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Douglas K Dandridge

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by Douglas K Dandridge   

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Books by Douglas K Dandridge
· Exodus: Empires at War: Book 1
· Afterlife
· Refuge: The Arrival: Book 1
· Refuge: The Arrival: Book 2
· The Deep Dark Well
                >> View all





Copyright:  Aug 10, 2012

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The world is dying as magic sucks the life out of it. Daemon corporation thinks they have the answer, but something unstoppable is killing its employees.

It is a world of magic where technology has stagnated for centuries. But the magic has been killing the world. Left is the last of the megacities, a million square miles of living land, and the last sixty million people. And the Shadows, the negative energy remains of the animals that used to roam the Earth. The Shadows prey on the living, and can only be kept at bay by light. But light requires magical energy, and that is in short supply. Daemon Corporation, the world's richest company, controlled by the world's most powerful mage, has found the solution. To rape other worlds of their life. Such a world has been found, and the innocents taken to our world to be sacrificed for their life energy. Something else has come with the little men from the other dimension. A force which cannot be stopped, on a mission to kill the men and women who are responsible. Jude Parkinson is a forensics' mage, one who communes with the dead, and sees through their eyes the last moments of their lives. He uses this power to solve murders, and only he can find out who is sending this Daemonic force to kill and kill again. But he finds out about the genocide being committed by Daemon Corp. Only the Church of God Ascendant, the last religion in an Atheistic world, stands with him. Will that be enough? Or will the world continue down a path of damnation?

“There’s no way out,” called a deep voice.
Jude turned and saw that the mage was at the entrance to the alley. He raised his gun and fired, then fired again, watching as both bullets stopped and fell to the ground.
“I’m afraid that weapon is of no use against me,” said the mage while the gunman came up behind him, careful to keep the mage between himself and Jude. “I understand that you have some magical talents yourself,” said the mage to Jude, his eyes laughing at the detective. “But you’re cut off from any power.”
“What do you want?” asked Jude, frantically trying to think his way from out of the situation.
“Why, your silence,” said the mage, a cold smile on his face. “You’ve been asking questions that have disturbed some powerful people. And so you have to disappear. Convenient of you to choose such a place to make your stand, where you can disappear so easily. A pity that you killed so many of my associates. But you have proven to be competent, and competent people sometimes have plans and ambitions of their own.”
“Just what the hell is Daemon up to?” said Jude, still trying to buy time. For what, he knew not, but time was always a useful commodity. Especially when it looked to be running out.
“I am here to keep you from asking questions, young man,” said the mage, pointing his staff at Jude. “Not to answer more of them.” The mage spat out a word of power and Jude felt his muscles lock. He could still breathe, could move his eyes. But the rest of his skeletal muscles had locked in place, leaving him at the mercy of the two men.
Jude fought against the spell with all of his will. Being a mage himself, he knew how to fight back. Whether he would have the strength to defeat the spell was another question. The mage moved to one side, his eyes and will focused on Jude, while the gunman approached, pistol pointed at the detective. The mage moved closer to the wall with his eyes locked on Jude, not paying attention to his surroundings. Jude felt some hope as he saw how close the mage was to the dark doorway, and moving closer.
No one really knew what the Shadows were, or where they came from. They had first started appearing three centuries ago, and were made up of negative energy, the opposite of the life force that animated living creatures. Most of the time they took the form of black constructs of once living creatures, though they could assume the aspects of mythological beasts and animals that had been extinct for millions of years. They were physically hurt by light, and long exposure to bright light could break up their structure. They fed on the raw, unprocessed form of life force, when they could get it. And they could sense that life force, like a normal predator could take the scent of a prey animal.
The large claw came out of the pitch blackness of the room, hooking into the shoulder of the mage and ripping his flesh. Blood poured down and the mage was turned toward the door. Jude thought the great head that came out of the darkness, roaring in pain at exposure to the light, was reminiscent of a lion, a predator that had been extinct for almost two hundred years. The maw opened and closed on the head of the mage, then pulled back into the darkness, jerking the body of the man with it into the dark room. Jude knew the mage was dead at that instant, because the paralysis left his body and he gained control of his muscles.
The other gunman let out a yell as he looked back over to where the mage was standing. He raised his pistol and fired a round into the dark doorway. Jude wasn’t sure that was a good idea. The bullet was more likely to kill the mage than hurt the Shadow. But then again, the mage was already dead. Jude did think it was a good idea to raise his pistol and shoot the gunman in the side, walking forward, cocking the hammer, and shooting him in the head as he started to turn. He stepped over the body, heading for his partner. As far as he was concerned the men they had killed could lay there and rot till the end of time. They weren’t real people as far as Jude was concerned, but faces of the evil that was polluting his world, without whom the world was a better place.

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