by Jessica E. Subject
Galactic Defenders Book Two
Jager's new squad of Defenders has completed training, but the spoiled princess who has grated on his nerves since her first day of training is called back to Hemera for a yearly celebration. When Princess Katrina doesn't show up, Jager must find her and drag her home, where he wishes she would stay.
Katrina is a Defender, not a princess. And there is no way she wants to return to a planet she hates for some stupid ceremony. Not when she could be out killing Erebus with her squad.
But when a new enemy threatens both their lives, they must work together to survive.
Genre: Sci-Fi RomancePurchase link(s): Amazon iTunes Kobo Google B&N
Content/Theme(s): Aliens, Military, Action, Adventure, Space
Release Date: March 27, 2017
Excerpt & More
“Incoming video message, Lieutenant.”
Jager nodded to Silus, his second who was also a shuttle pilot. If only the Kalaren had as much confidence fighting an Erebus as he did flying through space. “Put it on screen.”
With the flick of a button, the monitor beside his captain’s chair lit up, and a familiar face came into view.
“Prince Bryce.” He hadn’t seen the famed Defender since he’d retired but would always make time for him. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“First of all, don’t ever call me Prince.” The man glanced over his shoulder. “I am, and will always be a Defender until I die.”
“Got it.” He was just as touchy about his royal title as his daughter. “Now, how can I help you?”
Bryce leaned forward and stared into the screen. “You can tell me where my daughter is, to start.”
“Um...” Had he heard the man correctly? “What do you mean? I thought she was supposed to be on Hemera by now.”
“That’s what I thought, too.” The older Kalaren rubbed the back of his neck. “But when I went to meet her, she wasn’t there. In fact, she wasn’t on the shuttle at all.”
“Oh Gaspra.” Jager gripped the arms of his chair.
“Exactly. And when her mother finds out, she’s going to be livid. I need to know where she is before I have to tell the queen.” He glanced behind him again. “When was the last time you saw her?”
“On Kalara.” The time he saw her on the carrier wrapped in her boyfriend’s arms didn’t count. Or did it? She was saying goodbye to him, wasn’t she? “No, on the carrier. She was mad at me when I told her she was going to Hemera, but she seemed to accept it by the time we reached the carrier, was saying goodbye to her... another Defender who is on the mission with me.”
“Did you actually see her get on the shuttle to Hemera?”
“No.” He wasn’t her keeper, had a mission to get ready for, and the rest of his squad to prepare. “I wasn’t on the docking bay when her shuttle left.”
Bryce rolled his shoulders, seemingly more afraid to tell his wife their daughter hadn’t arrived on Hemera than to face a hoard of Erebus. “Granil can’t locate her on the carrier, so I suspect she’s on one of the shuttles heading to Terra. Please be on the lookout for her and report to me if you see her. She knows the planet far better than any of you, and your destination is right around where she grew up. I don’t doubt she’ll try to go off on her own. Maybe attempt to stay on Terra for good.”
He doubted that. Not with a boyfriend who would never fit in among the Terrans. In fact, he was pretty sure it was Zulu’s shuttle she’d sneaked onto, the goodbye on the carrier for show only. “As soon as I find her, I will let you know.”
“Thank you.” The screen went black, and Jager glared at the shuttle on the view screen ahead of them. If the princess was on there, he’d make sure she went to Hemera for good.
“Lieutenant, we are entering Terra’s orbit.” Silus magnified the picture on the view screen, revealing the planet’s moon and the other two shuttles blocking the view of their destination. “In thirty mins, we will enter their atmosphere.”
“Okay, reduce speed and put on the masking shields.” The last thing they needed was the natives witnessing their shuttles arrive and shooting at them with their ancient weapons. When it came to beings from space, the uneducated planets couldn’t recognize the difference between friend and foe. “And, everyone, buckle up.”
Jager pulled on his five-point harness system then his helmet. He would be able to breathe the air on Terra, but the trip through the atmosphere was like riding a wild rehn, unstable, and he’d be lucky to survive in one piece. He glanced around at the other three members of his squad. They were all secured in. He just had to wait for the other two shuttles to complete their maze through the orbit and take the plunge down to the planet.
Silus touched down for his smoothest landing yet. No wobbling, rolls, and especially no crashing. They’d made it safely to Terra. Hopefully, finding Katrina would be as easy.
Snapping his harness open, he launched out of his seat. “Stay here,” he called behind him. “I’ll brief you on our mission in a moment.” If he had any chance of finding Katrina, it was the moment they landed, before she had a chance to take off.
He sprinted out the open door, looking around for an extra Defender, one-too-many for the other squads. And he found her. She stepped through a wormhole to his left just before it closed behind Echo squad. The princess had stowed away on the shuttle of her father’s former squad. How had none of them noticed?
“Jace!” he shouted to the leader of Zulu. “I need you to do me a favor.”
The Mingot raised his weirdly hairy eyebrow. “You want my help?”
“Yes.” Jager thumbed the button for the WHM in his suit pocket. “I need you to brief my squad and take them with you.”
Without giving the Defender a chance to object, he pressed the button on his device, already programmed to take him to the same location as Echo, and created a wormhole in the middle of a stand of Terran trees. Then he jumped through. If he was going to catch Katrina, he couldn’t waste any time. Upon landing, he scraped one knee across some kind of black stone forced together to create a solid surface. A mild discomfort, but the layer managed to rip open the material of his suit. He stood with a sigh and examined the surrounding area for Echo squad and their stowaway.
One hundred steps away, a slim figure resembling the princess ducked behind a building. He raced after her, but by the time he reached the spot he’d seen her, she’d vanished, leaving only her blue Defender uniform tucked behind a refuse can. Cosmos, he’d lost her. She was loose on a planet she knew far better than him.
Jager activated his wrist com unit. “Bryce, I caught sight of her,” he recorded. “She stowed away on Echo’s shuttle. She’s on Terra now, but she’s evading capture. I will find her.” After pressing send, he turned off the unit, not wanting to hear the retired Defender’s response. Until Jager had better news for him, he would stay incommunicado.
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Let You Go
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Be on the lookout for Jessica E. Subject's future release(s): Always Her Wingman coming late 2017 and JACE coming early 2018
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