QSFer Damien Benoit-Ledoux has a new MM superhero book out, the penultimate book in his Guardians series: Ultimate Sacrifice.
More determined than ever, superhuman Quinn McAlester navigates the dramas of high school and family life while balancing the growing responsibilities of being the world’s first superhero. Having won over the respect and trust of the authorities who sought to capture him, Quinn unites a team of unique individuals and devises a plan to infiltrate The Order and rescue his best friend, Blake Hargreaves, from the clutches of mastermind Victor Kraze. When the people he loves discover his secret superhero identity, Quinn struggles to keep his friends—and his boyfriend—safe.
Unable to stop the violent, confusing thoughts plaguing his mind, Blake spirals out of control and enacts a violent plan of murder and destruction in a desperate attempt to find his place in the confusing world of The Order, even it if means wiping out the sinister organization. With his hands drenched in blood, an increasingly tormented Blake lashes out against Quinn and Victor, but the duplicitous and charismatic leader is ready for him.
While constantly manipulating the game pieces on the board, Victor becomes desperate to usurp The Order for himself and stop the monster they unwittingly unleashed. He pushes his team to carry out a series of experiments that recreate the freak accident that made Quinn and Blake. Frustrated with their efforts, Victor takes matters into his own hands and sets his sights on destroying both Blake and Quinn forever.
Quinn and his dads exchanged goodbyes with Mark and John and made their way outside to Bow Street. A light snow was falling, and it already accumulated an inch or so. Portsmouth was mostly quiet that night, except for some unusual commotion near the water’s edge.
“Want to check it out?” Daddio asked.
“Sure,” Dad said. They walked across the small park and deck nestled between the two brick condo structures and approached the metal railings at the bank of the river.
A massive cargo ship, the kind that brought salt to Granite State Minerals on the Portsmouth side of the river, was listing away from the dock, seemingly caught in the rushing waters of the mighty Piscataqua.
“Is that ship…coming loose?” Daddio asked, pointing at the scene.
Quinn studied it for a moment. Though the bow of the ship remained moored to the dock, the stern was pulling away from its moorings.”
“Oh, that’s not good,” Dad said.
Several sharp twangs pierced the night air and Quinn saw three moorings cables snap, spraying snow and ice into the air. The ship groaned in protest as the rushing river pulled the stern away from the docks.
Dock and ship crews scrambled together to secure the ship, but their efforts were in vain. Another set of cables snapped with a series of rippling twangs and the ship slowly swung out, pivoting at the bow, where only three cables remained. Caught in the outgoing tidal current, the ship rotated faster.
“That thing’s big enough to do some serious damage to the Memorial Bridge when it slams into it,” Dad said.
“If only Blue Speaker were here,” Daddio replied.
The deck crews were scrambling to launch boats, but they looked too small and ill-equipped to stop the massive vessel without the help of the Moran tugboats—which were still in their berths.
They won’t get here in time. So, this is it, isn’t it? This is when I reveal my biggest secret to my dads.
It became clear his fathers wanted to watch the scene unfold, but Quinn knew he had to protect the bridge and save the ship. A pulsing alarm rang out from the Memorial Bridge and the road gates came down, shutting off the traffic flow. On each bank, blue lights flashed as police arrived and redirected traffic away from the bridge.
Quinn stepped back a few feet and checked the windows of the condo units around them. He didn’t see any gawking faces looking at him. He assumed most residents would be watching the cargo ship and not the ground. He pulled off his hat, gloves, scarf, and stuffed them into the left arm of his jacket.
He hesitated, swallowing nervously.
You can do this…even though it’s like coming out all over again.
The mighty cargo ship groaned as its aft section swung around and picked up speed, following the river’s course toward the bridge.
“Yeah?” they said, not turning around.
“Uh…you know how I’ve been…um…lying to you recently?”
His dads looked at each other with confusion, then turned to face him. Quinn handed his jacket to Dad, who silently received it.
“You want to talk about that now?” Daddio asked. “Wait, what are you doing?”
“More importantly, what are you talking about, lying to us recently? Since when?” Dad asked.
“Um, since Labor Day,” Quinn answered, his voice slightly nervous. He shook his head as a thought rattled around in his mind. “More like, since the hospital.”
Quinn looked over his father’s shoulders at the fast-moving cargo ship. He shifted apprehensively on his feet and wiped his sweaty hands on his pants.
“Yeah, well, it’s because, um, I’m…well, there’s no easy way to say this…”
Shit, I didn’t know this would be so hard.
“Why have you been lying to us, Quinn?” Dad asked. “And why are you choosing this moment to tell us? Put your coat back on.”
“Because I’m Blue Spekter,” Quinn blurted out, igniting his eyes, then illuminating his body from head to toe. “And I need to go stop that ship from smashing through the bridge.”
Damien’s mind is a magical and nerdy place where fantastic heroes defend amazing worlds from dangerous villains who run amuck in an epic struggle to take over the universe. Recently, the brightest and best from this colorful cast of characters have made their way into notes, plots, stories, and novels for you to read and enjoy.
Damien strongly believes the real world we live in should be a place where LGBTQA equality and acceptance are second nature and never questioned. When he’s not working or spending time with his husband and their dog, Damien weaves this philosophy into the exciting lives of his characters and the fantastic space battles and romances they endure so they’ll stop taking over his dreams at night.
And finally, he wants you to remember a very important thing: No matter how bad your day is at work, it’s always important to be grateful that you don’t work for a Sith Lord.