Continuing the opening chapter from The Ashes of Home, Shayla escaped two assailants in her room, disguised as servants, by leaping out of her window into the grip of an artificial gravity field. They are held by the field, upside down on the overhanging eaves 70’ above the ground. Shayla has dealt with one, leaving one assassin remaining.
‘Gingallia’s’ hand emerged slowly from her robes. Instead of the needle gun Shayla had been expecting, she held a thermal grenade. Her thumb was pressed on the arming trigger, which pulsed rapidly orange. Shayla noted white knuckles gripping the slim cylinder.
Shayla sheathed her knife and calmly asked, “Dead switch?”
“So if you get shot,” Shayla said clearly, so the guards a few feet away could hear her, “we all die.”
Shayla continued her careful tread along the eaves. She was now alongside the balcony. She could do with taking this one alive, but killers who got this close knew what stakes they played.