Want to win a copy of either Just My Luck or The Warlord’s Comeuppance? Answer one simple question. Who thinks she’s a master swordsman? Leave the answer in the comment field with a email address.
One second I was in the blood-splattered corridor, and the next I was sprawled across an icy-cold transporter platform. My sucky luck continued its winning streak. Scrambling to my feet, I quickly tucked my pistol out of sight.
A tall, stick-thin woman wearing a pointy metal hat and a bronze breastplate over a screaming scarlet battle suit stood at the controls. She surveyed me as if I were dog poop she had accidentally stepped in.
Was it Halloween already? Her makeup did rival the Joker’s. Or was she some kind of Genghis Khan wannabe? “Who the hell are you?”
Her tone one of contempt, she spat, “Lilkee. Bow down to me, you filthy little primitive.”
“Bow-chicka-wow-wow, aren’t you special. And what’s up that hat?”
“Silence! You dare to mock me?”
“Ah. Yeah. All I see is a skinny bitch with an attitude who is in serious need of a makeover and a good moisturizer.”
Her mouth working like a stranded guppy’s, Lilkee gaped at me for a moment, then bawled, “I am a Coletti princess, and no one speaks to me in such a manner. Now bow down to me.”
“Ain’t happening, princess.” I quickly sifted through Voss’s memories. Damn. The bitch was Malik’s nutcase of a sister. Which meant she was either here to mount a rescue or capture me. So not happening.
I frowned as the memories of her battling Detja in a sword fight flashed through my mind. Lilkee was obsessed with cleansing the Coletti bloodline of all the tainted hybrids. Like Kaylee, Detja, and me.
“You will regret your insolence. I am a mighty Coletti warrior, and I will destroy your feeble mind,” Lilkee snarled.
“Delusional much?” Her power was minuscule. Even Jasmine the whore could take her.
She drew herself up proudly. “My powers exceed Zarek’s, and soon you will be begging for mercy.”
“Did you forget to take your meds today, princess?”
With a screech of fury, Lilkee attacked.
A tickling sensation crawled over my shields. I had this weird urge to giggle hysterically. “Oh for God’s sake, give it a rest.”
Lilkee blinked in disbelief. “Why aren’t you screaming?”
“It’s like this, princess. You. Have. No. Power. You’ll never be Zarek’s equal. Whoever told you that was lying to you. Big time.”
“Malik would never lie to me.”
“He’s a bad guy, and bad guys lie all the time, sweetie.”
“You are trying to trick me. Malik needs me. We are going to restore the Coletti Empire to what it once was.”
I rubbed my aching forehead. “Of course you are. Why don’t we just cut to the chase? Why did you bring me up here?”
“To stop you from breeding more filthy hybrids.”
“Uh-huh. Were you aware that Malik wants to use me to breed more of those filthy hybrids?”
“No! He would never do that. I’m his breeding partner. The babies we make together will be genetically pure.”
Revulsion swirled through me. “You’re humping your brother?”
“We do what we must to survive.”
“How’s that working out for you?”
Pain flashed through Lilkee’s eyes. “It has been difficult.”
“Then stop. Incest is wrong on so many levels.”
Lilkee paced around and around the transporter console. “Malik says I’m his only hope to keep the bloodline pure. I will do as he commands.”
“You’re not real bright, are you?”
Infuriated, she stomped her foot. “How dare you insult me? You are nothing but ass dung. Soon your pathetic planet will be wiped from existence.”
“Aw, now you’ve done gone and hurt my feelings. Just so you know, princess, the only one being wiped from existence is Malik.”
“My brother is too powerful to be defeated. We will rule this galaxy, and the Coletti Empire will be as it once was.”
“Never gonna happen. Your brother is a dead man, but if you beg nicely, your daddy might let you live.”
“A Coletti does not beg. We strike!” Lilkee hissed like a demented cat and pulled a jewel-encrusted sword. She pointed it at me. “I will cut your still-beating heart from your chest and send it to Voss.”
“How original,” I said, watching in disbelief as she broke into a funky-chicken belly dance while swinging the sword wildly around her body.
“You are in awe of my skill,” Lilkee crowed.
“‘Awe’ is not quite the word I’d use.”
“I’m a master swordswoman,” Lilkee exclaimed, then leaped into the air and spun the sword around her head.
I eyed the pieces of her hair falling to the floor. Now I knew why she wore that stupid hat. Her scalp probably resembled a cat’s with a bad case of the mange. “I have to admit your swordplay is quite unique.”
“Malik finds my dancing sword erotic.”
“Erotic?” Another chunk of Lilkee’s hair fell to the floor. “Imagine that. How drunk does he have to be to touch you?”
Fury ignited in her eyes, and with a rather squeaky war cry, Lilkee ran toward me. “Prepare to die, you filthy hybrid.”
I sidestepped her charge and, with a leg sweep, knocked her off her feet. She crashed face-first into the wall.
Grabbing her gushing nose, Lilkee wailed, “You broke my nose!”
“Boo hoo.” I picked up her sword.
The doors swished open, and in walked two Tai-Kok warriors. They gave a surprised honk and went for their pistols.
I was faster. They vaporized nicely, leaving behind two thick piles of oily ashes on the floor.
“You killed them,” Lilkee cried in disbelief.
“It’s what I do to monsters. Are you a monster?”
Her voice quivering with fear, Lilkee gasped, “Harm me, and my father will kill you.”
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t you try to kill Talree, his son, and Detja, his mate?”
“They are a pestilence infecting our people. They must be wiped from existence.”
“All that attitude is going to get you is dead. Zarek doesn’t handle betrayal well.”
“He betrayed us,” Lilkee spat.
“And how do you figure that?”
“Malik is Zarek’s rightful heir, not Talree.”
Good God, was she for real? “Talree’s power exceeds Malik’s by quite a bit, but your brother was too much of a coward to challenge him properly.”
“He is not a coward!”
“Then why didn’t he face Talree or Zarek in combat like a true warrior?”
“He couldn’t. They would have killed him.”
“Ding. Ding. Malik knew he would lose a fair fight. So like any coward he attacked from behind and allied himself with the butchers of the universe.”
“They are helping him exterminate our enemies.”
“He allows the Tai-Kok and Rodan to eat children. How can you condone that?”
“They are the vermin’s spawn,” Lilkee retorted without an ounce of remorse.
Images of the slaughtered children tumbled into my mind, and a cold fury shook me. I put my pistol to her forehead. “One more word, and I will blow your fucking head off.”
Lilkee stared at me in stunned disbelief. “You wouldn’t dare. I am a Coletti princess. It is forbidden.”
The need to kill the skinny little whore was overwhelming. “Try me.”
Dropping her gaze, Lilkee shook like a terrified Chihuahua.
Sucking in a deep breath I fought for control and took a step back. There was no way this freaky bitch could be Zarek’s daughter. Her mother had some explaining to do. Oh wait, she was dead. If the Overlord was smart, he’d get Lilkee’s DNA checked.
The sooner I turned Lilkee over to Zarek, the happier I would be. Dropping my shields, I quickly scanned the ship. Well, wasn’t that hunky-dory. They had a cloaking device, and the cocky bastards were sitting right under the nose of the Alliance warship.
Lilkee suddenly jumped to her feet and ran for the control console. Before I could stop her, she hit a button and the alarm sounded.
“Now you die most painfully,” she crowed in triumph.
“God, you’re such a pain in the ass.” I stunned her.
The skinny bitch crumpled to the floor and twitched spasmodically.