The Reptiles’ Blade is a science fiction novella about a retired military member, a lizardine warrior-come-“diplomat” and some high-level negotiation that very nearly goes astray before it even gets started.
When Felicity Shannara Jones is ordered by her command to infiltrate a criminal organization using humanitarian aid as a front, she isn’t sure she’s the right girl for the job, but then she finds Mika, second planetary adviser to humanity’s current foe, and she knows things just got serious. When Mika escapes custody, things go from serious to dire in one jet-propelled moment and Felicity, with her history in the lizardine war, finds herself in the firing line once more.
First Page: The Reptiles' Blade
Felicity Shannara Jones, Captain Jones to most who knew her, Felix to her friends, Jay to Manx Carlisle who followed her up the steps from the car.
“You could drop the uniform, you know,” he said. “After all, you don’t wear one anymore.”
“Can it, Carlisle.”
“And I know you’re pissed when you go formal on me.”
“You have no idea.”
Carlisle placed a hand on her forearm. It was just a touch, firm, a warning. Felix stopped half way up the stairs, let him partially block her path and catch her eye.
“Take a breath, Jay. They are the dumbest damned civilians we’ve yet come across, but they are holding all the cards.”
It took an effort, but Felix managed to halt the epithet before it crossed her tongue. This was what they paid him for. This was why she had kept him around, long after she had given most of her other PAs the can. Carlisle knew the playing field, and knew her well enough to warn her when she was letting too much of her inner self show—and, tonight, she had to present a cool, collected façade. The institute they were visiting was holding someone she dearly wanted to meet. If they caught a whiff of who she really was and what she was doing here, she’d be out on her ear before she could see him.
She laid a hand over the top of Carlisle’s fingers, acknowledging his assistance. Turning her head so she could meet his eyes, she took two deep breaths, careful to stay aware of her surroundings even as she lost herself in the color of his eyes. Blue and green swirled together to remind her of the oceans of Aquapearl.
Aquapearl. Not all of her memories of that distant world were so peaceful. In fact, most of them were highly disturbing. She had been a killer then, worn a uniform, led a squad against one of the most cunning and adept enemies humanity had ever had the misfortune of irritating. Attempting to claim someone else’s planet tended to have that effect on the inhabitants. The oceans, though.
She had been given time to heal beside one, and had learned to associate the uniquely colored water with security—and then they had whisked her out of the war zone and slotted her with an advisory position. It was too dangerous to send her back to fight; she’d draw too much attention to any unit to which she was attached.Felix had learned a lot about the politics behind the conflict, since then, was active in trying to find a way to peace that would let both sides retire with grace. Or, at least, with their economies intact. The lizardine warrior being held was probably the emissary they had been waiting for, and that was going to put a big hole in their hopes for an equitable ending.
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