The Mercenary by Petra Landon
Cover by Biserka Design
She’s a prisoner of the Imperial Forces. He’s a nomad with a private mercenary army. Can the unlikely alliance of a Budheya rebel and a Hadari’Kor Captain bring an Empire to its knees!
In a distant corner of the galaxy, Quadrant Five burns in the flames of a deadly war for territory and domination of space. The Budheya people are one of the worst affected. Once the most advanced civilization in Quadrant Five, they now struggle under the cruel yoke of Ketaari occupation.
Imprisoned by the Ketaari Imperial Forces for supporting the resistance on her world, a young Budheya girl is sent to a distant space station to complete the remainder of her prison term as a server girl in an alehouse. For a girl who has known only hardship in her short life, things could be worse. Until an old foe walks into the alehouse.
Zoran is Hadari’Kor – fiercely independent nomads who fight for hire. Their formidable reputation as well-honed and ruthless warriors makes others wary of tangling with them, even as other worlds are forced to choose sides in the bloody conflict consuming their slice of space. Drawn to a weary-eyed server girl, Zoran is forced to confront age-old traditions and question his role in the war consuming worlds and subjugating civilizations.
The Prisoner & The Mercenary
Alone, friendless and far from home, desperation forces Saakshi to make the riskiest gamble of her young life and take a chance on a formidable stranger with the power to protect her from the mighty Ketaari Empire. The fallout from this improbable pact reverberates across space. As passion ignites amidst the flames of war, Zoran fights with everything in his formidable arsenal to keep Saakshi safe from the long arm of the powerful Ketaari Empire. Will a mercenary’s quest alter the course of war and the balance of power in Quadrant Five!
Author’s Note: The Mercenary is a standalone story from the Space Opera series, The War Chronicles. Set in a distant corner of the galaxy, romance, swashbuckling adventure & action abound in this tale of one mercenary’s quest to gift his love a new life and the power to choose her own fate.
Petra has always possessed a very active imagination. One inherited from her father. Or so she believes. As a child, her father would regale her with fantastic tales of creatures and beasts that lived amidst them. While invisible to her, they were in regular communication with her father. Or so she was told. He built an imaginary world for her that she reveled in for most of her early childhood. He also helped inculcate a love of books in her. As she grew older, her reading list broadened to include anything and everything she could lay her hands on. Her first apartment after college was carefully selected on the basis of its proximity to book shops and the local library. Over the years, no matter how busy life got, Petra would always have a stack of books by her bedside, to be read during moments snatched from her studies, her job and other activities of life. She has a secondary passion that she built a career on. For years, she would imagine stories and tales in her head, sometimes sketching out detailed characters and events. Inspiration would come from traveling, reading a great book, watching a fun movie or TV show or even just a conversation. Occasionally, if she felt let down by the ending of a promising book, she would imagine an alternative and more satisfactory ending for herself.
Then a few years ago, she started jotting down little snippets of stories every now and then, mainly to stop obsessing over them. Eventually, encouraged by her husband, she embarked on a mission – to write a short story. Though she worked long and hard at it, the short story never did get completed. Once she started writing in earnest, even a few stolen hours a week, the stories kept pouring out of her. She found that the labor and discipline of putting her thoughts down on paper could not keep up with her active imagination. Before long, she had compiled a list of novels in various stages of completion, but none complete. What she needed, she told herself, was discipline. It took her another year to complete her first book, The Mercenary, primarily because she could never quite banish the other story ideas that seemed to pop up in her head at regular intervals. The book, a tale set in a world far away, belongs to the Science Fiction genre. Her husband, encouraging as always, advised her to complete her half-written Urban Fantasy novel and publish that first, suggesting that the genre of Urban Fantasy might enjoy a wider audience.
For Petra, it has been a long journey and a dream decades in the making to come to this point. She’s very excited and a tad anxious to finally publish her first book. She very much hopes that people love her quirky characters and vivid stories as much as she loved putting them down on paper.