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New Release: Enemy Colours – R.M. Olson

Enemy Colours - R.M. Olson

QSFer R.M.Olson has a new queer sci-fi book out, The Devil and the Dark book 3: Enemy Colours.

The enemy of my enemy …

Captain Hollis Ives has sworn to take down the infamous pirate captain Mad Dog, or die trying. But when their ships runs across an unexpected enemy in deep space—a war fleet out to destroy the Level itself—she’ll have to either form an alliance with the pirates, or watch her ship, her crew, and possibly the Level itself, burn.

Silas Hunt thought he’d left the navy behind forever when he joined up with Mad Dog. But now, forced to either work with the naval captain he’d been ready to kill, or see his crew members killed and his captain tortured, Silas will have to use every scrap of skill and ingenuity he learned from both the navy and the pirate crew to keep himself and Mad Dog alive long enough to escape.

Treasure Island meets Master and Commander with a science-fiction twist in R.M. Olson’s thrilling new space opera series, The Devil and the Dark.

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He didn’t say what was on both of their minds—it might be too late. They might not find Gracie in the brig, because she might already be dead.

They’d deal with that if they had to. In the meantime, he wasn’t about to let himself think it.

“Once we break her out, we’ll figure out what the hell they’ve done with the Sweet Jenny,” said Ari curtly, pushing herself to her feet. “If they’ve brought her into a bay here, we’ll find her. Otherwise we may have to steal a skiff. Either way, ain’t going to know until we’re out there. But they haven’t gone into jump yet, I know that much. I’d have felt it.”

Silas stood as well, slinging the coils or rope onto his shoulder. His muscles were humming with adrenaline, his whole body aching to finally do something. “Well then,” he said, turning towards the door, “I suppose—”

He stopped.

Price stood in front of the door. Their face was pale under the brown of their skin and still drawn from weariness and puffy with sleep, their dark, curly hair pulling free of its regulation ponytail, but their expression was grim and businesslike. They held the shiv in one hand, and the way they held it told Silas they knew how to use it.

“I’m sorry,” they said, their voice remarkably steady. “If you want to leave here, you’ll be doing it over my dead body.”

Ari narrowed her eyes. “Figure that can be arranged,” she said. “Your dead body, and the body of your damn captain. Although that’s hardly a loss. Looked dead when she walked in here.”

Price’s expression didn’t change, but Silas could see how their fingers tightened on the shiv.

He sighed. “Price,” he said, trying to keep his own voice level. “What do you want?”

Price glanced over at him. “If you leave, when the Rosette officers come back, I suspect they’ll execute the captain and myself.” Their voice was still steady. “However, if I were to alert them that you were trying to break out …”

“Won’t need to execute you, because I ain’t leaving you alive to tell anyone,” Ari snapped. “And I ain’t letting you stand in the way of me getting my captain out, so if that’s how you want it—”

“Wait,” said Silas through his teeth, stepping forward. “If we fight here, none of us are getting out.” He turned back to Price. “What do you suggest, then? Do you plan on letting them take you back to the Rosette System and lock you up for the duration? You’d risk your life to protect your captain. I can respect that. But if you think that Ari and I won’t do the same—”

Price blew out a long breath. “No,” they said. They were, Silas noted, also speaking through their teeth. “I know Ives well enough to know that there’s not a chance in hell we’ll go peacefully back to the Rosette System. But if you break out, we lose our chance to do so. So—” They hesitated, clearly bracing themself. “We all get out together, or none of us do.”

For a moment, Silas stared at the Verity’s first mate.

Their expression was still calm, but he could see the iron determination under it.

“How the hell do you expect us to trust that you won’t give us away the moment you’re out?” Silas snapped, his patience fraying. “Your captain looks more dead than alive. For all we know, you want to leverage our escape to get yourself and Ives somewhere safe.”

“You’ll be able to trust us, because we’ll go together.” Their voice was still, somehow, calm. “All four of us. I imagine you’ll want to get your captain and get back to your ship, no? So we’ll go with you. You’ll need us, anyway—I’ve been keeping up to date on the information we have on the Rosette ships. You won’t be opening the airlock doors to get yourself off the ship without a code, and I’m your best chance to find you one. I doubt piracy has given you much time to keep up on the latest Level intelligence briefings. So, your choice. All together, or none of us.”

For a long moment, no one moved. Silas’s heart was pounding hard and fast—he and Ari could take Price easily, exhausted as the naval officer clearly was. But there was something about the grim expression on their face that told him they wouldn’t go down without a fight, and he doubted their threat to alert the guards was an idle one.

“They’re right, Ari,” he said at last, in soto voce. “We’re going to need the codes, and if Price can get them for us, that’s a good thing. Besides, between Price and Hollis, they should know the layout of the ship. Hollis, at least, should be able to get us where we need to be.”

“You sure that’s why you’re agreeing?” Ari asked, her voice matching his. “Or is it because they’re navy, Sil? Is it because deep down, you don’t believe naval officers shouldn’t be treated the same as pirates? If the tables were turned, would you feel the same?”

He closed his eyes.

He’d been asking himself that same question.

“We need them,” he said at last. “We need them, because we won’t get Gracie off in time without them.”

He wished he was more certain he was telling the truth.

Ari studied him for a long moment. “Fine,” she said at last, voice flat. She turned to Price. “You have five minutes to get yourself and your captain ready to go, and she’d damn well better be able to stay on her feet. Either of you slow us down, and we’ll shoot you.”

“Very well,” said Price in a clipped tone. They straightened, dropping the hand holding the shiv. “Five minutes. But don’t think to double-cross us, or I’ll see to it that you regret it.”

Author Bio

R.M. Olson writes queer, feel-good science fiction, featuring diverse casts, found families, and loads of action. R.M. has ridden the Trans Siberian railway, jumped off the highest bungee jump in the world, gone cage-diving with great white sharks, faced down a charging buffalo bull, and knows how to milk a goat. Currently they reside in Alberta, Canada with their four children, three cats, and a dog the size of a small bear. R.M. goes hiking and skiing more often than they probably have time for, eats more chocolate than is probably good for them, and reads more books than is probably prudent.

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