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Determination - EBOOK

Determination - EBOOK

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BOOK 4 of WASTELAND ROAD KNIGHTS

Nero and Nyx are a threat to the Night Lords rule.
They want them dead.
Can they survive and find the answers they need?

Nyx has found her mother. Cryptus’ big secret has been revealed. And the Night Lords want them dead.
The elation of finding Nyx's mother was swiftly followed by shock.
Cryptus played a role in bringing about the apocalypse, and Nero is furious.
The seeds of distrust have been sewn within the Road Knights, but Nyx’s focus is elsewhere.

With her mom back, Nyx is keen to know more about her past.
When a clue is revealed, the Road Knights must once again travel the wastes to find the answers they seek.

But their actions have drawn the attention of the Night Lords.
Survival just became even harder for Nero and Nyx.

Questions and answers await as the road Knights ride again in another high octane adventure.
Grab this rip roaring V8 adventure now. It's Mad Max: Fury Road with Magic and monsters.

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Chapter 1
Nyx

“Is it true?” Nyx asked, looking over at Cryptus as the force of her mother's revelation washed over her. “Did you do all this? Is this your fault?”
She couldn’t quite believe it if she were honest with herself. The idea that this man, Cryptus, made the world like this seemed almost impossible. He was just one man. A single person. How could one person plunge the world into such chaos?
Nyx had lived in these blasted wastes her whole life; she’d never known anything else. Endless punishing deserts, heat, no water, and slavery. At least, she’d escaped that last one.
She knew about the Cataclysm. The day that the world was ravaged by a global firestorm that burnt away the oceans and created this endless toxic desert, but she’d always thought it would be the work of the daemons, or some unseen gods with a cruel sense of humour.
But that was not so. Not according to her mother. Instead, the cause of this, of the way the world was now, was standing just over there, just a few feet from her. He had somehow engineered this apocalypse.
Beside her, Nero raised his shotgun and pointed it towards him with a frown. “Careful what you say, Cryptus. Or should I call you Zenos Lazlow now?”
Nyx looked to her right and at the gun, before looking up at Nero. “Careful with that,” she said.
“If he did this, if he plunged the world into the apocalypse, then this is the least he deserves. No, I think he should be the one who’s careful.”
“He’s saved our lives several times now,” she replied, countering Nero’s argument. She could see how angry this revelation had made him, no doubt fueling his distrust of Cryptus even further.
“Why, for what purpose? Look, you don’t remember the world as it was. You were born into this world. You don’t know what we’ve lost.”
“Maybe, but I know what I have now,” she replied, forcefully.
Nero looked at her, sensing her rising ire, and she returned his gaze, never flinching as he read her serious expression before nodding slightly. Slowly and reluctantly, he lowered this gun.
“Alright,” he whispered, before looking up at Cryptus. “You heard her, is it true?”
Nyx looked back at Cryptus and watched as he lowered his hood, pulling it back from his face before removing the mask he wore beneath it, revealing his face. His hairless head looked back at them, complete with the decades old burns that covered the lower part of his head and rose up over the remains of his right ear.
He looked sad and vulnerable. Defeated.
“It’s true…” he muttered.
“I knew it,” Nero cut in. “You little shit,” he spat, and before Nyx could stop him, Nero and lashed out and punched Cryptus in the face.
“No!” Nyx shouted as Nero grabbed Cryptus by the scruff of his neck and hit him again and again. Solid punches that split his lip and bloodied his nose. But he didn’t resist, and as Nero wound his arm up for the fourth punch, he hesitated.
Nyx grabbed his arm. “Stop it,” Nyx yelled in his ear as she pulled him off Cryptus. Her mother and Runt helped, taking hold of Nero and pulling him away.
Nero struggled for a moment, and then relaxed. “Alright, okay, I’ll stop,” he said, surrendering and raising his hands.
