Book Title: Death’s Echo (The Complex)
Author: Rachel M. Raithby
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Release Date: December 9, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
After a brutal war between Humans and Metas, an uneasy truce is declared in the Seldova solar system. After the treaty signing, the Complex is created on the lone planet, Lorn—a blended community of Humans and Metas, all sent to test the waters of a more peaceful existence between the two races. Living in a domed society can only mean one thing for the Humans and Metas. Chaos.
Reviled banshee Aqulla Dayshon sees death, feels the last moments of a victim’s life and senses the echoes they leave behind. They call for vengeance, and she is helpless to deny their cries, to deny her very nature.
Intra Jaylon Rowe is the law within the Complex. When a series of murders hit the community, he enlists Aqulla’s help. But solving the murders won’t be easy.
Boundaries will be pushed, and rules broken. And as lines are crossed and passion ignites, a banshee’s call will scream.
Death is here, and it wants them all.
January 1st, 6 AS (Ama Seldova) Arrival Day
Jumping down from the jetter, dust flying up around her, Aqulla sucked humid air into her lungs and walked a short distance from the group she’d arrived with. The space ride to Lorn hadn’t been enjoyable. It was just her luck she’d been seated next to a woman who’d killed her husband in a rage when she’d found him cheating. Part of Aqulla appreciated what the woman had done. Put in the same situation, she was certain she’d do the same, but that didn’t apply to the Banshee within—the hungry, bloodthirsty side of her that called for death. Denying that part of herself wasn’t easy. It was a battle she’d contended with most of her life.
“Hey! Don’t wander off. Get in line.”
Turning, Aqulla narrowed her eyes at the Intra solider, then looked in the direction he was indicating for her to go. Breath rushing out between clenched teeth, Aqulla almost turned around and climbed back aboard the jetter; maybe fifteen years in prison would actually be a better deal than the Complex.
“All right, all right, jeez,” she hissed back, baring teeth.
The Complex stood tall and proud in the distance, its silver walls like glittering gems. The harsh sun reflected off the many domes, making it almost unbearable to look at. The center dome was by far the widest. Its sides sloped off behind two pointed domes at either side. At its base was a low rectangular shape that ran the length of the Complex. Aqulla gazed up, shielding her eyes but couldn’t make out the top; it soared into the sky, disappearing behind low hazy clouds. It was a massive, intimidating structure, a stark reminder that the Ama Seldova—the governing body and leaders of the new “peaceful” regime—were watching. Its gleaming walls might be a far cry from the dank cell she’d left, but The Complex was still a cell. A gilded cage she’d have to survive for the next two and a half years.
Walking forward, Aqulla was herded toward the many lines of people waiting to enter the community. She breathed a sigh of relief when the husband killer was shown to a different line, but it was short lived. It seemed the Complex was full of killers. Death’s echo lingered everywhere. But the lines weren’t only made up of criminals. Gazing across the rows, Aqulla could make out the lines of “nice” clientele. Even from this distance she could feel their disapproving stares, make out their rich-man clothes.
They’ll last five minutes with these lot. She smiled to herself, kicking the ground. Though I wonder what secrets they hide. If it had taken monetary bribes to get convicts, some on life sentences, to join the experiment, then what had it taken to get volunteers who already had money and “privileged” lives?
Taking another step, Aqulla ground her teeth together in an effort to keep from shifting. The Meta in front of her reeked of death; he’d killed so many. Aqulla couldn’t make out the individual echoes. He was a mass of swirling darkness threatening to pull her under. But she couldn’t give in to her natural instincts, no matter how much she wanted too. The Complex was her ticket to freedom, her only way to wipe out the past and maybe make amends with her family. Then hopefully, her grandmother wouldn’t see her as a stain on the family’s reputation. She’d be allowed back into the banshee coven, and they’d see she that she could live with the power of her gifts.
The line moved one more excruciating step further. Aqulla released a deep breath and slid her eyes shut. The line was impossibly long. Too long. Her mind wandered, picturing blood splattering the floor, the gargled breath of a man taking his last breath.
“What’s the matter, princess?”
Aqulla’s eyes shot opened as the Meta in front turned and fixed her in his sights. A slow, cruel smile spread on his face. Aqulla struggled to hold onto her vision. The screams of the people he’d murdered wrapped around her, calling for vengeance. The line moved along, but the Meta moved closer to her.
Claws sliding out, Aqulla fisted her hands. The sharp points of her claws dug into her palms drawing blood. The pain grounded her, brought her back from the very fine edge she was skating.
It didn’t stop the Meta, though. He was huge, towering a good few feet above her. His eyes were dark and full of sadistic delight as he sized her up.
“What have we here then?”
“I might look as weak as the many women you’ve tortured and murdered, but I assure you, Meta, one step closer and it will be your last.”
His head cocked to the side as he chuckled softly. “And how would you know who I’ve killed?”
Aqulla considered keeping her identity secret, but it might be the only thing that would save her. She was too close to snapping, too close to slicing her claws across his throat as she screamed her death cry.
“You’re dripping with death. I hear every scream, every whimper. They call for your blood. They want your death to be as slow and cruel as theirs. Tell me, Meta, will you run when you hear my scream?”
His face hardened. “All right, banshee, I get the picture,” he snarled, stepping away and moving to join the end of the line.
Aqulla relaxed her hands, letting out a breath of relief when a hand slid down her back and squeezed her ass. Blood rushed through her veins as her head filled with the urge to kill. Spinning, her knee slammed into his groin. As he collapsed, her claws found his throat. Blood dripped down his neck as she gazed into his eyes. This Meta had killed too, but in self-defense, not that it mattered much to Aqulla. Her scream was on the tip of her tongue. She’d begun to step over the line.
Rachel M. Raithby started her writing career in 2013 and hasn’t looked back. She draws her inspiration from the many places she has lived and traveled, as well as from her love of the paranormal and thriller movies. She can often be found hiding out with a good book or writing more fast-paced and thrilling stories where love always conquers all. She now lives in rural England with her young family.
Her books include, the adult Paranormal Romance novels ‘The Deadwood Hunter Series’ and the Young Adult series The New Dawn Novels, including the YA Best seller ‘Winter Wolf.’