As a special treat for my readers, I have the exclusive first chapter of The Survivor, the sixth book of my Kelderan Runic Warriors series! The full story will be out February 25, 2021. I'll make sure to put the preorder links after the excerpt. Enjoy and feel free to leave a comment. 🙂

Copyright 2021, Mythical Lake Press, LLC

Chapter One

Nearly One Year Ago, In Deep Space

Davrel Kolari checked his console again to ensure the sensor jamming device was still engaged and blocking the enemy's scanners.

Yes. All was still functioning, meaning the space pirates couldn't tell exactly what his ship was up to, let alone that he was the only one still on board.

He wouldn't be able to escape in time, but that wasn't the plan. He just needed a minute or so more to save the others. And given how damaged the Kelderan ship was from the pirates' initial attack, it was a miracle he'd been able to divert power to keep the jamming device running this long.

His fingers flew across the console, looking for the quickest way to erase the ship's computer. Davrel was good with computers, but the latest Kelderan spaceship was the most advanced to date, and even he needed some extra time to get anything done.

As a warning flashed on his screen about the precious power supply running low, he moved his head to another screen to check the status of the Kelderan escape pods. They would be at the necessary, safe distance in three…two…one.

Good, they'll make it. His crewmates would now be within teleportation range of another Kelderan ship, meaning the space pirates couldn't capture them.

Now it was time for phase two of his plan—to deny the pirates what they really wanted: the spaceship.

Davrel quickly brought up a different screen and tried to type in the self-destruct code. The only way to protect his people back on Keldera was to keep the knowledge from the Rover space pirates. Because if the bastards captured the ship—the most advanced of the entire Kelderan fleet—they'd sell it to the highest bidder, revealing all of their latest technological advancements. It would give an enemy a powerful heads-up over how to attack the Kelderans where it hurt the most.

How anyone had found out about the top-secret maiden voyage of their fastest, most advanced ship, he had no idea.

But if Davrel didn't protect the secrets of his planet, it would put everyone at risk.

Which meant it would put the love of his life at risk too.

Trying not to think about Kajala and how he'd never be able to follow through and honorably take her as his bride, Davrel focused on giving her a future. Maybe if she learned about what he'd done, she'd find a way to forgive him.

Especially considering he'd been weak and had claimed her before marrying her. He only hoped she didn't carry their child, or she would truly go through hell.

Stop it, Dav. Saving her and the planet is more important.

He finished typing in the correct self-destruct sequence with fifteen seconds to spare. However, nothing happened. No countdown, no acknowledgment of initiation, nothing but a blinking cursor on the screen.

And since he'd had to disable the voice activation commands to conserve energy, the only way to manually self-destruct the ship was to go to the main engineering room.

Just as the jamming device failed, he ran out of the main command deck and down the hall toward the main engineering access point.

He ran inside and skidded to a halt next to the heart of the ship's computer. Since manually initiating the self-destruct mechanism would take time—maybe too much time—he first typed the code to wipe all computer information databases. As the screen whirled to delete files, he ran to a panel on the side of the room, one covered in glass.

Davrel pressed his thumb to the reader, and it unlocked the glass. After opening it, he faced a row of three levers. Each one had to be engaged in a certain way before the ship self-destructed. The protocol was in place to prevent any mistakes or accidents.

He reached the first lever, typed in the necessary code, and slowly turned it, grunting at the effort. The more he turned it, the more his heart thundered in his chest. Funny to think he, the son of a pair of specialty merchants, was in charge of trying to protect his entire planet from who knew how many potential enemies. But if he wanted to save everyone he loved, the pirates couldn't get this ship, no matter what.

Once the first switch clicked in place, he moved to the second one and repeated the process, keeping his ears open for any invaders. The band of space pirates who'd discovered them had teleportation capabilities, which meant they should be on board now that the jamming devices were down.

They could locate him at any second. Only because the new Kelderan ship was over a mile long did Davrel have any chance at successfully detonating the ship in time. Provided it took his enemies too long to find him, of course.

The second lever also clicked into place and he moved to the final one as sweat dripped down his brow. He knew he had to do this—and would do this—but he was seconds away from dying.

Dying and never seeing the beautiful smile of his love, never discussing complex engineering ideas with her, never holding her warm, naked body against his.

I'm doing this for you, Jala. I hope you know that. I love you.

Swallowing, Davrel kept the image of Kajala in his mind as he began turning the third lever.

He was about a quarter of the way done when an unknown voice spoke. He didn't understand the language but had a feeling he knew what they were demanding—stop, or they'd kill him.

He turned the lever some more, hoping he could finish before they tried. Just another small turn should set off the detonation.

Hot, excruciating pain coursed through his arm as a bright, burning light flashed quickly through it. He barely had a chance to register that his arm lay on the ground, separated from his body, before darkness consumed him.

Want to preorder so it automatically downloads on release day? Click your vendor of choice below:

NOTE: Google Play will be out on release day, February 25, 2021. The paperback version will be on sale soon after the ebook release.

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