“You’re sure?” Nyx asked, seeing deep hurt and pain in his eyes.
“Yeah, I’m sure,” he answered and shrugged loose of Nyx’s grip.
“I’m not proud of it,” Cryptus continued from where he had dropped to the floor. Blood dripped from his face to the stone he sat on as he spoke. “I wish I could take it back. I wish I could make the world right again. It’s what I’ve been trying to do ever since.”
“Yeah, I bet,” Nero said.
“Let him speak,” Nyx spat, feeling annoyed by Nero’s comments.
“You destroyed the world,” Dani added.
“I know. I wanted to do it at the time. I was angry at the world, but it was the Whisperer that pushed me over the edge. When I found that book and he started to talk to me, that’s when it started to change. That’s when the dark thoughts really took hold…”
“Book? What book?” Nyx asked.
Cryptus looked up at her and then sighed. There was a bench against the nearby wall, and he moved to sit on it. Nyx watched him move gingerly and settle down before looking up at them. “Back before all this happened, I was rich, and I had a curiosity for the occult. There was talk of a shooting star that had landed in the ocean to the west hundreds of years ago. I wanted to find it, and I did. But… it wasn’t a rock. It was a crashed ship, like, a space ship, maybe? That’s where I found the book.”
“You mean, the place you took us to? Where Nero’s gun was… changed?”
“That’s right. I thought that maybe there might be something else there. A book or something that could help me send the daemons back.”
“And was there?” Dani asked.
“No. Nothing like that. I don’t know. Maybe there once was, but not anymore.”
“So, what happened? How did you do it?”
“I’m not sure I did. I was used by the Whisperer. I know now that he just wanted freedom. He just wanted to be unleashed upon the Urth, and he manipulated me into doing it.”
“And that’s why you wanted to kill him,” Nyx added.
“That’s right,” Cryptus agreed. “He used me, made me do these things. I was weak. I’m sorry…”
“Sorry?” Nero spat. “Sorry isn’t good enough. You killed millions. Billions, maybe. Do you understand that?”
“I do, which is why I wanted to find a way to make it better. I wanted to fix things. There has to be a way.”
“Fix things, this is ridiculous…”
“Nero, leave it,” Nyx cut in.
Nero looked at her, his face full of fury. “Fine, you deal with him,” he answered her before turning and walking away.
Nyx shook her head. She hadn’t seen Nero this worked up over something before; at least, not something she didn’t agree with. She watched Nero walk off, kicking at some rubbish on the floor. She sighed. She kind of understood where Nero was coming from on this, on a purely logical level, but emotionally, she didn’t see things the same way.
Nero was probably right. She didn’t fully appreciate what Cryptus had done. She’d been born after the apocalypse. She hadn’t seen the world as it had been.
When it came to Cryptus himself, the revelation that he’d done this was shocking and terrible. But she couldn’t discount the way Cryptus had acted over the last couple of months. He’d been there for them on several occasions and saved their lives at least twice, if not more.
That was not easily forgotten.
Standing beside her, her mother sighed and sagged a little.
“Are you okay?” Nyx asked.
“I can’t deal with this right now; I need some rest,” Dani answered her.
“I’ll find a bed,” Kat said from nearby. “I don’t want to look at him any more.” She walked away, pointedly not looking at Cryptus.
“Runt need to think about this,” he said, looking up at Nyx. “Runt still friend to Nyx and Nero, though, yes?”
Nyx nodded. “Of course.”
Runt smiled and nodded before looking at Cryptus once more with clear dislike in his eyes before he walked away.
“This way,” Kat called, appearing around the bend of the corridor to her left once more. “There are a few bedrooms around here.”
Nyx nodded and looked back at Cryptus. She felt bad for him. She believed that he really did want to help, his actions proved that to her several times over, including here, at the Whisperer’s tower where he’d helped to destroy this Night Lord.
She stepped up to him and crouched down before him, her leather coat pooling around her. “Give them time,” she said, looking up at him. He sat forward with his forearms on his knees with his head hung.
