Forsee no evil.
Freelancing for the Atlanta PD isn’t exactly a secure career; my job’s been on the line almost as much as my life. But it’s a paycheck, and it keeps me from falling back into the drug habit. Plus, things are looking up with my sometimes-partner, Cherabino, even if she is still simmering over the telepathic Link I created by accident.
When my ex, Kara, shows up begging for my help, I find myself heading to the last place I ever expected to set foot in again—Guild headquarters—to investigate the death of her uncle. Joining that group was a bad idea the first time. Going back when I’m unwanted is downright dangerous.
Luckily, the Guild needs me more than they’re willing to admit. Kara’s uncle was acting strange before he died—crazy strange. In fact, his madness seems to be slowly spreading through the Guild. And when an army of powerful telepaths loses their marbles, suddenly it’s a game of life or death.
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Excerpt from Marked
A man was waiting for me in the hallway. He had a dark complexion, dark, short natural hair, and the overly smooth skin and too-bright eyes of expensive Guild age treatments, only really available to the political elite of the Council and its advisers. He had the movement of a long-distance runner, smooth and minimalist, but he watched his surroundings like a cop. Something about his mind and the way he shielded made me think he was older than Jamie, though how much I couldn’t tell with the treatments.
He was wearing a plain black jumpsuit that reminded me of Turner’s uniform without actually being a uniform. His Enforcement patch and rank insignia told me he was very highly ranked. And his stance when he saw me told me we were going to have trouble.
“Tobias Nelson, I presume,” I said, making the first move in the confrontation. This was the man who’d threatened Meyers in open Council, the one Kara thought had killed him. And his job meant he could cover it up with impunity. I did the intense nod the Guild did instead of a handshake. I wasn’t going to give this guy one inch.
He returned the greeting with a small, sharp nod. “You’re interfering in my cases.”
“I’m looking into the suspicious death of a man who deserves the truth,” I said. As of the last half hour anyway. “You want me gone, I’d suggest you take it up with Rex.” I wasn’t given much choice, and I’ll try to stay out of your way, I told him, privately.
“I’d rather turn you over to a mind-scanner.”
I stared at him. Have someone ruffle haphazardly through my brain without my permission? For opposing his political position. Maybe he was corrupt as hell. “You’re certainly welcome to try,” I said. “But I will be missed, and I will object. Loudly, and often. Do you really want the scandal with the up-and-coming students?”
His eyes narrowed then, and an almost-respect leaked out into Mindspace. “I could kill you,” he said. “I have the jurisdiction.”
I sighed, and stepped forward. I was getting tired of people threatening me with death. I looked him straight in the eye. “You kill me without a reason and Rex will see to it that the Council takes your job,” I said, with the intense belief of a self-lie made truth. Then another mostly truth: “Then you’ll have the entire DeKalb County Police Department camped outside your headquarters. I am not that important to you. And I am not a threat. I just want to know what happened to Del Meyers. His family deserves the truth. Kara’s family is not going to go away.” I looked down briefly, then back at him, not an admission of weakness, but an acknowledgment of beta status. I hadn’t survived as long as I had on the street by trying to be alpha male, head of the pack; I’d rather talk my way out of a fight than take a punch any day. But neither could I back down. The weak got dead in that world. Time to talk my way to the right balance and do exactly what I wanted in the first place.
The moment sat on the edge, him taking offense or letting it go, having felt he’d won.
“I am not a threat to you,” I said again.
Someone cleared her throat. We turned to look at Turner.
In Mindspace, she was sending out vague waves of concern, but not, apparently, in regard to us.
“What is it, Turner?” Nelson asked.
She was frowning. “Sir. It’s on the radio. . . . There’s . . .”
“Well, spit it out, Turner.”
“Another sixteen people checked themselves into Mental Health in the last hour.”
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