Street conjuror Yasha Alukov wants only one thing, to get even with the rival who put him in prison but when he's released he discovers Djisi City's magical underworld overrun by demigods--and all of them want a piece of him. "Sounds interesting!"
Preach on, My Brother
‘Remember my brothers, we are the gods own chosen soldiers,’ Preacher hollered, arms raised toward the cafeteria roof. ‘For we have been granted great gifts that we might use them for their glory—‘
‘Get off the Pit damn tabl...
‘Sorry to keep you.’
A flustered young man with a head of cinnamon curls and a prominent cleft chin and a long aquiline nose hurried into the room. He wore a blue striped white shirt with a high Kitviker button collar and his wide blue tie loose a...
The Lay of the Land
Processing took the rest of the afternoon. The screws dragged things out deliberately in places and were simply incompetent in others. Yasha bore the wait with equanimity. He was getting out and in hours he’d be back in Djisi.
‘Where to?’ Ludo asked as they hit traffic on the way through the city’s south gate. Two miniature pylons stood on each side of the gate, each emitted a cheerful green-blue light, flaring like a camera flash as each vehicle passed through the barri...
Enter the Vanguard
Krystof arrived back in the city around lunch time. He flashed his credentials at the Raderi checkpoint and made his way to the Cave, otherwise known as Vanguard headquarters in the northern Rodniya suburb of the city.
Holes in Empty Air
Ludo stopped the car at the curb in front of a derelict building site. A broken retaining wall, rubble and a skeletal framework of metal beams was all that remained of whatever building had once stood on this spot.
The Butterfly Club
Reunited with Mati, Yasha felt rejuvenated. He dropped into the passenger seat and grinned at Ludo in the driver’s seat.
Ludo rolled his eyes and started the engine. ‘Go all right then, did it?’ he asked drily.
Yasha hummed in the aff...
‘Sit,’ Mladin gestured expansively to the low couch set against the back wall. The couch was black, like every other damn thing in the room. Yasha was really beginning to get sick of the depressive aesthetics.
‘Do you need a torch to find th...
The Mad Grenadier
‘What in the Pit…‘ Mladin leapt to his feet, an ugly scowl twisting his features. He snapped his fingers and a host of butterflies gathered around his head, forming a protective halo.
‘She really said that? She told you she loved me?’
‘Yes,’ Yasha paused on the street corner, shooting Ludo a look. ‘She really said it. Do you have to keep repeating it?’
Ludo ignored his tone. His friend was a grey ...
A Meeting of Scions
Phantasma smoke hung heavy in the air and soot grimed the surfaces of the tables and booths filling the Butterfly’s barroom. Krystof hung back loitering by the beaded curtains, just inside the room.
A little over ninety minutes ago he’d been in th...
Yasha stared down at his green jacket. The jacket with the sheep wool trim, the jacket with the multitude of incredibly useful pockets. The jacket he’d purchased during his first week in Djisi three years ago and cherished ever since. In the harsh light of the...
The worth of an Old Coat
Yasha watched the grey go, seeping back where they came from, before taking a deep cleansing breath and letting his figurative hackles drop. On his arm Mati folded her wings and rearranged her footing, raising one foot and then another in a disgruntled fidget. <...
Yasha left the Snacks wondering if he’d learned anything valuable at all. All he seemed to be doing was cultivating an ever-multiplying number of questions.
What he did know was that by accident or design almost everyone he’d known on the streets ...
Yasha dropped onto the balcony in a three point landing, his left arm thrown out behind him for balance. Brushing off his borrowed trousers and tunic, careful to make sure the creases fell out of the soft cotton and the gold thread etched hem hung level, Yasha stood...
One Man's Foolishness
Yasha stared at her in horror. ‘You think this is my fault. You think Annika and Torbin died because of me.’
‘No,’ Vee shook her head hard enough to set spectral locks of hair swirling through the air. ‘No,’ she said again ...
A Truth Revealed is a Truth Ignored
Mati merged with him just as the implosion of anima absorbed them, which was an interesting experience. The anima deposited him on the street and Yasha rubbed his left arm to rid himself of the tingle of magic. Mati’s feathers spread under his skin from should...
Guided by Seraphim
‘I’m sorry Acolyte,’ Krystof said over the phone, hoping none of his impatience fed into his voice, ‘I can’t take any home visits right now. I’m waiting for my parolee. Yes,’ he sighed deeply, ‘I know but it’s only be twenty minutes. I h...
‘Krackzy Station; alight here for stations on the east line and Antollia International Rail Station. Stand back from the doors and mind the gap.’
Yasha lifted his head fr...
The Mad Grenadier's Daughter
Yasha kicked back with his legs, scooting across the floor until he was under the kiosk desk. The shutter was down, sealing the small room. His savior slammed the door shut and shot under the desk with him. Her fingers threaded with his, her grip tight; blunt nails ...
A Meeting of Scions: Redux
Dima and Krystof struggled through the stream of escaping commuters and ran down the stairs to sealed station gate. Mladin’s gauntlets glowed as he summoned a fraction of his power and the sealed gate buckled like wet paper creating an opening. Dismay flooded ...
The Family Progasch
‘Papa, it’s me, open up.’ Esfida hammered on her blue front door. Yasha stood on the path, looking up and down the street. There was a lot of activity. Residents returning home early from work in a flurry of panic, the distant wail of sirens and th...
What Leo Knew
1st Kekel 6039
Another year dawns and I can’t keep on like this. Pretending. The entire world might be blind but I’m not and I’m sick of pretending otherwise. I see them everywhere. The dead, or whatever they are. I see their red eyes in my dreams. Sometimes they see ...
The Truth About Matriev Pt. 1
Two hours after the attack on Krackzy Street station, Krystof stood in the small observation room connected to one of two warded interrogation rooms in the Horvach District constabulary headquarters. Beyond the large panel of one-way glass he could see Mladin Yarasl...
The Truth About Matriev Pt. 2
‘How did Matriev plan to rescue Sabron?’
Krystof had always wondered about the specifics, although he’d lacked the courage to ask before. Commander Vhorki had told him Matriev had been expelled from the Order because he held extremist views a...
The Final Piece of the Puzzle
Birds sang to each other in the trees as Yasha strode quickly along the street, the early morning chorus audible because the city was still ghostly quiet. The curfew had lifted half an hour earlier but people were slow to leave their houses while the pylons still hu...