as he bolted at me. I pulled the trigger multiple times before remembering there were no actual bullets in the chamber.
“Shit,” was all I could say before he knocked me on my ass, bringing with him a mass of flaming fur.
I was expecting the worst, but I looked up to see nothing but sky.
Rachel was screaming and firing at our new buddy as he dived into the water. The flames on his fur were quenched immediately as Rachel ran toward the ledge.
“Rachel,” I called out before she could leap in after him, “you’re not going to catch him that way.”
She stopped pre-dive and let out a frustrated cry as she fired off more magic than I’d ever seen. It was to the point where she looked like a glowing orb of pain and death.
I knew she was running on pur
“I’ll be fine.”
She took a step toward the car and nearly fell over.
“Yeah,” I said, catching her and dragging her to the rest of the way, “you look great. Just get in and rest. I’ll call for backup.”
Rachel was out the moment she hit the seat.
I knew she’d be pissed that she wasn’t part of the kill on this guy, but there was no point in her being on the scene in this condition. She’d just be a liability.
“Lydia,” I called through the connector, “we’ve got a big bad wolf at the Bellagio. He just shredded a vampire, knocked me and Rachel around like we were nothing, and then he took off across the water.”
“Oh my,” she replied. “Are you okay, sweetie?”
“A little cut up, but you know I heal quickly.”
“Good. I don’t know what I’d do without you, lover.”
Okay, so maybe it was a little weird for the PPD’s AI to consider me her lover.
I glanced down at my partner. “Rachel’s wiped out, but she’ll be okay.”
“That’s nice,” said Lydia with an edge. “I’m assuming you need backup?”
I cracked the windows and chirped the security system on the car before running around the far edge of the building.
My wounds were already healing and my head was almost fully cleared. One of the many nice things about being an amalgamite was having fast recovery. There was also the incredibly dense bone structure, base magical powers, supernatural strength, lightning-fast reflexes, the ability to lower my heart rate so I could keep my weapon leveled and steady, and countless other things. I wasn’t a vampire or a werewolf or a mage or any of the other multitudes of monsters that lived among the populace of the world. I was a combination of them all. It wasn’t like I was the top-of-the-line model of each, though. I had to use all my skills together to be effective. There were a few special abilities I possessed that I was aware of and, based upon the fact that I’d mostly stumbled upon those, I assumed I’d discover more.
Also, I was the only amalgamite in existence. Or, if there were more, nobody seemed to know about them.
Essentially, I was born defective… in a good way.
“Should have brought the car,” I said as I rounded the final corner and spotted the massive werewolf licking its wounds.
It looked up at the clacking of my shoes against the concrete. I really needed to start wearing sneakers or at least rubberize the bottom of my fancy footwear.
“Hands up, Fido,” I called out, raising my gun before remembering that I’d still not inserted the mag.
“Fido?” he said with a wince. “That’s insulting.”
I furrowed my brow, glancing past the sights of the gun.
That’s when I realized what I’d said aloud. Thinking such a thing was bad enough, but it was even worse to actually say it.
“You’re right,” I said apologetically while slowly moving forward. “Sorry about that. Just the heat of the moment and all, you know?”
“Whatever you say, Fang,” he shot back.
I stood up straight at that verbal slap.
“I’m not a vampire. Why does everyone think I’m a vampire?”
He sniffed the air. “What the hell are you, then?”
“Wait,” he said, blinking. “Are you telling me that I’m facing Ian Dex? The Ian Dex?”
I couldn’t help but feel a little pride at hearing my name spoken with such wonderment. I’d heard “Ian, Ian” many times over my years, and more than once I’d even been called “God,” but that was in an entirely different context.
“In the flesh,” I replied proudly.
His teeth showed and he began laughing. It was just a slow rumble at first, but then it turned into a full belly-laugh that was somewhat unnerving. Pretty soon he had his hands on his knees while his cackling continued.
“What?” I said, feeling suddenly confused.
It took him a few moments to gather himself, but then he looked around and tilted his head like a dog who had just heard a funny noise.
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