Title: Ordnance (The Fixer #1)
Author: Andrew Vaillencourt
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: March 24th, 2017
Pages: 351 pages
ISBN: 1544916388 (ISBN13: 9781544916385)
Roland Tankowicz wasn’t even legally a person anymore.
The aging cyborg had never really recovered from being betrayed and enslaved by his superiors in the Army, and the final insult of being permanently classified as “defunct military ordnance” had been a bitter pill to swallow. Now, he spent most of his time drinking beer and working as a fixer for the crime families in 25th-century Boston. It was easy money if you were the kind of guy who was bullet-proof and could pick up a house.
But then Lucia Ribiero stumbled into his favorite watering hole dragging a squad of bounty hunters behind her. Shadows from his own dark past, and old debts still unpaid conspired to drive the old war-horse out for one more mission. Like any good soldier, the mission is all that matters for Roland.
Linked by a shared connection to her kidnapped father, the duo will face veritable armies of criminals, mutants, cyborgs, and corporate executives as they search for the missing man. The secrets of the Ribiero family take center stage as they approach the center of the labyrinth, and Lucia’s mental and physical issues present an even deeper mystery than her father’s disappearance.
Roland will have to face the horror of his past one more time, and Lucia will need to get a grip on her future if they expect to survive a running battle with an entire galaxy’s worth of mad science gone awry; and ultimately prevent a terrible history from repeating itself.
New Boston was the home of the largest collection of spaceports and docking platforms in the northern hemisphere and boasted a population of thirty-one million souls. A few short centuries ago it had been a dirty mill town filled with red brick manufacturing facilities and the choking black soot of a Dickensian dystopia. She could still be a loud, dirty, cantankerous old lady of a city if you went to the right places, but for now, New Boston was a shining, towering metropolis.
The whole planet envied her city as a global center for trade and culture.
Right now, to her mounting unease, all that shining grandeur was lost on Lucia. The city now seemed a tepid jungle full of millions of potential evils waiting to entrap her. She put it out of her mind as best she could. It wasn’t much help to think about it.
Lucia understood her city and her place in it all. She knew that Dockside wasn’t where she was supposed to be, but it was where she had to go. So, it was with very real trepidation and no small discomfort that she hailed a cab and hopped in to take the long ride over the container tram lines into the seediest and most dangerous area in the whole sprawling megalopolis. The cabbie knew it too, but was too polite to say anything.
Lucia had her second bout of panic when the cab driver stopped the car four blocks away from “The Smoking Wreck” and told her that he could go no further. Only cabs that were paid up with the local crime syndicates were allowed to operate in the Dockside district, and her guy was behind on his dues. She would have to walk the last mile, and hope that the local criminal element was not interested in well-dressed urbanite ladies walking down dark alleys at night in the bad part of town.
It turns out that this was a silly thing to hope for. When she felt the two men settle in behind her as she walked, she knew deep down in her lizard brain that they intended to rob her… or worse. It just wasn’t fair! She was scared, worried about her father, confused, and she could feel a migraine coming on. Now two assholes were going to jump her for the seventy-one creds left in her purse. She quickened her pace to try to put some distance between herself and the two men behind her, but that only hastened the outcome.
Those two men behind her, affectionately known among the folks in Dockside as “Mooch” and “Poco” were professional-level losers. They had never met a get-rich-quick scheme they didn’t like, and they were prone to bouts of intense physical violence whenever the mood (or the drugs) came upon them, I always knew they were going to end up in one of the drug and DUI alcohol rehab centers in San Diego. They were street-level opportunists with a moral compass that never pointed north. The sight of an uptown girl with expensive boots and a purse that just had to be stuffed with creds was just too appealing to the two young men. Especially since the word was already trickling down about a certain short-haired rich bitch that might be worth some serious creds to the right people. They had no clue at all if this was the right girl, but either way, they were going to have some fun tonight.
They fell in behind her to see if she would turn onto a less-used side street or even an alleyway so they could make their move in private. When she sped up, they knew they were caught. All thoughts of strategy went out the window at that point, which did not change the results by as much as one might think. The duo were not high-level strategic thinkers on their best days; and today wasn’t even close to their best. They simply ran and clutched at the fleeing woman.
Lucia, now fully panicking, experienced the strangest sensation when Mooch and Poco started to grab her: Everything slowed down. A lot, really, when she thought about it. The closer their hands got, the slower they seemed to move. The headlong charge looked more like an underwater ballet as the two men hurtled toward her, arms outstretched and fingers reaching. All the terrified woman saw was the languid loping of a pair of drunkards.
Her own reaction was slower than she expected as well, but it was light-years ahead of the two thugs. Her right hand, clutched tight in a balled fist, came under the first one’s arm and arced cleanly up to the chin and made solid contact. Poco’s jaw clicked shut hard enough to break teeth. His head snapped up and back in an abrupt u-turn and a stream of blood and tooth fragments began a torpid parabola from his broken mouth.
Mooch registered none of this as his own clumsy fingers closed on the empty air where his erstwhile quarry had just been. He saw Poco’s misfortune in passing, but he could not alter his own trajectory in time to do anything about it.
As soon as he had control of his momentum, Mooch spun to take another swipe at the small-yet-slippery girl. He got his bearings on her just in time to catch a savage kick to the groin. It was the first time in two years a woman had touched him there, and sadly, the previous contact had also been a soccer-kick to his tender bits. His knees buckled immediately as fireworks of pain danced on his retinas.
Lucia was already turning back to Poco, who was still holding his leaking face. His eyes grew wide for a moment as they caught the image of a small, well-dressed woman streaking towards him. He never even saw the ferocious whipping trajectory of her tiny, bony elbow as it traced a horizontal path to, into, and through his left cheekbone. Poco checked out of reality at that moment and took a nap on the street, blood and dignity oozing pathetically from his ruined face.
My myself have not read this book yet but seeing the synopsis and excerpt, I should give this one a go. It matches with one my favorite genres which is science fiction. It also has a dystopian setting. One that catch my eyes is its cover. It seems dark but very futuristic. I like it. You should give it a try. If you need more information, you can see the blog tour from my other friends (as picture below).
All and all, this is my honest opinion only. Every person may have a different perception and taste. Maybe you have different opinions. If you would like to share feel free to leave your comment below. 🙂