#BlogTour #Extract : The Guardian by J.D. Moyer @johndavidmoyer @FlameTreePress #RandomThingsTours

Today I’m taking part in this blog tour with an extract from the book. Many thanks for Random Things Tours for having me on this tour.

The Guardian BT Poster


Blurb:  The Guardian, the sequel to the The Sky Woman, is astory of colliding worlds and the contested repopulation of a wild Earth. Tem really struggles as the only brown-skinned child in the village. His mother Car-En decides that the family should spend some time on the Stanford ringstation, but Tem gets caught up in the battle against Umana, the tentacle-enhanced ‘Squid Woman’, while protecting a secret that could change the course of civilization.

The Guardian Cover


Lydia and Shane hid in the spruce forest about ninety meters back from the bonfire, watching through infrared binoculars. Three of the insect drones, much closer to the fire, were sending them visual feeds.

            Alexi Rosen was dead, murdered in a gruesome ritual. He’d been stripped and tied facedown to a wooden cross, his back ribs gaping open on each side of his spine. His lungs, pulled through the open wounds, hung limply alongside his ribcage.

            A few drunken men still loitered about the clearing, but most had dispersed. One of the long wooden tables had been overturned. A mangy dog sniffed at the scraps.

            How long had Rosen suffered? It was impossible to know. His bioskin had stopped transmitting data twenty minutes after the message from Xenus and Adrian. He’d been dead when they’d arrived. Lydia could only hope he hadn’t suffered for long.

            “Look,” said Shane. Three old women approached Rosen. They untied him from the cross and covered his body with a swath of burlap, handling his heavy corpse easily. Once he was wrapped they carried him away. The dog trotted after them.

            Lydia checked the bioskin telemetry from Aaron De Laurentiis, Rosen’s research partner. The other researcher was still alive. His vitals signs – adrenaline, heart rate, and blood pressure – were all dangerously elevated. She called up a top-down display in her m’eye; De Laurentiis’s location showed as a blue dot. He was only one-hundred-twenty meters away, just west of the clearing.

            She lowered the binoculars and turned to Shane. He pointed toward De Laurentiis’s position. “I’m sending in the drones now.”

            “Patch me in.”

            The drone feeds appeared in her m’eye. The insectile robots were closing in on a sturdy wooden structure with no windows, guarded by two men holding heavy spears. Three meters and closing. One meter. Abruptly the view went dark – the tiny drones were squeezing in through cracks in the wood. Moments later the visual feed returned: two figures, a man and a woman, both bound hand and foot, a reflective glint of silver from the man’s uniform.

            “The bioskin – that’s him,” she whispered. “What should we do?” Shane didn’t answer. Lifting the binoculars again, she surveyed the clearing. The bonfire was dying. The remaining men had either left or fallen asleep in the tall grass.

            “The woman…who is she?” Shane asked.

            Lydia refocused on her m’eye. The bound woman was asleep on her side, turned away from the drones (the insect-bots were now perched on the wall, perfectly still). “I don’t know, but I’m guessing she’s in trouble. Maybe she stole something, or slept with the wrong person.”

            “I thought these villagers didn’t care much about infidelity,” Shane said.

            “I don’t think it’s a crime punishable by death, but someone might have gotten jealous.”

            Shane grunted. “If she’s locked up with De Laurentiis, it’s serious. I’m guessing tomorrow night there’s going to be another ritual.”

            “So you think we’re safe for the night?”

            Shane shook his head. “We’re nothing like safe. We’re going to end this now and get out of here.”

            They pulled the close-fitting bioskin hoods over their heads. The skins color-shifted as they moved; with the camouflage and the darkness they were nearly invisible. Shane carried his dart rifle; Lydia held her disruptor in her right hand and a utility knife in her left. She followed closely behind Shane, crouched low and moving quietly just as he had instructed.