His eyes flicked up to her. He waited for a beat before he nodded once. “I just want to fix it,” he said.
“I believe you,” she answered.
“Thanks.”
She nodded once and got back up before helping her mother up the corridor. Kat walked over and lent a hand. Her mother was clearly weak and would need some rest and food to get her strength back.
She walked Dani into the nearest bedroom and helped her lay on the bed. Nyx knelt beside her and held her hand.
“Are you okay?”
Dani smiled. “I am now.”
“We’ll get you some food. Runt is an amazing cook. You’ll be on your feet before you know it.”
“I hope so,” Dani replied.
“Get some rest,” Nyx said, and moved to walk away. She was eager to go and find Nero and speak to him, but her mother caught her by the wrist. “Do you trust him?”
Nyx gave her mother a thin smile. “I think so. Nero and I knew he was holding something back from us. Nero especially has been suspicious of him for a while, but I think we now know what he wasn’t telling us.”
Her mother let go of Nyx’s wrist and smiled back at her. “It’s going to take me a while to get used to him. Your father and I fought him a few times during those early days of the end of the world.”
“Was it really the end?”
Dani smiled. “I guess not.”
“So, where is Dad?”
“I don’t know. I’m sorry. I wish I did.”
“That’s okay… Um, what was his name?”
“Tristan. His name was Tristan. I called him Tris.”
Nyx smiled. “Thanks. Get some sleep,” she said, and left the room behind, looking back once at the door. She didn’t want to leave her mother's side, not really, but she knew she needed to talk to Nero. She didn’t like leaving him in such an angry mood and moved off down the corridor to find him.
She discovered him in a side room, standing at a window that looked over the valley below.
“Good view?” she asked.
“Not bad,” he answered.
“You were right,” Nyx said. She felt that he might need her to agree with him to open up the dialogue, and the truth of the matter was that Nero had been right. He’d somehow detected that Cryptus was indeed holding something back. The Mystic wasn’t telling them the full truth, and Nero had spotted it. He deserved some credit for that.
She waited, and after a moment, he turned to look at her. “Sorry I went off on him. It’s just, knowing he was the one to kill all those people…” He shook his head and closed his eyes.
“I think he feels the weight of what he did more than you think he does.”
Nero shrugged. “Maybe.”
“Look, all I can do is look at how he’s been with us, how he’s acted, and the feeling I get from him, and for what it’s worth, I don’t sense any more deception from him, not anymore.”
“I think you’re a better person than I am,” Nero commented.
Nyx smiled at the compliment. “I don’t know about that. You were right, after all. You knew he was holding something back. You knew he wasn’t telling us everything. I didn’t see that until you pointed it out to me.”
Nero shrugged. “You saw it, too.”
“Only after you pointed it out, and you know what? If I were in his shoes, if a daemon had manipulated me into unleashing hell on the world, I wouldn’t go around telling everyone about it either.”
“I guess you’re right,” he agreed with her.
She smiled at him, and walked to the window to look out over the shadow-filled valley below. It was a long way down, and just a short distance away, a small settlement sat in the darkness with a few flicking lights burning in the night.
In the east, the first traces of sunlight were just beginning to brighten the sky. It would be daylight soon.
She looked back down at the settlement below. “I think we need to visit the camp,” she said, “bring them the good news.”

About the Author

Hi, I'm Andrew Dobell. Welcome to my website.

I'm the creator of the sprawling multi-series urban fantasy Magi Saga Universe, and the action-packed New Prometheus cyberpunk series.

I'm a storyteller at heart and have always loved creating worlds, characters, and thrilling narratives through both art and words. I enjoy spending my free time with my family and have a keen interest in cinema and genre fiction.

I'm also an artist and have worked for many years as a professional illustrator and cover artist for other authors.
I love creating art based on my novels.

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