An excerpt from my new Romantic SyFy story, now available in The Lone Star Collection (12 Texas Stories). All proceeds from the book support the Lonestar Lesfic Festival in Austin. If you buy the print book and bring it to the festival, I know a whole lot of authors who will sign it up good for you (including me).
A Lone StarBad ass. That was the first thought that came to Venn Jules’ mind as she looked over the Lone Starport’s new sheriff, Arnika Verne. The sheriff stood on the deck of the hovercraft, eyeing the vast sea below, with one hand on her trim neoskene-armor clad hip and the other wrapped around a laser-arc spear like she knew exactly how to use it in a hurry. Which was very comforting, given that Venn herself was too stymied by the Great Orange Kraken’s tentacles, and now also too fatigued from wrestling with it, to keep the kraken from chewing on either her or the Starport’s tidal stream generator.
Operating a new near-equatorial launch facility on the shores of Austin came with more risks to manage than the Governor and his cronies cared to admit; but at least that ass-hat and his merry troupe of brown-nosers had finally seen fit to grant Venn’s appeal to hire some protective muscle. Sexy muscle too.
“Looks like you’re an ass-crack away from becoming Kraken snack,” the sheriff said with a sultry grin. Her accent dripped of Nor-easterner, someone used to the cold horror of the Arclantic ocean, and thus she probably knew fuck-diddle about the warm terrors of Venn’s Gulf of Mexico operations. Venn’s hopes of salvation diminished. “No shit. Now shoot the bastard in his damn plate-sized eye.”
Black hair whipping in the wind, the sheriff sent an off-hand laser bolt into the Kraken’s beak just a foot shy of Venn’s head and then, in such quick succession that Venn never saw the sheriff move, fired two more bolts into the Kraken’s eyes. Venn dropped from the Kraken’s failing grasp into the ocean like a stone.
Luckily, she hit the muddy red waves feet first, but the velocity of her fall still sunk her a dozen meters. She knew her immediate-personnel-locator-tags likely tripped on two seconds after being submerged, but they wouldn’t do the sheriff any good toward dragging her out of the water is she didn’t break surface in a hurry--before any of the Kraken’s sisters sensed her presence and dragged her to the blackest deep. And it would be the Kraken’s sisters, Venn knew, because their males were mostly lame, much like the men of today’s United States of Oceania.Venn kept kicking hard, but nearly laughed underwater as the words of her cynical birth mother sprung to mind. Men were only good for three things: sperm, hysterics, and a whole lot of indignant insinuating that some ancient artifacts indicated they were really the dominant gender a thousand years ago. “Yeah, and I bet the water and sky were clear back then too,” Venn thought and added broad desperate breast-strokes to her efforts. She spotted what could only be the snout of a monstrous Great White shark speeding through the murky redness in front of her. Another murderous sister hard on her heels. Just great...