The line between fantasy and reality is blurring…
Rick Fury is down on his luck. A seasoned covert operative, the last six months have seen him bungling missions, exposing his identity, and hurting those who he once cared for while crazy visions have turned his instincts to mush. Now, on the outs with his CIA bosses, Fury needs a break.
A man named Dante Grimm offers him a chance to join a brotherhood of knights tasked with holding back the darkness and a horde of enemies far worse than any of the terrorists and spies Fury has faced in the past, creatures straight out of the depths of hell itself.
Skeptical, Fury agrees to find something for Grimm: an old leather jacket that may or may not be a crucial tool for helping battle back the demons that are soon to tear into this world.
Under the streets of Boston’s Chinatown, Fury sets out on his quest, finds a colleague to guide him, and hears rumors of an enemy sorcerer after the same leather jacket that soon prove to be true.
In a race against time, Fury must contend with otherworldly enemies, regrets over his misconduct, and the terrifying possibility that everything he ever dismissed as fiction, is in fact, all too real.
Arthurian myth meets urban fantasy in this new series from Rowan Casey!
“So...you wanna tell me exactly what in the hell you were thinking?”
I shook my head. There wasn’t a whole helluva lot to say. “The fact is, I didn’t think at all.”
“No shit,” said Derkins. He leaned back away from where we sat on the bleachers at the high school in my hometown. He rested his elbows on the riser behind him and shook his head. “Monumental screw up, Fury. The idea that a seasoned covert operative like yourself could screw up this bad is jarring to say the least. What made you want to hack into their email in the first place?”
“I suspected infidelity.”
“So what? How many people in the suburbs get together on a daily basis? It’s like a national pastime. Who gives a shit?”
Derkins leaned forward. “Oh, shit, is that what this is about?”
“You know I got a thing for soccer moms.”READ MORE
Derkins frowned. “Yeah, I do. If you’d been active during the Cold War, I would have enjoyed watching the Soviets dangle that shit in front of you like blood before a shark. And you would have probably sold us out for the chance to get busy with a cougar.”
I shook my head. “I wouldn’t betray my country. You know that.”
“I don’t know shit,” said Derkins. “Honestly, you’re the only guy I know that gets a hard-on when he sees a minivan.”
“It’s not the car. It’s the idea of what might be driving it.”
Derkins held up his hand. “All right, so you had a thing for the woman. How come you didn’t even follow simple Tradecraft 101? Did you even try to disguise yourself?”
“Established a fake email account.”
“Yeah, but you didn’t use a VPN, did you? Hell, Fury, you could have rerouted those emails through a dozen countries and no one would ever have been the wiser. But no, you had to go and leave your shit dangling out there in the wind where any Kindergartener could track you down.”
I shrugged. “Blowback wasn’t too bad.”
He eyed me. “Really? Is that why you’re out here on the local high school track instead of at the gym?”
“I’m not welcome there anymore.”
Derkins chuckled. “You’re lucky you didn’t end up behind bars.”
“I never suggested anything sexual. And she was playing along until she figured out the email didn’t belong to who she thought it belonged to. In fact, she was the one who initiated the selfie thing. Told me to post a shirtless picture of myself because ‘that’s what all the members want to see.’”
“So she was into it, just not with you. Which is why you got pissed enough to make a rookie mistake.”
“She was sending signals.”
“And her husband? What’d he think about all of this?”
“I’m sure she sold him on the idea that she didn’t do anything wrong. That she was just playing around. He’s gullible enough to believe her. And she never takes responsibility for anything, anyway, so it’s familiar ground, I’m sure.”
Derkins sighed. “Fury, it doesn’t matter who did what. It’s over now. And you’re lucky none of these fools know your real identity. The idea of one of our best people being exposed has a lot of upper echelon folks pretty damned upset.”
I took a deep breath. “So give me a letter of reprimand and let me get on with doing what I do.”
“Yeah, no, it’s not going to be that easy. Word is they want a full inquiry.”
“Yup. They’re calling it a fundamental breakdown in ethics.” Derkins shook his head. “Not to mention your training. Some of them are even questioning whether or not you’re fit for active operational status anymore. They’re floating the idea of retirement.”
“The hell with that.” I stared at the football field in front of me and felt my rage boiling somewhere deep in my chest. “I’ve given my country the best years of my life, doing the sort of shit that would reduce most people to simpering piles of poop. Did I screw up? Yeah, absolutely. But if I’m going to be judged on the basis of one mistake instead of everything that I contributed, then fuck the whole system and everyone in it.”
“Don’t shoot the messenger,” said Derkins. “I’m here because you still have a few friends left in the Agency. You just need to give us some time to smooth things over. See what we can do, you know? But I’m not going to sugarcoat this shit, you could be tossed out on your ass tomorrow for all I know.”
“Tell them I’ll write a book.”
Derkins smiled. “And you’d have car accident before the end of the week. Or some sort of heart attack. You know as well as I do that they would never let you write a book. Not our section. Maybe one of those fools who thought they worked for Operations. But not you. Not us. If word ever even got out that our section existed, it would bring down the entire government.” Derkins put a hand on my shoulder. “No, my friend. You just sit tight for now. Let me see what I can do to help make this all go away and then I’ll be back in touch with you.”
I glanced over my shoulder. I wasn’t crazy about Derkins, but he was the closest thing I had right then to a friend. “Yeah, all right. I’ll lay low.”COLLAPSE