It has been a bit since I've updated this blog.
To make up for my absence, here is the first chapter of BRAVE NEW WORLD. Please note, this chapter is not edited. It could change prior to publication.
A note before you begin reading: If you have yet to read the other Guardians novellas, you should do so now. Here is the reading order: ARABELLA, THE SHADOW PROGRAM, and SERAPHINA.
The idea of joining a superhero team had never been all that enticing to me. Until I met Ellie and the others. To say they were a disaster was putting it lightly. The three of them tried, I would give them that.
But man, they were crap at being a functional team.
Sure, they got the job done, but that didn't mean it was done well.
A team was supposed to work together, and from what I could gather, these girls were nearly incapable of doing so due to a mixture of ego and stubbornness. Although, to be fair, the young fire girl seemed to be thrown into the mix without much warning. I did like her, though.
Her powers admittedly scarred the crap out of me, but I liked her.
She reminded me of myself when I was younger. The world of magic and powers was fascinating back then. The idea of that kind of power existing in reality? It was exciting. Until it became a necessary tool to survive.
Being a Super was not what it was cracked up to be, unfortunately.
Most of the world hated us and wanted us dead. All I wanted to do was live out my life in a remote area and run an animal sanctuary. Simple enough. But a simple life was not a life for a Super. It seemed I was destined to suffer.
"Ruby," a voice sounded from behind me. I turned to find Arabella jogging toward me with a bag in one hand and a tablet in the other. "Dawson assures me you've been given a thorough tour, so I wanted to give you some clean clothes and a tablet.”
I glanced down at the clothes in her hand and my eyes nearly bulged as I took in the royal blue leather ensemble. It wasn’t that it was unappealing. I quite liked it, honestly, but I failed to see how it would be useful in battle. Even though I used magic to fight, there were still the occasional instances in which I did enjoy hand-to-hand combat. There was just something refreshing about being able to take down a lowlife with my body.
It was even more powerful than magic.
And it was just more visually appealing.
“It’s a lot more flexible than you’d imagine,” she assured me.
“Why do I get the feeling you’re used to persuading others to embrace leather uniforms?” I stifled a laugh as I took the clothes from her hand. I couldn’t deny the blue was a flattering shade, at least. And honestly? I was in dire need of something clean to slip into.
“Because I seem to be the only one here with a sense of fashion,” she teased.
While it was safe to say I hadn’t really gotten a chance to know the others all too well just yet, there was no denying there was something mysterious about Arabella. From what I could gather, she was reckless, and at times, quite arrogant. But I was sure there was more to her than she liked to showcase.
After all, why would she willingly take in a group of misfits? It was bad enough we all had targets on our back on our own. Bringing us together to fight as a single unit? It was asking for danger, but she didn’t seem to mind.
“A warning about Ellie,” Arabella said. “If you see her practicing with her sword? I would make a point to keep a distance. Sometimes she gets lost inside of her memories, and it becomes hard to decipher what’s real and what isn’t.”
“Noted, thanks.” I tucked the clothes under my arm and watched as Arabella took off back toward the building. Part of me wanted to follow in hopes of familiarizing myself with my new home away from home.
However, I couldn’t force myself to leave having finally found a moment of silence.
The downside to being a Super was having to constantly run and hide. It wasn’t that I hadn’t understood why the general public was terrified of us. We were essentially living weapons just waiting for a moment to go off – the kid had proven as much. So yeah, they had every right to fear us.
Still, with the bad, there was always good, and it was almost always overlooked.
I went out of my way to try and save people, to live up to the idea of a superhero, in my early days on the run. Only to realize it was useless. There were plenty of bad apples among us, so much so my actions had been for naught. Every bit of good I did? They would undo with a single action.
So, I stopped. I stopped caring. I stopped trying to be what everyone else what me to be. However, most importantly, I stopped giving a damn about the world around me. I’d closed myself off. There was no reason to suffer for a world that didn’t want you around, I’d convinced myself. Until I saw Arabella and the others.
I did my research, of course. I knew who her father was; he’d tried to use her abilities for his own gain. And for a while? It had worked. Same with Ellie. For years, she’d served blindly as part of The Shadow Program, until she seemingly managed to free herself of their control. An impressive feat given what I’d learned about the latter institution.
It was rare for an assassin to escape alive, but she had.
She wasn’t a Super, but like us, she longed to belong somewhere. Perhaps it was why, despite the inability for the others to truly function as a team, I found myself eager to join them. Beneath the chaos and egos, there was a promise of what could be and the idea excited me.
Even if it meant I had to don a tight leather ensemble during battle.
I took one last look over the edge of the building, smiling as I saw my fellow Supers taking to the streets, no longer fearful of what awaited them beyond the shadows. “This is how it should have always been,” I thought.
Now I just needed to ensure it remained this way.
BRAVE NEW WORLD does not have a publication date. It's almost finished, however, I don't feel comfortable committing to a date at the moment. As it is the conclusion to this series, I'm trying to ensure I tie up loose ends.
One thing I can promise? It will be my next release, and yes, it is coming before the end of the year.