Beneath an Emerald Sky (eBook)

52 pages | eBook | 6x9"
Date of publication: 10/09/2015
  • ISBN: 978-1-941984-99-4
  • Model: 11286 words

Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Heat Rating: 2 Flames


A datajacker. A zonewarrior. A job gone wrong. Choice: Take the money and run, or stay to protect the only man you've ever loved.

Emeraldsky is a datajacker, one of the best at stealing corporate secrets. He's hired the zonewarrior Steel-Or to protect him while he makes a dangerous run. When things go bad, Steel-Or finds himself in the position of taking care of an injured Emeraldsky. Torn between the need for money, memories of the datajacker, and the desire to look out for #1, Steel-Or has to decide: does he take the money and run or protect the only man he's ever loved, even if Emeraldsky might not love him back?

CONTENT ADVISORY: This is a re-release title.




Gray static. Jagged, broken edged. Rush of motion. Sudden stop, abrupt as a maglev train hitting a wall. Dull gray sky above. Dull gray world all around. Arms lifted, a soft ping of sound. Total connection, injection of self, subjective-reality warped to suit him.

Ripple and a hard shift as color erupted into the dull world.

Emerald green--the sky bright as a jewel. Towers, shimmering pillars of incandescence, stood amid broad rivers of multicolored light, which ebbed and flowed around the edifices. No monochrome reality for him. He turned, gazed upward, surveying the myriad towers, searching out one among them. Moonstone gray. Flashes of electric-blue St. Elmo's fire crowned the structure.

He turned slowly.

Building located.

He darted forward, one of the many lights amid the flood. Reached the moonstone and Saint's fire tower, merged into the flow entering at the bottom. Bounced off when he hit the doors. Bruised though undaunted, he tried again. They wouldn't budge. He concentrated, fought with the lock, twisted, turned, grinned as the door gave under his assault, the payoff of persistence. Latched tight to another of the colored lights moving toward the door, slipped into its shadow, blended and oozed through the door.

Stage one accomplished. He'd gotten inside.

He gazed right, left, encased in the gray mist of the tower, seeking his next destination. Looked upward into deeper gray shadows. Not that way. He looked down at the floor, found his destination far below his position. He reached out, grabbed hold of another stream, thinner, less robust. He flowed along with the rushing blaze, down, down, down.

Bottom of the tower. More progress, but still a way to go before he found what he sought.

Another door to bar his progress. Another method needed to gain entry. He focused, turned, slid sideways through the locks, felt the burn-pain of security measures scrape across his nerves. Hurt, but such a slight injury wouldn't stop him. He wriggled, broke free, entered another space where a dozen threads glowed and twisted off in several directions.

Second stage. Discovery.

He paused, seeking, searching. Moved forward parallel to one of the threads of light, not touching that bright glow. He followed, came to another door that barred his way. Stopped. Had he come to the right place? Could this be a decoy? He reached out, gingerly touched the door, recoiled at the burst of pain shattering like shards of glass across his mind, cutting, burning, trying to embed into his psyche. A cascade of green tinged fluid poured over his image, cooling the burn, washing away the hurt, cleansing him of the acid-glass trying to take him down. A kill-code. Deadly. But he had countermeasures. Ones that worked, thankfully.

He glanced around. Relieved to see his location.

He'd arrived. Stage three accomplished.

He stepped back, considered. Tried another method, a thin tendril of his own hair skittered along the doorway, sparks flying. The hair writhed against the barrier, sank in, changed color from red to a storm of rainbow colors that rippled over the surface, solidified then dispersed into fragments of shattered rainbow light that sparkled as it fell, vanished into the gray floor beneath his feet.

Final stage.

He stepped into the room, gazed at the walls, glitter-sparks of gray within gray dancing and cavorting across the surface. He stepped closer, searching for the right pattern, the correct segment. Found it. Reached to capture the small glowing box.

Lightning strike. Blinding bright. He shook himself, skin smoldering, hair streaming inky smoke. Hurt. Worse than before. Didn't matter. He could still see the box. The prize for his work within easy reach if he could only set a hand on it, retrieve it. He glanced at his burnt hand, wrapped layers of shining light, of thick shadow around it and grabbed the box.

Lightning stricken again. More hurt. More determination with time running out. Security would send someone to find out why the anti-jacker software had activated. They'd come for him, and he didn't want to face down jack-breakers. Not living ones.

Lips twisted, an angry snarl, he rebuilt his hand, this time the protection a gossamer of light-lace, and mist. He reached, prepared to face the lightning, the pain. His hand slipped around the box, fingers gripped, held. Tiny jolts of lightning flickered and danced over his hand, but he remained unharmed. He yanked the box free.


Mission accomplished.

Only one thing left to do. Leave.

He turned to go.



Too easy.

He should have known. Should have realized nothing worth this kind of payout would be so easy to accomplish. Not even for someone like him.


For more information, please visit the author's webpage.

Other books by Brenna Lyons- COVER ARTIST:

For more information, please visit the author's webpage.

Other books by Kathy Kozakewich- EDITOR:

Care Package (eBook)
Care Package (eBook)
Light Me Up (eBook)
Lily (eBook)
The White Cat (eBook)
Werewolf U (eBook)
About Michael Barnette:
Fireborn Publishing Main Page

Michael Barnette has been writing tales of manlove since the late 90s. Fleeing from the tropic heat of South Beach and Miami, Florida, Michael has steadily migrated farther and farther west and now writes within sight of the Flat Iron Mountains of Colorado. Readers can reach Michael via email at:



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For more information, please visit the author's webpage.

Other books by Brenna Lyons- COVER ARTIST, Kathy Kozakewich- EDITOR and Michael Barnette:

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This book was added to our catalog on Sunday 19 July, 2015.

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