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The Gods' Own
by Alexis Cunningham

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!"

Chapter 1
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...

Chapter 2

‘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 lo...

Chapter 3
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.


Chapter 4

‘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 ...

Chapter 5
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.


Chapter 6
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.


Chapter 7
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 th...

Chapter 8

‘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 fi...

Chapter 9
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.


Chapter 10
Night Strolling

‘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 ...

Chapter 11
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 ...

Chapter 12
The Snacks

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 o...

Chapter 13
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. ...

Chapter 14
Homeward Bound

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 str...

Chapter 15
Home Truths

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 ...

Chapter 16
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 a...

Chapter 17
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 s...

Chapter 18
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...

Chapter 19
Scion Junction

‘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 he...

Chapter 20
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 n...

Chapter 21
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 flo...

Chapter 22
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 a...

Chapter 23
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...

Chapter 24
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 Y...

Chapter 25
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 vi...

Chapter 26
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 sti...

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