            Shane moved quickly, staying in the cover of the trees until the last possible moment. Lydia checked the time in her m’eye: 2300 hours. Not that late, but most of Kaldbrek had gone to bed. They passed the bonfire undetected, closing in on the wooden structure where De Laurentiis was held captive. She could see the guards now with her own eyes. Shane knelt and aimed his dart rifle. It was a long shot – over fifty meters. One of the guards crumpled. The other straightened up, looked around, then lowered his spear in their direction.

            “Quick,” whispered Lydia, “before he alerts the others.” Shane aimed carefully, taking his time. The remaining guard shouldn’t have been able to see them at this distance, not in the dark, not with their camouflaged bioskins, but he was moving toward them. No, he was sprinting  toward them, pulling back his shoulder to hurl his spear.

            Shane fired. The guard kept running for a few seconds before his grip slackened. He dropped the spear and crouched, hands on knees, breathing heavily. He stood, drew a knife from his belt, and staggered toward them.

            Shane swore under his breath, then leapt to his feet and ran toward the guard. At ten meters he fired his neural disruptor. The guard collapsed. Shane stood over the body, pointing the disruptor, until he was sure the man was down. Shane waved Lydia over and she joined him, heart pounding against her sternum.

            The guard was still alive – that much she could see with her infrared. He’d wake within the hour, or much sooner if he was resistant to the dart sedative. “Let’s move,” she said. Shane was already entering the windowless wooden structure. She followed cautiously, disruptor raised. Shane was sawing away at De Laurentiis’s bindings.

            “Help,” croaked Aaron De Laurentiis. Thin to begin with, he now looked emaciated. But he was alive. The bioskin had told them as much, but she felt a flood of relief seeing her old friend with her own eyes. De Laurentiis squinted at her.

            “It’s Lydia. It’s good to see you, but stay quiet for now.”

            Shane helped De Laurentiis to his feet. The researcher looked shaky. Her m’eye indicated that he had a fever; she would check for infection when they got back to the hovershuttle. Dehydration was also likely.

            “Where’s Rosen?” De Laurentiis asked. “They took him away.”

            “Can you walk?” Shane asked. De Laurentiis nodded .

            Lydia looked at the other captive. “What about her?” The woman was bound and gagged, but had rolled over to face them. She was small-framed for a villager. In the dark it was impossible to make out her features, but somehow she looked familiar.

            “Not our problem,” Shane said.

            “Who is she?” Lydia asked.

            De Laurentiis shrugged. “We couldn’t talk. We were both gagged.”

            The captive woman tried to say something through her gag.

            “We should free her,” Lydia said.

            Shane shook his head. “Non-intervention. You know the rules. We have to leave. Now.

            The woman thrashed on the ground, yells muffled by her gag. Shane shot her with the disruptor. She went limp.

            “Was that necessary?” Lydia asked.

            Shane was already heading out the door, practically carrying De Laurentiis. As soon as Shane was out of sight, Lydia knelt and cut the rope binding the woman’s ankles and wrists. She folded the utility knife and left it next to the prisoner’s limp body. Whatever the woman had done, she didn’t deserve what had happened to Rosen. No one did. She felt sick at the thought of telling De Laurentiis that Rosen was dead, and had been tortured. She ran and caught up with the others.


About the author:

GD Moyer Author Picture

J.D. Moyer lives in Oakland, California, with his wife,
daughter,and mystery-breed dog. He writes science fiction, produces electronic music in two groups (Jondi & Spesh and Momu), runs a record label (Loöq Records),and blogs at jdmoyer.com. His previous occupations include dolphin cognition researcher, martial arts instructor, Renaissance Faire actor, dance
music event promoter,and DJ.

His favorite authors include Iain Banks, Octavia Butler, William Gibson, Kim
Stanley Robinson, Margaret Atwood,and David Mitchell. His short stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, The InterGalactic Medicine Show, Cosmic Roots And Eldritch Shores,and Compelling Science Fiction. His novelette The Icelandic Cure won the 2016 Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction contest. His debut
science fiction novel The Sky Woman was published by FLAME TREE PRESS in 2018.

Recurring themes in his fiction include genetic engineering, the sociological effects of climate change, virtualized consciousness,and evolutionary divergence.


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