Preview of Book 2, Traynor’s Underground

Blattes?” Misha quizzes me as we stop warily in the nearly deserted street.

“Roaches. They called us roaches. Come on, I know you picked up more French at the university than you let on, even with your crazy accent.”

“Girls adore my accent.”

“It’s your stupid hat.”

“Also, they are loving my hat.”

“No, I mean that’s how these thugs made us as foreigners. Your cap is pure Russky. These guys are Order Party goons – see the black and orange badges? The Order hates foreigners, except for their buddies from Hayven.”

I’m looking for exits as I speak. I don’t see any.

“But we are scholars, Jon, international students at most important university! They should be proud we are here and welcome us!”

The men in the street do not look welcoming. They are grinning and nudging each other.

“I don’t think they like foreign students, either. Anyway, the university’s closed, and we’re dressed like common laborers. We are common laborers now. So, we’re on our own. No one’s going to interfere with Order types since the coup. They do what they want.”  

There are three of them, spreading out now to block our way. No, four – there’s another one behind us. Super. These guys aren’t just random drunks; they’re tactical. It’s getting dark, and neither of Colony’s two moons will rise in the next hour.

I can hear steam wagons and electric trams on the boulevard a block away, but it’s quiet here.

I glance down at Misha. He’s hard to read, with that floppy, corduroy cap pulled low over his eyes. But I get the impression that Misha is getting ready for a fight, not a conversation.

We might be a little late getting to our study group.


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