Genre: Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 111,750
Word Count: 111,750
On the run from a parasitic shadow greedy for her body, the Gaihe returns to her birth planet, a dead world abandoned long ago by her race. The shadow will follow. The Gaihe is prepared to face him until she discovers life on her forsaken planet, but it’s not of her kind. Earth is crowded by a weak, lookalike race of humans.
Welcome to Arch Angeles, a domed city-state in Death Valley. Lost amid the glittering city towers, the Gaihe is confused by humans. While some support the Order governing Arch Angeles, others riot for free trade. Caught in one of their riots, the Gaihe sees the worst of humankind, and the best in Allius 5, the marshal tri-squad of Cedric Bronx Jr., Warren Meyers, and Deva Wilder. As men of the law, their job is to serve and protect, but the Gaihe will have to save them all from the shadow who can infect any human in the city, even her new allies.
The Gaihe has only one prayer: Don’t let anything happen to Warren. In the year 2316, Earth’s first alien encounter starts with a kiss and ends with a battle for survival. HOLLOW REALM is set in a post-apocalyptic universe where the Gaihe’s love will ruin the lives of Allius 5. One doesn’t mind. One will sacrifice his career. One will betray them all.
Blind and with protective gear covering her entire head, a child squats on the rundown shoulders of a stone wall. Up high on the mountain, wind is thin and cuts by. The child shivers in her rags and slouches, forehead hanging over her knees. She can’t help it. The gear weighs her down.
It doesn’t stop her from hopping to the next wall. Running start, leap, land--she crosses over thousands of walls, cheating the mountainside’s stone maze.
From her neck, covering her face, reaching over and attaching to her nape, the gear is a grid of ab-metal, sticking to her as if a metallic plant has swallowed her head whole. Designed from alloys and cellular tissue, in a charming purple color, the gear lives to sense her surroundings.
Technically, the child isn’t blind. There’s nothing wrong with her eyes. She’s only forbidden to use them in the way children are forbidden to play with sharp instruments.
The stone walls are nothing special to look at anyway. Slashes and holes have eroded deep. Once, these stone defenses were considered a modern marvel. Now the crumbled ramparts and stockades are haggard as old military officers intent on holding their positions while they doze and fall to pieces.
Another shiver. She wishes for her cloak, tattered as a sea-blown sail. At least it’s thick. She should’ve taken it before she left camp. It wasn’t where she left it. The child didn’t have time to search. She raced to the mountain.