Today we’ve got an excerpt of Asteroids Made of Dragons by G. Derek Adams. Asteroids Made of Dragons is an Inkshares project, which means that authors pitch a book, readers pre-order, then once the preorder threshold is met, Inkshares offers a full service publishing experience. You can read more about Inkshares at their website.
Asteroids Made of Dragons is one of the top five books in Inkshares’ Sword and Laser Collection contest, and every week throughout the contest, Inkshares will post chapters from the works that catch their eye. Enjoy this excerpt of Asteroids Made of Dragons, and be sure to support the project if you like what you read!
Here’s what Asteroids Made of Dragons is about (via Inkshares): “Not your average apocalypse — too bad Our Heroes don’t even know it’s coming.”
Read on for the excerpt!
Rime exploded through the roof sending a geyser of marble tiles spinning off through the air. The heat from her blue nimbus melted and seared each piece of marble rendering them absolutely useless for any future repair.
The blue fire bit into the tiles with ravenous heat. Rime was held aloft by a blooming flower of her magic, already swivelling to look down the gaping hole in the bank’s roof. She had a large sack in her hands and her face was covered with chocolate and a rainbow of tiny candy dots. Her eyes blazed a pure white, searing the confection around the orbs a crisp black. From between clenched teeth a furious stream of end-to-end curses hissed a litany of hate.
“Not the plan. Not the plan. Not the fucking plan,” the wild mage spat.
As if to punctuate her wrath, two massive hands made of lacquered oak appeared at the hole behind her and clamped onto the melting tiles. The first few feet ripped away feebly in the golem’s claws, but at last it found enough structure to bear its considerable weight. Rime soared to the western edge of the roof, blue fire keeping her feet inches above the tiles. She flew backwards, keeping her eyes on the golem’s bulk.
It was a simple design, bipedal. Green crystal eyes deep set into its wooden face, the symbol of a crashing wave on its forehead in brass, the letters STC just above; Rime had only passing knowledge of these constructs’ manufacture and design, but she was quickly learning how devastating a theft deterrent they could be. As the golem at last stood on the bank’s roof and clenched its fists in mechanical pride, she gave a faint mental salute to whoever had built this savage block of wood.
The gigantic cannon in its chest was just excessive, however.
Rime ignored the growing exhaustion in her limbs and the vibration in her vision and took stock. She had the gold in hand… It was her gold, deposited some weeks ago. The irony of stealing her own money was irrelevant to her current predicament, so she flicked it aside. Far more germane was the iron cannon ball that the golem pulled from a slot in its hip and began to insert into the barrel protruding from its chest. She made her mind go faster. Her magic was burning, hungry and fast – maybe thirty ticks of the clock before she lost consciousness. The bank sat in the middle of a wide plaza. The closest golem-less roofs were hundreds of feet away – she could fly there before blacking out, but there was no way to guarantee the bank’s defender couldn’t follow – or hit her with a well-placed cannon shot. It had bounded across the vault’s polished metal floor with startling speed, too risky to leave it operable. She would need to destroy it before making her escape. Absently, she jammed the sack of gold into the waistband of her pants.
A distant shout came from the streets below. Rime rolled her blazing white eyes. That meant she would need to trust in her guardian. Never a welcome part of any strategy.
“…ime? Rime! What’s going onnnnn?” the voice came from the plaza beneath her.
Four ticks of the clock. The golem was bracing itself to fire, small pitons on its feet digging into the tile roof. Rime sighed. The construct had surprised her and she had pulled far too much magic in alarm, hurling herself through the roof. Stupid. Wasteful. Dangerous. I don’t have time to dance with this thing. She pointed a finger towards the open plaza below and drew a circle on the ground in heatless flame. As a quick afterthought, she put a block letter ‘J’ with a blinking arrow right above it. Even he should figure that out, right? It was easily forty feet to the blackstone streets, a fall would kill her. She would just have to trust her guardian to figure it out.
The golem’s cannon fired.
Rime clenched both hands until her power burned white. The ball of iron and flame seemed to slow. She was the master of the Magic Wild and all she could see was a toy that needed breaking. Her laughter came quick as she flew to meet her foe.
The golem was fuzzy, indistinct, already loading another shot; Rime’s focus was on the cannon ball. It would be easy enough to avoid it entirely. The mage didn’t bother. She punched the ball with all the might her magic could generate. The lump of hot metal reversed course, fast as a flicked peapod. Rime burned her magic to go even faster, a frenetic arc to arrive before the first cannon ball –just as the second cannon ball spewed forth from the golem’s chest. She didn’t know if the golem had been designed to show surprise, but the glint in its crystalline green eyes was in the neighborhood of aghast.
Rime laughed and placed herself parallel to the imminent collision of the two cannon balls. A spike of pain circumnavigated her head, but she ignored it. She spread her small hands wide, wrapped in bright power, and smacked the two colliding lumps of iron together. Her magic reached into the kinetic frenzy of colliding metal and bent and twisted it to the image in her mind’s eye. Before the golem’s (perhaps) startled gaze she formed the metal and fire and magic into a grotesque sledgehammer. The weapon seemed to grimace, dark iron burning red in the fires of its birth.
Rime grunted, wrapping her small hands around her creation’s haft. It was a waste of time, the edges of her vision were already getting dim. She should have just dodged the cannon balls and eviscerated the golem with surgical fire. But there was style to be considered. And the way the Magic Wild sang in her veins: werewolf-golden howl of power. Why can’t it be this all the time? Why can’t it be always this?
The hammer came down, crushing the golem’s head. A similar echo of nausea pealed inside her head. Rime ripped the dark sledge free and brought it down again and again, shards of wood and enchanted brass flying. Not much time left. Need to finish. In three heartbeats the hammer came down a dozen times. Rime took a ragged breath, a trickle of blood making its way from her left nostril down across her lips. The mage blazed away towards the edge of the roof, allowing herself one heartbeat to turn back and watch the golem topple and fall. As a parting gesture she squeezed the sledgehammer until it disintegrated into hundreds of burning iron pellets. They fell on the roof like rain, pitting and warping every moss-green tile they touched. The white flame of her magic began to dim, turning light blue and growing ever darker as it faded. She bobbed in place, her magic guttering like a torch in the wind. Wasting no more time, she stepped off the edge of the roof and sailed towards the glowing target she had drawn for her companion.
He was twenty feet from the target. Of course he is. Rime sighed.